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Odd Noise In System


Dave A
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This is in the for what it is worth category. Occasionally I have a friend over whose wife and daughter are professionally trained classical musicians. His hearing is also better than mine and I rely on him at times for more accurate feedback on what I have done than I can hear. He likes to make excuses to hear the S-MWM's and I enjoy his keener ears.

 

  Prior to his last visit I had discovered that moving the corded laser mouse caused a noise to happen with my system during playback. I run my S-MWM using my workstation PC as music source (Realtex sound card with High Definiton Driver update) which then feeds into a Xilica (3.5mm jack to XLR) where the two Crown amps go to left and right channel. I flip the mouse over to stop that and will someday be getting a cordless mouse to try and see how that does.

 

  Bernard shows up and I mention this to him and he starts talking about a dedicated music server. Now to me the audio world is just loaded up with things to part you from your money with little to show for it but bragging rights so I am skeptical of much of what I hear. I will listen to Bernard however and he mentioned that he had read that a spinning platter could cause noise too. Well son-of-a-gun that turns out to be true and my secondary hard drive with my music files was doing just that. Now neither of these is at a loud level but you can hear them once you know to look for them. He had read that the answer was to use a flash drive. Well I figure my main drive is an ssd so that will work the same. It did end the noise of the spinning platter.

 

  So if I want the very best I can do I drag and drop my current music list to the ssd main drive and play them from there and the mouse gets flipped over. And once again I get to avoid spending gobs of cash to correct a problem that had an easy cheap answer.

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4 minutes ago, Dave A said:

Prior to his last visit I had discovered that moving the corded laser mouse caused a noise to happen with my system during playback.

 

Does the sound improve if you use Litz wire for the mouse? :D Seriously, there are a huge number of noise sources in a computer, and I can see how this might be one of them. Some of the noise sources are mechanical, some electrical.

 

My job involves a lot of heavy-duty computer simulations, which load the CPU to 100% for significant amounts of time. I once noticed that I could actually hear the CPU running at 100%. No, I don't mean through my audio system; I mean that the thermal expansion in the CPU, as it heated-up due to the processing, created sound waves that I could hear. My colleages thought that I was crazy when I told them, but I was able to prove it.

 

Quote

I run my S-MWM using my workstation PC as music source (Realtex sound card with High Definiton Driver update) which then feeds into a Xilica (3.5mm jack to XLR) where the two Crown amps go to left and right channel.

 

There is potential right here, in that unbalanced to balanced connection, for the introduction of noise. Basically, the ideal case is for the balanced side to see exactly the same impedance in both legs. So simply grounding the "cold" leg, while it works, it is not the best from a noise point of view.

 

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I will listen to Bernard however and he mentioned that he had read that a spinning platter could cause noise too. Well son-of-a-gun that turns out to be true and my secondary hard drive with my music files was doing just that.

 

Modern hard drives are much quieter than they used to be (I occasionally fire-up an old computer to run legacy software, and am astonished at how loud the HD is), but they are not silent. And don't forget about all of the fans in the computer.

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2 minutes ago, Edgar said:

There is potential right here, in that unbalanced to balanced connection, for the introduction of noise. Basically, the ideal case is for the balanced side to see exactly the same impedance in both legs. So simply grounding the "cold" leg, while it works, it is not the best from a noise point of view.

I have a really nice Quadro graphics card in my system. Supposedly it has real good hi-def audio output but I have never been able to figure out how to feed the Xilica from one of the HDMI ports. I have been told this would have better quality output.

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5 minutes ago, Edgar said:

Modern hard drives are much quieter than they used to be (I occasionally fire-up an old computer to run legacy software, and am astonished at how loud the HD is), but they are not silent. And don't forget about all of the fans in the computer.

What I am talking about is not the noise of a working hard drive itself but the noise it makes in the audio signal. Fans have never been an issue here and the noise they make is pretty well smothered by the rack they are in.

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6 minutes ago, Dave A said:

I have a really nice Quadro graphics card in my system. Supposedly it has real good hi-def audio output but I have never been able to figure out how to feed the Xilica from one of the HDMI ports. 

