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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Loc: Cornwall, UK
Weird interference - Ground Loop?
      #877350 - 26/11/10 03:47 AM
Hi,

I'm getting some odd interference or ground loop with my gear at the moment.

I'm getting a high pitch faint whining sound coming through my AE22 monitors and this can get louder when my computer is busy!

I know that the AE22's are not shielded but the weird thing is that this has started to happen since I moved my monitors further away from my computer monitors!?

Recently I got a sub to go with the AE22's so there is double the cable length now which may be the issue?

I've started to remove various wall-wart or line-
lump power supplies, especially any universal voltage types to see if this helps but haven't found a culprit yet!

Over the past week I've been making some backing tracks onto mini discs and today I noticed that this whining noise has come out on them? This hasn't happened before despite this noise being there?
As far as I can tell I've not changed anything so am REALLY confused as to why this may be happening!!???

HELP!!!


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Paul White
SOS Editor-in-Chief


Joined: 15/11/01
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877394 - 26/11/10 10:24 AM
In my experience this problem is caused by a ground loop in the USB or Firewire connection between the interface and computer. Sometimes it can be solved by running the interface from a PSU rather than bus power, and with laptops if often goes away if you switch the computer to battery rather than mains operation. Sadly, sometimes the only fix is to change the interface, because although interface designers generally blame the internal grounding inside the computer, some have managed to adapt their designs to avoid the problem while others have not. As a rule this type of noise only affects the monitoring and doesn't come out on the recording so if not too loud you may be able to live with it.


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Paul White]
      #877399 - 26/11/10 10:39 AM
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the reply. I'm using a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP interface. I've tried powering the interface from the power supply but still have the same problem!

I'm going to try and isolate a few things to see if I can find the cause.

It is weird that I got this noise on the backing tracks I recorded on the minidisc recorder though?


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877402 - 26/11/10 10:43 AM
What mobo are you using?

I had the 'whining' hell for over a week and tried every damn thing known to man: changed fw card, changed fw cables, changed and updated graphics drivers, checked every damn cable and so on. I contacted Martin as he is the myth of all things ground loop and we spent a few years trying to resolve it until he found a really useful article on changing certain settings in the bios. I had bought a new pc running the 3g bios and after a couple of settings were changed the noise completely disappeared.
I did find initially that the noise was even worse when running graphics and listening back in WMP. I updated drivers and it did abate it a bit. I changed fw cables and that helped too but the noise was still there. It was only after the bios changes that the noise disappeared.

Just saying it might be worth an eyeball m8.

--------------------
Samplecraze
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877405 - 26/11/10 10:50 AM
Hi,

I'm using a Gigabyte GA EQ45mS2 mobo :-

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3279#ov

I've never delved into the computer bios so this is unknown territory for me!

Also, I am using the Graphics card drivers that came with Windows 7 for my N-Vidia 8400 card.


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877412 - 26/11/10 11:25 AM
I've just tried taking all devices that use wall-wart power supplies out and tried moving my interface to a position away from my gear with and without it's power supply. I also tried unplugging my TFT displays but still get the same noise / interference!

When I just turn the interface and speakers on there is no noise. When I turn my computer on and the firewire driver connects to the interface that is when the noise kicks in!

Could this be an issue with the Saffire Pro 24 DSP , computer or both?

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877413 - 26/11/10 11:27 AM
I could run you through the bios changes as it is a Gigabyte mobo but if you've never done it before I would be a bit hesitating about doing it.

--------------------
Samplecraze
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Here be Dragons


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877418 - 26/11/10 11:36 AM
Quote dickiefunk:


When I just turn the interface and speakers on there is no noise. When I turn my computer on and the firewire driver connects to the interface that is when the noise kicks in!





repeat that stage with Saffire PSU and without Saffire PSU...

is there ANY difference at all?



also, try changing the firewire cable for a brand new one....
they really are fussier and more delicate than people realise....

(see the D'OH moments thread for a post by persuazion for an example)


and make sure the Saffire PSU, all the AE speaker Mains, and the computer are plugged in to the same extension block.... ( this will require a 6 way rather than a 4 way trailing lead)


get someone's laptop and try the same things......


