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Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

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Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby akz0rz » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:15 am

Hey all, I live in Colorado and during the winter especially, the air is real dry and static build up is common. I have a Behringer UMC202 HD currently. I don't do any professional recordings, but I have a Bluebird condenser mic that does require power over xlr. I have since unplugged this because while streaming, the static shock that I will send (from either feet rubbing or the occasional doggo walking up to say hi and shocking me) , will cause the device to reset (?), it acts as if I had unplugged it. A lot of the games I play will have a momentary pause, sometimes even my whole screen will flicker for a few seconds, and because of this it has resulted in many in game deaths etc. :(

I am looking for any suggestions for either how to fix this and or suggestions on another audio interface, under $200, that can handle this. The audio interface I currently use has a ferrite core on it's cable, which I would assume would handle this. Also, sometimes this shock will cause the mic to go into some strange state that I can only describe, thanks to my other discord members, who have described it as "the most awful sound ever". Could this be as simple as a faulty USB cable, the device it's self, or have other experienced this as well?

Any advice / input is welcome.

Thanks so much.
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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby The Red Bladder » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:48 pm

Nothing can build up a static charge if it is earthed properly!
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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:06 pm

Nothing can build up a static charge if it is earthed properly!

If I read correctly, the mic casing won't be earthed as the interface in question is USB powered and USB 'ground' is a reference ground, not a true 'earth' ground.
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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:37 pm

Sorry to hear of your problems akz0rz!

Back in the 80's I used to have my Commodore 64 regularly crash on me after I built up a static charge (not much fun, as I was a game developer at the time), but this turned out to be because I was walking across the carpet in nylon socks. Switching to a natural fibre mix for my socks solved my problem, so you may be able to lessen the chances of static discharges happening for you with some similar changes to your environment.

As an aside, the ferrite bead on your USB interface is to prevent radio frequency interference either getting out of your interface and into your computer (mostly to meet international regulations), as well as preventing any RFI from your computer getting into your interface. As far as I know it will have no effect on static buildup, which might benefit from some sort of high impedance 'drain' resistor across the relevant input to continuously pull down the static buildup before it reaches 'zap' proportions.


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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby akz0rz » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:16 pm

Okay, thank you for the input guys. So, The Red Bladder I am reading what Trevor Johnson I think is reading as well.

How could I ground this? The mic is suspended in a shock mount that also has a layer of insulation between it's metal and the microphone's housing. (Mic is a model previous to the current bluebird) So, I would assume I would ground from the microphone it's self since the arm is not technically in contact with it? Or, would I ground from the Audio interface?

Thanks so much all for your inputs. (Thanks for the explanation on the ferrite core Martin)
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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby akz0rz » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:19 pm

I would also like to note that this may be introduced by just touching my headphones as well. (also plugged into said audio interface)
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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:30 am

If you can face the inconvenience, wearing a cheap antistatic wristband would solve your problems.

wristband.jpg


Here's one from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mercury-710-13 ... B000L98002

...and here's a short YouTube video explaining what you do with it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m_F4j-oQaU


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Re: Need a new Audio interface that can handle static shocks

Postby ef37a » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:04 am

Such dry air is not good for your health either.

You can buy humidifiers that pump water vapor into the air but a cheaper way is some trays of rocks in a cm of water strategically placed about the gaff. Sit them over radiators when heating is on.

You can also buy anti-static cleaning foam (Ambersil was a brand we used on telly screens...BUGGERS for dust.) Get your maid to wipe down surfaces twice a week with some of that!

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