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E-Mu Tracker Pre Static/Noise problem I can't fix!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Martay, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Martay

    Martay Guest

    Hey guys,

    I'm wondering if someone can help me out with a problem I'm having. Basically, I'm getting interference from something (even with just the e-mu tracker pre plugged in with no cable/mic). I've recorded and uploaded it so you can hear what I'm hearing:

    Download static.mp3 from Sendspace.com - send big files the easy way

    Please don't think I've posted here without trying anything! In fact, here's what I've tried so far:

    -3 different USB cables.
    -Removing all other USB devices and trying different ports.
    -Changing the position of cables.
    -Turning off the laptop monitor.
    -Trying the E-Mu Tracker Pre with my desktop (where it worked fine).
    -Disabling on-board sound.
    -Turning off surrounding electronic equipment.
    -Unplugging laptop and running off battery (no change so I assume it's not a grounding problem).

    I'm running Windows 7 32-bit. 2gb RAM. AMD Turion 64 X2 1.60GHz.

    Feel free to ask any questions and please give me some suggestions!

  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If that is without any microphone or speaker plugged in, I would say you have a faulty unit. That is typically the sound of a bad potentiometer (gain knob) or a loose connection on a headphone jack. If it is anything with the computer it would be latency buffer setting (make it bigger) but that is usually a different sound. Go ahead and try to make the latency bigger as a first step though. It's easy to try and I don't have any other ideas off hand unless you are direct monitoring and simultaneously monitoring whats coming through on the computer DAW creating some sort of loop.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's unusual that the left and right channels sound so different, unless you had some EQ set on the R channel before you recorded the noise sample. However, what is on the L channel is fairly typical USB activity noise, often associated with the sort of USB devices designed into laptop computers.

    I know this is not very encouraging, but you do not have very many options. It could be that your particular interface unit is more sensitive to USB noise than it should be, and an exchange unit as Jack suggested would perform better. Since you do not appear to get this noise when running the unit on the different type of USB interface fitted to your desktop (albeit with different grounding), you could consider a USB isolator in the form of an extender, but good ones that would guarantee not to compromise your audio data are not cheap, and in any case would not necessarily eliminate the problem.

    What you may need to do is some further experimentation, probably involving borrowing other laptops to see if this is a problem inherent to all laptop types, or if you are simply unlucky with the one you own.

    Let us know how you get on, as practical solutions to this type of problem can benefit many laptop owners.
  4. Martay

    Martay Guest

    Thanks for the input guys. In the end (after many hours) I resolved the problem by reinstalling the drivers. There's still some noise but now it's at least at usable levels! I think the moral of the story is don't use laptops!
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'm glad you had some success. I disagree with your conclusion however. I have exclusively used laptops for several years now without issue with sometimes 16 channels.
  6. taktako

    taktako Member

    static noise with the saffire focusrite 6

    hi there ! i have the same problem with the friend Martay but with my saffire usb 6.i m using it on a laptop and i have a terrible noise from the preamps.when i don t use the preamps i have the same noise but in very very low level.i have change cables,mics,instruments but the noise exists.i have the latest driver using it with windows vista 32bit.

    can anybody help me?
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Similar problem, similar advice. These sorts of problems are either solved quickly or they can take a lot of experimentation to get anywhere without a guarantee of a satisfactory result.

    You've given us results from changing the microphone and cables, but this is a computer/USB/power problem, so that's where the further work should be directed.

    Try it on a different laptop. Try it with your laptop running on batteries, i.e. with the mains power supply physically disconnected from the laptop. Try with the laptop screen off (switched to VDU output). Move the mic lead around near the computer and see if that changes the character or intensity of the noise. Try it through a USB hub that has a separate power supply for powering connected devices.
  8. WeirdMusiGuy

    WeirdMusiGuy Member

    Same here!

    Hi guys!

    I'm having the same experience with the Tracker-Pre. I'm also using a laptop, but my desktop poses the exact same problems. Most of the testing I've done I did wih my laptop, so I still have to test my desktop a little more.

    I was wondering: On the back of the Tracker-Pre is an input for an external power supply. If I'd hook up a power supply to it, then I guess the USB power isn't needed anymore. Could this possibly solve the problem? If so, I'm going to get myself a power supply within the next week and test it. I will post my findings here. If it did not work, I will have an extra power supply which could come off handy sometime in the future.

    Any ideas on this?


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