Help!! Big "BOOM!!!" In Audio System Causing Problems!

M

MusicGuy

Audiophyte
Hi audio experts. From a music guy's perspective, this one is quite perplexing. We are a church had new components of our audio system installed back in November of 2015 (almost one year now) and about two months after these new components were installed we started to experience this tremendous "BOOM!!!" in the system. It doesn't happen all the time or even on a regular basis.

The first time it happened I was alone in the worship center on a phone call on my cell. I was, at the same time, testing out some new music through the sound system. Suddenly, "BOOM!!!" It scared me so much that I almost dropped my phone. I immediately ran to the amplifier switch to turn them off. I called the company that installed the new system components, but they didn't know what would have caused this. I called a friend of mine in Atlanta (an audio guru of sorts) and he said "there's no telling. It could have been any one of a number of things."

The next time it happened our band was rehearsing on a Wednesday night and "BOOM!!!!" It scared everyone to death (not literally, but it was LOUD). This was a couple of weeks after the initial "BOOM!!!"

Finally, it has happened several times (5-6 times) since the initial "BOOM!!!" and has happened three times during services on Sundays. We are still no closer to determining what is causing this issue. One guy told me he believed it to be a power issue with the console and suggested we purchase a Furman power conditioner for the audio console.

The new components are:
Audio console (Behringer X32)
Digital Signal Processor
2 Sub woofers

Any thoughts or answers? Thanks in advance for any help this forum can offer.
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
I doubt that it's an AC power problem. More likely it's a component in an audio unit.
Had similar problems in a FM broadcast transmitter and a SS hi-fi amplifier.

Do some detective work. That a photo of the console settings when it happens.
 
J

Jeffrey S. Albaugh

Audioholic
If the Company. is reputable, and it's only been about a year, bWhy won't they come back & check it out? Why don't you post more i8no. We would need to see brands & model numbhers of all the equipment, i8ncluding the Subwoofers. No serial numbers.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
We will be of little help to you on this. Generally these type of problems originate in the power supplies. My guess is one of the units has a bad power supply. The most suspect units would be ones with switching rather than traditional power supplies. Subwoofers pretty much always use these types of power supplies. You can help by seeing if this comes out of all speakers, or just the subs or the main part of the system.

A power conditioner will not help you, so don't waste time with that.

This is the responsibility of the vendor. Finding this fault may prove next to impossible. The best thing to do is swap out units one by one until the problem goes away. Even when the offending unit is found, finding the problem will be next to impossible unless it malfunctions on the test bench.

This is a serious problem and has the potential to damage other units, especially speakers.

In the end, my money is on one of the subs, as they are known for this type of problem. When they do this there is some risk of them starting a fire. Leave the subs unplugged when unattended.
 
M

MusicGuy

Audiophyte
I doubt that it's an AC power problem. More likely it's a component in an audio unit.
Had similar problems in a FM broadcast transmitter and a SS hi-fi amplifier.

Do some detective work. That a photo of the console settings when it happens.
I doubt that it's an AC power problem. More likely it's a component in an audio unit.
Had similar problems in a FM broadcast transmitter and a SS hi-fi amplifier.

Do some detective work. That a photo of the console settings when it happens.
Thanks for the reply, Speedskater. I've been doing a lot of detective work and have yet to come up with a solution from anyone. The problem is we don't know when this will happen again. Once it happened two consecutive weeks during a worship gathering. Then it didn't happen again for 3 months. This last time it was about 2 months and we thought perhaps the issue was gone and then it happened during a special event we had last week.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Just out of curiosity, did the install company even offer to come have a look and try to help? Or did they just say "dunno, could be anything".

The install company SHOULD at least put in some due diligence and come have a look, not just leave you hanging. If they leave you hanging, then do not do business with those guys again.
 
M

MusicGuy

Audiophyte
We will be of little help to you on this. Generally these type of problems originate in the power supplies. My guess is one of the units has a bad power supply. The most suspect units would be ones with switching rather than traditional power supplies. Subwoofers pretty much always use these types of power supplies. You can help by seeing if this comes out of all speakers, or just the subs or the main part of the system.

A power conditioner will not help you, so don't waste time with that.

