The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Getting distortion in many VSTs
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Getting distortion in many VSTs

Hi,

Can anyone hear subtle noise on top of this piano note:

https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/sample

or like a crackling vinyl sound over this synth:

https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/sample-2h

(both very subtle but enough to drive you mad)

After having spent many hours trying to solve this problem I am really struggling and the store I bought my FA-65 monitors from is not being helpful.

- I can hear it from various VSTs (the one I'm currently testing is NI Kontakt New York Concert Grand but I can hear it on different pianos within Kontakt and different VSTs such as Omnisphere).

- I can hear it on the same VSTs tested in different DAWs (Ableton and Logic).

- I can hear it on both speakers using different cables (therefore it's likely not that the speakers or cables are broken).

- I can hear it from 2 different sound cards.

- I've tested the speakers in different rooms and listening quietly so my ear is right next to speaker and can confirm the noise is coming from the speakers and not some vibrations in the room.

- I can't hear it on my headphones, but my headphones aren't very good so that doesn't mean much.

The distortion seems to be present at certain frequencies or sounds, and it's more present when playing certain notes.

I've exported the sample from Ableton and can still hear it.

I can still hear it in the uploaded sample.

I was wondering whether someone with good speakers could please play the sample to see if you can hear it it also.

The noise is probably best described as a buzzing / rattling above what one expects to hear as the pure piano note, and happens shortly after the note is payed and dies out quickly, almost like the buzzing when something rests on top of a speaker.

Thanks a million if someone can help me get to the bottom if this.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 

Sounds good here ( over dt880 headphones )
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
MarcB's Avatar
nope no noise here either (Prism Callia/PSI A25m). I can hear the background sounds of the actual piano key being pressed but not anything distorting.

Silly question. Are you overloading the channel or the amp?

Last edited by MarcB; 3 weeks ago at 05:21 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
TornadoTed's Avatar
What sort of volume are you setting the fader at in your DAW mixer?

0dB in a DAW can be +20dB in the analogue domain. I always pull the fader down to around -25dB as a starting point when I use virtual instruments.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Not overloading the channel or amp, and just tried turning both the VST volume right down and the channel up (and various variations) and the problem remains.

Also the CPU bar in Ableton is fine...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

The fact I can hear the distortion in the samples I've uploaded and people are saying they can't hear it kind of suggests it's totally separate to anything happening within the DAW and VSTs....unless people aren't hearing the distortion I hear.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Sounds fine to me.
Sometimes such problems can be heard when the sample is recorded at for example 44100 and your audio system is set to 48000.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
MarcB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
The fact I can hear the distortion in the samples I've uploaded and people are saying they can't hear it kind of suggests it's totally separate to anything happening within the DAW and VSTs....unless people aren't hearing the distortion I hear.
what is your gear going from the PC to the speakers?

IE soundcard, monitor controller/amp etc How is it connected , USB XLR, TRS etc ?

Are all the screws in your speakers tight?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

I just tried different sample rates and sounds the same.

And:

Mac > Focusrite 18i20 > TRS to XLR > FA-65s

I have moved the speakers around the room and out of the room - and the sound is very much coming from the speakers - can no one seriously hear the subtle distortion in the second sample? It really does very much feel like this is present in the sample - with having tried 2 different sound cards... it's subtle but it's very there
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
can no one seriously hear the subtle distortion in the second sample?
If you can hear it, you should be able to also see it in the waveform/spectral display.
Upload an uncompressed wav of just 1 shot here.

But if your speakers are giving you something that is not in the source, the simplest guess is most probably right: they are faulty.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
MarcB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
I just tried different sample rates and sounds the same.

And:

Mac > Focusrite 18i20 > TRS to XLR > FA-65s

I have moved the speakers around the room and out of the room - and the sound is very much coming from the speakers - can no one seriously hear the subtle distortion in the second sample? It really does very much feel like this is present in the sample - with having tried 2 different sound cards... it's subtle but it's very there
does all music do it or just your vsts?
have you tried rendering the audio , save it to your phone then connect your phone into the speakers to see if the distortion is still there?

have you correctly set up your input levels on the rear of the speakers? IE. try lowering the speakers gain settings and raising the volume on your interface and vice versa.

Are they digital speakers? do they have a setting which switches them between digital and analogue inputs and they're expecting a digital input or external clock ?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Here for the gear
 

I am almost certain though the noise is in the samples I have uploaded to Soundcloud, meaning the source of the noise is just bum VST samples (unlikely since NI and Spectronics are pretty good), or something to do with the VST and or Ableton, but as I've also heard the noise in Logic...it suggest it must be the VSTs or the VSTs playing though my computer...

The way I've concluded it is almost certainly in the sample is due to a process of elimination:

- The noise is present in both speakers
- The noise is present when using different sound cards
- The noise is present when I play the samples on my phone through the sound cards and my computer

- So either:

- Both of my brand new FA-65 speakers are broken in just the same way (which I find very unlikely)

- Focal have produced some speakers with a manufacturing default (which I also find unlikely)

- Or the noise is there and no one else has yet been able to identify it...like how I haven't been able to hear it through my headphone monitors.

- However here is another sample that I can just about it hear the noise thorough my monitor headphones though only just about: https://soundcloud.com/user-78643792...9-11-17-164658

It's subtle but it should be noticeable.

And here is a spectrograph of the sample:

https://i.ibb.co/ftJs1YL/Screen-Shot...t-17-11-51.png

The noise seems to start and end where the fuzzy part is between the harmonics - and it ends about a third the way across the image, and is coming from the frequency range about half way up the image.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
If you can hear it, you should be able to also see it in the waveform/spectral display.
Upload an uncompressed wav of just 1 shot here.

