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Old 06-14-2019, 07:36 AM   #1
supercoupe
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Default powered monitors noisy with onscreen movements

I have powered monitors plugged into the outs of my Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
The interface is USB'd into my PC.
While everything sounds great through the speakers, I'm getting a constant audible hiss/scratchy sound that isn't affected by the monitor volume on the interface. This gets louder when I mouse over anything, or if windows open/close.
Even if my monitor is off too.
I plugged the speakers and their RCA cords into my CD player and they're dead quiet so I know it may be interference my PC is giving off?

I've read where people cutting off the ground plug on the speakers' AC cord made the noise go away?
Or finding another circuit to plug the speakers into?

Anyone here have success getting rid of this noise?
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:48 AM   #2
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Noise like that usually gets-into the interface through the USB power. The 5V USB is noisier on some computers than others and some interfaces are more sensitive to it than others.


The first thing would be to make sure your software levels are turned-up. A higher signal gives you a better signal-to-noise ratio and you can turn down the interface volume or monitor volume, and the noise should go down.


You can try getting a powered USB hub (a hub with it's own power supply). Most people will advise against using a hub with audio, but in this case it may solve a problem and it should be OK if you only plug-in one USB device (don't use it as a hub).


Or you may need to get an interface that has it's own separate power supply.


Noise can get into the interface's preamp the same way and that's "worse" because the noise ends-up in your digital recordings.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:47 AM   #3
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^ This. Noise and interference are typically power issues - grounding issues are more often a constant whine or hum.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Your powered monitors probably require balanced cables. Worked for me.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleswede View Post
Your powered monitors probably require balanced cables. Worked for me.
Either this or a change in the BIOS settings.
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
I'm getting a constant audible hiss/scratchy sound that isn't affected by the monitor volume on the interface. This gets louder when I mouse over anything, or if windows open/close.


Anyone here have success getting rid of this noise?
ey-yep,i have experienced exactly the same thing-but in that case it was onboard realtek soundcard shipped with pc board..it can easily be recorded if amplified itb..horrible to say the least!! ugh
and yes,it's basically amplifying your mouse x+y coodinates..plus the open closing of windows--i guess each process produces internal volgates,which then is getting feedback or bleeding back into the audio stream... at least on windows systems because it's happened on last 2 systems i've used.. xp+win10pro.

not finding a suitable fix for it-that onboard interfacing simply never gets used since 1st reconition of this noise--levels were rediculously high-basically worse than 16 bit qaulity=no..unusable for me tbh.
seem to remember this pc board having a unique noise supression switch,may be wrong and not looked sinced installed tbh..

it seems to also be related to powered monitor (possibly vga or hdmi) on/offs-signal becomming much cleaner with off-obviously this is running connected to a multisocket electric board-so no ground loops should really be occurring,but, sadly they do!
maybe seperated device hz phase incoherance related?? =dunno.
i do not notice this in 2x emu 0404..noise floor of around -132db.no issues-ever.rock solid.
mic inputs on usb make noise as well on some of these new devices-not fully tested some 4 interfaces i could,to cross refence the differences tbh.
i figure all are producing fields-magnetic fields-which cause interferences in the ether.. net >?

Quote:
or a change in the BIOS settings.
hmm-care to share that info? it might be a more permanent fix> ?
some type of noise suppression mode you mean?

Last edited by Bri1; 06-16-2019 at 02:01 PM. Reason: reely kant spel wel! typdoh
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:12 AM   #7
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The noise would be internal digital computer signals bleeding into the audio signal path.

3 possibilities:

A poor or broken ground between devices somewhere that lets noise normally drained to ground into the signal path.

A ground loop that allows the noise to travel instead of drain.

RF noise getting into unshielded cables.


You mentioned using unbalanced rca cables to connect to the speaker's built-in amplifiers. Go after this first! Connect them with balanced cables instead.

Investigate a possible ground loop between the USB connected audio interface and computer next if tha balanced cables don't cure it.
For example, is the device optionally bus powered or can use a power supply? If so, try both.


Cutting the ground on the mains power?
That's the "nuclear option". Can be dangerous!!!!!!!!!!
Try looking for ground loops anywhere else in the signal paths before looking to the mains power!

BIOS/EFI settings? Nope!
This is a hardware noise situation here.


