Electrical ‘popping’

Discussion in '2488 and DP-24/32 Digital Portastudios' started by Bugatti, Jun 21, 2022.

  1. Bugatti

    Bugatti New Member

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    Hi
    I have a DP24SD and Rokit5 powered speakers which have good quality balanced cables.

    Recently, I’ve experienced an occasional random electrical ‘pop’ sound through both speakers on playback - at least it sounds electrical.

    It’s unpredictable, meaning that it might not happen at all or perhaps five times over the course of a three minute song.

    I’ve checked all the settings on the Tascam and tried a different SD card, but to no avail. My equipment is plugged into a surge protector, but I’ve also tried using it without one - but the pop still happens.

    Can anyone suggest a reason why this is happening - and a potential solution?

    Thanks !
  2. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi @Bugatti. Sorry about the troubles. Since it could be coming from more than one piece of equipment, you'll have to employ a process of elimination. You may have to spend time with only the monitors turned on and see if that pop happens. Since it's random that means you may have to put the monitors whenever you are going to be for a few hours.

    One thing you may want to do is check the relative humidity of the room. Often if its too low it can cause little issues like that.
    David Porter likes this.
  3. mixerizer

    mixerizer Member

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    mjk is giving some good advice - a few more ideas would be to use the recorder w headphones only for a while, and see if you still experience pops. And similarly, see if the speakers generate pops with other equipment (not the recorder).

    Last, those kind of pops can happen when a digital audio processor is taxed, if there is a mismatch with sample rate or a digital clock problem, issues on the network, formatting of a drive or extensive processing slowing things down, etc. So often, walking thru your project, confirming configuration and/or simplifying the arrangement can help.

    Yes, hunting down the source of clicks and pops can be a frustrating experience but I bet you can isolate and fix the problem w some patience. If it is dirty power, a bad unit, cable or speakers, you can likely confirm it with some diligent testing.

    good luck and I hope you solve it quickly!
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  4. Bugatti

    Bugatti New Member

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    Hi
    Thank you both for your thoughtful and most helpful replies.

    It might be problematic to leave the monitors on, as they ‘sleep’ when there’s no signal going through them. I don’t have any other equipment to hook up to the speakers, so I can’t test them in that way either.

    However - @-mjk-, I can do something to lessen the effect of humidity in the room. It’s in the attic, which is only used when I record. It’s been quite warm here lately and as we know, heat rises, so the room will become stuffy when the windows are closed when I’m out of the house.

    My initial thought was that the ‘pops’ might be caused by electrical items, light switching etc. being operated in the house, but I’ve determined that’s not the case. My second thought was an issue with the internal ‘transport’ of the Tascam, which occasionally freezes during playback.

    I installed the (pristine) monitors and their new, good quality, balanced cables last year. They’re positioned well away from sunlight and heat sources and have never been moved. They’ve worked perfectly up to this point - which has coincided with higher than usual outdoor temperatures.

    I’m intrigued by @mixerizer’s mention of ‘simplifying the arrangement’. Is that with regard to the arrangement of the music or the configuration of my set-up (Tascam + monitors etc.) ?

    I’ll start by addressing the humidity situation and using headphones, rather than the monitors.

    Sincere thanks for your suggestions!
  5. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    The OP neglected to tell us the firmware version on his portastudio.

    If the problem is with the portastudio on playback, the most obvious cause I would first look to: outdated firmware.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
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  6. mixerizer

    mixerizer Member

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    Listening to takes and making sure stems and mixes don’t have pops is the (ongoing) bane of any audio production work involving Digital-to-Digital (ADD, DDA, DaDD, DDD etc.) :) ive heard them as a result of overtaxing plugins and apps, sample buffer errors (the DAW needing either more or less sample buffer to process the audio at a given sample rate), conversions and word length or bit depth mismatches, word sync excess, loops and phase problems, grounding and shielding, shorts and cable damage, balanced v unbalanced, wire gauge insufficiency, etc.

    Simplifying the arrangement can mean lots of things, but bypassing any outboard or internal effects, listening to the dry tracks etc., for example can sometimes point to the issue. I’m glad to say I’m in a very quiescent phase in my studio (no pun intended) where such matters are concerned - and I can be a little perseverant when I am trying to eliminate a problem like clicks n pops as it interferes w what I am hearing.
    David Porter likes this.
  7. David Porter

    David Porter Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would mention that I have experienced "pops" in some of my recordings over the years - but was able to identify the problem and resolve it to the point that I know longer experience that. Ever.

    In my case - I discovered that a couple of the flash drives that I occasionally use to transfer my EZ Drummer drum track .wav's (and other performance track data as well) needed to be freshly reformatted from time to time. Once I figured this out - problem solved 100%.

    Certainly there are other possibilities - but this was my experience.
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