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Distortion or Cracking on Microphones

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  • Distortion or Cracking on Microphones

    I have this happen on my pastors mic and all the vocal mics wireless and wired. Iíve checked the gain. Iíve used compression. Iíve checked the microphone and cables. Iíve tried some lowering of eq for highs and mid highs no luck. I have an x32 just running fx1 with reverb.

  • #2
    dtpuga got any ideas here?
    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:


    • #3
      Is it only happening on all of your mics but no instruments? There are a lot of variables here. Could be something on the sound board, could be dirty pots or an issue with your amps or processing as well. Could be a snake too.
      Travis Paulding,
      Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church


      • #4
        Yeah- there are so many things that can influence a signal chain to cause clipping/crackling it's hard to give advice without knowing more information.

        One thing we learned in my church recently- our pastor's wireless mic was on a frequency bought by a major cell phone carrier (Verizon, maybe?) and when people with Verizon would be in the sanctuary, his mic would pop and snap like crazy. We had to buy a new mic on a different frequency.

        Some other testing you can try- start switching channels for the mics to a test channel (assuming you have a few spares) or swap with one of the instruments. Swap each mic one at a time. If the signal cleans up, and you can "turn it on/turn it off" by swapping channels, you can troubleshoot the channel. If the noise follows the mic input, you can troubleshoot the signal chain from the mic to the board.

        If you are tech savvy and have IT experience, you can check your system for any updates. The x32s have some firmware updates. Sweetwaters has some info on it.


        My 'work' band has a Yamaha mixer with the same problem you describe here (clipping/noise/distortion on mics) and a firmware update fixed it. It's always worth a look.

        Good luck, hope you figure it out
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


        • #5
          I did a recording and didn't hear the sound on it. We are using two ip2000 turbosound speakers. The x32 is brand new as are the speakers. It occurs on wireless and wired microphones. We use a digital snake. I tried different mic cords and channels on the wired microphones. I don't think wireless channel frequency would be the issue since it happens on wired microphones as well. I could try the firmware upgrade. The turbosound speakers do have treble, bass, dsp, and gain settings. Those are at factory settings right now. I don't believe it happens on any of our floor monitors either.


          • #6
            Ok, that's helpful.

            If you are recording and the crackling doesn't show up there and it doesn't show up in the monitors, that helps confirm that the inputs seem to be clean.

            I did a little research on the ip2000 speakers, and there are a few web forum hits for crackling/distortion issues. A common theme is it could be an issue where the input from the mixer is too hot and/or the settings on the speaker preamp are out of whack. Keep in mind too that it's not only too much gain that causes distortion but too little can cause it as well. It might not be as noticeable on an instrument channel as it is a vocal channel. It might be worth adjusting the ip2000 gain settings to see if it makes a difference.

            Since you have what looks like the complete suite of Media Music Group equipment, it might be a good idea to reach out to someone local who is experienced with this equipment. There are so many nuances and settings with these rigs that it might take someone familiar with the equipment to know where to look, I'm afraid that guessing and internet troubleshooting will get you in a bigger jam than you are now. These aren't quite as cut and dry as the old analog and basic digital rigs. With these rigs, the setup is what takes the most effort. Once they are set up right, they usually sound great- but the devil is in the details. If you are a novice, you can really struggle to figure out what an experienced tech can figure out in a half hour.
            If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.