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Backing tracks and click bleed!
Old 8th October 2019
  #1
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Backing tracks and click bleed!

I have read quite a few posts on the topic but still not sure about the culprit.
Keeping it short:

Drummer in loungeprogmetal band. Will run click (left channel) and backing tracks (right channel) from my seat via ...

iPhone > minijack to Y-splitter cable > (drummer mixer) Left to channel 3/4, Right to channel 5/6 > Right channel will go via AUX to FOH.

I monitor my own mix via my little Soundcraft Notepad, while FOH do what they want with the mono backing. The exported tracks are fine and completely in mono, and then panned hard L/R.

Issue is click bleed to FOH, and where in the signal chain this is introduced?

Some recommend using DI box where the right channel containing backing going straight to DI should balance out potential click bleed. Others state that the issue is iPhone's headphone output, others that it's bad cables in general. Some suggests that the mp3 codec cause internal bleed during playback in iPhone (??).

I have a DI box (active), but fail to understand how this could eliminate click bleed if the click signal already has found it's way to the right channel entering DI box? Or could the bleed happen in my mixer which would warrant letting the right channel go to DI > FOH first?

Best route?

Last edited by JohnRick; 8th October 2019 at 12:43 AM..
Old 8th October 2019
  #2
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To be more specific. This is my mapping right now (not using DI), and it most often works perfectly. Easy and does the job. But there is still a risk of click bleed, and I don't know WHERE in the signal chain this gets introduced. The phone, the phone jack, the cable, the mixer inputs. Everything else is stellar:

CLICK MAP
Old 8th October 2019
  #3
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Well Rick, two options:

1) Either the click bleed is because of D/A, op-circuits in your iPhone, in which case you need to utilize the lightning out in some way.
2) Or the click bleed is via crosstalk on your own monitor mixer, in which case you should route the backing signal (R) to DI first (DI > FOH), and then route it back via DI thru to your board.
Old 8th October 2019 | Show parent
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Well Rick, two options:

1) Either the click bleed is because of D/A, op-circuits in your iPhone, in which case you need to utilize the lightning out in some way.
2) Or the click bleed is via crosstalk on your own monitor mixer, in which case you should route the backing signal (R) to DI first (DI > FOH), and then route it back via DI thru to your board.

Thanks for your input Rick. Deeply appreciated. The tracks in themselves are stellar and completely separated. If the error is as described in bullet point #1 , maybe this could help:

https://www.thomann.de/se/korg_plugkey_bk.htm
Old 8th October 2019
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
iPhone > minijack to Y-splitter cable > (drummer mixer) Left to channel 3/4, Right to channel 5/6 > Right channel will go via AUX to FOH.
Ideally you'd be playing it out of something that has two separate hardware outputs for left and right. They make phones assuming you're listening to stereo on earbuds and there's more crosstalk in your skull than in the wires, so it's not a major technical consideration.

But if you're stuck with the phone... Where is the Y cable physically split into two cables? Best case, the split is either inside the mini plug itself (difficult) or immediately behind it, and the separate L/R cables are high-quality shielded mic cable. If it's either one long cable that splits at the other end, or two dinky, unshielded cables, I'm betting that's where the issue lies.
Old 8th October 2019
  #6
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I've read claims that MP3 works by compressing a sum and difference signal (betwen the two channels), so it could very well introduce crosstalk. The obvious way to check if that's the cause is to try exporting/mastering and then playing back the audio using some uncompressed or losslessly compressed format.

There's a decent chance that the iPhone hardware has some crosstalk that's unavoidable without using an external converter.
Old 8th October 2019 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Ideally you'd be playing it out of something that has two separate hardware outputs for left and right. They make phones assuming you're listening to stereo on earbuds and there's more crosstalk in your skull than in the wires, so it's not a major technical consideration.

But if you're stuck with the phone... Where is the Y cable physically split into two cables? Best case, the split is either inside the mini plug itself (difficult) or immediately behind it, and the separate L/R cables are high-quality shielded mic cable. If it's either one long cable that splits at the other end, or two dinky, unshielded cables, I'm betting that's where the issue lies.
Stuck with the phone. Using this cable:

https://www.thomann.de/se/cordial_cfy_15_wpp.htm

I will however during the week try to find where the crosstalk occurs, by only plugging in the backing (R) to one mixer channel. If click bleeds then I know the error is closer to the phone.
Old 8th October 2019 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
I've read claims that MP3 works by compressing a sum and difference signal (betwen the two channels), so it could very well introduce crosstalk. The obvious way to check if that's the cause is to try exporting/mastering and then playing back the audio using some uncompressed or losslessly compressed format.

