Moving mic setup in a different direction due to interference/crackling

Hi everyone. First of all I have to say that this place has been really helpful so far and thanks. However I got unlucky with my mic setup and because this seems a bit more of a particular case I decided to check with you guys before aiming for something else.

It’s easier to go with bulletin points, so…

  • My 3.5mm port is screwed so my Modmic kept getting disconnected randomly (annoying in games);
  • Decided to try and go for a Focusrite solo 3rd gen + modmic xlr adapter (with the intention of looking at a proper Dynamic Mic later on);
  • Had crackling/static noise and other issues and kept trying to solve them. Managed to improve it but could not remove it entirely, and some days it was quite annoying;
  • I thought at some point the issue was with the modmic cable itself but today I noticed that simply touching the focusrite would help. Google seems to point at ground loop/electrical issues;
  • I already started the process to return the scarlett+modmic adapter and currently looking at other options that allow me to stash the modmic only for emergencies (really annoying to use with multiple headphones);
  • It seems that the Samson Q2U is an alternative that pops around here which does not rely on an interface, and being dynamic it should acoustically fit without much trouble;

So my concern now is, considering my issues so far, is the Samson Q2U the right fit for me? Is there a better alternative that doesn’t put me >£150 behind? I’m willing to try and experiment as long as something is on or has a good return policy for someone in the uk, even if it’s just for Discord/Slack and other video conference software.

Once again thanks,apologies for the long first post, but I made an effort of trying to cover as much as possible right at the start :slight_smile:

@twosevenska Welcome to Hifiguides,

This sounds lke either an internal issue or the modmic itself having the issues. Have you tried perhaps using a 3.5 - usb adapter? It could very well be the modmic itself being defective.

I don’t really like recommending this product as someone as who owns one himself due to the fairly common issues like you listed with the ground loop and electrical problems it tends to have. It’s also a pretty weak amp despite them making claims that it can properly power 250 ohm headphones, it can’t and failed to power my beyers and was struggling to power my 58x Jubilee. In this regard your probably better off with either a different identically priced model or if your just going to go the Samson Q2U you could just go pick up a Behringer UM2 which is like bottom of the barrel but still very usable for an XLR interface.

I would first definitely make sure the mic itself isnt defective at this point sounds like a very annoying issue.

Q2U is a pretty nice microphone in a decent budget as you don’t really need the most fantastic of headphones for gaming this gives a pretty nice quality sound if you need a dynamic and due to it being both usb and xlr it allows you to buy it for USB and save up for a proper interface which is convenient for some people

I currently see the Q2U for £58.19 on which is about the right price for new there. UM2 will usually run you from $30-$50 here so I would assume it should be around there in the uk. There are cheaper alternatives like CAD U1 for usb dynamics among others that are a bit cheaper but of course you won’t get the best quality sound out of them. Alternatively, You could see about finding a way to fix the modmic, or look into a Lavalier mic which is a microphone that attaches to your headphone cable or your shirt. Of course, XLR will give you the best quality but if a harsh budget is of concern you may need to consider giving some quality up. Personally, If you go the UM2 with a Q2U it should run you about £100. However, you may need to consider things such as a boom arm and pop filter

Internal. Pretty sure this started happening when one day the charger for my laptop fell and smacked it. I don’t have a usb adapter though to test it out but I was also getting pissed about having the modmic, so decided to try the XLR path.

I bought it solely for the mic, but I did try it out while waiting for my DAC to arrive and actually using it for both would worsen the sound (this with HD598 which should be easy to ride).

Funnily enough I picked the Focusrite because that one happened to be out of stock everywhere and decided to gift myself something more expensive but more “reliable”. Bad luck :stuck_out_tongue:

I was now looking through my toybox and funnily enough I have a singstar adapter from a time I used to karaoke with some friends. Seems to fit so I’ll try that.

Had a Zalman ZMMIC1 and it was ok, but I tend to move the cable a lot and make a lot of scratching noise. The modmic was the upgrade back then.

That is fine. I threw the >150 number out there because in my eyes at that point I had already spent:

  • Focusrite: 100
  • XLR Adapter: 20
  • Shure SM 48 LC + cable (which I cancelled 3 hours after placing the order): 65
    Total = 185

And I was eyeing already other accessories, but any device that seemed to be worth buying to solve this issue seemed to cost quite a bit as well, and at some point I had to throw the towel because at the end of the day I cannot really spend nearly 300 quid on a mic setup for discord… Not when I can use that for headphones xD

Ok so I’m going ahead and try using that adapter to figure out the status of the modmic. I’ll report as soon as I get around to it.

As for the UM2, it seems right now the price is jacked up on amazon, but for the same price I can get the umc22, so I might head in that direction if I go the audio interface route again. Unless there’s any reason against it.

Oh, and thanks for the input thus far :slight_smile:

Scratch that, the adapter did not work for this. However it succeeded in making me do one of my strongest facepalms… I just completely forgot about the frontal mic port… I don’t even… Sigh… Anyways played with the cable, the jack and it did not disconnect. Tried to listen to it and there’s a little bit of background noise but seems like the usual stuff, different from what I was having with the focusrite. I’m satisfied enough to keep it for emergencies, but still going ahead with trying to get a desk setup.

Edit: Managed to quickly test it out with someone on discord and no noise issues there.

Glad you got that worked out. My go to recommendation for a cheap mic is always the mod-mic. They’re reliable, and sound great.

If you’re looking into desktop mics blue just released a new one that worth looking at, same with hyperx (the quad cast). These are full solutions that don’t require other equipment in the chain.

It sounds like an all in one might be a good way to go.

FYI, no matter the solution you go with, a mic on the desk will almost always pick up more room noise than one that is much closer to your face. Unless you get a shotgun mic, but that’s a whole other rabbit hole lol

Usbs are nice… but most of them are Condensor microphones which love to pick up that sound around you from keyboards to that person talking half way across the house lol. This is why I usually say if you can afford the setup… pickup a cheap interface and grab a Dynamic mic less you find a good Dynamic USB microphone since these are what live singers use that are designed to block out the surrounding noise while still sounding great. Modmic is still essentially the cheapest way to go though despite it not sounding as good as a regular boom mic