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Old 16th November 2012, 12:33 AM   #1
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Default Computer based static/noise?

As you can see, this is my first thread and I'm new to computer audio.

I am working off my own build and am experiencing a significant amount of static/noise from my speakers. The static isn't present when the speakers are plugged into my laptop, so I think the speakers are fine (Mackie MR5 MKII).

The static seems to correspond to my actions on the comp, like clicking, scrolling, loading a web page... is this my motherboard? Can the power supply cause static? I recently purchased an audio card - ESI Julia - and have the TRS line out connected to my speakers. I had hoped it was the auxiliary jack on my mobo but the static is even more present with the audio card.

Any general info/help/walk-through of how to eliminate the static would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 16th November 2012, 06:20 AM   #2
Magsy is offline Magsy  United Kingdom
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You are running the PC at full volume, in both windows and the player right? Adjust volume on the speakers...
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Old 16th November 2012, 06:35 AM   #3
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Its either your keyboard/mouse if you have PS/2 keyboards, try and isolate the cables of the keyboard/mouse from your line out cable by at least a few centimetres. Consider getting a USB one. Gigabyte makes a nice USB keyboard and mouse that you could get for under $20 for both.

Are you using VGA output from your soundcard? if so try and use DVI.

Could be a faulty video card or sound card decoupling capacitor.

From experience though I've found it to be the fault of cheap/shoddy manufacturing practices in the soundcard.

Volume sliders on my system are set to 1/2 way as a matter of practice, I strongly suggest that you keep the volume sliders on your PC as lonw as 1/2 way, maybe even lower, and just use your amplifier/speakers to do the amplifying and NOT your soundcard.

By putting them as high as possible you are also amplifying the noisefloor, so its good practice to simply keep them half way.

As a bare minimum I would suggest that you get a DAC and use digital/optical output from your PC, if this is financially possible.
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Last edited by freax; 16th November 2012 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 16th November 2012, 07:22 AM   #4
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Set your computer / sound card / software / OS volume to near maximum or at least 50%, then reduce the volume control setting on your speakers.
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Old 16th November 2012, 07:36 AM   #5
Magsy is offline Magsy  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post

Volume sliders on my system are set to 1/2 way as a matter of practice, I strongly suggest that you keep the volume sliders on your PC as lonw as 1/2 way, maybe even lower, and just use your amplifier/speakers to do the amplifying and NOT your soundcard.

By putting them as high as possible you are also amplifying the noisefloor, so its good practice to simply keep them half way.

As a bare minimum I would suggest that you get a DAC and use digital/optical output from your PC, if this is financially possible.
I'm not sure it is correct, volume should be at max for the best SNR.

If you take a low volume from the sound card and amplify that in the speakers you will be amplifying the noise but not the other way around.

The ESI Juli@ is a very good card, it should be clean.

If you are using an outboard DAC then you must be at 100% for it to be bitperfect.
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Old 16th November 2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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Which plateform your computer uses?
Sandy bridge and PCI audio cards is known for showing that problem.
Some mobos are bad for audio.
Using a gamer video card can be a problem too as it draws consequent current spikes.
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Old 16th November 2012, 12:15 PM   #7
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magsy View Post
I'm not sure it is correct, volume should be at max for the best SNR.

If you take a low volume from the sound card and amplify that in the speakers you will be amplifying the noise but not the other way around.

The ESI Juli@ is a very good card, it should be clean.

If you are using an outboard DAC then you must be at 100% for it to be bitperfect.
I've found that it can introduce distortion, most soundcards that I have come across will go far and beyond 1v p-p on line-out.
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Old 16th November 2012, 01:21 PM   #8
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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1. Can you hear the same noise using the unbalanced output (simple 2 cinch - stereo jack cable)?

2. Can you hear the same noise through some cheap skype headphones/ small passive PC speakers hooked directly to Juli output, without any grounded amplifier in between?
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Old 16th November 2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Gentlemen, thank you for your replies. Heres some more info based on everyones feedback:

My speakers volume control knob on the back are at 50%
My player (winamp) is at 50%
The Juli@ outputs are around 50%
I am using an RF wireless mouse, could there be feeback from this? Might explain the static correlating with clicking, scrolling etc
Running win7 64 bit
Yes i can hear the same noise when running unbalanced rca out
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Old 16th November 2012, 03:35 PM   #10
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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I think the important information is if you can hear the same noise through passive speakers/headphones. The culprit my be ground loops - your active speakers have the PE wire hooked to ground.
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