There's a decent chance that the iPhone hardware has some crosstalk that's unavoidable without using an external converter.

The mp3/wav thing I heard, but that would only be an issue during export. The tracks themselves after export are perfectly fine when checking them on my desktop via my RME.

Unless you are referring to some obscure case where the iPhone should "sense that it is playing up an mp3, and that the internal circuits in that case would introduce crosstalk"?
Old 8th October 2019 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Stuck with the phone. Using this cable:

https://www.thomann.de/se/cordial_cfy_15_wpp.htm
I think this may be at least part of your problem. As I said earlier, the split ideally occurs as close to where the signal exits the phone as possible.
Old 9th October 2019
  #10
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After your left/right split coming out of the iPhone, split the backing track channel again, and send one leg of that split to the house, the other to your mixer.. Then the mixer cannot cause any crosstalk or bleed from the click into the backing tracks going to the house. I think that’s where your current problem is caused.
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
After your left/right split coming out of the iPhone, split the backing track channel again, and send one leg of that split to the house, the other to your mixer.. Then the mixer cannot cause any crosstalk or bleed from the click into the backing tracks going to the house. I think that’s where your current problem is caused.
Yes, but that would only work IF the crosstalk is occuring @ my mixer. If it's earlier and closer to the iPhone jack or it's circuits the post-split will not help.
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #12
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not familiar with apple gear but could it be that there is some kind of crossfeed matrix? this would explain the bleed...

(other than for such an application as in the op's case, a crossfeed matrix imo is highly desirable for listening with cans or iem's! i'm using an spl phonitor mini or grace m9xx for exactly this reason!)
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Yes, but that would only work IF the crosstalk is occuring @ my mixer. If it's earlier and closer to the iPhone jack or it's circuits the post-split will not help.
If the problem is happening at or before the iPhone output you should hear it in your headphones plugged into the phone out. If you don't hear the crosstalk at the phone output, do the same check at the output of your little console....shouldn't take more that a few minutes to figure this out.
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Yes, but that would only work IF the crosstalk is occuring @ my mixer.
Which is very likely. I doubt that this is some Apple/crossfeed/mid-sum/digital complex problem. The mixer is where sources usually get MIXED, sometimes even when we don’t want that.
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Which is very likely. I doubt that this is some Apple/crossfeed/mid-sum/digital complex problem. The mixer is where sources usually get MIXED, sometimes even when we don’t want that.
Almost certainly something simpler. The kind of cable OP has, not counting the miniplug, is just the like kind you shouldn't use for single-jack console inserts due to the crosstalk between send and return.
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Almost certainly something simpler. The kind of cable OP has, not counting the miniplug, is just the like kind you shouldn't use for single-jack console inserts due to the crosstalk between send and return.
Brent,
His β€œconsole” is a very simple thing. It does not have inserts and does not seem capable of the typical balanced/Insert connection confusion I think you are referencing in your post.
Old 9th October 2019 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Brent,
His β€œconsole” is a very simple thing. It does not have inserts and does not seem capable of the typical balanced/Insert connection confusion I think you are referencing in your post.
I know. I was just pointing out that the principle of the cabling is the same.

If you want to keep the two channels completely separate, you don't want to run a single cable with two hots inside one shield and split it at the opposite end. Doing that is fine for something like outputting a stereo keyboard or a DJ rig to two mixer channels; the crosstalk will be there but it won't be noticeable. Splitting program and click, you'll probably be better off splitting into two shielded cables as close to the output of the phone (or what have you) as you can manage.
Old 12th October 2019 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
If the problem is happening at or before the iPhone output you should hear it in your headphones plugged into the phone out. If you don't hear the crosstalk at the phone output, do the same check at the output of your little console....shouldn't take more that a few minutes to figure this out.
Yes, if it wasn't for the fact that this can happen sporadically once in a set. Everything is set up, files excellent, plays fine, nothing moves. Then suddenly crosstalk.
Old 12th October 2019 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I know. I was just pointing out that the principle of the cabling is the same.

