Getting rid of PC audio ground noise/interference.

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by nerdbot, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. nerdbot

    nerdbot Member

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    Nov 10, 2010
    I am getting noise in my studio monitors that are plugged into my PC. It is a scratchy sound that generally occurs when there is activity, such as scrolling through a web page, downloading files, or opening programs. It does not increase based on computer volume or go away when I mute the output. It does increase or decrease depending on the input sensitivity of my active monitors.

    I feel like I isolated the interference to ground noise on the PC. I kept the speakers where they were and plugged it into a laptop and there is no noise. If I just touch the tip of the speaker jack to the i/o backplate for the PC motherboard, I get noise. The noise is the same intensity no matter where or how I plug into the PC. As long as the audio physically connects to the PC, whether over line-out, USB DAC, or HDMI, I get the same noise. I've tried plugging the speakers and PC into the same or different outlets and there is no effect.

    I was thinking of asking this in a computer forum, but I feel like this is, at heart, a grounding issue that I feel many of you have probably tackled during recording or live sound. Has anyone had a similar issue and/or would know of a way to fix it? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rockabilly69

    rockabilly69 Supporting Member

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    Nov 2, 2008
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Try a Hum X on the PC power line!
     
  3. The1hub

    The1hub Member

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    Jan 22, 2010
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Out of curiosity is the power transformer for the laptop balanced? What speakers are you using? Are the speaker connected to a balanced power source? I suspect that the computer is grounding itself through the speakers.
     
  4. paparoof

    paparoof Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Location:
    minneapolis
    Nerdbot - I had the exact same symptoms until I replaced the un-balanced (tip/sleeve) cables between my interface and monitors with balanced (tip/ring/sleeve) cables.

    Dead silent now.
     

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