 

It should be pretty simple. https://www.nvidia.com/content/Control-Panel-Help/vLatest/en-us/mergedProjects/nvdsp/To_set_up_digital_audio_on_your_graphics_card.htm

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4 minutes ago, Dave A said:

What I am talking about is not the noise of a working hard drive itself but the noise it makes in the audio signal. Fans have never been an issue here and the noise they make is pretty well smothered by the rack they are in.

 

Ah, yes. As I mentioned, electrical noise can also be a problem. The only solution to that is shielding, which is an art in itself. Or, as you found, eliminating the source. However, any time you move electrons around, you make electrical noise. I've never heard of noise problems with SSDs, but the potential is still there.

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Lots of ways to attack this. My approach is a bit overkill, but I also exist in the world of IT and free hardware once it's reached EOL in the enterprise.

 

 

You could do something similar simply by keeping your workstation as the music server and introducing a raspberry pi or similar as the actual audio playback device in your stack, isolating the noisy pc.

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1 minute ago, Thaddeus Smith said:

Lots of ways to attack this. My approach is a bit overkill, but I also exist in the world of IT and free hardware once it's reached EOL in the enterprise.

 

 

You could do something similar simply by keeping your workstation as the music server and introducing a raspberry pi or similar as the actual audio playback device in your stack, isolating the noisy pc.

For now flipping the mouse over and running files off an ssd seems to have solved the problems. I was mainly posting this for other PC users who might have the same problems. You guys who show up for SWAG will hear the system being discussed although I will be running my files from a laptop and not my workstation. Laptop is all ssd.

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7 minutes ago, glens said:

You possibly could isolate the DC power feed(s) to the sound card and supply it from a dedicated power supply.  I'd wager that would cure both ills.

I will live with what I have. There is no way I am going to  go in there and start rewiring my PC to solve a problem mostly solved already. The level of sound quality I have is high enough that I just don't care about small things unless they are easily solved.

 

  My biggest current concern is would an 8' horn smoke a 5' horn.

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2 hours ago, Dave A said:

(Realtex sound card with High Definiton Driver update)

 

I recently had problems on my desktop with a set of earphones with mic on Windows 10: first undetectable, then all noise, no sound. Once you start researching, you'll find tons of amateur youtube videos on how to set it right, all clickbait, non work.

 

One of the issues is simply that the the earphone/mic set is not being detected in the front panel of a desktop.

The reason being that the Realtek drivers come in many varients, most designed for laptops, which have one plug both for mic and earphones, so it basically allows to use your smartphone earplugs.

Install this driver on a desktop pc, and your bound for problems.

In short, even if the Realtek driver is omnipresent, it doesn't mean it is good quality. It is  actually really bad.

One of the things I discovered is that the standard sensitivity of the speakers is 50, while the slider goes up to 100. It is called 'microphonematrix'. Then there is 'microphone boost': you can further increase the microphone's sensitivity with 10 up to 30 dB! So I think they are messing with 'gain' beyond the capacity of the hardware. I guess they do this to be able to deal with all kinds of mics (built in laptop mic, earplugs, conference mic etc.) They don't do this for those with audiophile interests.

 

Now, if they are messing with mics like that, I can imagine this Realtek driver is doing the same with speaker settings. Add to that the layers above the driver, eg Nvida comes with its own hdmi audio drivers, and some exotic Wavexxx with a fancy skins for the teens, which all tap into the audio stream of the pc system.

 

For me, the solution for the mic/earphone combo being undetectable, was reverting to the native HD Audio driver (see steps below) and then setting the mic sensitivity at (50) and mic boost at 0.

 

1. Open the Device Manager (find it in the Control Panel, or type device manager into the Windows search box).

2. Expand the "Sound, video & game controllers" and right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio".

3. Select to "Update Driver Software".

4. Click on "Browse my computer for driver software".

5. Click "Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer".

6. Put a check in the box "Show compatible hardware" if not already checked.

7. In the list of devices, click "High Definition Audio" (the native driver).

8. Click "Next".

9. On the Update Driver Warning box, click "Yes" (install the driver).

10. Restart the computer if prompted. If not prompted, sometimes you have to restart, sometimes not.

 

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27 minutes ago, ILI said:

 

I recently had problems on my desktop with a set of earphones with mic on Windows 10: first undetectable, then all noise, no sound. Once you start researching, you'll find tons of amateur youtube videos on how to set it right, all clickbait, non work.

