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Neumann U87ai- Blowing/wind noise Saturation Plugins
Old 21st May 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Neumann U87ai- Blowing/wind noise

Hey guys,
So I bought a U87 a little while ago, produced a couple of EPs with it and some different projects, an it was fine.

However today, started to record some acoustic guitar with a KM184 and found that the U87 was making loads of sort of wind noise like someone was blowing into it. Does anyone know what this could be?

I've also tested different cables and preamps and it's definitely the u87.

Thanks
Old 21st May 2013
  #2
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sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppanton321 View Post
Hey guys,
So I bought a U87 a little while ago, produced a couple of EPs with it and some different projects, an it was fine.

However today, started to record some acoustic guitar with a KM184 and found that the U87 was making loads of sort of wind noise like someone was blowing into it. Does anyone know what this could be?

I've also tested different cables and preamps and it's definitely the u87.

Thanks
Sometimes that means a bad capacitor. Sometimes it means moisture and/or contamination on the capsule. If you put a lower wattage lighbulb about 1 foot below the mic and leave it overnight, it might clear up if it is a moisture issue.
Old 22nd May 2013
  #3
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
As noted above, the kind of noise you describe is most often an indicator that it's time to get the capsule cleaned (moisture attaches to detritus on the capsule surface and it's the moisture that then gives rise to rumble/noise). Particularly, if you noise gets worse with capsule exposure to breath (ie breathing near/towards it from a few inches) then you'd identified the cause.
Old 22nd May 2013
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media View Post
As noted above, the kind of noise you describe is most often an indicator that it's time to get the capsule cleaned (moisture attaches to detritus on the capsule surface and it's the moisture that then gives rise to rumble/noise). Particularly, if you noise gets worse with capsule exposure to breath (ie breathing near/towards it from a few inches) then you'd identified the cause.
But don't get in there to clean it yourself!!!! You can take the gold off the diaphragm and wreck it very easily and there are not too many 'reskins' that sound as good as the original Neumann. I've seen too many wrecked K67's and K87's.... I think Neumann will clean them but there are a few others I'd trust to do the work or do the job. I probably would not attempt cleaning a Neumann capsule even though I've made microphone capsules a lot like it. Maybe Klaus or Oliver?
Old 22nd May 2013
  #5
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dale116dot7 View Post
But don't get in there to clean it yourself!!!! You can take the gold off the diaphragm and wreck it very easily and there are not too many 'reskins' that sound as good as the original Neumann. I've seen too many wrecked K67's and K87's.... I think Neumann will clean them but there are a few others I'd trust to do the work or do the job. I probably would not attempt cleaning a Neumann capsule even though I've made microphone capsules a lot like it. Maybe Klaus or Oliver?
Yes, agreed absolutely. Not a job for unskilled hands!
Old 22nd May 2013
  #6
Repair time by a qualified tech who can troubleshoot and find the bad cap(s)!!
Old 22nd May 2013
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Ok thanks guys.

I will keep that in mind. Does the neumann need a clean quite often then? I've only had the neumann for about months and it hasn't been used an awful lot.
Old 23rd May 2013
  #8
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sleepyhollos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppanton321 View Post
Ok thanks guys.