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #877420 - 26/11/10 11:38 AM
Quote Zukan:

I could run you through the bios changes as it is a Gigabyte mobo but if you've never done it before I would be a bit hesitating about doing it.




Thanks.

I'm a little hesitant in doing so because I don't want to risk messing up my computer.
If this doesn't sort the problem is it straight forward to return it to it's original settings?
How complicated is it to do this?

Has anyone else come across this problem with a Focusrite Saffire Pro interface? Could there be an interface issue?

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877423 - 26/11/10 11:43 AM
Dickie,

I am also using a Saffire and a Gigabyte mobo.

--------------------
Samplecraze
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #877428 - 26/11/10 11:47 AM
Quote idris y draig:

Quote dickiefunk:


When I just turn the interface and speakers on there is no noise. When I turn my computer on and the firewire driver connects to the interface that is when the noise kicks in!





repeat that stage with Saffire PSU and without Saffire PSU...

is there ANY difference at all?



also, try changing the firewire cable for a brand new one....
they really are fussier and more delicate than people realise....

(see the D'OH moments thread for a post by persuazion for an example)


and make sure the Saffire PSU, all the AE speaker Mains, and the computer are plugged in to the same extension block.... ( this will require a 6 way rather than a 4 way trailing lead)


get someone's laptop and try the same things......




Just tried this and still have the same problem but maybe a fraction quieter but am unsure about this.

Could anyone recommend a high quality firewire cable?

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #877429 - 26/11/10 11:49 AM
Quote Zukan:

Dickie,

I am also using a Saffire and a Gigabyte mobo.




This is good to know

So I guess apart from trying a new firewire lead it looks like it could be something to do with the mobo's bios?

--------------------
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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877430 - 26/11/10 11:53 AM
Could be. Def was for me.

Might be worth doing the bios thingy and then if that doesn't work go back to original settings and try again.

Idris's suggestion of using the powered bus against the Saffire psu is a good start. I did the same thing with no effect but now with the bios changes I can use the psu again with no conflicts.

But Dickie, it's not just the bios. It could be any number of things and graphics drivers, cables and the actual fw card are the first port of calls.

Worst case scenario give me a bell and I will try to run you through the bios business.

--------------------
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #877436 - 26/11/10 12:01 PM
Quote Zukan:

Could be. Def was for me.

Might be worth doing the bios thingy and then if that doesn't work go back to original settings and try again.

Max's suggestion of using the powered bus against the Saffire psu is a good start. I did the same thing with no effect but now with the bios changes I can use the psu again with no conflicts.

But Dickie, it's not just the bios. It could be any number of things and graphics drivers, cables and the actual fw card are the first port of calls.

Worst case scenario give me a bell and I will try to run you through the bios business.




Ok thanks! I'll try a new firewire cable first and update my graphics drivers.

What would be a decent high quality firewire cable?

--------------------
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877451 - 26/11/10 01:34 PM
Hi Zukan. Just one more question if I may.

Was there any side affects or reduction in performance when you made the bios changes?

--------------------
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Here be Dragons


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877455 - 26/11/10 01:40 PM
i get my "mission critical" firewire cables from Lindy


their higher quality premium ones are reliable and pass every test i can think of.... and even at 10 metres (twice as long as firewire is supposed to be capable of) are bullet proof in terms of reliability and compatibility.



http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-firewire/firewire-cables/6-pin-to-6-pin/


choose the length you need..... don't get longer just because you can.


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Here be Dragons


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #877457 - 26/11/10 01:43 PM
i'd note that Zukan's Saffire Pro is the older Pro26 , not the same generation of hardware as the Pro24


that said when i tested the pro24 i found no problems like this....


(and i still use the pro40 and pro56, indeed, i'm monitoring thru the Pro40 right this minute, and now i think about it, i've still got another Pro26 floating around somewhere or other.... )


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877461 - 26/11/10 01:51 PM
Quote dickiefunk:

Hi Zukan. Just one more question if I may.

Was there any side affects or reduction in performance when you made the bios changes?




No, none at all.

Another thing you can do prior to bios changes etc is to go to Focusrite's website and they have a video tutorial about changing certain preferences in device manager. That can help too. However, as Idris has pointed out, mine is the older 26 i/o and my problem fixing was centred around the older firmware.

