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Having Noise Issue on Macbook Pro
Old 14th October 2017
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Having Noise Issue on Macbook Pro

Hey guys, I've posted about this issue before but I've run in to it again, narrowed down the issue a little further, and am looking for some thoughts as to what may be causing the issue from some people with a bit more experience. Here's the history of the issue:

Purchased a Zoom R8 Interface, a Rode NT2-A, and a pair of NT5s to get my feet wet in recording. I got a dealer discount on Rode and Zoom so that's what I went with and already had an i5 Macbook Pro with Garageband. I began recording overdub brass arrangements as I am a trombone player and soon came up to a problem where a 4 part recording that I had done was having this weird buzz happen at random times. After analyzing the issue I realized it wasn't random at all but happening at specific frequencies. I thought it was something to do with the mics diaphragm resonating weird and looked in to getting it replaced.

I wasn't happy with the sound I was getting from the Zoom(the raw sound from the unit and the sound I was getting in the DAW were completely different and there were no settings or effects turned on at either end). I ended up with a Presonus Firestudio 2626.

Fast forward to this past May. I was on a 5-day booking for a Trombone Solo CD with piano/organ accompaniment. The session was done at the university I attend. The house engineer had just recently acquired millennia pres for the studio there and we used those to run a combination of Sennheiser MKH 20s, Bob Neil Tube Mics, a Neumann LDC, and Schoeps SDCs. Those were ran through a board into 3 different 2-track recorders. The weak link in the chain was the recorders, as they're not high end and used mainly for archival purposes of university concerts. The multi-track recorder the studio owns has been down for a couple of years. So, I produced the session but also had all 8 mics running in to the FireStudio recording in Logic. This way there was more room for tweaking the sound in post than if it was all mixed down to a two-track file.

About halfway through one day in the middle of the week I noticed this same buzz/noise that I had heard on the NT2-A and the Zoom interface. I stopped the session, rebooted everything, started a new file in Logic, and the problem persisted for a couple of minutes. We took a break, came back and everything was good (for the most part).

Fast forward to last week. I was recording for an audition tape and was messing with mic placement and arrays in a different hall. I started listening back to some things and noticed THE SAME THING!

The only constant between all of these situations is that they were done on the same Macbook Pro with either Garageband or Logic,so software that may be using some of the same resources. Other than that nothing. The problem isn't with any mic or cable as the noise gets recorded on every channel. It's not the interface or a port because the Zoom used USB and the FireStudio uses Firewire. I did four different sessions for recording prescreenings last week and only one had this issue. I have the devices all plugged in to a rack-mounted conditioner/powerstrip although I've heard that you don't really get good conditioning unless you drop a good bit of money.

Anyways, I don't have the original recordings from the NT2-A, but I do have the stuff from the other night. I have selected two short clips where the noise is evident. If you guys could take a listen and tell me what you think I'd appreciate it. I just don't know where to start. Is it Interference? Is the Macbook's body possibly not grounded properly? Is the hard drive doing something strange(this had been suggested by someone)?

I find the issue most noticeable on headphones, it sounds more like distortion on speakers.

Dropbox link:
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