I will keep that in mind. Does the neumann need a clean quite often then? I've only had the neumann for about months and it hasn't been used an awful lot.
I had that on one of mine a couple years back and it turned out to be a worn out capsule that needed either replacing or reskinning. Hope it's not that in your case as it was quite expensive.
Old 23rd May 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhollos View Post
I had that on one of mine a couple years back and it turned out to be a worn out capsule that needed either replacing or reskinning. Hope it's not that in your case as it was quite expensive.
It's under warranty anyway so will be sending it off for neumann to have a look and issue me with a new one as I've treated it with nothing but care.
How long did it take for you to get it redone?
Old 23rd May 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
Exactly the same thing happened to my AMS ST250 a few years ago - wind and blowing noises. It sounded horrific but it was an easy and cheap fix ($2 all up after spending $100s to send it to Soundfield). The cause was tiny fragments of foam on the capsule. The capsule needed a clean and new foam. If your Neumann U87ai still under warranty use the warranty. If not then get a Neumann expert to look at it. The U87ai is one of my favourite mics.
Old 23rd May 2013
  #11
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sleepyhollos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppanton321 View Post
It's under warranty anyway so will be sending it off for neumann to have a look and issue me with a new one as I've treated it with nothing but care.
How long did it take for you to get it redone?
Mine was well out of warranty so I had to have it sorted at my own expense. Sent it to Germany and it took some 8 months but I think that was extraordinary and excessively long. Just had bad luck I guess.
Old 4th January 2016
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Hi there, I've had my 87 for around 8 years. Just recently I noticed noise like wind, sometimes constant then intermittent, really annoying. Having read the threads here I decided to ring Sennheiser to see if they could clean it. When I was told there was a flat fee charge of £420 inc vat I had to have a re-think. So, I put the 87 in its cradle, put it in my vocal booth with a de-humidifier I'd bought previously from Screwfix and an oil filled radiator on low for around 15 hours. Bingo! I plugged my 87 into my Neve DPD 1073 and the volume had increased very considerably. Like at least double.The signal to noise is now hardly noticeable and I'm a very happy chap. If anyone out there finds this useful, my charity for kids teaching guitar in Africa would appreciate a small donation. www.musicforafrica.org.uk. Thanks and happy recording.
Old 4th January 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppanton321 View Post
Ok thanks guys.

I will keep that in mind. Does the neumann need a clean quite often then? I've only had the neumann for about months and it hasn't been used an awful lot.
Did you buy it new? If so, it should still be under factory warranty. The mic should not be giving you problems after a few months of light use.
Old 4th January 2016
  #14
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Klaus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppanton321 View Post
Ok thanks guys.
Does the Neumann need a clean quite often then? (...)
If a U87 is properly used and stored, its capsule can stay free of contamination for decades. Unfortunately, the two preventative (and free of cost!) methods to make this happen are often ignored:

1. Always use a pantyhose-type stocking screen between your mouth and the mic's capsule. Metal screens are too transparent to prevent spit accumulation on the capsule

2. Always put a plastic bag over the mic when it's not in use, regardless where it is stored. That includes a plastic bag over the mic when it remains on the stand for longer than a few hours or non-use

Background why a contaminated K87 capsule, unlike most other condenser capsules, is particular sensitive to moisture back-down: Its area of isolation between (electrically conductive) backplate and diaphragms is only a couple of millimeters wide, and, unlike most other capsule systems, neither plate is at ground potential.

Contamination from airborne dirt and spit residue easily bridges this high impedance isolation area, which needs a good ten-thousand-million ohms (10 gigΩ) of isolation for the proper functioning of the capsule. A clean, non-conductive isolation area between the capacitor plates (that's what a condenser capsule is) avoids discharge of the backplate's DC voltage over to the other the diaphragm, the other plate of the capacitor.

P.S.: No need to reiterate the warning of do-it-at-home cleaning of an extremely fragile membrane (6µ or thinner) and its even more fragile gold sputtering (a few Angstroms thin). And I am afraid, the advice given earlier to dry out the capsule with a gentle heat source does ultimately not address the underlying cause of moisture back-down: capsule contamination.
Old 2nd May 2018
  #15
Gear Nut
Hi All,

I just got a really nice, old U87, and it has a noise problem, too. Interestingly, it comes up only when the -10dB switch is on. Sometimes the wind blows, sometimes loud cracks and pops, then nothing. And it starts again in a couple of minutes. No radio interference, no mechanical things. Capsule was changed some years ago, looks like new. There is definitely something with the -10dB switch. What would you do...?
Old 4th May 2018
  #16
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Klaus obviously gives excellent advice and is the absolute expert. i would not argue with him in any way.

but i would say from my own experience, that i once had a U87 that was crackling and noisy, when i turned it on one morning.

i put it in a warm dry place, with very soft gentle sunlight, and warmed it up for a few hours, (5 or 6)

it worked perfectly after that for many, many, years.

i guess it was moisture flooded. not sure rearlly but thats what happened.

Buddha
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