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#1 2014-03-02 18:13:22

teresanaves
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-03-02
Posts: 4
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Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum.

I've been singing and playing for 15 years, and never ever had experienced a problem like this before.

I used to sing with a Shure Beta 58, but decided to change it for the Audix OM7. I'm so happy with my new sound, it matches much better the conditions at my band's rehearsal space, and works much better with my voice and style.

The problem is that from the first minute, it started giving me cramps whenever I touched the mic with my lips. Painful electric stabs. At first, I thought it could be some static electricity weird issue, and thought the cramps would stop, but they haven't.

Has anybody ever had a similar problem? I don't know what to do.

I also play the guitar while singing (Strato + Hot Rod) and the rest of my voice equipment are 2 active 400W Alto speakers plus a Behringer X2222.

But as I mentioned before, with this same equipment, I never had any problems with the Shure. It's only with the new Audix.

Do you guys know if this is a symptom that the mic is defective? Or could it be any other thing in my equipment that is causing electric trouble (but somehow the Shure managed to avoid).

Thanks very much for your wisdow, and keep making your voices loud and clear!!

Teresa.

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2014-03-02 18:13:22

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#2 2014-03-02 23:46:16

Adolph Namlik
Executive Director, The Modern Vocalist World
From: "No Name", New York
Registered: 2008-11-15
Posts: 748
Reputation :   17 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Hello Teresa,

Welcome to The Modern Vocalist World Forum ! :)

I have been here since the inception of this site and this is the first time I have heard of such an issue that you are experiencing. My first suggestion given that you are pleased with the sound of the OM7, I would return it to the dealer and try another to see if the same problem happens.

However, I have a few thoughts and questions of my own.

Your rehearsal space - Is it carpeted, a wooden floor or otherwise ? Carpeting will naturally cause a considerable amount of static electricity. If the floor is carpeted., move to a different room.

Have you changed or tried a different XLR cable ? Use a QUALITY cable. The cheap ones are junk ! You get what you pay for.

Depending on where you live, at this time of the year, you're going to get a lot of static electricity, Period ! I get "zapped" all of the time no matter what equipment I touch, whether it be my PA system, my equipment rack, monitors, mics, etc. And I have taken every precaution to remedy the situation but to no avail.

I ran a separate circuit, a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), to my equipment rack which includes a Power Conditioner. From there, ALL of my equipment is plugged into the power conditioner. I have taken all precautions to eliminate "voltage spikes", "power surges", RFI/EMI interference, etc., etc. All of my cables except the mic cables of course, are covered with an insulating product to stop any feedback issues, hum, hiss, etc.

So with all of this considered, I feel that there is some grounding issue that needs to be resolved, however, given my experience at this time of the year and the static electricity, I have yet to find a way to stop the problem of getting shocked. However, I'm not experiencing what you are - the severity of the shocks which result in persistent cramps.

This may sound a bit silly, but depending on the floor of your rehearsal space, have you tried to wear a different pair of shoes ? That COULD make the difference.

I'm sure that you realize that the central nervous system (CNS) is nothing more than a biological information highway, and is responsible for controlling all the biological processes and movement in the body, and can also receive information and interpret it via electrical signals which are used in this nervous system. With that said, perhaps your CNS is highly sensitive to that particular mic, although, I doubt that is the case. Again, I have never heard of such an issue with ANY mic !

I also considered that there may be a "short" somewhere in the mic that you purchased, however, if that was the case, it would short out and wouldn't work ! Pardon me, but I'm just as perplexed as you, and am just "fishing" for answers.

The bottom line ? If it were me, and I was pleased with the OM7, I would return it to the dealer/distrubutor where you purchased it, try another in the store, and see if the same thing occurs. However, some states prohibit trying microphones in the store due to health concerns. If you purchased the mic online, then I would try to return it and purchase one from a dealer.

I realize that this reply is quite long, but I'm very confused myself.... ??? :rolleyes:

I hope that this has helped in some way. I would also be interested to hear if you resolve this issue. Kindly reply if you resolve this problem.

Thank you...