Nice balanced connections on all the audio paths are your friend. Try that first!
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:24 AM   #8
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Anyone recommending balanced cables care to explain how they might work with the phono outs of the Scarlett Solo
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:22 PM   #9
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So....
Easy fix.
With everything being grounded on the same circuit, it was a grounding loop issue.
I just put one of those cheap plastic "3 prong to 2 prong" adapters on the speakers' AC cord, plugged them back in.
No noise now.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercoupe View Post
So....
Easy fix.
With everything being grounded on the same circuit, it was a grounding loop issue.
I just put one of those cheap plastic "3 prong to 2 prong" adapters on the speakers' AC cord, plugged them back in.
No noise now.
happy days are here again


I think the reason the solo doesn't have balanced outs is size/cost related.
I have the 2i2 and 18i20. the 18i20 has balanced outs and it's own power built in, great piece of kit.
glad you solved it
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercoupe View Post
I just put one of those cheap plastic "3 prong to 2 prong" adapters on the speakers' AC cord, plugged them back in.
You've effectively done what Serr advised you not to do (see post #7).

I have such a lead in my toolkit, it's very useful in tracking down problems. But it's a tool, like a chainsaw is a tool. It will never be used in a permanent setup as you now seem to be doing.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:08 AM   #12
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I saw that.

I will say that in this scenario, choosing to lift the mains ground on the monitor speaker instead of the FOH system (with the microphone) is the better call.

Better to have the physical speakers be a death risk to touch than the microphone! (Not an exaggeration FYI)


You're trying to work around cheapness. The interface only having unbalanced outputs. It's not actually a reasonable design! But it is what it is and what you have. The technically more correct workaround might be to transformer couple that connection. Use a DI box on your speaker amps for the input from your unbalanced interface output.

Just cobble it for now like you're doing. Try not to electrocute yourself! Buy an upgraded interface that has balanced connections eventually. (You very well might be able to buy an upgraded little interface for less than 2 DI boxes! Probably the more bang for the buck upgrade for other reasons too.)


Note: Lifting a mains ground doesn't just automatically = electrocution.
But in the right conditions it can!!!
You don't want to risk your life to "probably OK" so...
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
BIOS/EFI settings? Nope!
This is a hardware noise situation here.
All I can say is that changing either the "Spread Spectrum" or the "EIST" setting on my old Gigabyte board did cure the issue. Unfortunately I don't really remember since the AsRock board I use now didn't have these problems.
But I hadn't changed anything on the hardware side, this much I know.

EDIT: Obviously it must have been the "Spread Spectrum" parameter, as its purpose is minimizing electromagnetic interference.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
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All I can say is that changing either the "Spread Spectrum" or the "EIST" setting on my old Gigabyte board did cure the issue. Unfortunately I don't really remember since the AsRock board I use now didn't have these problems.
But I hadn't changed anything on the hardware side, this much I know.

EDIT: Obviously it must have been the "Spread Spectrum" parameter, as its purpose is minimizing electromagnetic interference.
If there's some odd logic board out there that has a hardware service that can be switched on/off under EFI/BIOS firmware control... well, OK. It would have to be something like that - literally some hardware circuit on the logic board that emits rf when switched on. Just thinking out loud...
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:55 AM   #15
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emi ! electro magnetic inteferences- we live in a sea of it--currently technology only amplifies,or nullifies these effects--so does the human body..
also,people do act as grounds themselves--it makes a difference if a player is wearing rubber or insulated footwares even..or sitting on a stool,high off the ground=no loop to ground.

a bare foot doctor may know the importance of humans grounding to mother nature! but a machine does not..it only knows inputs+outputs-electricity and the effects caused by ac,or dc currents,converted to voltage itb.
plus all the qautization noise/digitization process--it all goes into the mix.
the aim is to reduce it to non audible levels-so a cleaner output signal can be produced itb.
as light beings,we seek coherence of light to form a better image,or representation of any form.
laser is more coherent form of light..voltage is kinda..random..pulsating..

would a plasma generated computer solve this? maybe..
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:22 AM   #16
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oh...+try a ps2 mouse/keyboard..may help.


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Old 06-21-2019, 11:23 AM   #17
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You've effectively done what Serr advised you not to do (see post #7).

