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Power Issues (A lot of divided opinions out there)
Old 8th August 2019
  #1
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Power Issues (A lot of divided opinions out there)

Hello everyone! I run a small to medium sized studio and I have had a tone of power issues since moving into a new space. It seems like I have a TON of RFI and EMI interference going on everywhere.

This only occurs when all of my devices are plugged in (i.e. using an EMI/RFI reader, I have found that these fields disappear when all my devices are turned off.) I have had many electricians out to the space, and they all claim that the power is ran properly and grounded correctly; however, I am still constantly having issues with noisy power (i.e. radio in my monitors, radio/buzz in electric guitars/basses).

I try and be extremely intentional with cable management and I try and hardly (if ever) run power lines parallel to audio lines. I also run all my studio gear off of the same 20A outlet, and it is all running through a power conditioner; however, I'm still having all of these issues. I am willing to spend a lot of money (1-3k) to purchase a device that will solve my power issues for years to come and provide me with clean, reliable power regardless of the circumstance. However, upon scouring the internet, opinions seem extremely divided on what is worth purchasing.

Does anyone have any thoughts on a great device(s) that will solve my power issues once and for all? (Power Conditioner? Online Pure-Sinewave-UPS? Power Filter? Voltage Regulator? Yeti Electric Generator? A combination of any of these?) The information and opinions out there are overwhelming. I'm willing to spend some money.

Thanks so much for your help.

-Alex
Old 8th August 2019
  #2
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Get a local interference expert to inspect your studio. They are amateur radio operators.
Old 8th August 2019
  #3
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Quote:
This only occurs when all of my devices are plugged in (i.e. using an EMI/RFI reader, I have found that these fields disappear when all my devices are turned off.)
EMI/RFI comes and goes with your gear being on or off? With all "devices" off, if you plug in only an amp with a single-coil pickup guitar, do you have any EMI/RFI problems? If not, it points to there being something about your gear setup that is introducing the problem.
Old 9th August 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle View Post
EMI/RFI comes and goes with your gear being on or off? With all "devices" off, if you plug in only an amp with a single-coil pickup guitar, do you have any EMI/RFI problems? If not, it points to there being something about your gear setup that is introducing the problem.
Sorry, devices "in" is an elusive term. The EMI/RFI fields appear to decrease significantly when all of my devices (studio monitors, computer, racks, lamps, lights, etc.) are turned "off". While these fields appear to decrease according to an EMI/RFI meter, there are still significant EMI/RFI issues when I plug in only a guitar/amp. The only reason that I believe that my guitar/bass rigs are not the issue is that I rarely, if ever, have these kinds of issues anywhere else. Additionally, these EMI/RFI issues are present in my studio rig inherently (i.e. radio noise and an inherent hum/buzz) without any guitar equipment being plugged into them. These two factors together lead me to believe the issue is power related.
Old 9th August 2019
  #5
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Quote:
While these fields appear to decrease according to an EMI/RFI meter, there are still significant EMI/RFI issues when I plug in only a guitar/amp.
What kind and size of building and location? What kind of other tenants are in the building?

When you plug in only the amp and guitar, is the interference directional? That is, is it worse when the guitar is oriented in one direction than in other directions? What happened when you moved around the space with the guitar? Did that make a difference?
Old 9th August 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle View Post
What kind and size of building and location? What kind of other tenants are in the building?

When you plug in only the amp and guitar, is the interference directional? That is, is it worse when the guitar is oriented in one direction than in other directions? What happened when you moved around the space with the guitar? Did that make a difference?
Kind of an odd scenario, but I rent from some folks that run a printing/press shop beneath me. It's a very old building with a new addition. Half of my space is the new addition, half of it is old. I thought this could have been part of the issue for a while (maybe multiple grounds creating a loop), but I had an electrician come and check it out and he ran me one line specifically for running all my studio gear off of. He claimed it was grounded correctly. This is the same 20A circuit/outlet I run my gear off of.

The guitar EMI interferance is directional; however the RFI is not. The RFI seems to come and go randomly... Some days it is really bad, and some days it is not there at all. It will randomly show up in guitar amps that have no lines being ran to them. Or it will come through XLR lines when I'm trying to record (often when phantom is engaged, but not always). Or it will just inherently be present in the studio monitors (in this instance, the RFI is present when they have cables being ran to them; however, the interference remains at the same level, regardless of the signal being sent to them (controlled digitally by my apollo twin).
Old 9th August 2019
  #7
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a] as above, find a local Ham radio operator, he or another Ham may have the equipment for tracing interference.

b] some Jim Brown papers. He is an AES EMI/RFI expert.

"Power and Grounding For Audio and Audio/Video Systems -- A White Paper for the Real World"
http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/SurgeXPowerGround.pdf

About 50 more Jim Brown papers & Power Points:
http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/publish.htm

c] a Bill Whitlock seminar paper:
"An Overview of Audio System Grounding & Interfacing" 9/4/2012
http://centralindianaaes.files.wordp...notes-v1-0.pdf
Old 9th August 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
a] as above, find a local Ham radio operator, he or another Ham may have the equipment for tracing interference.

b] some Jim Brown papers. He is an AES EMI/RFI expert.

"Power and Grounding For Audio and Audio/Video Systems -- A White Paper for the Real World"
http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/SurgeXPowerGround.pdf

About 50 more Jim Brown papers & Power Points:
http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/publish.htm

c] a Bill Whitlock seminar paper:
"An Overview of Audio System Grounding & Interfacing" 9/4/2012
http://centralindianaaes.files.wordp...notes-v1-0.pdf
I do not like redundant but for Jim Brown he's worthit.

John Brandt has some excellent papers on the subject also.
Old 10th August 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
.................................
John Brandt has some excellent papers on the subject also.
This is one paper, are there others?
"Grounding, Audio Wiring, and Zero Loop Area Design"
https://www.jhbrandt.net/wp-content/...-Loop-Area.pdf
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