Warmest Regards,
Adolph


Adolph C. Namlik
Executive Director ~ The Modern Vocalist World
Western N.Y.
adolph@themodernvocalist.com
http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/AdolphNamlik
Email : chief188@hughes.net
716~257~9606
"My Life's A Stage"

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#3 2014-03-03 00:11:48

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Ah, electricity, something I know a little something about. Static electricity is definitely an issue. Most importantly, grounding. The mic is not grounding properly. As for ways to deal with static electricity, take a lesson from Texas Instruments in Texas. All people, regardless, are required to wear a grounding strap on their wrist. And ground out in each room they are in.

The process is simple. Electricity seeks the shortest route to ground, stay out of its way. Honest-to-goodness, I have been an electrician since 1983 and I have a master license. Please let that inform others that I have some experience with errant electricity. In my current occupation, I manage for a company that specializes in electrical work for swimming pools. Ah, yes, water and eletricity, they mix a little too well. So, the pool, all metal parts within 5 feet of water, and any equipment associated with the pool, such as pumps and pump controllers must be zero with respect with each other. The code book calls it equipotential bonding. Because there is static electricity around a pool, just like anywhere else. Plus, should a pool light or pump short out, you don't want it going through the water and the humans in it. In fact, the water must also be grounded. If the lighting does not use a grounded light niche (shell,) then a metal plate that is at least 9 square inches must be grounded and be in touch with the pool water at a depth of no less than 4 inches.

The same can happen with microphones and stands. And those may be grounded. And you, the singer, walking across the carpet and building literally 50,000 volts at very small current, can do your self a favor by carrying a piece of metal and grounding out before you approach.

Otherwise, there is some difference in voltage between maybe the guitar and the mic.

Or the mic is bad.

Again, electricity seeks the shortest route to ground, stay out if it's way.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#4 2014-03-03 09:50:11

teresanaves
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-03-02
Posts: 4
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Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Hi Adolph and Ronws! Thank you both for your nice and detailed answers, really appreciate that.

About the floor in my rehearsal space, it has no carpet. Just plain, cement floor.

I bought the mic online at Thomann's, and when I reported the issue they've offered to repair it.

Knowing that you guys, with such a huge experience hadn't heard before of this happening with a mic helps me to believe that the problem is with the mic itself. Besides, I had no problems with the Shure, in the same space with same equipment.

Ronws, just a couple of questions about your expertise area :rolleyes::

How do I exactly "ground out before" I approach? I'm sorry but I have no knowledge about electricity. And which kind of piece of metal should I wear? Size / type of metal?

Also, another detail popped into my mind this morning, but I can't remember if it happened before or after I changed to the Audix. One of the canon outputs of my mixtable stopped working. As I mentioned, its a Behringer and is about +8 years long, so I know I can't expect much more from a cheap mixtable (You're right Adolph, you get what yoy pay for) I think I unplugged that cable when I saw it wasn't working. Could this create a condition, or break some static or electric circuit issue, and therefore be the responsible for the cramps? 

Thank you both for sharing your priceless wisdom!!

I'll keep you informed of what happens.

Last edited by teresanaves (2014-03-03 09:51:14)

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#5 2014-03-03 14:16:51

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Electricity causes muscles to contract. I am here to tell you after getting "bit" a few times a year when I was working in the field that it makes muscles contract, what you are calling a "cramp."It is also likely the bad port in your mixing board is providing an errant fault current.

Adolph spoke of using an GFCI outlet to plug into. So, let me give you what I hope is the short version of how a GFCI works but it also helps to know how a circuit breaker trips. So, I will start there.

