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Hiss and hum in speakers when moving mouse or during HDD activity

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  • Sound Cards
  • Speakers
  • Hard Drives
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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November 27, 2010 3:59:59 PM

Hi,
I noticed that there is strange hum and hiss and beeps coming from my speakers when I am moving the mouse or during the HDD activity.

I use external audio, Edirol M16-DX, USB2.0 connectivity. My internal Realtek audio works OK.
All Windows 7 32bit drivers are up to date, VGA drivers, Edirol soundcard drivers too.

I tried every USB socket but to no avail.

I have not the problem using the same soundcard and USb cable with my 6-year old HP notebook, WinXP.

I also noticed, the same hum and hiss is there also when I am in BIOS. When in BIOS I can hear regular, short beeps too.

Please help me with this as I use my PC for music creation and this issue is really pestering my a lot.

Thanks
Marek

MB: Gigabyte P35-DS3R v2.1
CPU: Intel E8400 C2D
HDD: WD 3x
VGA: GF 8800 GT

More about : hiss hum speakers moving mouse hdd activity

November 27, 2010 4:41:45 PM

Hi rainmaker, Welcome to THW.

I just want to make sure I understand you correctly, your using the motherboard realtek audio to output to your Edirol? or do you also have a soundcard in your PC?

Either way it seems to me like your soundcard/on-board audio(whichever you are using) is either failing or is picking up interference from the parts in your PC.

What do you use the mixer for? It too may be what is picking up interference from local electronics.
November 27, 2010 5:52:20 PM

Edirol M16-DX is an external USB audio interface, mainly for music recording purposes. Onboard Realtek and external Edirol are two stand-alone audio cards.

My internal, Realtek onboard audio works fine, I hear no hum or hiss.

But when I plug in the Edirol, external audio interface, via USB, I hear the hiss and hum coming from my studio monitors. Audio signal flow is: PC-USB cable-Edirol-studio monitors.

When I unplug the USB cable, the hum stops. So it has something to do with HW inside my PC.

I tried the external sound card with my notebook, and it worked OK, so the sound card is OK.

How can I find out what parts are interfering inside the PC? As this is related to USB, how can I troubleshoot it?
November 27, 2010 6:33:50 PM

Quote:
Edirol M16-DX is an external USB audio interface, mainly for music recording purposes. Onboard Realtek and external Edirol are two stand-alone audio cards.
I understand that, Its just the way you wrote up your question it was hard to determine if you were using a soundcard in your PC or the on-board realtek.
Quote:
My internal, Realtek onboard audio works fine, I hear no hum or hiss.

So, that means the problem lies with your USB controller, if the Edirol works fine with the same UBS cable on your laptop and in the same general location to eliminate the possibility of an external interference source.
Quote:
But when I plug in the Edirol, external audio interface, via USB, I hear the hiss and hum coming from my studio monitors. Audio signal flow is: PC-USB cable-Edirol-studio monitors.
Can you use a 3.5mm or 1/4 jack instead of the USB?
Quote:
When I unplug the USB cable, the hum stops. So it has something to do with HW inside my PC. I tried the external sound card with my notebook, and it worked OK, so the sound card is OK.
Again making me think it is the USB controller in your PC causing the interference. Can or have you tried any other USB port?
Quote:
How can I find out what parts are interfering inside the PC? As this is related to USB, how can I troubleshoot it?
Really you cant to the fullest degree, unless you can remove or turn off the all the components in your PC(which is just not possible) your not going to be able to eliminate every single part. But from all the info you have provided it seems to me to be your USB controller in the PC picking up or causing the interference.
November 27, 2010 8:43:12 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I tried every USB port but with the same problem. Do you think a new PCI USB controller card would solve this? It isnt expensive, I would give it a try...

The only way I can connect and use all the functions of the Edirol interface is USB - multichannel recording.
November 27, 2010 10:09:36 PM

Hmm.... I wouldn't say if a PCI USB card would for sure solve the problem, but it really sounds like a good idea to try one. I really cant think of a better option than that right now.

Have you tried to update your motherboards USB drivers yet?

I have found this:

"Re: Hissing through USB
hmmm i think it's likely it's the old USB whine (not a hiss). I have actually seen it a lot with PCs that have build in speakers (inside the PC case) where when you move your USB mouse or spin the mouse scroll wheel that you get a high pitched whine that changes pitch and dynamics when you move your mouse. it's because of the way USB works, and so it's not a fault as such, but more a poorly designed USB controller within your PC. the only way I've found to combat this, if it is in fact what you're hearing, is to buy a seperate USB 2.0 controller card for a few £/$ and that usually solves it."

Try Googling your problem "USB hissing/whine" also, I am sure you have but i found some info on the issue.
November 27, 2010 10:57:57 PM

Hey, Rainmaker.

