Help! nasty clicks and pops during digital recording

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Hi,

Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.

Here's what I've tried with no luck:

- recording w/without windscreen, popper
- different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
- different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
- different mic cables
- different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
- different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
- different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)

What am I missing?

TIA
 
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Harry Houdini wrote:
> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
> What am I missing?
>
> TIA

what are you recording to? computer..program..?
besides the clipping if overdriving levels...
the buffer size can create said artifacts.

dale
 
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Harry Houdini <harry@houdini.com> wrote:
>Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
>always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
>seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>
>Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>
>- recording w/without windscreen, popper
>- different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
>- different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
>- different mic cables
>- different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
>- different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
>- different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>
>What am I missing?

A different vocalist?
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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>++I'm recording to an ALesis Masterlink and a MOTU HD192 - happens
>with both units, so I don't think it's an A/D problem. It's happening
>before that.

what is the whole chain, or is it as listed?
mic-pre-masterlink/HD192

dale
 
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Dale! Thanks for lending a hand. See my comments below.

On 10 Feb 2005 07:03:37 -0800, "dale" <dallen@frognet.net> wrote:

>
>Harry Houdini wrote:
>> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
>> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
>> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>> What am I missing?
>>
>> TIA
>
>what are you recording to? computer..program..?
>besides the clipping if overdriving levels...
>the buffer size can create said artifacts.
>
>dale

++I'm recording to an ALesis Masterlink and a MOTU HD192 - happens
with both units, so I don't think it's an A/D problem. It's happening
before that.

Also, these clicks occur no matter how loud or quiet I record, so I
don't think it's an issue of overdriving the mic pre's.

Your comment about the buffer size is very interesting. What do you
suggest I set the buffer size to?
 
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Hi Scott,

Thanks so much for your help. I truly appreciate it.

In response to your question: It doesn't matter who I put in front of
the mic.

Harry




On 10 Feb 2005 10:39:59 -0500, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

>Harry Houdini <harry@houdini.com> wrote:
>>Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
>>always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
>>seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>>
>>Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>>
>>- recording w/without windscreen, popper
>>- different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
>>- different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
>>- different mic cables
>>- different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
>>- different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
>>- different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>>
>>What am I missing?
>
>A different vocalist?
>--scott
 
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In article <enfl01dbg6u4b7p6f0lp7fil5uhel8n8lk@4ax.com> harry@houdini.com writes:

> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>
> Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>
> - recording w/without windscreen, popper
> - different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
> - different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
> - different mic cables
> - different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
> - different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
> - different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>
> What am I missing?

A vocalist that doesn't make clicks and pops when s/he makes "F" and
"V" sounds.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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"Harry Houdini" <harry@houdini.com> wrote in message
news:enfl01dbg6u4b7p6f0lp7fil5uhel8n8lk@4ax.com
> Hi,
>
> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>
> Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>
> - recording w/without windscreen, popper
> - different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
> - different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
> - different mic cables
> - different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
> - different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
> - different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>
> What am I missing?

(1) A working troubleshooting procedure. ;-)

(2) A clear statement of the problem.

For example, you never say what the troublesome digital medium is.

What do you hook the output of the A/D to?

How do you monitor it?

How does your monitoring system work with other digital recordings known to
be free of clicking and popping?
 
G

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Anry,

Thanks for joining in. Appreciate your help. See my comments below


On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 13:02:05 -0500, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
wrote:

>"Harry Houdini" <harry@houdini.com> wrote in message
>news:enfl01dbg6u4b7p6f0lp7fil5uhel8n8lk@4ax.com
>> Hi,
>>
>> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
>> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
>> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>>
>> Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>>
>> - recording w/without windscreen, popper
>> - different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
>> - different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
>> - different mic cables
>> - different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
>> - different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
>> - different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>>
>> What am I missing?
>
>(1) A working troubleshooting procedure. ;-)

How have I gone wrong? As you can see from my list, I've tried to
cover the bases from everything to the mic and back.

Since writing that lst, I've also attempted recording at different
sample rates and changing the buffer size on my interface.

