I record audio using 2 microphones connected via XLR cables to an audio interface, and behind the microphones I always have a ring light turned on. I live in Europe so everything I have has the EU power plugs except for my ring light, which came from the US, so I'm using a US to EU adapter to plug that in.

To my problem: I noticed that when the ring light is turned on and is near the microphones, my recordings always have an electrical hum in them around 50hz. The closer the ring light is to the mics, the louder the hum. When I move the ring light away from the mics, it reduces the hum but not completely.

Is there a known solution to a problem like this that will completely get rid of the electrical hum? I have read something about DI boxes or ground lift switches, but because I don't know anything about these devices or electricity, I'm not sure if something like that could help.

Thank you for any tips you might give on this issue.

  • When you say "around 50hz" it makes me think this is a super-common 60-cycle-hum issue, but as you stated for the UK (which most describe as 50-cycle-hum). It's plagued guitarists with single-coil pickups since their invention. Usually repositioning of the offending source or microphone to the offending source is the "solve" to this issue. Plenty of iconic recorded tracks have been made with this hum. You may just have to ditch the light from being as close as it is. – ThatWebDude Apr 4 '17 at 14:36
  • Switch off the light. sorry but is very clear that is the device causing interference. – Edwin van Mierlo Apr 6 '17 at 12:57

Simple fix.

Swap the 'ring light' for an ordinary tungsten bulb.

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The coupling between the light and the mics is inductive. It can be easily eliminated by wrapping the ring light completely in two layers of aluminum foil.

A slightly more difficult solution, but one that allows light to escape, is to wrap the light in a layer of metal screen. You should be able to find copper mesh, commonly used as anti-insect window netting, at a hardware store.

Form the mesh material into a bag shape. Don't leave any gaps except for the opening where the stand passes through. Keep the mesh away from the lamp itself (especially the box containing the ballast, if any).

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