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Here be Dragons


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #877468 - 26/11/10 02:00 PM
Eddie..... it's Idris.



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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877479 - 26/11/10 02:35 PM
Sorry



--------------------
Samplecraze
Stretch That Note


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877498 - 26/11/10 03:25 PM
Yep, I like infinite cassoulet resource (ICR).

Btw, your dragon thingy isn't working m8.

Or do I need to rephrase that?

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Samplecraze
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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877501 - 26/11/10 03:32 PM
Hi df!

Have a read of this PC Notes column of mine from a year ago, since it includes details on how to cure nasty noises with some Gigabyte motherboards by changing a BIOS setting.

www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec09/articles/pcnotes_1209.htm#3

Hope it helps!


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #877511 - 26/11/10 04:16 PM
Quote Martin Walker:

Hi df!

Have a read of this PC Notes column of mine from a year ago, since it includes details on how to cure nasty noises with some Gigabyte motherboards by changing a BIOS setting.

<a href="/sos/dec09/articles/pcnotes_1209.htm#3" target="_blank">www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec09/articles/pcnotes_1209.htm#3</a>

Hope it helps!


Martin




Hi Martin,

I just looked at this and noticed that the ‘C1E CPU Enhanced Halt state’ is already disabled!?

I'm getting this noise coming out when I record to my mini disc player aswell!?

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877512 - 26/11/10 04:22 PM
Hi Zukan,

Was this disable the ‘C1E CPU Enhanced Halt state’ change that you made in the bios?

--------------------
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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877515 - 26/11/10 04:28 PM
I made a few changes: C1, C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7.

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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #877518 - 26/11/10 04:36 PM
Quote Zukan:

I made a few changes: C1, C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7.




Ah right! Could you let me know what changes you made exactly?

--------------------
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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #877522 - 26/11/10 04:42 PM
I'll have to restart my pc and get in the bios but I think I disabled C3,6 and 7 as a start and then checked again to see if it worked.

I can't restart the pc now as I have an ongoing upload taking place.

--------------------
Samplecraze
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878088 - 29/11/10 04:05 PM
I've just done the optimization suggestions from the Focusrite website and still have this odd high pitch whining noise!

I noticed that when wiggling the jack plugs on the Saffire's outputs this can cause the noise to increase?

Zukan,

Will you have a chance to let me know what the changes you made in the bios were?

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878096 - 29/11/10 04:35 PM
Am about to give a class Dickie.

If tomorrow is good we can Skype and go through it?

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Samplecraze
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #878104 - 29/11/10 05:31 PM
Ok Zukan.

I'm pretty much narrowing it down to either the computer or interface now!


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878143 - 29/11/10 08:42 PM
I've just realized that my mobo is using the drivers that came with Windows 7 so I'm going to download all the latest drivers and bios for my motherboard to see if that makes any difference?

What are your thoughts on this?

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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878196 - 30/11/10 08:03 AM
Should I install all the drivers + bios for my motherboard or should I only install a few?

Also, should I install the latest bios FD? :-

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3034#bios

--------------------
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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878226 - 30/11/10 10:41 AM
Not sure Dickie as I didn't update my bios. Mind you my pc was pretty new to start with.

Before you start flashing the bios check to make sure everything will work fine with the updates.

In terms of drivers etc. I would use generic drivers and update those. Graphics might be an issue as I had trouble with my new screen.

I am not the man to ask these question Dickie. Martin' the myth for this so I think I will move this to the pc forum so others can help you re the bios updates.

I am always ready to guide you through the bios changes re the FW issue so feel free to PM me your skype details and I will call you later.

--------------------
Samplecraze
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Zukan]
      #878229 - 30/11/10 11:07 AM
Quote Zukan:



Before you start flashing the bios check to make sure everything will work fine with the updates.

In terms of drivers etc. I would use generic drivers and update those. Graphics might be an issue as I had trouble with my new screen.





Hi Zukan,

What do you mean by flashing the bios and generic drivers?

Quote Zukan:


I am not the man to ask these question Dickie. Martin' the myth for this so I think I will move this to the pc forum so others can help you re the bios updates.

