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greg54

dealing with electrical noise

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I have electrical noise that comes through the monitors a little,  but more through the headphones.    What do you do to get rid of the electrical house noise issue?

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I use a ground loop isolator like this, between my audio interface and my monitors:

image.png.8a747bd6e781b49f6f55376a867020c6.png

They're around $9 / £6 from Amazon.

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First thing I would suggest is looking at your WIFI. If you have onboard WIFI for your PC/Laptop, disable it in device manager.

Second thing, Painstakingly trace your path for all wires, cables and plugs. You need to find the problem before you can apply the solution.

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Are you using your onboard sound device?

These are known to be noisy.

Quite often if its on a laptop, running it on batteries solves it (but obviously causes issues with performance etc).

If you've not got a separate audio interface, consider getting one - something like a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 would be ideal as a starter interface. 

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Check the cables, ie mains power cables running over the top of speaker cables etc, USB cables running over mains cables.

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Lift grounds until noise goes away. Sometimes, plugging all gear into the same jack can help. Watch for heavy things plugged into different sources and each other. Example.. Amp direct out plugged into computer interface. When the amp is plugged in across the room this can be helped with a ground lift in some cases. Flip case is reamp line plugged from interface to amp input. This is why you find ground lift switches on reamp boxes.

Edited by Gswitz

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Sounds like it could be a ground loop. Isolation transformers, grounding everything together, lifting grounds, keeping power cables away from signal cables, etc., all work, but sometimes different methods work on different systems.

You could have a defective piece of gear too, but I'd suspect a ground loop first.

With my own gear, I start with plugging everything into the same outlet on a little multi-outlet zip strip. That lets me know everything is at the same ground potential. If I still have hum, I start experimenting and tracking it down.

BTW, do you know why PA Systems hum?

-

-

Because they don't know the words.

(groans are appreciated)

Insights, incites and lousy puns by Notes

 

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I use 2 power conditioners because of all the cords, so I can't put everyone on one plug.  There's only a couple of plugs in the room.

We just moved into this house.  And outside my window there is a wire going into the house that was cut off and is just hanging outside.  When a leaf blower gets too close, a lot of noise comes through the monitors.  So I know I have to get rid of that wire.

But even when there is nothing going on outside, there is still static noise that comes through the monitors and headphones.  

Tezza:  It's a desktop.  I will check the wires and cables.

msmcleod:  I may try a ground loop.  Thanks!   And i'm using a Scarlett 2i4

Chuck E Baby:   Currently my wifi isn't working.  No internet connection with my recording computer.

 

Thanks for everyone's comments!  I appreciate it!  I will try and see what works.

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If your monitors are powered plug them into a different outlet than your computer.

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3 hours ago, Notes_Norton said:

BTW, do you know why PA Systems hum?

-

Because they don't know the words.

Yea that was pretty rough to swallow. But I agree with your troubleshooting technique of plugging everything into one multistrip via one outlet.

1 hour ago, greg54 said:

I use 2 power conditioners because of all the cords, so I can't put everyone on one plug.  There's only a couple of plugs in the room.

You need to do this in order to trouble shoot the main issue. It takes unplugging almost everything and than rebuilding the power sources 1 by 1.

I would start by powering everything off and using 1 outlet strip and plug everything into that 1 strip. Add essentials in one by one.

if both power strips are plugged in to the same outlet, that shouldn't be a problem but the second you introduce a second power source (a different outlet) you'll be toast.

I thought of mention interference before (kind of like the WIFI) but I've had stupid things, like certain wireless phones mess with my clean connections. check everything.

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1 hour ago, jude77 said:

If your monitors are powered plug them into a different outlet than your computer.

Ok. Thanks.

 

59 minutes ago, Gswitz said:

House on a sacred burial ground?

Just old.  I noticed that the wire hanging out of my window going outside comes into my room and goes nowhere.   So I have to get rid of it.

Chuck E Baby:  Thanks for your advice.  I will check everything.

 

Thanks, everyone!

Greg

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The internet router is in my room.  Would that be an issue?  Not sure I can change that though.

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I plugged the power cords into one power conditioner, except for the computer and visual monitors   They're in a different one.  It helped a little - and a little is good.  

Thanks!

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If you just moved into the house, you might not be accustomed to it's audio gremlins yet ;)

I lived and recorded in a series of older houses in Seattle, and they frequently had odd issues. Outlets that didn't have third grounding prongs (can cause all kinds of problems). Outlets that APPEARED to have proper three-pronged grounding but actually didn't! A house in the flight path of the airport, and certain pieces of gear acted up every time an airplane flew immediately overhead. And in one case, my bandmate found out (the hard way) that he was located right near the broadcast tower of the local NPR station. How did we know? His Fender Bassman (and several of his older ribbon mics, including two Beyer 16os) started picking up the station almost as loud as any audio coming into them! We had to rotate/reorient them (and the guitar cable) in the room to avoid the problem.

Which is all to say-- you've got some good troubleshooting advice above. Especially about making sure connected items are on the same outlet, that the grounding works, and that cables passing audio aren't running parralel to any power cables.

(I'm having a noise issue currently. Took forever to figure out that it only happens when my next door neighbor, who's on the same power as us, plugs in his space heater!! or something that he plugs in only on cold nights. This is no joke!)

 

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This house didn't have third ground prongs.   We had an electrician install GFCI outlets.   We couldn't afford to re-wire the house, so GFCI outlets will have to do for now.

And yeah, I guess I'll find other issues and what may be causing them as I try to record.

I'm trying to do what comments have suggested.  

Thanks!

 

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3 hours ago, Sean Michael Robinson said:

... And in one case, my bandmate found out (the hard way) that he was located right near the broadcast tower of the local NPR station. How did we know? His Fender Bassman (and several of his older ribbon mics, including two Beyer 16os) started picking up the station almost as loud as any audio coming into them! We had to rotate/reorient them (and the guitar cable) in the room to avoid the problem.

 

 

Thank [insert moniker for your favorite non-religion-specific deity type being (or nonbeing if you prefer)]  it was something at least halfway intelligent .

 

 

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8 hours ago, greg54 said:

We just moved into this house.  And outside my window there is a wire going into the house that was cut off and is just hanging outside.  When a leaf blower gets too close, a lot of noise comes through the monitors.  So I know I have to get rid of that wire.

That wire is definitely an antenna, but make sure you know where it really goes before playing with it. The rest of the wiring in the house can be acting similarly to your environment.

Since your house is of the older 2-wire style, it would be worth your time to go through the breaker box and verify circuits (I *hope* you are not fuse-panel, but you could be). Heavy appliances with motors (refrigerator, AC units, fluorescent lighting, furnace) and things you turn on (vacuums, microwaves) can all be feeding back into the house itself. You can control most of those, but the ones that kick on automatically (refrigerator and furnace) are ones you may want to check for feedback. *If* the refrigerator being on/off is a noticeable difference, that is one appliance you may want to make sure is offline when recording.

It also made me wonder with the GFCI comment... where is the ground on that running? If connected to a 2-wire circuit, it may still not have a ground.

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