I had 4 days of videotaped depo, realtime cables everywhere, conference room with techie doo-dads, telephone jacks and microphones, and video conference equipment. My audio was inaudible because of static. Equipment check later proved everything in working order. What is up with that?

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Blackberry PDAs and cell phones that receive texts and messages tend to be picked up on super-sensitive microphones (I have a SoundProfessionals USB one, and it is a disaster. But I think it may have to do with my software also, since it only occurs on my main computer and not my kiosk. But that seems to be what is causing it. I have all parties, if possible, turn off cell phones and explain to them that it interferes with my software. So far I haven't gotten too much hesitation with that, except for doctors, and I give them a pass and suffer through the audio.

I also use an Olympus digital recorder in case I can't hear my audio. It sucks, but that is what seems to be causing the problem. I just haven't contacted SoundProfessionals yet to ask them about it.

I have the little microphone that came from stenograph or Martel. works great and everyone I know uses it too. I have thought about the Mira writer that records also as a backup.
Thanks for the feedback. I suspected the static had something to do with all of the realtime hookups and video microphones, etc. etc.
Make sure your mics and or the cable mics are no where near a power strip, power cables or any source of electricity.
I can almost bet they were. extreme and constant static is caused by electric source.
PDAs, phones.. etc come and go with a buzzing sound (if thats what you heard then thats what it was)
But if it was constant loud buzzing with out any breaks then it was the an electric source.

yup, that's what it was, all right. Electricity everywhere. The conference room was uber wired. Should I put the mic on my lapel, then? Just remove it from the table and cords etc as far as possible?
I had a depo out of state, and there was piped music in the law firm they turned off in the conference room during depo, but there it was, on the audio later, C&W country background music to the testimony. Couldnt' hear it during depo, but the mic picked it up. A real pain!
Yes, you have to keep both the mic and the cables as far away from any electric source as possible (4-6 feet away) sometimes even further (not sure why).
Test it to make sure there is no buzzing.

The radio thing is normal in high rise buildings if you are using a tape recorder but from what I understand, you were using your laptop to record? thats odd.
Not hearing it while its being recorded is also odd, maybe you were listening to another output?

I have 3 outputs and only the output of the tape recorder captures radio stations occasionally in high rise buildings.
There is no fix to that issue other than not using a tape recorder.
again, I have never heard of this happening through a laptop.
I assumed it was piped in music, maybe not. Also, I only use my laptop audio. I was thinking about purchasing the Mira steno writer that also has an audio backup. But I imagine the same problem would occur if the mic is near electric cords, etc.
Thanks for your insight. Very helpful.
Thats correct.
any Mic will get buzzing if near an electric source.

Ask attorneys to plug their laptops into other sources, you can also move the cables around.. that also works.

Hey, I just ordered this and will be getting it tomorrow, so hopefully it owns up to what it says it will do, and then this will help you, as well.

"Special Martel Clamp Filter is made for Court Reporters Laptops and can ground out a majority of interference from radio frequencies. Just clamp it onto your Laptops ac adapter cable and ground out the harmful noises to your recordings. Helps take out cell phone inference and radio signals that can cause problems with audio sync recordings. A must have for court reporters and any one who is using a laptop to record audio in pressure situations."

Please report back on this item. It says "clamp it onto the laptop's AC adapter cable" but many of the commenters have bought two of them, clamping one onto the mic cable. I do not have a buzzing problem but always looking out to have crystal clear audio so am interested in learning if this is worth having in the toolbox.
If you can, send it back. Buy these instead, Snap Choke Core

You can get them at Radio Shack for super cheap. I bought mine a year ago. I'm not sure it helps.

I was told what is happening is that your microphone cord is acting like a cable. So if you snap these ferrite chokes on your cable, they'll filter out the interference.

I've got too on my mike.
I use the Radio Shake snape chokes, too..one for the mic cord and one on the AC cord.

Also, I had this whacky interference once with CC when I draped the mic cord across my laptop keyboard to the table. I accidentally found it it stopped when I moved it off the keyboard. I have inadvertantly (in a hurry) plugged the mic into the earphone plug, too, which can cause this. You can also cause it if you are using monitor earplugs and lay them on the table not far from the mic...gets feedback noises coming over the audio instead of the audio.

I have had to use the "plug converter" as Heather is speaking of on occasion when I absolutely had to, but you are asking for overheating problems to do that. I wouldn't make that a habit.
When I was in school we had a videographer as a guest speaker. He said that if you are getting static interference while having their audio feed routed into your laptop (don't know if that's the case for you) that you should use one of those little grey adapters that are usually used for going from a two-prong outlet to a three-prong. I guess that would effectively remove the ground from the plug, so don't know anything about if that's good for the computer or not. Probably not any worse than not using a surge protector? Anyway, just a thought.


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