But if your speakers are giving you something that is not in the source, the simplest guess is most probably right: they are faulty.
It is very subtle so very difficult to isolate in the spectral display, though I've been using iZotope which is usually very good at this kind of thing but its kind of a fuzz across a range of frequencies so I'm not sure what I'm seeing is the noise or not. Whats the best way to upload the wav?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
does all music do it or just your vsts?
have you tried rendering the audio , save it to your phone then connect your phone into the speakers to see if the distortion is still there?

have you correctly set up your input levels on the rear of the speakers? IE. try lowering the speakers gain settings and raising the volume on your interface and vice versa.

Are they digital speakers? do they have a setting which switches them between digital and analogue inputs and they're expecting a digital input or external clock ?
I haven't noticed it in any other music, so far only my VSTs.

The only controls I have on the back of my speakers are 2 shelving controls and both are set at 0, and I have just twiddled with both and lowered the volume on the interface and it's still present.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Ok - that last sample really helped me confirm it - I found the sound in EQ and ramped it up and here it is:

https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/7a-1

...what in gods name could be causing this? It's across various NI pianos through Kontakt and through Omnisphere.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
MarcB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
Ok - that last sample really helped me confirm it - I found the sound in EQ and ramped it up and here it is:

https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/sample-5

...what in gods name could be causing this? It's across various NI pianos through Kontakt and through Omnisphere.
I think you can rule out your source as I'm not hearing what you hear. It just sounds like you've eq'd out the bottom.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
I think you can rule out your source as I'm not hearing what you hear. It just sounds like you've eq'd out the bottom.
Try this one - amplified even more: https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/7a-1
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
 

And this one the noise should be way way loud enough:

https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/8a-1

If you spot it then go back in the previous samples and you should hear it nestling there.

...now the question is what is casing it??
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Here for the gear
 

I just went to go play this on some other speakers through my phone but I didn't even get to that stage as I can hear it on my phones speakers: https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/8a-1
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Here for the gear
 

...which is reassuring to know that my speakers are badass.

Now the question is what could be causing this noise?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
MarcB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
I just went to go play this on some other speakers through my phone but I didn't even get to that stage as I can hear it on my phones speakers: https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/8a-1
are you talking about the high pitched harmonic whine type sound? what is the original sound supposed to be ?

Listening back I can hear it on your first piano sounds also. I though you meant it was distorting like being overdriven, not having a high pitched ring type noise over the sound.

edit:

It's feedback. You have your outs routed to an input somewhere within your audio device.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

yep - it's kind of warbling - when I go back in the samples on soundcloud (where I'm amplifying the frequency less and less) I can hear the same warbling just very subtly and this is the sound I could hear on the sample at the very beggining - it's subtle and I couldn't hear it on headphones but it's kind of grating and certainly very irritating, on these monitors at least. But since I can identify it and magnify it so you you can hear it and I can hear it on my headphones sit must be there so then the question is what could be causing this?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
Listening back I can hear it on your first piano sounds also. I though you meant it was distorting like being overdriven, not having a high pitched ring type noise over the sound.

it sounds like a digital sync error. Like you're sending data over SPDIF and the clocks don't match or something. I've had similar before but nothing which sounded like a pure tone as you've got.
thank you jesus you can hear it on the earlier ones also so I know I'm not going mad.

Ok cool, I'll google around this - do you have any specific instructions on how I should try fix this?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
MarcB's Avatar
It sounds like feedback. Pull up your interface software mixer and lower every single channel fader (I don't have a mac so don't know if it has one)

What I mean is something like this, lower all the input channels and lower all the unused output channels. Turn off or disconnect your mics, lower any hardware mixer faders etc etc
Attached Thumbnails
Getting distortion in many VSTs-soundcard.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
The noise seems to start and end where the fuzzy part is between the harmonics - and it ends about a third the way across the image, and is coming from the frequency range about half way up the image.
If it ends, then most likely it is not hardware related.
Did you record that sample ?
Is your power clean ?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 

I think you suffer from a rare form of 'NOise Tinitus "
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Ok - either what I am hearing is essentially what digital recordings sound like through good speakers, or I am going mad.

The noise is coming from other peoples recordings online - here is a track that I can hear it in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo9mC40frxI

The second note in that piece I've EQ'd to to isolate the sound I'm hearing which is this: https://soundcloud.com/user-786437924/bob

I've played that back from a totally different setup and can hear noise very clearly, as hopefully you guys should too.

Though this noise sounds so evident through speakers, I can't hear it all in my headphones - also due to the origin of the noise from my speakers I get the impression the tweeter is delivering it.

Please for the love of god someone explain what is going on.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
The noise is coming from other peoples recordings online - here is a track that I can hear it in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo9mC40frxI
It sounds fine.
You need to remember that you can't record any accoustic instruments completely without any noise.
But maybe you would be surprised how much of that natural noise is totally acceptable to the listeners.
One example is viola/cello/bass players breath noise which drives me insane, but to some other classical music lovers it is even desirable - for them it makes it feel more real.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloloooo View Post
Though this noise sounds so evident through speakers, I can't hear it all in my headphones - also due to the origin of the noise from my speakers I get the impression the tweeter is delivering it.
Maybe some resonance inside or near the speakers.
Try putting them on some foam or rubber or move them to a different place temporarily.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Manoloco's Avatar
Any way to adjust the Tweeter fixation? I had your description once with my Monitors and had to tighten the screws of my tweeter. Gone and done.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Lives for gear
Tinitus?
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump