Have you ever needed to get rid of buzz on a live feed? I had a buzz that was audible at times on our church’s live video feed. We distribute the feed throughout the building and also over the internet. Obviously the background hum, or buzz needed to be addressed. So how do you get rid of buzz on a live feed?

Step 1 to Get Rid of Buzz on a Live Feed

Determine what type of buzz problem you have. I know that sounds kind of silly, but it’s actually what determines your approach to solving the problem. So here are two different examples:

60hz hum sounds like this

It is frequently caused by interference from other equipment/cables in close proximity.

120hz hum sounds like this

It is typically a ground loop problem.

Step 2 to Get Rid of Buzz on a Live Feed

If you have 60hz hum you might try to follow the instructions found here, using the EQ on your system to remove the hum.

Step 3 to Get Rid of Buzz on a Live Feed

If you have 120hz hum the best fix I’ve found is to use a direct box that allows “ground lift.” In my particular case, I’m running an aux output from my soundboard over to my video board. I’m using stereo RCA cables from my soundboard to go into my video board. I also have the option of XLR inputs. Because I have that option I chose to purchase a direct box from Radial, called a ProAV2, that is designed for AV applications.

get rid of buzz on a live feed

The box has RCA or 1/4inch inputs and outputs to 2 XLR. Keep in mind that the two channels are only required because I’m running stereo audio. If you are using mono audio, your needs will be different – and cheaper. Once the box and cables are in place you simply press the ground lift button, and the hum disappears.

The Radial brand direct boxes are not cheap, but we’ve had several of them last over 10 years. For that reason we are willing to pay a little more up front for a product that we know will do a good job for many years to come. I’m not stupid, I know you can finder cheaper alternatives on Amazon. But I tried one of the cheap solutions called a Rolls Buzz Off, and it did not work in my circumstances. You get what you pay for.

Step 4 Rejoice that you know how to get rid of buzz on a live feed

Seriously, people think you are some sort of techno-ninja when you can take care of these type of problems quickly. Once I realized what the issue was on my live feed, I was able to implement this in about 30 minutes of work, and a quick amazon order. You should be able to do the same thing!

Here is an example of our video feed with hum (skip to the sermon to hear the buzz):

Here is an example with the 120hz hum removed (to to the sermon and hear NO BUZZ):

So if you liked this post, you may also like some of my other posts, like Using an Affordable A/V Network Matrix Switch and Church WiFi with Captive Portal. You can also check out my podcast in the player below:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.