Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

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Kasper
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Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by Kasper » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:10 pm

I use my Zoom H6 mainly for recording long conversations (hours at a time). About a year ago I started discovering popping noises at seemingly random moments. They are few and far between (I found 7 in my latest 4 hour recording), but very annoying. Here is a compilation of those 7: https://youtu.be/nk2NP4JjSRM .

At first, I thought it might be caused by my AC outlet or adapter, but the device was running on batteries in above video. I also tried different SD-cards (now using a brand new SDXC 64GB) and transferring the files via USB cable instead of my laptop's card reader, to no avail. My next suspect is the X/Y-microphone. For an upcoming session I'm planning on borrowing one from a friend. (My mid-side-microphone is not suitable for this setup.) It's pretty hard to eliminate possible causes, because it can take hours before the first artifact occurs.

Any ideas?
Last edited by Kasper on Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Wulfraed
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Re: Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by Wulfraed » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:46 pm

Is there any source of movement near the unit -- something that might add a bit of vibration.

How is the humidity in the location -- and if used as a vocal system, is a spatter screen being used to block anyone close from "spitting" on the elements. If overly dry, I could see a bit of static discharge occurring (after all, condenser microphones use phantom power to create a small static charge, and then detect variations in the voltage as the sides move near and farther from each other). Overly damp and they short out...
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Kasper
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Re: Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by Kasper » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:47 pm

I don't think movement or spitting can be the cause. Just click on the YouTube link. You can see us sitting at a table with the recorder standing in front of us quietly and at a pretty safe distance. And it has a foam windscreen.

The humidity in the location (my apartment) is unknown to me. My guess would be that the atmosphere is damp, rather than dry. But can it really be so damp that it creates noise in my recording?
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Re: Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by Wulfraed » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:30 pm

As long as you weren't recording next to a hot shower it probably wouldn't be too moist... Dry, OTOH, is still a possibility (I have a humidifier in a closet to keep the instruments "normal" -- and it goes through a gallon+ of water every 3-4 days in the winter).

Mostly I was just throwing out possibilities.
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Lanikai S-C, SMC-E; GoldTone Banjo-Uke; Flatiron 1C, A5; Big Muddy M1-W; Ovation MM68AX, CSE-44; Orpheus Valley Fiesta FS; Taylor NS-72ce, T5-S1; Musima (4st, 20 fret, tenor-tuned) banjo; bongos, dumbeks, bodhrans, hand drum, tambourine; recorder: soprano, alto, tenor; Cedar Flute (5 sizes); Pennywhistle (3 keys); Casio keyboards

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Re: Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by still_fiddlin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:58 pm

What kind of level are you recording at and format? (48kHz probably best for video usage BTW)

I assume it is in the audio to start with, and not after you add it to the video and render?

Make sure your peaks are well below 0dB when recording, too.

I'd just plug in a single, decent mic and try that, and if it's mostly that kind of seated pair, I'm not sure why you say MS won't work, since the M will be most of the signal.
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Re: Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by Kasper » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:31 pm

The level is between 8 and 9 and the frequency is 48kHz. The artifacts are in the audio to begin with and don't really occur at peaks in the audio. Mostly in places with average volume.

For my latest recording I borrowed the X/Y-microphone from a friend who also owns a Zoom H6 and used that. Same problem.

So I guess if it isn't the microphone, it has to be the H6 itself. Maybe the connector? Or should I check the humidity first?
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Re: Strange popping noises in long Zoom H6 recordings.

Post by Wulfraed » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:11 pm

As suggested -- try not using the built-in/plug-in microphones, hook a pair of XLR cables and stand-alone microphones to the sides (1&2, and 3&4 -- separate tests; oh, and maybe test in stereo link and without... four tests total).

That should isolate things to either connectors, or internal.
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IISS Elusive Unicorn (detached)

Superscope PSD-300; BOSS BR-600, Zoom HD16cd, Zoom R16, BOSS BR-800, Zoom H2n
Now to (re)learn to play an instrument

Lanikai S-C, SMC-E; GoldTone Banjo-Uke; Flatiron 1C, A5; Big Muddy M1-W; Ovation MM68AX, CSE-44; Orpheus Valley Fiesta FS; Taylor NS-72ce, T5-S1; Musima (4st, 20 fret, tenor-tuned) banjo; bongos, dumbeks, bodhrans, hand drum, tambourine; recorder: soprano, alto, tenor; Cedar Flute (5 sizes); Pennywhistle (3 keys); Casio keyboards

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