Another thing I thought of that you could try is the magnetic EMI filters like on your monitor cables. Like these here: http://www.camera2000.com/en/2-lots-tdk-clip-on-emi-rfi... OR http://cgi.ebay.com/10X-TDK-5mm-Clip-EMI-RFI-Filter-Sna... , Maybe if you have a strong magnet laying around the house, take it and wrap your USB cable around it a few times and see if that helps. Just and idea I had, wouldn't hurt to try. :) 

There is also some 3M tape for EMI shielding but its not cheap and will probably cost more for a roll than to get a UBS PCI card.
November 28, 2010 9:09:53 AM

Thanks Thechief73.

I found one EMI filter at home, put it on the USB cable but the hiss is still there.

I also made sure all PC, Edirol and monitors are plugged in the same power extension to prevent ground loop. But as far as it worked with the notebook, I doubt it is related to the power ground loop problem.

Could you please point me to USB drivers for my MoBo? I do not see any on the Gigabyte page, http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

I have never installed any USB drivers before, so any help is appreciated.

I found a Kouwell PCI 4xUSB card for 13 EUR. I will give it a try.
November 28, 2010 11:09:45 AM

Wondering, what is the difference between an onboard USB controller and PCI USB controller in terms of interference? They are both connected to the MB, in the same PC case. Can somebody explain it to me please?
November 28, 2010 3:38:21 PM

Hey Rainmaker, it seems that USB drivers are not available from their website unless they included them in the chipset drivers which wouldn't hurt to update and see if that helps. But...there should be USB drivers on the install disk for your motherboard, installing either of these updates is just like installing any other program on your computer, no different.

From what I have been reading is ALOT of people have had troubles with the USB on these Gigabyte boards, and not just the problems you are having but many kinds.

The difference between the on-board and the PCI is that it will be a different chip controlling the USB, this is most likely a hardware issue of a particular USB controller you have or a failing of the chip and should be solved with new hardware, unless the PCI USB picks up the same interference, but that would take quite a bit of bad luck for that to happen.

One thing I have read is that some people have been able to solve problems with there USB on Gigabyte boards with a USB Hub, if you have one maybe try it out, otherwise I do not think that is a solution to persue any further.
November 28, 2010 4:09:30 PM

Yeah I read about the USB hub solution too, but it must be a powered one but I do not have one. Will see what magic the PCI USB card is going to make :) 

I installed the chipset drivers the day before yesterday...

Thank you Thechief73 for your help. Appreciate it. Will post here after I try the PCI USB card.
November 28, 2010 4:53:38 PM

Hey, Your Welcome. Sorry I couldn't find a guaranteed solution, I hope the PCI cards works out.
December 1, 2010 6:46:30 PM

Hi again.
I just installed the USB PCI card and unfortunately, it is the same or even worse in terms of audio latency.

So I tried the following: Edirol interface has a ground screw where I attached one end of a simple speaker cable. Then I was moving the other end of the cable around the PC case and was pulling it on various metal parts of the case - screws, chassis, HDD screws etc. And the hiss and quiet beeping (when streaming audio) was changing - decreasing as I was pulling the cable on different places in the PC case.
I ended up with the cable attached under one screw which is holding the cover of the PC case and the hum and hiss is about 40% lower, but still it is there and it is annoying and disturbing.

What does this imply? What else can I try to solve this issue? Would a photo of the PC case interior help you come up with some ideas?

Because the hum is following the HDD activity and a quite beeping starts right after I start to play any audio, I think the interference is related to HDDs.

Any further help will be much appreciated.
December 2, 2010 5:10:02 PM

Hey rainmaker,

I am sorry to hear that you have not been able to solve this issue. As of right now the only other thing I could think of is that if the interference is coming from one of the PC components like you have said, then it is either being transmitted by that part through the connections or being picked up by the motherboard and causing the issues across the PC, but isolating which it is may be difficult.

If you think it is the HDD, then maybe if yo have another you can try and see if that helps, otherwise I am stumped as you are and really cannot think of anything else, maybe disconnect any unnecessary parts like a GFX card or other things and see if that makes a difference.

It would be nice if someone else with experience with this kind of thing would find you post, as I am sure that this has happened before and they would know where to look for the cause, I am just trying to think of the most basic thing s that could cause this, and really don't know where to go from here at this point.
December 2, 2010 7:01:19 PM

It would be great when someone who has solved a similar issue would chime in... Maybe I should try to post this in some other Category, where the traffic is denser?

Anyway, as you said, I will give it a try and will disconnect GFX card and as I have OS and data on separate HDDs, I will try disconnecting the data HDD too. I also have one spare PSU so I can try that too. But I am not sure about Watts, my current PSU is 750 W Fotron PSU and the other one is only 400 W "noname". Would it be safe to try running my PC config with the 400W PSU? Just to test if there is the hum after I turn on the PC...

