Static from carpeted floor

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beatnik

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I have recently moved into a new house. Today I have set up my guitar rig and have been experiencing weird noise problems, pops and clicks and various degrees of hum/buzz as I touched the guitar metal parts, or any other ground in the room.

Initially I mistakenly thought there was something wrong with the grounding in the guitar, the amp or the house itself.
But then I tried using an ESD wrist band and the noise drastically improved, and if I grounded myself directly touching one of the radiators pipes it completely disappeared.

I guess the problem lies in the thick carpeted floor so there's a buildup of static that in turns gets transmitted to the guitar through my body.

I am trying to figure out what are the possible solutions to this problem, and the only viable option seems to be one of those anti static rubber mats like they use in the electronics manufacturing industry.
I have also read about anti static spray products but I guess that would be just a temporary fix...
Was wondering if there is an alternative solution ?

I am also starting to suspect whether this issue has been the cause of other problems...

I had initially setup my daw system with a TC Electronic firewire audio interface and I could not use that because of noise problems, I had random pops and clicking noises in the audio that did not appear to be related to buffer size etc. none of the internal settings solved the problem.
I tried the other interface I have an RME Fireface and that worked without problems.


Then a few days later one of my Neumann monitors died with a failure in the switching power supply.

Is it possible the static generated noise problems in the firewire interface and even blew up the monitor or that's just me being paranoid ?
Perhaps it's my brain that's ESD and after all this static I am starting to imagine things that aren't there ?  :D

I have been reading on some hi-fi forum about spacing speaker cables away from carpeted floors as the static can affect the sound. I cannot tell if this is pure audiophoolery or actually there is some truth to it.

 

Whoops

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Around here all carpeted floors were fortunately removed since the 80s.
No one uses carpeted floors in Europe any longer, they're are pretty bad for your health and allergies.

Can you get rid of the carpeted floor?
 

beatnik

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Unfortunately not as it's a rented house, anyways Britain is obsessed with carpets and you will find that in 99% of the houses.

I am aware of the impact with allergies. It's just plain unhygienic, I never understood why they are so common over here.
 

Whoops

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beatnik said:
Unfortunately not as it's a rented house, anyways Britain is obsessed with carpets and you will find that in 99% of the houses.

I am aware of the impact with allergies. It's just plain unhygienic, I never understood why they are so common over here.

Sorry for that, I wish you can find a way of solving the static issue
 

Bo Deadly

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There is electromagnetic radiation all around us. You have mains cables in walls, wireless radios like wireless speakers and older cordless phones and radio transmitters or cell towers on top of buildings and such. That radiation can literally charge up anything that's not grounded. This is especially true if the air is very dry. I'm not sure if carpet would exacerbate the problem but I suppose it could. Wood floors do conduct better compared to a plastic carpet for sure. But if you have shoes on I suspect you would get the same effect so I'm not sure if you can place all of the blame on the carpet. It could be that you just have some additional electromagnetic sources nearby. Are you in a densely populated area or is it more of a suburban residential area with space between the houses? You could maybe run a little bit of speaker wire grounded to the earth pin of a wall plug and then put a little toothless alligator clip on the end. Touch your foot to that when you're playing or clip it to your sock or some such. Kind of annoying but will do the trick when tracking.
 

abbey road d enfer

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beatnik said:
I have also read about anti static spray products but I guess that would be just a temporary fix...
I have used those, with good success, but as soon as it dries up it needs to be renewed. Nothing magic in it, it's a conductive solution.

Was wondering if there is an alternative solution ?
I know for certain the nature of the shoe soles matters very much, leather being almost immune and man-made materials terrible. Most of the times I work barefooted, it's the easiest.

Is it possible the static generated noise problems in the firewire interface
Possible

and even blew up the monitor or that's just me being paranoid ?
Very unlikely.

I have been reading on some hi-fi forum about spacing speaker cables away from carpeted floors as the static can affect the sound. I cannot tell if this is pure audiophoolery or actually there is some truth to it.
Definitely the former.
 

abbey road d enfer

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Whoops said:
Around here all carpeted floors were fortunately removed since the 80s.
No one uses carpeted floors in Europe any longer,
I do.

they're are pretty bad for your health and allergies.
Typical bad rap that comes from cheap carpets. Carpets that release VOC (volatile organic compounds) should be avoided. Carpets should be regularly vacuumed and cleaned.
I've lived in a carpeted houses since 40 years and I don't have any related health issue.
 

Matt Nolan

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If you really think you are having triboelectric problems, then it is the charge separation being built up between your footwear and the carpet. You could try going barefoot, or get some ESD shoe straps or those disposable ESD shoe strips that stick on and wrap around from inside (under your foot) to outside (under the sole of the shoe).
 

beatnik

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abbey road d enfer said:
I know for certain the nature of the shoe soles matters very much, leather being almost immune and man-made materials terrible. Most of the times I work barefooted, it's the easiest.

There is no difference whether I'm barefooted or wearing shoes, I suppose it would make a difference on a more conductive surface.

squarewave said:
It could be that you just have some additional electromagnetic sources nearby. Are you in a densely populated area or is it more of a suburban residential area with space between the houses?

The area is residential and it's a terraced house so there are adjoining properties on both sides. Perhaps one of the neighbours has some diy nuclear reactor in their basement...

A couple years ago I was living in London on an industrial area very close to the train lines, the amount of noise and interference that would get picked up by the guitar rig was insane.

abbey road d enfer said:
Typical bad rap that comes from cheap carpets. Carpets that release VOC (volatile organic compounds) should be avoided. Carpets should be regularly vacuumed and cleaned.

I struggle to understand how a carpeted floor can ever get fully cleaned. It's not that you can remove it and put in a washing machine... I've once hired a carpet cleaning machine and it was just plain ridiculous.

If you own the property you might be able to keep some sort of hygiene, but on a rented property... In my opinion it should be forbidden to fit carpets

At least there aren't carpets in the bathroom... perhaps that's where I should go play my guitar... oh no wait, by UK law there aren't mains sockets in bathrooms !  :D

 

leadbreath

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Increase humidity in room, get a humidifier of ebay see how it goes.
Thats why you have massive humidification infrastructure in data centres to combat airborne static.

Remember in uk mains wiring is " ring feed" so the earth wiring can act as a big anatenae. Try to connect all audio related equipment out of the same power outlet.
 

Whoops

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abbey road d enfer said:
And people should not eat animals, smoke or drink alcohol, nor cook in microwave ovens...

I agree with all that...

I find the right place for floor carpets is a trash bin
 

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