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Author Topic: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?  (Read 2076 times)

Douglas Cyr

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Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« on: October 12, 2022, 05:11:12 PM »

Hello,

I was doing a service call at a local DJ nightlclub testing their subs/amps, and encountered a strange issue:

One of the staff demonstrated a recently developed problem:

When their is no music/audio running through the system, there is a pretty loud hum (not noticeable once music is playing, but the club also has day-time brunch events etc without the music pumping) coming through what seems to be all the speakers. I didn't check the first floor speakers for the hum, but all the speakers on the second floor where the DJ booth is located had them (passive EV ZLX-12/similar speakers run from Dynacord amps and a Rane ZonePro processor).

What's strange is, the tone/level of the audio hum changes as he uses the lighting control iPad to change colors and patterns through their ADJ MyDMXGo system. They have cheap LED movers/pars flown throughout the club ceiling along with the EV mid/high speakers, I didn't do the install so don't know where all the wiring runs are.

In the DJ booth with the lighting control iPad/MyDMXGo box, the DJ controller and a laptop run into a cheap Alto analogue mixer (with a DC wall wart, the mixer is ungrounded), from their into dual XLR inputs on the wall and from their up to the processor.

When I unplug the XLR mains running into the wall plate or power off the anologue mixer, the level of the hum goes down, but is still present at a lower level and still fluctuates when the light colors/movements change.


tl:dr - when the nightlclub lighting system has color/movement/scene changes, a hum in the sound system changes in tone and intensity even with the main input to the system disconnected at the DJ booth.


If any of you ran into this, what would you look into to address it?

My immediate thoughts:
-Audio equipment sharing a circuit with lighting equipment
-maybe one of the ground wires from a balanced euroblock connector got disconnected from the processor inputs.
-the noise must be getting induced somewhere after the XLR wall plate because it remains even if the main inputs are disconnected
-unplug speaker drive lines from the amps to see if the noise is on the speaker lines or the XLR input line


Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated! Hope this was typed coherently enough to be comprehended.

Thanks,
Douglas Cyr


« Last Edit: October 12, 2022, 05:20:41 PM by Douglas Cyr »
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2022, 09:26:36 PM »

Hello,

I was doing a service call at a local DJ nightlclub testing their subs/amps, and encountered a strange issue:

One of the staff demonstrated a recently developed problem:

When their is no music/audio running through the system, there is a pretty loud hum (not noticeable once music is playing, but the club also has day-time brunch events etc without the music pumping) coming through what seems to be all the speakers. I didn't check the first floor speakers for the hum, but all the speakers on the second floor where the DJ booth is located had them (passive EV ZLX-12/similar speakers run from Dynacord amps and a Rane ZonePro processor).

What's strange is, the tone/level of the audio hum changes as he uses the lighting control iPad to change colors and patterns through their ADJ MyDMXGo system. They have cheap LED movers/pars flown throughout the club ceiling along with the EV mid/high speakers, I didn't do the install so don't know where all the wiring runs are.

In the DJ booth with the lighting control iPad/MyDMXGo box, the DJ controller and a laptop run into a cheap Alto analogue mixer (with a DC wall wart, the mixer is ungrounded), from their into dual XLR inputs on the wall and from their up to the processor.

When I unplug the XLR mains running into the wall plate or power off the anologue mixer, the level of the hum goes down, but is still present at a lower level and still fluctuates when the light colors/movements change.


tl:dr - when the nightlclub lighting system has color/movement/scene changes, a hum in the sound system changes in tone and intensity even with the main input to the system disconnected at the DJ booth.


If any of you ran into this, what would you look into to address it?

My immediate thoughts:
-Audio equipment sharing a circuit with lighting equipment
-maybe one of the ground wires from a balanced euroblock connector got disconnected from the processor inputs.
-the noise must be getting induced somewhere after the XLR wall plate because it remains even if the main inputs are disconnected
-unplug speaker drive lines from the amps to see if the noise is on the speaker lines or the XLR input line


Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated! Hope this was typed coherently enough to be comprehended.

A few questions:
- Does the hum remain when the audio input at the amplifier(s) is/are disconnected?
- Is the audio connection between the amplifier input and prior device output properly balanced?

A few things to try:
- Check integrity of all line level connections at amplifiers, patch bays/strips, wall connectors, outputs, etc.
- Isolation transformer at the amplifier inputs. At the very least try a pin 1 lift at the amplifier, unless the source has no earth going to the main electronics, then place the pin 1 lift at the source.
- Check earth grounds of all electrical connectors, if you're qualified and able.


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Henry Cohen

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Douglas Cyr

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2022, 11:32:52 PM »

By  check integrity of line level connections, do you mean make sure all three pins are properly connected?

What would an isolation transformer look like in a rackmount situation, is there a rackmount multichannel transformer with eoroblock in and out?

I just want to have more of an idea of specific actions before I schedule another service call so I don't waste the client time and money aimlessly troubleshooting the wrong things.

Thanks for the advice!
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2022, 12:02:30 PM »


What's strange is, the tone/level of the audio hum changes as he uses the lighting control iPad to change colors and patterns through their ADJ MyDMXGo system.

In the DJ booth with the lighting control iPad/MyDMXGo box, the DJ controller and a laptop run into a cheap Alto analogue mixer (with a DC wall wart, the mixer is ungrounded), from their into dual XLR inputs on the wall and from their up to the processor.