I am always ready to guide you through the bios changes re the FW issue so feel free to PM me your skype details and I will call you later.




I'll try the drivers update etc first if anyone can help me with what I should and shouldn't be updating?
If this doesn't work then I'll be in touch to go through the bios changes.

--------------------
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878510 - 01/12/10 11:58 AM
Hi Martin,

What would you suggest I do next?

Should I install the latest drivers and bios for my mobo instead of using the ones that came with Windows 7?
If yes, should I install everything or update particular drivers?

--------------------
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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878779 - 02/12/10 01:10 PM
Hi DF!

Just follow the detailed advice I gave back in March 2007 in ‘Installing A Windows OS From Scratch’, which covers BIOS and driver updates among everything else:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar07/articles/pcmusician_0307.htm


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #878838 - 02/12/10 04:35 PM
Hi Martin,

Thanks for the reply and info.

I had an email from Gigabyte recommending that I update the bios on my motherboard so will have a good read of your article and report back soon!

--------------------
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #879031 - 03/12/10 11:48 AM
Right well I've just updated the bios and the chipset drivers to the latest version and am still getting this problem!!

HELP!!

--------------------
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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #879495 - 05/12/10 10:12 PM
I've been doing a little more research and there seems to be a few people reporting this problem with Seasonic PSU's and Gigabyte motherboards!?

There were also reports of problems with Corsair PSU's made by Seasonic!

I currently have a Corsair HX450 power supply and am thinking it may be worth trying a different power supply?

Thing is I would like a quieter PSU than my current one and the ones I was originally planning on upgrading to at some point were the Seasonic X400 or X460.
If there seems to be some issues with Gigabyte mobo's and Seasonic PSU's this has put me off!

Not sure what else to go for?

--------------------
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Poshook



Joined: 17/09/06
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #890036 - 26/01/11 10:15 AM
Buy this one

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HD400.aspx

and put it between your soundcard and monitors.

best


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #900737 - 13/03/11 08:52 PM
Hi guys,

I still haven't been able to solve this noise I've been getting.
One thing I have noticed since is that I'm getting some hum with my Golden Age PRE73 and DMP3. I noticed that I don't get this hum when I plug these into a different mains socket (different room).
I also had some hum with my UA Solo 610 which I've had to use the Ground Lift switch to get rid of it. I don't get this hum with my ISA One or Eureka.

All my gear is temporarily plugged into a large extension reel which has only been slightly unwound. I then have a few socket boards coming off of this reel.
This is a list of all the gear connected to the same mains socket :-

Yamaha Arius Digital Piano
PC
2 TFT monitors
Focusrite ISA One
UA Solo 610
Presonus Eureka
AE 22's + Sub
Behringer HA4700 headphone amp
Behringer BTR 2000 rack tuner

I have got a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP, M-Audio Keystation 88ES, Korg Pad Kontrol and Nano Kontrol all powered by my PC's firewire and USB ports.

I also had my PRE73 and DMP3 plugged into this board but don't at the moment because of the hum I get through these.

Any ideas what could be causing this noise?

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #901675 - 17/03/11 02:27 PM
Hi guys,

I'm still getting this problem and am unsure what to do next?

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Poshook]
      #902826 - 22/03/11 06:57 PM
Quote Poshook:

Buy this one

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HD400.aspx

and put it between your soundcard and monitors.

best




Ok I had one of these around which I have just tried and the noise has completely gone

Will using one of these affect the sound or accuracy of my monitors?

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #902830 - 22/03/11 07:15 PM
Yes and yes, but marginally and it's better than working with the hum, and easier than fixing the real fault!

It indicates very clearly that there is a ground loop problems with the monitors and audio and mains supply grounding arrangements and the way that interfaces with the rest of your equipment. These kinds of things are always fixable, but require careful analysis, logical thought, and step by step checking to identify the problem devices.

In the meantime, enjoy the hum-free audio!

hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #902836 - 22/03/11 07:26 PM
Hi Hugh,

Thanks for the reply! The bizarre thing is I didn't have this problem originally and as far as I can tell I don't have any new gear or have moved anything around. The problem kind of appeared over night!!

