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Thread: HELP! mixer picking up radio frequency

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    michaelq's Avatar
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    Exclamation HELP! mixer picking up radio frequency

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    somehow i'm pretty sure my mackie 1202 vlz mixer is picking up a radio frequency and i dont know what would be causing it. i had a condenser mic plugged into it to try and record some acoustic guitar and i noticed through my headphones that a rather twangy country station was coming through, and if i move the mixer like an antenna the sound gets a bit quiter pointed certain ways. can anyone save me from TWANG FROM HELL?

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    JerAy is offline Junior Member
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    i have the same problem but i get a spanish station. it's very faint, just on my headphones and telephone in the c/r. sometimes it goes away depending were you stand. my friend said i need more/better grounding in the c/r. does it ever end?
    Gainbrain

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    michaelq's Avatar
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    the only thing i can thing of now is maybe building some sort of enclosure around the mixer that would block this frequency? i dont know what would do it however, research time! at least yours isn't country twang though, ha.

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    guitarfreak12's Avatar
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    better grounding definately, I had the same problem, just make sure you have good shieled wires and the power you're connected to has good grounding. How old is your house? I bought a Monster Power strip with the "clean power technology" and it took it out completely. Try that, go to radio shack. They have them, just get the cheapest one. it's about $75. If you have good ground in your house the strip should take care of everything else.
    Omit Peas From the Menu
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    JerAy is offline Junior Member
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    Your not going to believe this! I was working on my rack and removed a piece of gear to make some work room. Did some testing and decided to try my headphone feeds in the c/r. NO radio! Guess what i removed....Beheringer Ultra Flex. This is nuts! I can't remember the last time i used it so im gonna keep it out. Maybe a piece of gear in your rack is giving you the radio problem? Do you get the radio with just the mixer on? Maybe try turning gear on/off one at a time with the phones on to find out if it is something in your studio or re-checking the rack/mixer grounds. I guess my problem was a easy fix!
    Gainbrain

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerAy
    Maybe try turning gear on/off one at a time with the phones on to find out if it is something in your studio or re-checking the rack/mixer grounds. I guess my problem was a easy fix!

    It might take more than just turning it off, you will probably have to unplug it from the mixer completely, that's the only way to be sure. Do what Jer said, but unplug one at a time, and see if it goes away. If everything is unplugged and it's still there try my idea.
    Omit Peas From the Menu
    you Pot Bellied, Crazy, Solid Gold Dancer

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    michaelq's Avatar
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    i have no rack hooked up to my mixer. the set up is a) one condenser mic b)the mackie mixer and c) my studio monitor headphones ...so somewhere in here, i assume it is the mixer picking up the radio frequency. it seems to me there must be something cheaper than a $75 fix to cut out this radio frequency. any other ideas would be appreciated!

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    guitarfreak12's Avatar
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    antennas are used to pick up radio frequencies. Antennas are conductive material, that is not grounded, if it is grounded, then the picked up signal is routed to ground. That's what a shield does on a mic wire. If you were to take apart a mic wire the first layer of material undernieth the outside insulation is a bare wire that surrounds the entire two signal wires. This is the shield, any outside frequencies like a country station that hit the wire should be sent to ground. This is your most likely problem, some how the wire might be acting like an antenna. This might be cause you're wire isn't good, or your house isn't grounded properly. try these in this order.
    1. unplug the mic cable while you have your headphones on and you can hear the radio,
    2. If it goes away, try another cable. if it's still there
    3. here's where some money might be invovled, I would say that your house doesn't have good grounding before I'd say it's a Mackie board. Here's my disclaimer, "don't mess with elelctrical wiring in your house unless you know what you are doing"!!!!! I'm an Electrician, and I've seen lots of stupid accidents, mostly from me....lol. Anyway,
    4. Go to Lowes, or Home Depot or whatever, and get four things, about 20-30 feet of ground wire (ask them they'll know what to give you) and a 8 ft. copper rod. and a receptical grounding adapter, it has two prong holes and a little green metal tab to attach a ground wire to. It's made to give a ground to a non-grounded outlet that has only two prongs. And a 1/4" hose clamp. By the way the round uhole in an outlet is for the ground, don't get offended, just making sure. Ok where was I, oh yeah, get those things, not sure how much it'll be,
    5. Drive the copper rod into the ground outside your house with a big hammer next to the window of your studio room, or close to a crawl space. Attach the grounding wire to the copper rod with the hose clamp after you drive it fully into the ground with about 6-8" still sticking up.
    6. run the ground wire into your room, this is up to you how you do it.
    7. Put the ground wire on the grounding adapter tab (it's green) and plug it into the outlet. Then plug your mixer into the adapter. The grounding rod outside is a guarantee that your don't have a bad ground. If this doesn't take care of it, then I don't know man, it's probly your mixer. I've solved many, many radio problems with this method, so give it a try, it's about the cheapest.
    Hope this helps,
    Omit Peas From the Menu
    you Pot Bellied, Crazy, Solid Gold Dancer

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    JerAy is offline Junior Member
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    Hey Guitarfreak12, i think i will add another ground rod to my house. I live in Florida and my house was built on a old orange grove, all sugar sand. Should i go down deeper with the rod (15 ft?) just to make sure im makeing good contact with earth? Also, the lightning is CRAZY out here, the new rod should'nt affect my house with close hits, right? Thanks!

    ps- i leave the studio unpluged when not in use.
    Gainbrain

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    The standard and I believe the regulations only call for 8ft. So I've never seen a rod that's longer, (haha, yeah I know what that sounds like) 8 is plenty. Don't worry about lightning, your telephone pole next to your house has one too in the ground, if you look, they are all over the place. It's how you're supposed to ground at the main breaker coming off the pole into your house, but someimes if the electricians don't do their job, it's not comlete in your house. And good call on leaving everything unplugged. Lightning will say "pashaw and phooey" to breaker boxes and surge protectors, go right through them. Surge protectors are only there to protect against surges that occur at the millisecond of a power failure, there's a spike right when the power goes off, and that can hurt equip. It does nothing for lightning, especially for a direct hit. Hope all this helps
    Omit Peas From the Menu
    you Pot Bellied, Crazy, Solid Gold Dancer

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