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Monitor Noise? Studio Monitors
Old 1st January 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

Monitor Noise?

Recently I have been noticing my KRK RP6 monitors have some high-frequency static/noise. They are about a year old now. It is not noticeable when playing music through them, but when everything is silent I can definitely hear some quiet white-noise coming out of them (although it's probably not noticeable to someone who isn't listening for it). When I put my ear right up next to the speakers it is definitely noticeable. My left speaker also makes small noises along with what I'm doing on the computer, i.e. it crackles slightly when I scroll up and down or click, although again it's only noticeable when the speakers aren't playing. I trace the problem back to lending my monitors out to some DJs in my dorm for them to do a set with... shoulda known they would get blown out!

So is this normal? Do other people out there hear noise/static from their speakers when silent? Do you think it will negatively affect my mixes? Is there anything I can do to try and fix this?

EDIT: Another thing I hadn't considered, I am using unbalanced cables with these monitors, a 1/4" from my interface to an RCA on the speakers. Could the noise be due to some interference because of this?
Old 1st January 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BK4life View Post
Recently I have been noticing my KRK RP6 monitors have some high-frequency static/noise. They are about a year old now. It is not noticeable when playing music through them, but when everything is silent I can definitely hear some quiet white-noise coming out of them (although it's probably not noticeable to someone who isn't listening for it). When I put my ear right up next to the speakers it is definitely noticeable. My left speaker also makes small noises along with what I'm doing on the computer, i.e. it crackles slightly when I scroll up and down or click, although again it's only noticeable when the speakers aren't playing. I trace the problem back to lending my monitors out to some DJs in my dorm for them to do a set with... shoulda known they would get blown out!

So is this normal? Do other people out there hear noise/static from their speakers when silent? Do you think it will negatively affect my mixes? Is there anything I can do to try and fix this?

EDIT: Another thing I hadn't considered, I am using unbalanced cables with these monitors, a 1/4" from my interface to an RCA on the speakers. Could the noise be due to some interference because of this?
Unbalanced could be it or a minor ground loop issue. RCA sucks most of the time and I try to avoid using it whenever possible, try running balanced first and see if it clears up.
Old 1st January 2011
  #3
Registered User
 

is it a laptop computer?
Old 2nd January 2011
  #4
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atma's Avatar
i've had this issue with soundcards that were powered by my PCs power supply. it went away when i started using a soundcard that had its own power source (external firewire device w/ power adapter).

I'd try balanced cables though, they definitely made a very noticeable difference in noise levels for me.
Old 5th February 2011
  #5
Gear Head
 
Philoso's Avatar
Im having the exact problem and im also using KRK Rokit 8's and unbalanced rca cables. I wonder if thats what is causing it. I hear alot of white noise when a DAW is open. And yes whenever i open folders or scroll up on mouse i pick up noise. I cant use anything but unbalanced unfortunately, my Fast Track only has a L/R ub rca out. Ive yet to test if the noise is there after ive mixed down track and play out a diffrent pair of speakers.
Old 5th February 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 

I also have it with Yamaha MSP7 + RME HDSP 9632 (balanced connection).
Old 5th February 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
Sounds like a bad connection in the loop or something interfering (to the above post to)

Try balanced as suggested and see how it is. With balanced and a good audio card you should have a clean clear signal.
Old 5th February 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Definitely try balanced cables and try a variety of them. I had to try 3 or 4 brands before I found one that worked better than the others. Good luck. Monitor noise is crazy annoying.
Old 5th February 2011
  #9
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Philoso's Avatar
Yeah cant do Balanced cables unless i get a new interface, my interface only has unbalanced rca output.
Old 5th February 2011
  #10
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Just for fun, turn off your computer monitor and see if it affects things. My first guest would be some sort of RF, and that would likely be the biggest contributor, followed by some sort of power supply, or maybe parallel bundled sinal and AC cables, maybe something wireless....
Old 5th February 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
Yeah check how your pc monitor effects things ^

When I switch my monitors on or off my pc monitor goes on and off to, some kind of interference!
Old 6th February 2011
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philoso View Post
Yeah cant do Balanced cables unless i get a new interface, my interface only has unbalanced rca output.
You could try a Rolls MB15 Promatch Converter.
Old 6th February 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

As someone already asked , "is this a laptop computer" ?
If so try running it on the batteries , not on the PSU .
Old 6th February 2011
  #14
I've been down these roads before and I've gained a bit of knowledge of these issues:

Mouse/screen related noises...

