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Monitor White Noise

Discussion in 'Recording' started by freesignal, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member

    Hi, I'm new to these forums and recording. I wanted to see if any of you guys concur with my hypothesis on a problem I'm having with my monitors. I feel that I have a pretty good 'noobie' DAW and don't think the issue is with any of the equipment (20" iMac w/ 2 GB RAM - 2 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor with a Firepod; All connected equipment is plugged into a Furman M-8.) My monitors (M-Audio BX5a's also plugged into the Furman) seem to eminate a small bit of, I guess you would call it, a "running noise" or "white noise". When the monitors and everything are on including the computer, but there is no music playing or anything, you can hear it. It's probably at the level of a whisper, but it is audible. Now when I unplug the quarter inch cable from both monitors it's gone. Does anyone think this might be silenced if I were to get better cables. Right now, I'm using a 3 ft. long 16 gauge LiveWire 1/4 in. line to 1/4 in. line cable for each monitor, as recommended by the Pro Audio guy at Guitar Center when I bought my monitors. Should I be using 1/4 to XLR? and/or should I get a better brand and/or gauge of wire? It's not a huge deal or problem, but the audiophile in me leads me to believe that it may be ever so slightly coloring the sound when mixing. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advanced for your help.
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    The BX5a's are far from being a product to rule out that the nosie you are hearing is par for the course for what you pay. (likely to be low level distortion or thermal noise from cheap componets/design) In addition, you may have other gain staging issues that make it stick out more. If the BX5a and your audio interface support balanced connections, then by all means use a good quality balanced cable and be sure to to check that your I/O levels between the audio interface and monitors are set the same. You may need to turn down the level of the monitors and turn up the output from your interface to get best possible signal quality.
  3. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member

    I did just that, and it helped A LOT! The BX5a's DO support balanced TRS and XLR connections, so do you think getting better cables and switching to balanced connections would help out as well? Any suggestions? I hear Mogami and Monster Cables are a good bet.

    As far as the monitors go, I'm pretty satisfied with them. My room is 13' x 11' so, they are just the right size. I'll probably upgrade to some KRK's or Events in the future, but for now, these seem to work well in the room they're in. I know they're not 'gold,' but I don't think they make a bad 'bronze.' At any rate, thanks for your help. -Patrick
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Balanced may or may not help. I don't know what your exact problem is. But I can tell you that best possible quality is only going to be obtained using the balanced option with good cable.

    If your going to GC, you might as well get the good packaged Mogami balanced cables with the correct connectors.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    No, in itself, the cable quality could affect the amount of hum and interference pickup, but is not going to affect the level of hiss. That noise is the sum of what being transmitted down the cable to the monitors from the Firepod and the self-noise of the BX5As when connected to a non-zero Ohm source impedance. AudioGaff's suggestion is right on the nail - you have to match the signal levels of the inputs and outputs through the system.

    However, if your present monitor input cables are fitted with only TS jacks, you have a chance of gaining up to 6dB of signal-to-noise ratio by changing to balanced connections using TRS-TRS or TRS-XLR cables, since the BX5As would be using both the + and - signals from the Firepod.
  6. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member

    Cool. Thanks a lot guys for your help. I'll be pickin' me up some new cables sometime this week. :lol:
  7. eyeboxx

    eyeboxx Guest

    I had the same problem in my setup

    Hi, I had the same problem and i fixed it by getting monster cables
    i tried all kinds of remedies and found that you need to make sure that whatever cables you have are very well shielded. If not you will get pretty good amounts of interference. Ive also heard highend mogami cables do the job too.

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