Any properly designed electrical circuit in a building that goes to an outlet or "plug" must also have what is called a ground fault current path. Electricity, in 120 volts, comes out on a "hot wire," goes through whatever device and goes back to the panel, and then the utility transformer from the power company on a return or "neutral" wire. At some point, the first means of disconnecting power, neutral and ground are bonded together, or should be. Because an errant current that has "shorted" to ground needs to go back along the ground wire until it reaches the neutral wire that goes back to the utility transformer (hence the bonding at first means of disconnect) and comes back on the hot and through the offending breaker at twice the amperage. The breaker has temperature sensitive metal that will expand against the pull of the nomal magnetic action in the breaker. Increased amperage means increased heat. The breaker opens or "trips." This disconnects the current flow and protects anything "down stream:" from it from further exposure to electricity which can cause a fire in some materials and death in humans. It takes 1/10 of 1 amp to kill a grown man, if the path of electricity is going in the "right" direction for it. I once took 120 volts across the chest, from one hand to the other. That was an "ow," for sure. But I got so used to 120 V, it felt like a nerve twitch. 277 volts, now that hurts and gets my attention.

Anyway, some old buildings do not have a complete ground wire system and ground fault current path. The way to solve that is what Adolph did. A GFCI protective device, which can be an outlet or a breaker. Choose one or the other, not both, and I can explain that, as well. A GFCI does not trip on current going to ground. It has a heat sensitive metal that will open if overdrawn or overloaded. But here's the other crucial part. It has a sensor in it that detects changes in current level on the neutral or return wire. If it detects a change of .03 percent or greater, it opens or "trips." So, all of a current load shorting to ground would, indeed, result in a change of current level on the neutral that is definiitely greater than .03 percent. An old house with no complete ground can be made code compliant by installing GFCI's at judicious locations. Now, the sensor in the GFCI uses a small bit of current to do its job. And it will play hob with another GFCI on the same circuit, because of this minimal current. I have seen it happen. Someone installs a GFCI breaker and later, someone installs a GFCI outlet on the circuit protected by that GFCI breaker and it is usually the breaker that trips. Also, some devices such as mosquito misting machines and some low voltage lighting transformers use a style of transformer where the line side and load side neutrals are common or "tied together." This introduces two levels of current going back to the GFCI outlet or breaker and causes it to trip because it is sensing .03 percent or greater change in current level. Even though everything was working fine.

If your mixing board were plugged into a GFCI, it might not trip until you get up there and get zapped. Unless your guitar is plugged into another circuit not on that same GFCI, and then you will still get zapped. Point being, you are getting zapped because you are becoming part of the circuit.

However, if everything was on the same circuit and then a stray current went somewhere it was not supposed to, then it would trip because its creating a change of current of .03 percent or greater.

The broken port on your mixing table could still be putting out some voltage and current and it is trying to find its way "home." And you are getting in the way. If you plan on keeping that mixer, the quickest solution would be to physically disconnect that port from the board, such as cutting wires leading to it and taping them off, or, if it's soldered in, heat up the solder and yank that puppy out of there. Even if you are not using that port, it could still travel along the case, which is local ground, until it gets to the port you mic is plugged into.

You can make your own graphic to illustrate most everything I have said. Draw a circle, or, if you prefer, an oblate spheroid, such as an egg. At the top arch, draw a negative and a plus sign. Imagine current going from plus to negative (though technically, it is the other way.) That is electrical work, in one egg. Try not to be part of that egg.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#6 2014-03-03 15:55:37

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

I meant to add that if the broken port is the source of the errant current and voltage, grounding out when you reach the mic stand will do no good, you will still get a cramp.

But, for just static electricity in general, a piece of metal, such as a house key or a spoon will do. You hold that and let it touch the metal. What the pretty spark. Enjoy not sparking your finger.

Again, if the source of errant voltage and current is the port on the mixing board, trying to ground out at the mic will not help.

Last edited by ronws (2014-03-03 15:56:37)


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#7 2014-03-03 20:17:19

Adolph Namlik
Executive Director, The Modern Vocalist World
From: "No Name", New York
Registered: 2008-11-15
Posts: 748
Reputation :   17 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Hi Teresa,

It's good to hear that the distributor is going to make things right by you ! Some will not given health regulations....

Kindly let us know how things work out when you receive your OM7. I'm curious if you received a defective mic.

As for mic cables, everyone has their own preferences, but following are my favorites. I purchase them at the Guitar Center, and if any fail, they guarantee they will replace them free of charge. Thus far, I haven't had to return any of them.