>
>(2) A clear statement of the problem.
>
>For example, you never say what the troublesome digital medium is.

These clicks and pops occur no matter if I record to my Alesis
Masterlink (using its internal converters) or to my HD192 into Nuendo.

>
>What do you hook the output of the A/D to?

MOTU interfaces go into the DAW via PCI card

>How do you monitor it?

I don't think monitoring is the issue. I can clearly hear these clicks
through the headphone output on my Masterlink or through the control
room monitors via the HD192. As well, if I zoom in on the waveform,
the spikes are very evident.

>
>How does your monitoring system work with other digital recordings known to
>be free of clicking and popping?

Squeaky clean :)
 
G

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Hi Mike,

I should have mentioned that this happens no matter who
I put in front of the mic.

Do you have any other suggestions?


On 10 Feb 2005 12:33:30 -0500, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
wrote:

>
>In article <enfl01dbg6u4b7p6f0lp7fil5uhel8n8lk@4ax.com> harry@houdini.com writes:
>
>> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
>> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
>> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>>
>> Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>>
>> - recording w/without windscreen, popper
>> - different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
>> - different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
>> - different mic cables
>> - different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
>> - different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
>> - different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>>
>> What am I missing?
>
>A vocalist that doesn't make clicks and pops when s/he makes "F" and
>"V" sounds.
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 02:59:35 -0600, Harry Houdini wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>
> Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>
> - recording w/without windscreen, popper
> - different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
> - different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
> - different mic cables
> - different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
> - different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
> - different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>
> What am I missing?
>
> TIA

What do the clicks and pops look like when you zoom in on the waveform
display in the DAW? (I assume you are using a computer)

If they are impossible waveforms, like single samples being full scale for
no reason, or bits missing/repeated from waveforms, then it's a computer
problem. Analog clicks always have a little ripple in the waveform
before and after the click. If the waveforms are clipped then you are
overloading your a/d converters. There can be a load of energy in those f
and v sounds.

I'd set it recording, then try and *make* it click by making noises into
the mic and fiddling with the settings. Once you find out what's causing
it by doing it intentionally, then you can fix it.

Also, they could be mouth noises. There is a post called 'Saliva slapping
vocals' here that may be of interest.
 
G

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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi Phil,

Thanks so much for replying. see my comments below.

On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 14:54:57 GMT, philicorda
<philicorda@localhost.com> wrote:

>On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 02:59:35 -0600, Harry Houdini wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Here's my problem: whenver I record vocals to a digital medium, I
>> always get these annoying artifacts - clicks and pops. AAARGH! They
>> seem to occur especially around "f" and "v" sounds.
>>
>> Here's what I've tried with no luck:
>>
>> - recording w/without windscreen, popper
>> - different mic preamps (eg, LA610 and Focusrite 430mkii)
>> - different preamp gain structures, w/without compression, EQ, etc
>> - different mic cables
>> - different mics (414, tlm103, etc)
>> - different A/D converters (Masterlink, MOTU HD192, etc)
>> - different AC (Furman PL-Plus, UPS)
>>
>> What am I missing?
>>
>> TIA
>

>What do the clicks and pops look like when you zoom in on the waveform
>display in the DAW? (I assume you are using a computer)

++little spikes

>
>If they are impossible waveforms, like single samples being full scale for
>no reason, or bits missing/repeated from waveforms, then it's a computer
>problem.

++These clicks occur whether I record directly to my Alesis Masterlink
CD burner or through my DAW's converters (MOTU HD192), so I don't
think it's an A/D problem, unless the converters in both units are
fried.

Analog clicks always have a little ripple in the waveform
>before and after the click. If the waveforms are clipped then you are
>overloading your a/d converters. There can be a load of energy in those f
>and v sounds.

++These clicks occur no matter how hot (or quiet) I record the signal,
so it's not a clipping issue.

>
>I'd set it recording, then try and *make* it click by making noises into
>the mic and fiddling with the settings. Once you find out what's causing
>it by doing it intentionally, then you can fix it.