Oh well :)  It seems I have the plan for Christmas holidays now :) 
December 2, 2010 9:39:03 PM

You should be able to try everything on the 400w, the GPU is really all you would have to worry about, and thats only under full load when it draws the most power. So just trying it out and not gaming you should be just fine or maybe just leave the GPU out, either way.
December 3, 2010 1:08:29 PM

Quote:
It would be nice if someone else with experience with this kind of thing would find you post, as I am sure that this has happened before and they would know where to look for the cause, I am just trying to think of the most basic thing s that could cause this, and really don't know where to go from here at this point.
BINGO :)  , your doing your part like the rest of us - solving problems

Quote:
So I tried the following: Edirol interface has a ground screw where I attached one end of a simple speaker cable. Then I was moving the other end of the cable around the PC case and was pulling it on various metal parts of the case - screws, chassis, HDD screws etc. And the hiss and quiet beeping (when streaming audio) was changing - decreasing as I was pulling the cable on different places in the PC case.
I ended up with the cable attached under one screw which is holding the cover of the PC case and the hum and hiss is about 40% lower, but still it is there and it is annoying and disturbing. What does this imply?
You have a grounding issue. The static is building up within your components/PC and are resonating when you play audio.During data retrieval, your HDD spins, and this operation of power flux in your components are audible in your speaker system that are only amplified by Edirol. This can also happen if your other audio connectivity ports which aren't used are left open through windows audio manager. Mute them and see if there's a change (though I'm sure you've had that from the beginning).

Quote:
What else can I try to solve this issue?
for this, I'd need to know what sort of a wall socket connector/pin you use...and how your connections run from wall outelet to PSU inlet.
January 25, 2011 1:01:32 AM

Hey, I registered with THW simply to respond to this thread so no matter how simple this seems, don't hate :-)

I had a similar problem with a USB sound device and one thing I always overlooked was that I had a Blue microphone plugged into my front 3.5mm connection. Once I removed the mic connection, all hum/hiss/interference of ANY kind ceased. It was like angels were singing...well...except that it was pure silence :-)

I did not have a rear mic port at the time (on-board) and since have purchased a HT|Omega and the card's rear and front ports do not interfere...hope this helps!!
August 10, 2011 1:52:08 AM

Hi guys,

I know this is an old thread but I've done hours of research and still cannot solve this issue. I really need it fixed as I also do music production.

I'm having a major issue with my Audiophile USB sound card. Before upgrading it was working perfectly.
Now that I got my new computer today I plugged it in and installed it as normal but sound does not work in games - it just makes an ugly grumble sound (I can play music and the windows sounds work fine).

What else is strange is that when my computer is just idle, it makes these weird static noises kinda like a cliche digital computer sound you'd hear, through my speakers. It goes in squeaky beeps too.
When my mouse moves it gets worse, and even worse when there is Hard disk activity.

I remember having this same issue a while ago when first installing windows 7 - but managed to fix it somehow.

I tried messing with settings inside the M-Audio application, changing USB ports.
And I did in fact try disabling 'C1E' and 'Intel EIST (Speedstep)' in BIOS to no avail (This has been known to solve the issue).

If only I could remember what I did to solve this issue last time!!

If ANYBODY knows anything else to try please let me know as this is evil and annoying as hell!

Drivers are (Windows 7 64-bit SP1)
Audiophile_6_0_1_5_10_0_5131.exe
October 12, 2011 1:06:50 AM

MrDismal said:
Hi guys,

I know this is an old thread but I've done hours of research and still cannot solve this issue. I really need it fixed as I also do music production.

I'm having a major issue with my Audiophile USB sound card. Before upgrading it was working perfectly.
Now that I got my new computer today I plugged it in and installed it as normal but sound does not work in games - it just makes an ugly grumble sound (I can play music and the windows sounds work fine).

What else is strange is that when my computer is just idle, it makes these weird static noises kinda like a cliche digital computer sound you'd hear, through my speakers. It goes in squeaky beeps too.
When my mouse moves it gets worse, and even worse when there is Hard disk activity.

I remember having this same issue a while ago when first installing windows 7 - but managed to fix it somehow.

I tried messing with settings inside the M-Audio application, changing USB ports.
And I did in fact try disabling 'C1E' and 'Intel EIST (Speedstep)' in BIOS to no avail (This has been known to solve the issue).

If only I could remember what I did to solve this issue last time!!

If ANYBODY knows anything else to try please let me know as this is evil and annoying as hell!

Drivers are (Windows 7 64-bit SP1)
Audiophile_6_0_1_5_10_0_5131.exe


Hi,
The same thing happened in my computer,some posters in Chinese said that noise was caused by the VIA chipset.
The hiss is from the line-in or microphone ,pls try mute once.
I muted the line-in or microphone,and at the same time cancelled the mute operation right away.
Hiss disappeared.
!