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NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

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NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby fredphoesh » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:57 pm

Hello all

Please listen to this weird thing going on...
My Rode NT-1a is cutting out, then back to normal, then outputting low volume, then back to normal... there are no FX, no NR applied, nothing at all. It is plugged into a Behringer x1222USB mixer, which doesn't have this issue with my PC. Phantom power is turned on.
Any ideas what may be the cause of this/ any remedies? :

https://videoblurb.com/mp/phantom_power_NT-1_sound_dipping_surging_problem.mp3

Thanks,
Mark.
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:16 pm

Most likely (but not certain) to be the cable so have you tried a different cable (always the first thing to check)? Then try wiggling the XLR connector where it connects to the mic in case there is a wiring fault in the mic. If that doesn't sort it try the mic into a different channel or, better still, different mixer? Then try a different, known working mic into the same channel. You need to isolate all the steps in the signal chain methodically and work out which one is causing the problem then you can find a way of fixing it.

Welcome too the forum BTW.
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby fredphoesh » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:20 pm

Hi Sam, thanks for the reply.
This is odd.

I have had the problem for a few days, each time i have had a moment to set up my new mixing desk and old Mic i had not used for a while.

I have jiggled the cable, no bad connections there, I have tried another mic NTG-2 that requires phantom power, and it works fine. But now I put the NT-1a back and it sounds constant and fine, and no cable jiggling or mixing desk fiddling is bringing the odd sound problem back. Now 10 mins later the problem returned...

My suspicion is that is is the NT-1, maybe some odd cabling internally. I just opened it, and it all looks absolutely pristine, though of course you cant necessarily "see" an electronic problem. I will try the NTG-2 for a while and see if the problem ever happens with that.

I will write back if I find out anything useful so I can help anyone else who has this issue.

Cheers
Mark.
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:06 am

I suspect the clue is in the phrase "not used for some time".

Leave it uncovered in a warm dry room for a few days and I suspect all will be well. Capacitor mics can be very temperamental if in the slightest bit damp. I've had similar faults with mics that have disappeared after being in a warm environment for a day or two. Doesn't always work, but it's worth trying... I always store mics with plenty of silica gel adjacent to them.
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby fredphoesh » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:36 am

Mike Stranks wrote:I suspect the clue is in the phrase "not used for some time".
.

Ah, ok I'll keep it out for a few days and see what happens.

Initially it seemed to me that the sound cut out most after peaks in the levels.
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:44 am

An airing cupboard is good for this sort of thing. I remember buying a pair of KM184s that sounded like frying bacon when I first plugged them in - heck of a sinking feeling when I heard that. Overnight in the airing cupboard and they were cured and have been fine ever sine.

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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:45 am

fredphoesh wrote:Initially it seemed to me that the sound cut out most after peaks in the levels.
This is very typical of a dying diaphragm. Let the mic properly dry out for a while and see if it cures itself. But IME once a mic starts doing this it's usually repair or replace time...
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:24 pm

Thanks for that - I haven't experienced that myself but if I do now I'll know what it might be.

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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby fredphoesh » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:56 pm

Thanks all for the help!

So far, it has been about 1m from my radiator, getting gentle warmth for most of the day, and the problem is still there. I will leave it there for the rest of the weekend, and I suppose if it is still not working, it would look like the diaphragm is damaged.

I'll report back, thanks again,
Mark.
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby cyberish » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:01 pm

Hi
I had experienced exactly this . As I bought my NT1 in Switzerland I contacted RODE's Swiss distributor which did change the mic for a new one. - But they told me that they coudn't reproduce the issue. - I've got the impression that all of a sudden the NT1 strained more phantom power than before. But as I wasn't up to spend my time "trial & error" I just was about getting a new mic... - Did you try another preamp?
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby fredphoesh » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:26 am

cyberish wrote:Hi
I had experienced exactly this . As I bought my NT1 in Switzerland I contacted RODE's Swiss distributor which did change the mic for a new one. - But they told me that they coudn't reproduce the issue. - I've got the impression that all of a sudden the NT1 strained more phantom power than before. But as I wasn't up to spend my time "trial & error" I just was about getting a new mic... - Did you try another preamp?

Hi Cyberish,
Do you mean using another mixing desk with Phantom power, no I haven't thought of that... so do you think it's possible the mixing desk isn't outputting enough power for the mic to work reliably?
tx
Mark
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Re: NT-1 Mic - strange signal cut/volume drop/back to normal/signal cut... etc

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:36 am

That is very unlikely with modern mics, most will work (with reduced quality/headroom) down to 9-12V and would not cut out. I did suggest you tried another mixer in my first reply.
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