Noise cancelling: an investigation

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quiet please

There’s nothing worse than a sneaky anonymous noise bomb exploding its bits all over your recording session. Gross.⁣

.

White noise, ambient noise, room noise, hiss, hum, static, reflections. ⁣

⁣Whatever the noise flavour, no one’s leaving this room until the culprit is apprehended, cuffed and pleading guilty. *Has taser. Will use*⁣

⁣Such was my life today. ⁣⁣Booth-hopping for some corporate explainers. Great studio set up BTW.⁣

⁣Level check read through. I’m feeling it. Producer scratches head: ‘Hmmm… that’s odd.’⁣

⁣Crap, I thought my inflections were on-fleek (as they say in the eyebrow world).⁣⁣

‘There’s some background noise. That’s odd.’⁣

Oh good. I mean, not good re: noise. Good re: my on-fleek-ness.⁣

Also enticing. Audio investigation challenge accepted. Let me grab my rubber gloves and evidence kit. ⁣

I ran through my list of usual suspects:⁣

Settings on mic correct ✔️⁣

Mic facing the right way ✔️⁣

Mic cable connected properly ✔️⁣

No visible damage to mic cable ✔️⁣

Headphones plugged in ✔️⁣

Mic and headphones plugged into preamp ✔️⁣

Chickety check—all connected as it should be. ⁣⁣

Is the equipment itself working?⁣

⁣Plug in alternative mic—noise still there ✔️⁣

Plug in alternative headphones—noise still there ✔️⁣

Switch mic cables—noise still there ✔️⁣

Just as we reach for an alternative preamp … (these guys are literally the Noah’s ark of studios).⁣

Well looksie here… some loose unit has gone all fiddle fingers on the recording levels and cranked the preamp up to ‘insane’ while bringing down the headphone volume. Considerate.⁣

Case closed. Satisfyingly so. It’s my equivalent of those zit popping videos.⁣

Anyone else enjoy the thrill of uncovering the source of rogue room noise? What’s the weirdest source of noise you’ve brought to justice? 👮🏼‍♂️⁣

Comment below👇🏻⁣

1 Comment

  1. As a sound guy, everything starts (and finishes) with signal flow. Follow the signal find the problem.

    “Infiltrate the dealer, find the supplier. Stop f**kin’ with Korean Jesus. He ain’t got time for yo problems, he’s busy wit Korean sh*t!”

    Sorry. I’m also a movie guy! Hence the Jump Street quote.

    Nice work. You’re basically an engineer now. I’ve seen people fudge the qualification with less talent than you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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