I'm really confused as to what the problem is and want to get it sorted properly. I guess it's going to be a painstaking process of going through every bit of gear and lead etc

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #902885 - 22/03/11 11:07 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Yes and yes, but marginally and it's better than working with the hum, and easier than fixing the real fault!





How would this change the sound?

I have a pair of AE22's + Sub for my monitors.

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #902987 - 23/03/11 11:26 AM
Argh!!! The noise is starting to come back but it is much quieter this time!!!

HELP!!!!!!!!

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903046 - 23/03/11 01:09 PM
Quote dickiefunk:

How would this change the sound?





It's a box with a transformer in it. Transformers inherently introduce harmonic distortion and other non-linearities to some degree, depending the transformer design, quality and signal level.

Many people like these things, often saying it sounds 'more musical' or 'more analogue'

Hugh

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903049 - 23/03/11 01:14 PM
Quote dickiefunk:

Argh!!! The noise is starting to come back but it is much quieter this time!!!

HELP!!!!!!!!




Oh dear! Clearly there is something complicated going on, and diagnosing that remotely is impossible. Perhaps you can persuade fellow cornland dweller Martin Walker to assist in person, but failing that the best thing you can do is strip everything apart and start again with the cleanest, simplest system you can create, and gradually build it back up from there.

All the electrical audio equipment and computer gear should be powered from the one wall socket (single or dual wall socket), using mains boards plugged together in a star configuration radiating out from that one wall socket.

Keep power supplies away from audio cables.

Use balanced audio cables wherever possible.

hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903061 - 23/03/11 01:58 PM
One thing I have noticed is that the noise gets louder when I load Cubase 6. It then gets louder with the more plugins/vsts I load!?

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903105 - 23/03/11 03:58 PM
Just means that computer ground noise is affecting the interface and connected equipment somehow.

There will always be noise in the computer ground system, but it shouldn't affect the interface and other equipment shouldn't be susceptible to it either.

The fact that it appears to be susceptible could be down to bad design, or a fault, or poor system wiring... or a combination of them.

hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #903158 - 23/03/11 07:44 PM
Thanks for the info.

Sounds like the computer is at fault! I'm going to strip everything down tomorrow to computer, interface and monitors and see what I get!

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903370 - 24/03/11 12:15 PM
Right well I've stripped everything down to :-

PC - Saffire Pro (no psu) - 2x TFT monitors - Acoustic Energy AE22's + AE Sub.

So far there is no noise at all

I'm going to leave everything on for an hour or two and then start plugging everything else in!

It did seem like the more strain there was on the computer, the noisier it got?

Could this be a problem with the psu in my pc?

Any ideas Martin??

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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903402 - 24/03/11 01:26 PM
It’s a ground loop - when you strip down to a simple setup and hear no noise at all then you haven’t got a ground loop, but at some stage when you plug something else in you’ll hear the noise start up. That’s the time to investigate why you’ve just created a ground loop - probably because it’s an unbalanced output from a mains-powered piece of audio gear that is itself already earthed. You can cure this either with specially modified cables, with balanced cables if the output itself is already balanced, or with a DI box.

You're not loading your PC any more when you plug other gear into the system


Martin

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #903413 - 24/03/11 01:43 PM
Thanks for the reply Martin.

The reason why I had concerns about the power supply is because the more strain that was on the computer the louder the noise got!?

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903415 - 24/03/11 01:46 PM
I just moved my cables so that the audio cables are away from the power cables. When I turned the computer back on I noticed the noise had come back extremely faintly. I re-jiggled some leads and the noise went away again. Hmmm!???

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903421 - 24/03/11 01:57 PM
Hum coming and going when you move the leads usually indicates variable impedance grounding contacts -- usually because of dirt, tarnish or loose or badly made connectors.

Hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903428 - 24/03/11 02:06 PM
Thanks Hugh.

The noise I'm getting is a high pitched whining noise.

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903436 - 24/03/11 02:17 PM
Sorry, I was using 'hum' in the generic form. Ground loops can result in all manner of hums, buzzes, whines and whistles.

The point is that if it comes and goes when you disturb the cabling, the chances are it's because of poor ground connections on those cables.

hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903528 - 24/03/11 07:16 PM
Ok thanks.

