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Old 08-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #1
rbarkhouse
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Default "Computer Noise" intereference/static with Novation nio 2|4

Hi all,

I'm using a USB-powered interface, the Novation nio 2|4 (which I am liking less and less as each day goes by)...

When I'm plugged into my garden-variety Dell Inspiron desktop, even at the lowest gain settings, I can hear a lot of static coming through the unit, and it seems to be interference from inside the actual PC itself -- when I maximize/minimize windows, drag to multi-select, etc, I can hear the static changing, as if it's in tune with what the PC is doing.

Now interestingly, when I unplug my synthesizer from the nio's inputs, the static goes away.

A couple of people have suggested I try a powered USB hub, so that the power isn't being drawn from the PC, which sounds reasonable, but I don't want to buy one just on the chance that it *might* solve the problem. Or is it more likely that it's some kind of grounding problem? I didn't think to try last night with an electric guitar plugged in, maybe it's not a ground problem with my synth but rather the nio's inputs don't "activate" unless something is plugges in, therefore I wouldn't hear the problem if nothing was plugged in?

Any help guys?!
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Last edited by rbarkhouse; 08-14-2009 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
Kimkat
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Hi I have a similar problem with a Dell latitude laptop.

Except I am using an Alesis 26IO which is firewire connected.

I can't get rid of the static and buzzing unless I disconnect from the power supply and run on battery power or I disconnect any connections from my laptop to the Aleszis.

That seems to indicate a power supply problem to me.

I have changed my power brick for another, but I get the same problem.

I never had the problem with an older toshiba laptop... which I have swapped back in with no problems.

So it tends to indicate an internal power supply or bus screening issue. I would be carefull about just buying a powered USB hub and hoping it would stop the problem.

If I go from my Laptop headphone output to the amp audio input instead of through the outputs on the Alesis I get the same noise so it is definately being generated inside the Laptop/PC.

Not much help I am afraid, but it may give you some clues.

BR Kimkat
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
Ollie
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This seems to be the old "ground loop" problem, many Dells are known to have that problem (plus loads of other laptops).

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=35571 or search the forum for "ground loop".
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:39 AM   #4
Jason Brian Merrill
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get a (assuming you're in the US) 3 prong to 2 prong adapter and see if it works
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:29 AM   #5
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Two Dell laptops here. Major RF noise problems with both until we started using ground lifts (interrupting the connection between the ground line in your wall outlet and the the ground pin of your computer power supply). Jason's suggestion of using a two-prong adapter to plug in is the simplest way to accomplish this.

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:09 AM   #6
sceyefeye
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so is this a grounding issue, sorry if I am asking to obvious

been having weird intermittent cracking when recording my X-Station and messing with the built in delay effect. when I shorten the delay I get a lot of static, though it might also be cause I am using my X-Station as my sound card while recording it as a syth. just wondering if having a 3 prong (Standard in South Africa) is causing gyp

though to be honest until I reinstall my laptop I think I am going to continue having stability issues (since I got a case of winparite a few months back now which seems to have stuffed the 16 bit sub system) and now I am just holding out till Win7 comes out (got a blasted netbook with no install disks and I suspect the install file partition got winparite too )
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:52 AM   #7
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"Intermittent cracking" doesn't sound like the "ground loop issue", which is more like an (mostly) intermittent stream of higher pitched "digital" noises.

Intermittent cracking/popping/dropouts would point more to a configuration issue which needs some further troubleshooting (starting with running the DPC checker http://www.thesycon.de/dpclat/dpclat.exe), or simply CPU overload on your netbook (I guess low latency can hit the Atom CPU pretty hard if buffers are set too low).
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:06 AM   #8
sceyefeye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steindork View Post
"Intermittent cracking" doesn't sound like the "ground loop issue", which is more like an (mostly) intermittent stream of higher pitched "digital" noises.

Intermittent cracking/popping/dropouts would point more to a configuration issue which needs some further troubleshooting (starting with running the DPC checker http://www.thesycon.de/dpclat/dpclat.exe), or simply CPU overload on your netbook (I guess low latency can hit the Atom CPU pretty hard if buffers are set too low).
Well I don't have the latency set as low as the Novation ASIO driver would allow (I am using ASIO4ALL as a wrapper so that when I am just using my laptop with the XStation I don't have to reconfigure my audio settings) so the latency is still in the 514ms range.

If I use the laptop sound card I don't recall having this problem but as I mentioned earlier my machine is a bit toast and I am just hanging in till I HAVE TO reinstall

But thanks for the feedback, at least I think it does eliminate electrical interference
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:12 AM   #9
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I had one instance of "latency too high" here, where an extra amount of buffers unexpectedly introduced some crackling again. Very unlikely that this is your problem but I thought I should mention it when I saw your huge latency figure.
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