I have such a lead in my toolkit, it's very useful in tracking down problems. But it's a tool, like a chainsaw is a tool. It will never be used in a permanent setup as you now seem to be doing.
Yes, reading back he did say to not cut ground :/ oops

Where I don't have the option to use balanced cables to connect the powered speakers (1/4" in) to the interface (RCA outs), and the interface is USB powered only, what is my next move?
Would plugging the speakers into a different circuit help?
Or is a better interface my only option?
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:08 PM   #18
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Maybe try this: https://www.amazon.com/Ebtech-Hum-Gr...SIN=B0002E4YI8

If it doesn't work send it back.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:24 PM   #19
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"Use only on equipment with current draw of 6 amps (720 watts) or less. Not designed for 60Hz hum caused by close proximity to other equipment or cable problems."

hmm-$79 for internal mouse noise removal+ possibly blowing the guys system>?
pc power supply maybe like 750w.. no ty
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:27 PM   #20
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They would go on the powered speakers, not on the PC.

Impossible to "blow" his system.

And better than trying a PS2 keyboard I think. But maybe you know more electronics than I do. Stranger things have happened.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:19 AM   #21
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PS2 keyboard?!

Well, you'd need a PS2 to USB adapter (if you can still find one) unless you were rockin' a machine from 1997. Probably find a decent 300MHz CPU machine from back then.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Impossible to "blow" his system.
heh-sure you know what i mean-blowing a fuse.. people can do the simple ampage calculations for themselves..blowing fuses does happen even if i know very little about electricity in total--it's a deep subject aside from diamagnetism..the inducer?

Quote:
PS2 keyboard?!

Well, you'd need a PS2 to USB adapter (if you can still find one) unless you were rockin' a machine from 1997.
lol-am actually rocking a basic logitech ps2 keyboard atmo-works a charm,no adapters,modern machine. using usb mouse though,but the port is there for that as well..
any denial of this mouse + monitor noise occurring in computers is simple denial of repeatable fact.
funny enough,had recorded this 'orrible noise some years back--was on hdrive for ages-never shared--deleted recently.. heh.. that interface not used any more.
i guess lots of people use them rubbish laptop things..no ports,right?
*shrugz*+*hugz*
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:09 PM   #23
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If you have your audio devices plugged into more than one power outlet you may have problems. Use just one power outlet and run from a single power board.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:03 AM   #24
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If you have your audio devices plugged into more than one power outlet you may have problems. Use just one power outlet and run from a single power board.
everything plugged into the same power strip
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:57 AM   #25
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You could try shorter unbalanced cables if possible. (Although I'm guessing it's physically not.)

You could get 2 DI boxes (one for each speaker - not a stereo one as you'd literally be back to the same problem with a length of unbalanced cable), but for the same money you could just upgrade to another inexpensive interface but with balanced outputs.

If you have two DI boxes lying around that you don't use often though, give it a try.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:40 AM   #26
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Quote:
everything plugged into the same power strip

aye-well make a recording of it if it's audible >then the xberts can give an easy fix eh..?
it sounds like a whiny,scratchy faxing type of noise to me..**shrugz**
are you using hdmi or vga cabling for that monitor?
usb or ps2 mouse?
can you switch interfacing easily to a/b check for same noises?
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:46 PM   #27
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heh-urrrm_does this sound familiar to any1? supercoupe?

https://stash.reaper.fm/36622/realte...%20noisez2.ogg

^found a copy.. lol.. power of backup..
anywayzzz-that file came from realtek device+monitor+mouse noise captured..
*shrugz*+*hugz*
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:34 AM   #28
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Quote:
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You could try shorter unbalanced cables if possible. (Although I'm guessing it's physically not.)

You could get 2 DI boxes (one for each speaker - not a stereo one as you'd literally be back to the same problem with a length of unbalanced cable), but for the same money you could just upgrade to another inexpensive interface but with balanced outputs.

If you have two DI boxes lying around that you don't use often though, give it a try.
Where the "cheater" plug adapter made things silent, the $80 Ebtech device looks interesting. or I could upgrade the interface like you said (the cheaper option). If I get another interface with 1/4" outs (monitors have 1/4" ins) I should get balanced TRS mono cords yes?
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:45 PM   #29
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Where the "cheater" plug adapter made things silent, the $80 Ebtech device looks interesting. or I could upgrade the interface like you said (the cheaper option). If I get another interface with 1/4" outs (monitors have 1/4" ins) I should get balanced TRS mono cords yes?
Exactly.
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