I seem to have got rid of the noise temporarily until I get some mains sockets into my room.

I was thinking of putting maybe 10 sockets in for each piece of gear but am unsure if this is a wise thing to do now?

You mentioned earlier that everything should be run off from one mains socket and then use plug boards?

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turbodave



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903538 - 24/03/11 07:55 PM
Hi, Not that i am an expert by any stretch but recently had hum issues which I put down to crap jack leads to and from my effects unit.Spent £40 on 6 cables only to find it was a dodgy kettle lead.Check you have good mains connections is my mantra!! Dave

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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903564 - 24/03/11 09:29 PM
Quote dickiefunk:

I was thinking of putting maybe 10 sockets in for each piece of gear but am unsure if this is a wise thing to do now?

You mentioned earlier that everything should be run off from one mains socket and then use plug boards?




I run my entire studio from one double mains socket - when I attempted to plug my MIDI keyboard controller into a more convenient mains socket on the other side of the studio I got ground loop problems, so I routed it carefully back to the plugboards that everything else was plugged in and the problem disappeared


Martin

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903921 - 26/03/11 06:01 PM
Oh no!!! I thought I had temporarily sorted the problem but it's back!!

I noticed that if I wiggled the plug from my computer in the plug board the sound would stop! I tried various kettle leads and the this didn't change so today I went out and bought a new plug board.
Now the noise is there permantly regardless of whether I wiggled the plug board around!

I can't seem to track this problem down and am getting extremely frustrated!! I even stripped my system down to my computer and just the pair of AE22's and STILL the noise it there!!

Any other thoughts or suggestions!??

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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903924 - 26/03/11 06:38 PM
1) get some deoxit, and super servisol, and clean every mains cable at both ends, and all mains socketry... (probably best to turn off mains at the fuse box while doing sockets)

2) go turn every single appliance in the building off at the wall, downstairs as well as upstairs, fridges, freezers, TV's , central heating , the whole lot... so that the ONLY things connected and powered by the mains is the PC , the interface, and the speakers.



what happens?


(note, half assed "sort of do it" attempts will tell us NOTHING. )


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turbodave



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #903926 - 26/03/11 07:07 PM
Dare I suggest getting a leccy to look at the wall socket?..or have you tried other wall sockets? sorry if I am repeating stuff! Dave

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #941740 - 18/09/11 07:19 PM
Just turned my setup on tonight and the noise has come back!! I bought the Behringer HD400 and this sorted the issue no worries but tonight it's back and nothing has changed!!???
On top of this my Presonus Eureka is also now picking up this ground loop and wasn't before??

Any ideas???

HELP!!!!!

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942216 - 20/09/11 06:45 PM
Just had a friend briefly pop around who's an electronics engineer to let him hear the noise I've been getting and guess what :- No high pitch whining!! So I unplugged the Behringer HD400 and guess what still no issues!!!

So the high pitch whining has gone BUT I'm now getting a popping noise with my external preamps! The popping is quite quiet and happens when my mics pick up any signal.
The external preamps I'm using are a Focusrite ISA One Digital and a Presonus Eureka. The ISA One is going into my Focusrite Saffire via the ADAT port and the Eureka is going into one of the Saffire's inputs.

I've tried all the usual trouble shooting using different leads and mics but the issue is still there!!

Any ideas?

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Mike Stranks
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942225 - 20/09/11 08:53 PM
I ask because of an "oops" I had today... is this computer connected to the Internet and, if so, is there a wireless internet router anywhere in the vicinity? I ask because I tried a reorganise today and inadvertently ending up with the router too near some audio gear.. pops etc just like you describe...


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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #942227 - 20/09/11 08:57 PM
Hi Mike,

No the computer is not connected to the interent. The router is in the next room.

I'll try disconnecting this to see if this has anything to do with the problem!

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942318 - 21/09/11 10:41 AM
It's impossible to diagnose a problem if it keeps coming and going. Clearly something about your installation is changing, or is being changed, and until you get to the bottom of that you're never going to be able to solve it.

The sensible aproach is to minimise the system as far as possible, establish whether that minimalist set up is working correctly, and then introduce another item of equipment, check again, and so on.