So many possible sources but that effect hilighted above I have seen before so the first thing I'd try is to simply unplug the power supply to the laptop so it runs on battery, if that eliminates the random noise then you just need a line level transformer isolator between the computer and mixer.
The hum in the speakers system could be a differernt problem though. Is all the equipment rack mounted together? If so I'd suggest lifting the mixer out of the rack, the chassis may be grounding through the rack creating a ground loop that causes hum. If the mixer isn't racked then you may have to start at the speakers and work backwords, long poorly shielded inwall wires can act as an antannae, but there may also be something generating noise on the power line that has nothng to do with the sound or EFX lighting systems like dimmers on the venues regular lighting. I have a venue I visit where the hum on the audio system is quite noticable and nothing I do to the system makes any difference, last time there I discovered that the hum almost totally disappears if the dimmers on the house lights are set to full on. A lot of good that does for me come event time, this dimmer doesn't have an on/off switch which would take the dimmer circuitry out of action when the lights are full off but that could be a solution if you find the house lighting control to be the source of the problem in your case.
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2022, 06:02:03 PM »

By  check integrity of line level connections, do you mean make sure all three pins are properly connected?
Yes, everywhere, including inside XLR connectors.

Quote
What would an isolation transformer look like in a rackmount situation, is there a rackmount multichannel transformer with eoroblock in and out?
Inline XLR form factor
Flying leads
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Henry Cohen

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Douglas Cyr

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2022, 11:04:40 AM »

So many possible sources but that effect hilighted above I have seen before so the first thing I'd try is to simply unplug the power supply to the laptop so it runs on battery, if that eliminates the random noise then you just need a line level transformer isolator between the computer and mixer.
The hum in the speakers system could be a differernt problem though. Is all the equipment rack mounted together? If so I'd suggest lifting the mixer out of the rack, the chassis may be grounding through the rack creating a ground loop that causes hum. If the mixer isn't racked then you may have to start at the speakers and work backwords, long poorly shielded inwall wires can act as an antannae, but there may also be something generating noise on the power line that has nothng to do with the sound or EFX lighting systems like dimmers on the venues regular lighting. I have a venue I visit where the hum on the audio system is quite noticable and nothing I do to the system makes any difference, last time there I discovered that the hum almost totally disappears if the dimmers on the house lights are set to full on. A lot of good that does for me come event time, this dimmer doesn't have an on/off switch which would take the dimmer circuitry out of action when the lights are full off but that could be a solution if you find the house lighting control to be the source of the problem in your case.

Well when I was at the club the first thing I tried was unplugging the control iPad and the MyDMX go box from the wall and the noise didn't go away, I think it may have gotten a little quieter though.

The alto mixer and MyDMX go setup are all in the DJ booth, which is one floor below the amp rack/it room in a separate location.

I guess the next time I'm there for another service call I'll try to work troubleshooting this into that price, I just don't want to quote the owner for a service call and leave myself the chance of leaving without solving the issue.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2022, 02:57:00 PM »

Hi Douglas-

A few years ago we bought some "Chinesium" clones of the Clay Packy "Sharpie".  LD put the around the edges of the drum riser, and had other moving head fixtures at various places on the stage.

We had a noticeable buzz (not so much a 60 Hz hum) in most all of the drum inputs.  We tried Pin 1 lifts, tried isolation transformers, all kinds of hum busting tactics from 1980... and at one point we thought we'd knocked it down enough to get through 75 minutes of show.

Then the LD started a new focus and the noise came back.

Turned out to be inductive noise FROM THE FIXTURES.  We moved them off the riser, away from mic cables and microphones, and things improved.  We removed power from them and it all went away.  LX and audio were on separate services, separate service transformers, and there was no interconnection between them (LX coms were separate, electrically and physically, from audio coms).

This may not be your exact problem but it might give you some other ideas to check out.
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Steve-White

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2022, 06:39:33 PM »

And a Tim stated here's some more food for thought.  I did a high end sound system install into a 2004 Chevy Blazer about 10 years ago.  Used some old car audio stuff that had be laying around for years with some new stuff.  The shop owner nailed it before we even powered it up.  He said something to the effect of "the older stuff wasn't as noise tolerant of the vehicle electrical system".

Alternator whine right away.  Before messing with capacitor and other noise abatement in the SUV's electrical system, I pulled the old analog crossover and replaced it with a Rockford Fosgate 3sixty processor and new amps.  Noise gone.

Not suggesting the lighting system isn't the culprit.  But, it could be something in the audio chain may not be as noise tolerant as it could/should be.

Look there too.

Have definitely done a few club installs and chased noise issues.  That can be some real fun.
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Douglas Cyr

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2022, 10:01:29 AM »

The first thing I'll try is unplugging the dj booth input from the processor and see what that does, if it does go away I'll try the pin 1 lift on the Euroblock as suggested.

I was hoping the Rane ZonePro processor might have a noise gate I could try to implement, but it doesn't appear to have that feature.

I'm sure the venue owner won't want to move lights around - if the noise is on the inputs to the processor, Would a rackmount gate unit before the input of the processor help?
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Steve-White

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Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2022, 12:03:18 PM »

Was the entire system intact and operating fine, then all of the sudden the noise manifested?  Or, can it be attributed to an event such as installation of additional lighting instruments or other disturbance to the building electrical system?
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Noise from LED lighting circuit getting into audio circuit?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2022, 12:03:18 PM »


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