++Good suggestion. I already know I can make it click by say 'Philips
Phonographic Records' at any volume, w/without windscreen,
compression, etc.

>
>Also, they could be mouth noises. There is a post called 'Saliva slapping
>vocals' here that may be of interest.

++Thank! I'll check out the thread. I'm 99% certain they're digital,
though.
 
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Harry Houdini <harry@houdini.com> wrote:
>
>Thanks so much for your help. I truly appreciate it.
>
>In response to your question: It doesn't matter who I put in front of
>the mic.

And your levels are nice and low? Does the effect change with a change
in level?

Do you hear it on the input monitor before the converters or just on the
output?
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Correct: mic-pre-masterlink or HD192. I get the clicks if I record
into the masterlink or the 192. The masterlink does not feed "into"
the 192.


On 10 Feb 2005 10:44:20 -0800, "dale" <dallen@frognet.net> wrote:

>>++I'm recording to an ALesis Masterlink and a MOTU HD192 - happens
>>with both units, so I don't think it's an A/D problem. It's happening
>>before that.
>
>what is the whole chain, or is it as listed?
>mic-pre-masterlink/HD192
>
>dale
 
G

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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott,

The effect does not change with a change in level.
I do hear it on the input monitor. Good question!


On 10 Feb 2005 15:35:03 -0500, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

>Harry Houdini <harry@houdini.com> wrote:
>>
>>Thanks so much for your help. I truly appreciate it.
>>
>>In response to your question: It doesn't matter who I put in front of
>>the mic.
>
>And your levels are nice and low? Does the effect change with a change
>in level?
>
>Do you hear it on the input monitor before the converters or just on the
>output?
>--scott
 
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In article <hnfn01l8ptea3fhp9qmho51v7bgf0nqdd9@4ax.com> harry@houdini.com writes:

> I should have mentioned that this happens no matter who
> I put in front of the mic.
>
> Do you have any other suggestions?

Not without being there. Are you someplace warm? Anything else is just
a rehash of other things that have caused noises that might be similar to
what you've described. There's really very little that we can go on just
from knowing your setup.

Sorry, but troubleshooting is really a hands-on process.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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Harry Houdini <harry@houdini.com> wrote:
>
>The effect does not change with a change in level.
>I do hear it on the input monitor. Good question!

If you hear it on the monitors coming right out of the preamp, you know
it's not the converters and it's not anything to do with the digital side
of things.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 21:10:10 +0100, Harry Houdini wrote:

> Hi Mike,
>
> I should have mentioned that this happens no matter who I put in front
> of the mic.
>
> Do you have any other suggestions?

What master clock are you using, internal or external?

--
Chel van Gennip
Visit Serg van Gennip's site http://www.serg.vangennip.com
 
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Chel,

Thank you so much for your time.

Since there is only one digital device in the chain at any given time
(i.e., the Masterlink or the HD192), I was under the impression
I didn't need an external clock.

Should I be using one anyway?


On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 21:37:48 +0100, Chel van Gennip
<chel@vangennip.nl> wrote:

>On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 21:10:10 +0100, Harry Houdini wrote:
>
>> Hi Mike,
>>
>> I should have mentioned that this happens no matter who I put in front
>> of the mic.
>>
>> Do you have any other suggestions?
>
>What master clock are you using, internal or external?
 
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In article <ummn01t1kvgf8gu55265ik361so3ue2edi@4ax.com> harry@houdini.com writes:

> Since there is only one digital device in the chain at any given time
> (i.e., the Masterlink or the HD192), I was under the impression
> I didn't need an external clock.

If your mic preamp has a digital output that you're feeding to the digital input
of the Masterlink of HD192, then you need to set the recording device so that
it gets the clock from the input rather than running on its internal clock.
Otherwise you'd likely get clicks, but they wouldn't necessarily be correlated
with specific vocal sounds.

If you're feeding the Masterlink or HD192 with an analog input, then the
recording device should be running of its internal clock.

It's worth checking.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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