Electric shock from vocal microphones when playing live...

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by leechmasterargentina, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. leechmasterargentina

    leechmasterargentina Leandro

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    Ok, I'm kinda tired of this situation most of the times when I play live. It's something I've never experienced at rehearsals.

    Everytime I play live, the vocal microphone is "electrified", I guess it doesn't carry 220/110 volts because otherwise I'd pass out each time I sing my first lines...but the electric shock going through my mouth each time I touch the ball of the microphone is painful enough to bother me through the whole set. Last shows I tried not to touch the ball, but working with the distance while singing and trying to give a decent show is hard and sometimes I get a bit further making voice to fade or sound thin.

    I'm the lead singer and guitar player of my band. I think this situation happens when distortion is active, and I haven't noticed that electric show in between songs when I address to people. Mind that I play Metal, so distortion is running 99% of the time. Another big detail is that distortion has always come from my processor boards, being that my previous Korg AX3000G and my actual POD HD500, so it's hard for me to think of an amp head malfunction.

    Last show our soundman said perhaps the monitors were too close to the microphone. A friend who repairs electronic stuff said maybe the microphones used in those venues could be all broken and used, and I should bring my own microphone.

    Has anyone had experience with this issue? Should I bring my own SM58? Should monitors go further? Or the only hope is to buy a wireless microphone and use it everytime I play live?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Rojne

    Rojne Köttbullar är fint..

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    I don't really know much about it, but try use your own mic at your next gig!
    Also, try to "ground" yourself by touching something made of steel before you go on stage.. like a radiator or similar! :)
     
  3. leechmasterargentina

    leechmasterargentina Leandro

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    I do that everytime at home because I don't like to handle electronics with static...I don't think static is the problem because it happens all the time...Static should just go away...
     
  4. Rojne

    Rojne Köttbullar är fint..

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    Hmm, weird! Hopefully someone will chime in with some advice! :)
     
  5. Bretton

    Bretton SS.org Regular

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  6. HL7DS

    HL7DS SS.org Regular

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    I experienced that numerous times, no fun at all. Replacing the microphones never helped in my case. Talked to the tech guys in the venue and from what they explained there were some problems with grounding the mic. Luckily most venues I played at didn't have this problem.

    As a workaround, something like this might help I believe. Not cool looking, though.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. DarkWolfXV

    DarkWolfXV Excised n anatomised

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    Maybe stage is poorly grounded.

    Just dont pull off an Emmure.
     
  8. leechmasterargentina

    leechmasterargentina Leandro

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    Interesting. So the voltage difference between my amp and the mixing board could be the reason...

    I use a transistor amp head when playing live so I can't reverse the ground. Though at rehearsals I don't plug to the same outlet as the power amp mixer that amplifies vocals, I don't have the same situation when playing live.
     
  9. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I think it's because you're on the guitar and the mic, I've exerienced that too messing around jokingly singing into a mic while playing. If I recall it"s because 95% of the time the studio has poor/improper electrical grounding. The other 5% would be that your guitar electronics are not grounded properly. Maybe there is something else to it though.


    Rev.
     
  10. Baelzebeard

    Baelzebeard Grinder of strings

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    It is a grounding issue either with the venue or possibly your guitar rig.

    As mentioned its a voltage differential between the ground of the mic and the guitar, and when you touch the mic the voltage tries to get to ground.

    If it doesn't happen at your rehearsal space it is likely the venue. Using a different mic probably wouldn't help unless it is broken, so trying a different mic would be a troubleshooting check. Moving from the monitors would change absolutely nothing. That would only solve an acoustic problem, not an electrical problem.

    Something like an inline isolation transformer on the mic line might help.

    ISOXL LINE LEVEL ISOLATION TRANSFORMER - Catalog - Whirlwind

    Anyways, let the venue know that they should get their electrical system checked for ground loops/faults, etc.
     
  11. Thep

    Thep Blast & Sweep

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    I experience this at rehearsals when we meet at a certain place. I think there's nothing you can do from your microphone end really, it has to do with the electrical system that the mixer is connected to.

    But at least make sure you're not running phantom power to the microphone.
     
  12. Erazoender

    Erazoender SS.org Regular

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    "In Soviet Russia, PA amplifies you."
     
  13. leechmasterargentina

    leechmasterargentina Leandro

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    Yeah, I'm pretty much sure it's a grounding problem of the venues. I'm starting to get pissed about it cause it happened in different venues.
     
  14. leechmasterargentina

    leechmasterargentina Leandro

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    Nice, I'm gonna try to get one if they're not expensive. I'd rather take one to shows instead of kissing electricity all night long.

    Kinda hard to let those venues know...last one, the PA guy had to open his way through cables to get electricity...and the other one, I don't think they care.
     
  15. leechmasterargentina

    leechmasterargentina Leandro

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    Funny thing is, at rehearsals, we use an old mixer head which doesn't have a ground pin, nor my fender deluxe 112 amp, and I've never experienced this.

    I'd like to believe the PA guys are not as dumb as to enable phantom power when all they use are dynamic microphones. Still, next time I'll check their mixer. One thing I've learned in my life is that stupidity in human beings is limitless.
     
  16. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Another reason that I insist on using a wireless with my guitar and vocal.
     
  17. MetalBuddah

    MetalBuddah 0000 00 0 0 00 000

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    I couldn't resist lol

    [​IMG]
     
  18. myampslouder

    myampslouder SS.org Regular

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    The reason you aren't having a problem is because neither piece of equipment has a ground pin. You run into problems when one piece of equipment is grounded and the other isn't. Power from the non grounded equipment will find ground through the grounded equipment and if it's a guitar and a mic you will be come the path to ground as soon Ss you contact both.

    I had this exact same thing happen to me in a band I was in years ago. We practiced in a storage unit and the PA had a ground lift of the plug and my guitar amp didn't. Every time I did vocals I got a hell of a shock on the lips from the mic.

    I'd suggest anyone in a gigging band buy one of these
    Gardner Bender, 120 VAC Outlet Tester; 1/clam, 5 clams/master, GRT-3500 at The Home Depot - Mobile

    Its just a simple outlet tester. Plug it in and it tells you if its wired right. Use it to check the outlets on stage to make sure they are all wired the same so you can hopefully prevent any painful shocks before they happen.
     
  19. Genome

    Genome SS.org Regular

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    I'm fairly sure PA's amplify you in most countries.
     
  20. hairychris

    hairychris Hairy Old Bloke

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    Jesus. Grounding amps is pretty much vital. If anything goes wrong the current has nowhere to go except through you.

    Er, yeah, there's a lot of stupidity around, especially with venues who want to save money.
     

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