This is the responsibility of the vendor. Finding this fault may prove next to impossible. The best thing to do is swap out units one by one until the problem goes away. Even when the offending unit is found, finding the problem will be next to impossible unless it malfunctions on the test bench.

This is a serious problem and has the potential to damage other units, especially speakers.

In the end, my money is on one of the subs, as they are known for this type of problem. When they do this there is some risk of them starting a fire. Leave the subs unplugged when unattended.
TLS Buy - Thanks for the information about the subs. I spoke with the company who installed the system and he assured me that there is no possibility the subs will combust. Apparently, the newer subs these days have built in technology to guard against that. He mentioned that the fire thing was an issue with older subs.
 
M

MusicGuy

Audiophyte
Just out of curiosity, did the install company even offer to come have a look and try to help? Or did they just say "dunno, could be anything".

The install company SHOULD at least put in some due diligence and come have a look, not just leave you hanging. If they leave you hanging, then do not do business with those guys again.
Slipperybidness - They did come out, but still can't determine what the issue is. They don't believe it is a power issue. It is not an issue that I can cause to happen anytime I want. It is completely random. This passed week they came and have checked a number of possibilities and still can't pinpoint the problem.

To be fair to them, I have spoken to at least 4 friends of mine in other states (who are considered experts in the audio field) and each one of them has a different idea of what it could be.
 
rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
Slipperybidness - They did come out, but still can't determine what the issue is. They don't believe it is a power issue. It is not an issue that I can cause to happen anytime I want. It is completely random. This passed week they came and have checked a number of possibilities and still can't pinpoint the problem.

To be fair to them, I have spoken to at least 4 friends of mine in other states (who are considered experts in the audio field) and each one of them has a different idea of what it could be.
Has the electrical panel been checked? Is it possible that there's a fault somewhere, and maybe the ground isn't securely grounded? Does the loud noise coincide with HVAC cycles? Do you disconnect or bypass microphones you aren't using, including ceiling-mounted choir loft condenser mics? Has any part of the church suffered any water damage? Do the boom events coincide with baptisms or other high humidity events? Squirrels in the attic?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Slipperybidness - They did come out, but still can't determine what the issue is. They don't believe it is a power issue. It is not an issue that I can cause to happen anytime I want. It is completely random. This passed week they came and have checked a number of possibilities and still can't pinpoint the problem.

To be fair to them, I have spoken to at least 4 friends of mine in other states (who are considered experts in the audio field) and each one of them has a different idea of what it could be.
Yeah, I understand. Intermittent problems are absolutely the most difficult to diagnose and repair! I prefer for something to be clearly broken, then it can be repaired.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
It's actually NOT impossible to find the problem, it's just a matter of using logic to decide on a course of action. First step, think about the frequency range where this happens- since it's a booming sound, unplug the audio cables the subs and if it continues, the test proves the problem is in the subs. If it doesn't return, I would ask if you hear a low frequency hum when the subs are powered and connected to the rest of the system- this would usually indicate a ground loop and it must be eliminated. If you don't hear low frequency hum, connect some kind of audio recording device to the cable that sends signal to the subs and if the problem continues, it's somewhere ahead of the subs and it will be a matter of elimination to find it.

What kind of mics are used in this system? If they're hand-held, mounted on a podium and are powered by the board, unplug the cables from the board- if it stops, it may be a problem with the phantom power supply. If the mics are wireless, make sure the muting threshold isn't set too low. In this case, small sounds will cause the transmitter to send signal to the board and if could produce this sound. I would also look at the board to make sure it doesn't have its own muting threshold- they may be in conflict.

Make sure you were absolutely alone when you test the system- if someone else was handling a mic, switching the power on and off can cause this noise, too. Some wireless handheld mics should be switched on before the rest of the system. If the mics are the lavalier type (the small ones hung near the speaker's chest, with a small box that's worn on a belt), the transmitter may have been switched off. Also, if the batteries are close to depleted, they can cause intermittent operation in any wireless mic.

Bypass the signal processor- if it continues, the DSP isn't at fault.

What source was being used when the sound occurred? If it was used every time, substitute another device and see if it returns. If not, repair or replace it.
 

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