 

One of the issues is simply that the the earphone/mic set is not being detected in the front panel of a desktop.

The reason being that the Realtek drivers come in many varients, most designed for laptops, which have one plug both for mic and earphones, so it basically allows to use your smartphone earplugs.

Install this driver on a desktop pc, and your bound for problems.

In short, even if the Realtek driver is omnipresent, it doesn't mean it is good quality. It is  actually really bad.

One of the things I discovered is that the standard sensitivity of the speakers is 50, while the slider goes up to 100. It is called 'microphonematrix'. Then there is 'microphone boost': you can further increase the microphone's sensitivity with 10 up to 30 dB! So I think they are messing with 'gain' beyond the capacity of the hardware. I guess they do this to be able to deal with all kinds of mics (built in laptop mic, earplugs, conference mic etc.) They don't do this for those with audiophile interests.

 

Now, if they are messing with mics like that, I can imagine this Realtek driver is doing the same with speaker settings. Add to that the layers above the driver, eg Nvida comes with its own hdmi audio drivers, and some exotic Wavexxx with a fancy skins for the teens, which all tap into the audio stream of the pc system.

 

For me, the solution for the mic/earphone combo being undetectable, was reverting to the native HD Audio driver (see steps below) and then setting the mic sensitivity at (50) and mic boost at 0.

 

1. Open the Device Manager (find it in the Control Panel, or type device manager into the Windows search box).

2. Expand the "Sound, video & game controllers" and right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio".

3. Select to "Update Driver Software".

4. Click on "Browse my computer for driver software".

5. Click "Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer".

6. Put a check in the box "Show compatible hardware" if not already checked.

7. In the list of devices, click "High Definition Audio" (the native driver).

8. Click "Next".

9. On the Update Driver Warning box, click "Yes" (install the driver).

10. Restart the computer if prompted. If not prompted, sometimes you have to restart, sometimes not.

 

Last week I updated the Realtex sound card from the Dell site as the official version I thought I should use. It sounded terrible and I ended up downloading the Hi Def driver from realtex and after install all was well again. At first I wondered if I had changed a bad thing on the Xilica and could never find it there. The 256MB version straight from Realtex is the one to get.

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1 hour ago, Dave A said:

Last week I updated the Realtex sound card from the Dell site as the official version I thought I should use. It sounded terrible and I ended up downloading the Hi Def driver from realtex and after install all was well again. At first I wondered if I had changed a bad thing on the Xilica and could never find it there. The 256MB version straight from Realtex is the one to get.

 

Same story with mine: I have a Dell XPS 8930 with a powerfull nvidia graphics card for video editing. After updating Realtek driver from Dell website, audio was a complete nightmare. Took me until 1.30 pm to repair it. All the official Dell support (flashy videos included) blame Windows 10 for it, but like you, I downloaded Dell's own Realtek driver from Dell's website....

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8 minutes ago, ILI said:

 

Same story with mine: I have a Dell XPS 8930 with a powerfull nvidia graphics card for video editing. After updating Realtek driver from Dell website, audio was a complete nightmare. Took me until 1.30 pm to repair it. All the official Dell support (flashy videos included) blame Windows 10 for it, but like you, I downloaded Dell's own Realtek driver from Dell's website....

Makes you wonder if the Dell techs that approved of this listen to anything besides tiny little Dell OEM speakers. I was sweating bullets trying to figure this out. I have some Klipsch forum guests coming here next week and I sure did not want to tell them my S-MWM's now sound like junk and I don't know why. It's all OK now and  the 32' organ pipes are back in business.

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Dave... over the years have had numerous mice make noize in the auduo when movingthe cursor. It could be the driver, bur the mouse woulss also be suspect.  You could try a wireless mouse.

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5 hours ago, Marvel said:

Dave... over the years have had numerous mice make noize in the auduo when movingthe cursor. It could be the driver, bur the mouse woulss also be suspect.  You could try a wireless mouse.

The wireless mouse worked for you? It is on my list of things to do although not high up on it since I can just flip the corded mouse over. Between flipping the mouse over and using the ssd drive those background noises are gone as far as I can tell.

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