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I am on a shoot using a 416 as my boom running into an SD 302 mixer and then down to a tascam HD P2 for record. Beginning of the day I had great signal coming from the shotgun, as the day progressed it seems that I had to increase my preamp more and more to get the same signal. By the end of the day the 302 gain was almost at max with the channel output also near max just to the get same signal level outputting as the beginning of the day, but now with tons of system noise. My 416 is relatively new, less than a year, and I have mainly used it for SFX recording with the occasional eng or short film gig. Most of the day, the mic was in a rycote lyre mount with zeppelin and dead cat.

Does this sound like a humidity problem? I am in New Orleans so high humidity is present, but I thought the 416 was designed to go through hell and high water.

As far as tone and timbre of the mic, it seemed the sibilance became much greater as the day progressed.

I thought it may be a low battery situation on the 302, but fresh AAs did not do anything. Changed cables and even put the questionable cables through cable tester and that was not the issue. I did not check the channel on the mixer though.

I ask because I have yet to hear with my own ears the effects of humidity on a mic. Is there something I can do to help this situation?

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I'm not really sure whether it's a humidity issue, but I doubt it. I have the stereo brother of your 416 and I've used it for years and in seriously humid spots. Maybe someone with more expertise can answer that part.

If I were you, I'd go to a gear house or a friend with a mic that requires phantom power and bring that mixer too and another 302 if you can. Then test all the combinations, see if it's the mic the issue, if not then it might be the phantom power on the 302, try both channels, etc. At least you'll know for certainty if it's an issue with your mic or the mixer. My gut says it's a mixer problem.

Chances are, everything will work when you do the tests!

  • @andrew now that you mention it, it does sound like its not getting enough voltage to the mic, i'll meter it today and see what's going on with it. Thanks. – Michael Gilbert Aug 17 '11 at 15:38
  • @Michael I don't know why I didn't explicitly say I think it's a phantom power issue, but that's what I ment ;-) Let me know if you come up with a solution, I'm curious. – Andrew Spitz Aug 17 '11 at 19:39
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sounds like a phantom power issue. as @Andrew suggests, check the rig with other mics and see if you get similar issues.

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I've had some issues with 302 and mics not sounding as they should all of a sudden. Never heard of this gradual downfall though.. But I've had quite the same experience with MKH50, and also EW-100 (wireless lavalier systems). I think the 302 is a bit sensitive in the inputs. Sometimes just switching the channels and playing with the knobs gives a quick fix.

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Yup phantom issue. Resolved. I believe the gradual thing was due to scene and content and then at some point it became a +48v issue.

Anyone happen to have some recordings of shotgun clean and shotgun with bad humidity issue? Just curious to hear for future reference.

Thanks all!

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