If you want to keep the two channels completely separate, you don't want to run a single cable with two hots inside one shield and split it at the opposite end. Doing that is fine for something like outputting a stereo keyboard or a DJ rig to two mixer channels; the crosstalk will be there but it won't be noticeable. Splitting program and click, you'll probably be better off splitting into two shielded cables as close to the output of the phone (or what have you) as you can manage.
How about 1 m of this one then:

https://www.gear4music.com/G4M/Klotz...-Cable-1m/2557
Old 12th October 2019 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Yep, that's the idea.
Old 12th October 2019 | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Yep, that's the idea.

Ordered two of them. Then I have hopefully minimized the potential cable shielding issue. Next step is adding the DI and run backing (R) to DI box and then to FOH instead of directly to my little side mixer. Then routing backing from DI to my mixer for monitoring. After that I can't do much more, unless I want to buy the Cymatic LP16.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #22
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Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
...you should route the backing signal (R) to DI first (DI > FOH), and then route it back via DI thru to your board.
I would listen to that guy if I were you. He seems to have some instinctive insight into your situation.


Uncanny.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #23
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Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
I would listen to that guy if I were you. He seems to have some instinctive insight into your situation.


Uncanny.
I think you might be on to something.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Yes, if it wasn't for the fact that this can happen sporadically once in a set. Everything is set up, files excellent, plays fine, nothing moves. Then suddenly crosstalk.
This suggests a mechanical problem...check your cables and connections to verify if this is so, jiggle cables and connectors to see if you can reproduce/provoke the problem. If I were to hazard a guess, I would look at the iPhone output...better cables may, or may not solve the problem, so it's still important to find it and deal with it properly.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
This suggests that the cause of the problem is mechanical somewhere in the chain...jiggle cables and connectors to see if you can reproduce/provoke the problem. If I were to hazard a guess, I would look at the iPhone output...better cables may, or may not solve the problem, so it's still important to find it and deal with it properly.

That's what I have been writing earlier in this thread. Post #1 for example.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
That's what I have been writing earlier in this thread. Post #1 for example.
The pertinent information for me is that the problem is intermittent and (I assume) random...I don't remember reading this important bit of info before.

Just remember also that a big heavy cable like the Klotz in your link will stress the mini jack output on the phone if left to hang...constant plugging and unplugging will eventually do the same too.
Old 13th October 2019
  #27
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I missed the part about it being intermittent, too. If it's happening because the plug is ever so slightly slipping out, you can put a short longitudinal slit in a heavy rubber band, slip it over the miniplug, and stretch it around the phone.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I missed the part about it being intermittent, too. If it's happening because the plug is ever so slightly slipping out, you can put a short longitudinal slit in a heavy rubber band, slip it over the miniplug, and stretch it around the phone.

Agreed, but that's not the case. Last time it happened the miniplug was firmly in place. The phone's headphone output and plugged in cable has never caused any form of wobble or looseness whatsoever.
Old 13th October 2019 | Show parent
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick View Post
Agreed, but that's not the case. Last time it happened the miniplug was firmly in place. The phone's headphone output and plugged in cable has never caused any form of wobble or looseness whatsoever.
Did you test it?

I had a problem with my iPhone where the headphone would intermittently cut out during use...when I took it to the Apple repair shop, the technician removed some pocket lint from the output socket which solved the problem...there was no wobble or looseness their either.
Old 14th October 2019 | Show parent
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Did you test it?

I had a problem with my iPhone where the headphone would intermittently cut out during use...when I took it to the Apple repair shop, the technician removed some pocket lint from the output socket which solved the problem...there was no wobble or looseness their either.

In my case there is no cutout, only random bleed 1 time out of 10. I mimicked my stage setup by my desk this morning and ran the backing set as intended. Split cable from iPhone, but only the backing (R) connected to mixer, going to FOH (click channel not connected). Then trying to move cables and phone around slightly etc to see if any click was audible/bleeding over to the backing channel even though click was not connected.

Had that happened I would have known the bleed is happening prior to hitting my mixer, but everything went smoothly.

Still getting a cable where the hots aren't sharing the same shield, and then a passive DI to which I'll feed the backing first, to minimize any risk. If something still were to happen in that case, I know it's most likely not because of cables or the mixer.
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