Soundcard Fried??

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by somuchdirt74, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. somuchdirt74

    somuchdirt74 Guest

    Need help, Hook up the mixer to pc and when i want to record using any software it makes that buzzin type of noise. I even unplug it so i have nothing hooked up to the computer and it still makes the noise. And ive hooked it up to my friends mac and works great. so any help would be nice thanks
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Long response:

    What mixer?
    What outputs on the mixer. What type of jack does it use?

    Buzz as in ground loop hum with a 50Hz fundamental (60Hz in the US) and assorted overtones?

    You say PC, do you mean a desktop PC and with what soundcard? If it involves 1/8" jacks then, err....

    Short response:
    What are you connecting to your soundcard and with what?

    I'm asking because if you have a ground loop, the soundcard isn't really to blame.
  3. somuchdirt74

    somuchdirt74 Guest

    yeah desktop pc and its just a steady buzz like im wondering if its just a setting but i realy have no clue. And im just using 1/8 jack into the mic input
  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Is your friends Smack a laptop? If it is running from a battery and you're not getting this problem then it's a ground loop issue. You need a DI box with a ground lift.

    I wouldn't recommend recording into the mic port of any onboard soundcard, they all suck. They're made for connecting cheap mics so you can use voip and such... Not for music.
  5. somuchdirt74

    somuchdirt74 Guest

    yes its a laptop and it is running from battery, so how could i record to the pc without connecting the 1/8 jack to it?
  6. Greener

    Greener Guest

    A USB interface is where it begins. Sound cards are for movies and games.

    An interface has built in pre-amps and converters, they come with input and output options.
    I own an Edirol UA-25 and it mauls any soundcard I've ever seen and it's cheap and pretty nasty. :p

    What are you planning on recording, as in how many mics at one time. My Edirol lets me use 2 mics simultaneously or one mic and one guitar or two guitars... You can get some pretty good ones with 8 inputs which is if you're going to track drums or something...

    Let us know more what you want to do, so anyone who feels the need to suggest something can narrow it down a bit.
  7. somuchdirt74

    somuchdirt74 Guest

    yeah see the problem is I don't have the money, and to be honest im no professional and its nothing serious so im not looking for the perfect sound. But its like my problem is that when i hooked up to my pc while back it did not make this noise at all and the quality wasnt that bad. and at one point it just went to a very loud static buzz then my pc crashed of a virus or something, after fixing it it just went to a low buzzin sound but still annoying and its not like how it was the first time I set it up while back. So Im just wondering if the setting on my pc got messed up or something, and im using audicity so im just trying to work with what i got right now. any idea about that part?
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Well you can try noise reduction. No idea how it works (if it does) in Audacity though.

    OK, you're stuck with a Soundblaster. I know the feeling...
    Typically these give off a higher frequency buzz that is related to the CPU usage. If a virus was running around, that would probably add to the noise.
    Couple that with your original ground loop buzz and you can't have much usable signal.

    Search here for "ground lift" or "ground loop" or "grounding" or anything related to that concept and you should find a solution. They all cost though.

    "the problem is I don't have the money, and to be honest im no professional and its nothing serious so im not looking for the perfect sound."

    Also, that's what everyone says.
    (Although most people are looking for better sound)
  9. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    TURN DOWN YOUR OUTBOARD MIXER BEFORE DOING ANY OF THIS! And then, turn up as needed to test. Turn back down if you need to try something else, then turn back up to test.

    Ideally, the outboard mixer should be operating near its unity zones on the individual channels and main output faders. Set those. Now, turn the main mixer outs down.

    See if you can switch the input levels on that soundcard input jack. I don't know exactly what you have, but some may have only one input jack to the PC, and in your Windows mixer, you may be able to switch from "Mic" to "Line" level. If it's set to "Mic", it'll be REALLY noisy. If it is, and you can set it to "Line", it'll be annoyingly noisy, but less so.

    If it's set to "Line", make sure the 'input' faders of the Windows mixer are up to a healthy level. If they are really low, and you have to pump more outboard mixer signal into it, then it'll be noisy. If it has level meters, set them to just below clipping with a signal that you normally run through the mixer (after setting the mixer main outs back to their proper levels).

    Open Audacity, and set the tracks inputs to the proper levels and record. Play it back, and set the output levels.

    Make sure the "output" fader of Windows mixer is at a healthy level also. If it's too low, and you have to make up gain elsewhere, you'll add noise. If it's too high, it'll create distortion.

    You may have to go back and forth a few times to micro-tweak everything.

    Try all that and tell us what happens.


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