The popping noises you mention could be interference from wireless router, but could also be clocking errors or data sync issues with your digital interfacing, so check that carefully too.

hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942326 - 21/09/11 11:21 AM
Hi Hugh,

I'll try disconnecting the router later to see if this is having any effect.

Strangely I've not been changing things around in my setup which is why I'm baffled as to the problem!?

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942349 - 21/09/11 12:55 PM
I've just tried unplugging the wireless router and the problem is still there

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942364 - 21/09/11 01:35 PM
Well, then at least you know it's not that and can rule it out.

Ticks and pops on audio via a digital interface is often related to nappropriate clocking arrangements or a defective interface -- and in the case of an ADAT lightpipe connection poor quality, dirty/dusty, kinked, or overly long fibres are often to blame.
Worth checking that out.

hugh

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #942366 - 21/09/11 01:41 PM
Thanks Hugh,

I've disconnected most of my gear now. I just have my computer, interface and Presonus Eureka connected. I've unplugged my ISA One and ADAT cable.

The problem is still there so it looks like it's either my interface or my computer?

I'm borrowing someone elses laptop tonight to see if the computer is the problem!!

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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942389 - 21/09/11 03:31 PM
it's worth noting that firewire is an unbalanced protocol, and prone to collecting noise , and earth loops,


make sure all sockets and plugs are are clean , all pci cards are well earthed to the chassis, (worth cleaning the backplane plates and the back place of the pci slots to be sure that any that earth through the screw connection to the chassis are making good contact, and cables have never been kinked, or compressed under chair legs and the like....

i only recommend the high quality cables from Lindy for any length... simply because they've proven reliable, even way beyond iee1394 spec both in terms of workable length and signal reliability.


checking the computer for ground noise, is worth doing.,... things like fan motors going noisy for example, are not an obvious issue, but can be the cause of odd noises.... essentially once inside the chassis, it's often the case that there is no shielding from other noise sources also inside the chassis, like a noisy fan motor (i mean electrically.... not just acoustically)


make sure there's no build up of dust and fluff in the PSU and case in general, (this often happens when machines are kept on or near floor level..... one reason i keep my tower computers at least 8-10 inches off the ground.... and preferably more than a foot... )


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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942492 - 22/09/11 07:58 AM
Thanks for this advice.

My firewire cable is a fairly new one from Lindy.

What would you recommend I use to clean the PCI cards and leads?

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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942498 - 22/09/11 08:41 AM
note, not clean the pci card itself....... but the metal plate that it mounts with on the back of the computer.....


probably isopropyl alcohol, or de-oxit.



same for leads.

or other non lubricating contact cleaner..... (NOT ordinary super servisol )


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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942505 - 22/09/11 08:59 AM
What about this:-

http://www.maplin.co.uk/isopropyl-alcohol-28994

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942572 - 22/09/11 01:48 PM
Ok just ordered some de-oxit.

One thing I noticed is that when I was getting the high pitch whining coming through my speakers it only happened when my interface's firewire port had made connection to my computer which makes me think that it's picking up some noise from the computer? Will give everything a thorough clean with de-oxit this weekend and check everything is making good contact!

As for the popping noise, it sounds like the popping noise I was getting when my interface wasn't clocked properly! I spoke to the tech at Focusrite this morning to double check that I wasn't having a blip and he said everything is correct.
I tried the same test through the preamps on my Saffire 24 and am still getting the same popping noise. I'm now wondering if my Saffire may have developed a fault or my firewire card?

I was hoping to try a different computer last night but that fell through and will be borrowing it over the weekend. Hopefully this will reveal a little more as to the culprit

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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942772 - 23/09/11 02:02 PM
Man things are just getting stranger here by the minute!!

I just tried an acoustic guitar into the DI of my Eureka and it sounded terrible. It sounded very thin, tinny and was ever so slightly distorting!!

I did all the usual trouble shooting but still had the same problem.

I tried the same thing into the DI on the front of my Saffire and it still sounded horrible!

I compared it to some test clips I did with the acoustic guitar into the Eureka a few months back and it sounded totally different. It is the same guitar using the same settings etc but now it sounds bad!??

