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Quick PA question...occasional popping

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Ekulati, Jan 1, 2017.


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  1. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Disclaimer: Yes, I know this is old, dinosaur gear, and yes, I'll join the 21st century at some point. Most of my gigs are PA provided but for some I have an old Yamaha two-channel powered mixer and passive mains and monitors.

    In a moderate volume setting, it's fine, actually sounds really really good, but last night, NYE gig, (too freaking) loud rock band, we had some intermittent popping or clicking coming from the monitors. No idea if it was also the mains, as we were running our own sound (and no one complained, although that may be here nor there...).

    Since the band was (tool) loud, they of course kept telling me "turn up the monitors." I tried my best to strike that balance between channel gain/level and power amp level, but of course, "soundcheck" is rarely done at full, blasting, 3rd set volume.

    Anyway, does a simple issue come to anyone's mind when this happens? Wasn't super loud or constant, but enough to annoy.

    Thanks, and Happy New Year to all.
     
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Were you sharing a circuit with venue fridges or other such devices? A/C ,heat?
    Could be the popping was caused by them turning on/off?
     
  3. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Another possibility: if you were running digital FX, bumping the upstream gain structure might have been pushing them into intermittent clipping.
     
  4. WayneP

    WayneP Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    Corpus Christi, Texas
  5. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
  6. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    LOL, that's great and true!

    It's safe to say (not sure anything around here is safe anymore, but I'll take a stab at it anyway) that something in the signal chain is being over-driven and needs to be turned down. There will always be the need to tell everyone there "Hey, folks, it's all too friggin' loud, the gear is being over-driven. It's done, finished, no more can be gotten of it. We need to turn down or buy more powerful gear. It's that simple". Because it is that simple. Yeah, that makes you the bad guy (deja vu), but tell them to see if they can do any better.

    There is the small possibility that something in the power supply or the amplifier part of the mixer has a component breaking down at higher levels. I recently saw a Mackie powered speaker sitting there making a loud pop every 2-3 minutes. and with nothing being played through it. That's a problem. And since the speaker was 5 years old, Mackie wouldn't service it. A couple of shops tried, but $400 later and still having a problem, the speaker was simply shoved in a corner, probably to be thrown in the trash at some point.

    But check your levels before you start the trouble-shooting process.
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  7. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    All good info guys, just what I needed to have some sort of clue for troubleshooting instead of just flying blind. Now I had forgotten, but there also may be a factor of the venue's AC source...as while setting up, one of the waitresses said, "Just let me know if you blow a fuse or something, and I can get it back on for you." To which I told her, "You'll know if we blow a fuse -- there will be silence all of a sudden!" I'm going to start bringing a receptacle tester to gigs, especially new venues.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    The tester is a good idea. There could be a problem with the outlets. Or bands could be overloading the circuits with too much gear and/or lighting.
     
  9. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I've experienced this problem in the past and it was always an intermittent power spike from the venue's mains caused by an appliance cycling on and off.

    My band uses a simple service agreement that we make sure every venue signs before we play. One of our conditions is a requirement that the venue must supply us with a steady and clean source of 120 volt, 15amp power. We have no desire to ruin our equipment by plugging in to outlets with constant power surges.
     
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    We are having a huge problem, errr I am having a huge problem, at practices because the vocals are causing pops through the PA. We are using an SM57 and it seems to have this problem way more than the SM58. Probably a limiter on the vocal channel would help.
     
  11. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Another thought.. 'cus it happened at church this am.. and I had not experienced this particular issue before.
    BAD POWER cable to the guitar players pedalboard..?? which kicked in [occasionally] while playing, but EVERY time I played an F# (E string) on my bass. I guess the harmonic vibration from the subs triggered the short in the power cable.. WEIRD !
    Replaced the power cable and all went well..
     

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