Planet Waves
Monster
Live Wire


About the static electricity : When I work on computers, I use a wrist strap that has a alligator clip attached. The idea is that you attach the clip to the case of the computer to discharge any static electricity before touching any components in the computer. I honestly don't know how you would use such a device on a mic ? I imagine you could attach the clip to the mic "screen", then remove it after picking up the mic ? Just a thought.... But I think your mic was defective in the first place, and your problem should be solved when you receive the new one.

Finally, I would like to see you accept my invitation to join our "Social Media" section of The Modern Vocalist World. Hope to see you there SOON :)

Regards,
Adolph

Note : I don't mean to derail your thread, Teresa, but I have somewhat of a humorous story >>

@ ronws : Seems we have more in common - electrical expertise. I built my entire home except for the foundation. Wow ! What an experience it was. As for the GFCI's, I suppose it depends on code in your locality. Here, they aren't necessary on every circuit, but just to be on the safe side, and even though it was extra money, I added them to each circuit.

Here's a little story for your amusement : I was also in the construction business for awhile, and I was training a young man in installing a new service panel. I don't know what they call the buss bars in your locale, as the terminology differs. Some places use the term "buss", others "bars", and still others "buss bars", You get the idea I'm sure.

Well anyway, once the panel and main breaker is installed, I'm one that isn't afraid to work on electrical circuits with the "Main" HOT ! Or, adding additional switches or outlets with the entire system "hot". So I told this young man "Whatever you do, don't touch the buss bars". A few moments later, and this brings me to Teresa's comments about cramps, this young man came to me and said "Man, I'm REALLY sick in the stomach !" I knew immediately what he did.... DUH !!! :rolleyes:

I know you're the man here with the humor, but you have to get at least a little laugh out of that one.... ?

We'll have to catch up by phone sometime !!!

Hope all is going well, my Friend !!! :cool:


Adolph C. Namlik
Executive Director ~ The Modern Vocalist World
Western N.Y.
adolph@themodernvocalist.com
http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/AdolphNamlik
Email : chief188@hughes.net
716~257~9606
"My Life's A Stage"

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#8 2014-03-03 23:49:21

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

I have worked hot, too. It teaches you respect. It teaches you to view a dead circuit the same way you view an unloaded gun. There ain't no such thing until you have checked it yourself. A job boss told me a circuit was dead. So, i cut the tape off the end of the wires and "ker-pow!" Blew up a brand new pair of wire strippers.

Had another helper that thought he was "the man" as he went to change a breaker in a live panel. Poked in his brand new Klein screwdriver and shorted it, ruining the end of it and now had an expensive concrete chipping tool, as that is all it's good for after that.

Working a on a school that was already energized, we were pulling wire for mezzanine level frost beaters. Low level heater above ceiling to keep water pipes from freezing in winter. I was feeding wire and Timmy was pulling with a fish tape. In a 600 A switch gear. The fish tape was coiling around the floor and the gear was bottom-fed. It kinked around and arced with a main lug. A fireflash blew up and burned the buss bars and Timmy had first and second degree burns on his face and hands. So, one of the guys drove him to the hospital and we continued with the wire pull. I kept feeding the wire until it wouldn't move. So, I went down and around the corner and asked to boss, "Are we done?"

He said, "No, were finished. Timmy's done."

Tim had to spend a week at home per doctor's orders but his new skin was growing in nicely.

I said, "Dang, Timmy, you done blew your face off, grew another one, and you are still ugly."

He said, "I know."

Anyway, you don't have to put a GFCI in every plug. If one plug feeds several more plugs down the line, so to speak, you only need the one but need to remember that it is rated for no more than 20 amps, usually. And the NEC advises that with any unknown load, you must assume continuous duty (3 hours or more of operation) and load that circuit no more than 80 percent of rated value, which is 16 amps for a 20 amp circuit.

And you don't have to do that for a house, here, but it is a way to have it code compliant. And a title company trying to write a title on a house you want to sell will require a home inspection and the inspector, usually an independent contractor, may require that, unless you can prove the authority having jursidiction, such as the city, is not requiring updating of plugs to sell and transfer property.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#9 2014-03-03 23:51:28

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

And yes, we need to chat just to chew the fat. I miss that.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#10 2014-03-03 23:57:05

teresanaves
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-03-02
Posts: 4
Reputation :   

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Wow! What a huge load of information, thank you Ronws. I'll try to figure out a couple of things out of what you both have recommended, and let's see what happens.

Thank again!

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#11 2014-03-04 21:13:36

Adolph Namlik
Executive Director, The Modern Vocalist World
From: "No Name", New York
Registered: 2008-11-15
Posts: 748
Reputation :   17 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Hello Teresa,

Be sure to let us know what happens when you receive your mic......

Also, I would really like to see you join our "Social Media" site :D Did you receive my invitation ?

Would like to see your videos if you have some, and hear your songs !!! Let US promote you :cool:

Also, we have a wealth of information on the site : Product Reviews and Articles which I'm sure you will find interesting !

Hope to see you there :)

Warmest Regards,
Adolph

PS Here's a link to that little device I mentioned, although you probably won't need it. Just thought you might like to check it out. It's great for working on computers and other electronics  !

>>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a … 6899263009


Adolph C. Namlik
Executive Director ~ The Modern Vocalist World
Western N.Y.
adolph@themodernvocalist.com
http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/AdolphNamlik
Email : chief188@hughes.net
716~257~9606
"My Life's A Stage"

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#12 2014-03-04 21:35:07

Adolph Namlik
Executive Director, The Modern Vocalist World
From: "No Name", New York
Registered: 2008-11-15
Posts: 748
Reputation :   17 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

@ronws

I hear you about "frying" a pair of wire strippers... I've done the same myself. I also recall working on the electric in a mobile home once. Hate those things - none of the circuits were marked, no rhyme or reason where they went all over the entire home. One particular circuit was tough to trace and even the continuity meter didn't work. So there I was, lying on my back in a crawl space and my only option was to short the circuit by touching the line and neutral together ! Sparks flew of course, but DIDN'T "kick the breaker !!! Worked on several mobile homes, and I'm happy I'm not in that business any longer ! I do miss it at times, but my body just can't handle it any longer ! Especially the plumbing and turning the huge wrenches.... Yeah, I even "drove" and developed my own water well. What a trip THAT was !

Oh no.... I didn't use a GFCI for every outlet. Some are in the service panel, and others are at the beginning of the "run".

I found an interesting site for you to check out when you have time : Pro Sound Web. You can spend hours learning some new things.... 
>>> http://www.prosoundweb.com/

Yes. We have to catch up sometime. I just don't know where all the time goes ? The days seem to be flying by !!!


Adolph C. Namlik
Executive Director ~ The Modern Vocalist World
Western N.Y.
adolph@themodernvocalist.com
http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/AdolphNamlik
Email : chief188@hughes.net
716~257~9606
"My Life's A Stage"

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#13 2014-03-04 21:46:12

teresanaves
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-03-02
Posts: 4
Reputation :   

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

Yes Adolph, I will tell you what happens. I'll try to figure out this weekend if the problem can actually come from the mixtable, before sending the mic to repair, and will also try it with our rehearsal space mates' equipment.

Could you please send me the link to the Social Media site? I might have mistaken it with the forum confirmation emails.

Of course I can share my music, we're currently on the mixing process of our first Ep with my band. Unfortunately for you our music is in spanish, but will share it anyway ;)
In the meantime you can check our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/somosnaves

Thanks for all guys!! Keep the good work going on :cool:

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#14 2014-03-07 00:52:38

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

I will look forward to seeing your site page when you get it up. You can post the link here, Teresa. Or click on my email icon and send me an email, as it goes to my personal email.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#15 2014-03-07 00:54:24

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Help! My Audix OM7 gives me... CRAMPS

And Adolph, yes, I have done that in the past, when I didn't know what breaker fed a circuit and intentionally grounded it, which will trip the breaker if you have a proper ground fault current path. But it sounds like the mobile homes didn't. Ay, Carumba!


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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