Chance Meeting, Making Contact and a Cool Tip..

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So a departure from software this time.. Instead I’m going to share a story with you and more importantly a great little tip that may make your day if you’ve been presented with the same problem as I had been having…

I sold a piece of equipment on Ebay, a guy came to collect on behalf of the buyer who had informed me that his techie would pick it up for him. After some brief back and forth on the phone via text regarding directions and times he showed up to collect.

After handing over the goods we got talking, I was interested in the fact this guy was a techie type as I use a hybrid setup for my production and utilise a lot of hardware, It’s not just because i’m Old School in this instance, I actually went back to hardware and re-incorporated it into my purely software setup because i’m of the opinion it actually sounds better and is more fun to work with.. tactile etc..

The techie who later became known to me as Gwyn Mathias is a lovely bloke, relaying interesting stories and opinions, we talked for a good while in his parked car outside my spot, at some point he mentioned that he had worked at Trident in the past, so as an owner of a Trident Trimix Console this was of particular interest to me, I explained that I have been experiencing a problem with an intermittent crackle and sometimes audio drop out which proves extremely annoying, I had tried to locate the source of this problem but found nothing.. Not being a tech guy myself my knowledge was limited at best… zero at worst… I poked about a bit… No joy!

So he tells me to try short patch cables between send and return on the master outputs in case the issue is corrosion or oxidisation on the normalised sockets… a good steer which I promise to try..

He also said to try cleaning the contacts on my channel strip modules with a Fibre Glass pen and Kontakt Gold spray.. He says I should push the edge connectors in and out a couple of times whilst the Kontakt Gold is still wet but NOT sopping wet… This stuff claims to make connections better…

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We part company, i’d held him up long enough, he had places to go and stuff to fix no doubt.. Saving someone else day neither of us knowing he’d already made mine…

So straight away I tried the patch cables between insert send and return sockets.. Didn’t solve issue, crackle returned, not disheartened yet I went online, searched, found the fibre glass pen, I compared prices and the best deal I could find available was from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/crookedimaging

The order arrived the very next working day! It came with replacement tips too and I was excited to try this tip from Gwyn who’s been in the business for so many valuable years gaining experience.. Would it work?

The Kontakt Gold 2000 had not arrived yet but I was impatient to try this pen anyway, so I pulled out the master output, monitor and studio monitor modules from the console frame, plus channel thirteen which ironically also seems to have had a crackle issue… Set to work cleaning the contacts carefully with the fibre tipped pen…

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I took my time, I noticed it cleaned up the already fairly clean contacts in the way a burnishing jack might clean your sockets, ever so slightly abrasive fibre tip just takes back the greyish oxidisation and makes the contacts shine again… I make a note to still use the Kontakt Gold 2000 when it shows up but for now i’ll just give this a go…. This issue has been driving me crazy for a while after all, got to be worth a try!

I re-insert my modules into the console frame… Turn on the power, press play on my DAW…

All good… No crackles.. No cut out… But obviously with an intermittent problem it may happen at any given moment… So i’m waiting anxiously for the moment to come… For my heart to sink.. but no… nothing.. Time passes, Still all good…

Sometimes the problem occurs when everything has been powered down for a while so I wait until next morning..

Power up.. Run track.. Still all good! No more crackles, no drop outs… looks like (touch wood, in this case oak around my Trident Trimix) the problem just might be fixed! If you have this or a similar issue with a connection it might help you too!

A chance meeting, Contact made.. A cool tip… Problem seemingly solved!

Thanks to Gwynn Mathias!

Zz.

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