What’s that noise? Help with a high-pitched tone/beeping on recording

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Hi all,

First time posting. I’m a journalist who’s just getting into making my own field recordings.

It’s been fun so far, but a couple of times I’ve found that I’m getting a high-pitched beeping/high-pitched tone on the recordings, especially outdoors. I’ve tried to recreate the same effect at home, but it doesn’t happen.

I’m guessing it’s some kind of interference? Maybe cellphone interference? When it happens, it’s usually in busy, public places.

If so, are there are any techniques for avoiding it?

There’s a snippet of a recording here [https://clyp.it/fzluiont] that shows the effect. It gets worse the longer the recording goes on.

I’m recording with a Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic, attached via XLR cable to a TASCAM DR-40. I’m holding the Rode in my bare hand. I’m also recording my own voice simultaneously, on a different track, into the TASCAM.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks a lot,

Jonny

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Have you tried different mic cables? or the mic & cable in a different recorder?

it doesn’t sound like typical phone interference, but could be sound of data being written to memory card which makes me wonder if your mic cable has loose earth/shield connection, so it is not suppressing that sound… I haven’t used a DR40 so not familiar with it

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I have experienced this exact noise in my Tascam DR-100 MkII! Unfortunately I’m not sure what’s causing it… When I noticed it I was also outdoors, in the city, and I tried to walk around to see where I could get the strongest signal but it seemed pretty random.

This is just a guess, but I think this might be caused by electromagnetic induction that gets picked up by a coil somewhere in the recorder. Heres a link to google maps to the exact location where I experienced the same thing. It was at night, so the street lights were on. Maybe the electricity in those long cables for the street lights produces some kind of magnetic field around them?

Can you share more details on what kind of environment you were in when you heard this noise? Maybe we can find the common denominator! I think it’s interesting that we both have Tascam recorders…

(Fun fact! The location that I shared is literally within a stone’s throw from the building where Ubisoft Massive developed The Division)

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Hi Tim. Thanks for your response.

I only have one recorder, unfortunately, so can’t try a different one.

I do have another cable, however. I’ve noticed the same problem occurring with that cable, too. Same mic.

The thing is, now I’m at home, and trying to get it to make the noise again, it sounds crystal clear. I can’t work out what the variable is that’s making it happen.

Any further thoughts?

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When I was still using my DR-40 a couple of years ago, I sometimes also got unpleasant high pitched sounds (but different from yours). I don’t really remember what caused these sounds, but I believe they occured when I plugged the mic directly into the recorder and used phantom power. But most of the time I was using a field mixer or battery powered mics in combination with my Tascam.

However, this still wouldn’t explain why the sounds only occur outside.

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