Could either be the guitar (which is very cheap) or something else!?

Any ideas?

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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942778 - 23/09/11 02:38 PM
change the battery in the guitar


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942779 - 23/09/11 02:39 PM
and/ or the lead you plug it in with , and / or the strings....



the fact that 2 separate DI's sound awful with it, implies it is the source or the connecting cable that is the fault.


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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942780 - 23/09/11 02:43 PM
or, buy a mac....

I know damn well the Saffire works beautifully without earth loops on every mac i've tried it with.


(i have personally tested with the following.....


8 core Mac Pro, Power Mac PPC G5 dual cpu and dual core, iMac intel, iMac G5, Macbook pro 17", MBP 15", Powerbook G4 15", intel C2D Mac Mini. PPC G4 Mac Mini. )


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dickiefunk



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Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942857 - 23/09/11 08:11 PM
At the moment I'm not getting any earth loops with my Saffire. I'm just getting the weird popping noise.
I'm trying a different computer tomorrow to see if this reveals anything.

As for the guitar I can't see anywhere to replace the battery. It just has a jack socket on the back!? I already tried a few different leads without any change!

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942863 - 23/09/11 08:39 PM
if it's a passive one , make sure you are using the instrument input setting, not the line input??

with active ones, some have batteries inside the body , which are a PITA coz you have to take the strings off to get at them, more often , others have battery compartments built in to the on-board pre-amp , occasionally these are essentially disguised , by requiring the entire face of the pre-amp to be unclipped/flipped/removed....


what guitar is it?? i can look it up and tell you.....


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942867 - 23/09/11 08:42 PM
maybe the popping noises are something else entirely.... like a fridge downstairs or something??


also, i've found that the clock setting on the saffire can be set from more than one place, (on the mac, no idea about PC) and that when i start the machine up, the setting it remembers is the one in the system preferences, NOT the saffire preferences.... so do make sure it's on the right clock setting every time.....

(i've since solved that by editing our audio system preferences to reflect what i actually want the thing to be doing... )


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
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Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #942989 - 24/09/11 07:31 PM
Ok today I tried a friends laptop and guitar with a a new firewire cable. I also used a completely different DAW ( Reaper ) to try and make the test as different as possible!!

The only thing that was plugged into the mains was the Saffire. The laptop was running off its battery. All that I had plugged into the laptop was a mic.

I tried all the usual tests and STILL have the strange popping noise.

I couldn't find anything anywhere on my PC that changes the clock settings etc?

One thing I noticed is that the input meters on Reaper are showing a signal even though nothing is being recorded in a very quiet enviroment!? Also, the way the input meters are moving look like the pops I'm hearing!? I don't really hear this popping on playback unless I add a VST compressor.

I'm beginning to wonder if my Saffire has actually developed a fault!??

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
Posts: 2213
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #943034 - 25/09/11 07:57 AM
Oh forgot to mention the issue with the guitar recordings is resolved! The guitar I borrowed sounded great so there must be a fault with the guitar I borrowed.

The guitar I have here is a Westfield? I can't find a model number but it has a socket on the back for the pickup and two knobs on the top; one for volume and the other for tone.

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
Posts: 2213
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #943175 - 25/09/11 08:53 PM
Any thoughts on the interface?

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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dickiefunk



Joined: 17/06/05
Posts: 2213
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #943639 - 27/09/11 04:40 PM
Feeling utterly and totally embarassed and feel I should own up!!!

I've found what the popping like noise was!!!!!

There was a noise gate activated on one of the sends in the session I have been doing all the testing in
It was on a high threshold and was sucking out virtually all background noise apart from the odd random bits getting through and sounding like pops!!

I am SOOOO sorry for wasting the time of all those that have been extremely helpful in giving their time to post suggestions for me to try!!

--------------------
www.richardpenrose.com


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20823
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Weird interference - Ground Loop? new [Re: dickiefunk]
      #943642 - 27/09/11 04:46 PM
Quote dickiefunk:

There was a noise gate activated on one of the sends in the session I have been doing all the testing in




Ouch! But I'm sure we've all been there before now. Easily done. Glad you found it though -- and thanks for letting us know.

hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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