Noises related to screen activities are typically a result of contamination of the analog signal with digital noise and is quite often the result of using a less-than-ideal Firewire or USB converter which allows such contamination. I had a similar problem with a laptop's built-in Firewire.

(Happily, it was only when I had both my FW interface and the laptop's internal audio interface attached to [different inputs] of the same control amp; the noise appeared in both audio signals; for me it was as easy as disconnecting one or the other but I've read of a wide variety of behaviors).

When I set up my then-new desktop box, which didn't have a Firewire port built in, I followed the recommendations of many FW digital converter makers and bought a Firewire adapter that uses a Texas Instruments chipset. The difference in cost was fairly minimal in add-in PCI cards. But, last thing I heard, there were no laptop makers using the slightly more expensive TI chipset, which is why so many folks have had problems with such noise on lappies.


White noise/background hiss:

I can't think of any scenario where using unbalanced cables would have anything to to with white noise type noise. The danger with unbalanced cables is inducted noise, typically alternating current hum. The balanced cabling system typically causes cancellations of induced hum.

White noise typically is self-noise of an amplification circuit.

Sudden, typically sporadic bursts of white-noise is often related to degradation of capacitors or integrated circuit components (sometimes related to heat damage).


All amplifiers have some self noise. (Solid state amps typically don't have as much hum as tube/valve amps but white noise type background noise can seem more prominent.)

Careful gain staging will help. But powered monitors complicate things.

Make sure you have set your monitors' input trim (level) to an optimal level for your approach. Set them for the loudest level you will typically need and then control your monitoring level from an analog level control if possible, or, if necessary from an output level control on the digital side. But, remember, controlling monitor level from the digital side incurs a hit to the overall available signal-to-noise level provided by your digital system.

If you're doing 24 bit audio, the theoretical maximum is a quite generous ~140 dB, but it can be common to have to do some serious level reduction unless you've properly optimized things on the analog output side.

For instance, I'm running a power amp an passive speakers on an everyday basis and my 65 watt/ch amp is set to -45 to -50 dB when I'm feeding full digital signal to it. Working backwards, if I was using powered monitors of similar power, I'd have to turn the volume down by that amount on the digital side, reducing my digital S/N ratio to below 100 dB -- or more.

But, in reality, my own powered monitors are a ridiculous 200 w/ch -- and I have to seriously reduce the signal level I feed to them even with the monitors' input trim all the way down. Doing the amount of gain reduction required for normal listening levels from the digital side causes a very significant reduction in digital S/N ratio -- and obvious sonic degradation at lower levels. Because of that, it's necessary for me to use an intervening analog level control between the DA and the speakers. (I use one of my analog mixers.)
Old 6th February 2011
  #15
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musikmaschine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yago View Post
As someone already asked , "is this a laptop computer" ?
If so try running it on the batteries , not on the PSU .
Yeah my 3 pin (UK) laptop power supply is the cause of my noise issue. Balanced cables do eliminate the noise but it was pretty bad with the RP6s i had tbh.
Old 2nd November 2011
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Hi there,
Was desperately searching on the net for some help on noise interference with my KRK RP6 monitors and found this link.
Would really appreciate if someone could help!
I have an IMAC 2.8G i7, a pair of KRK RP6 and a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 audio interface. I'm having the same problems and some guys in this post have said, i.e. literally, I get the (internal) sound/digital noise from the computer on my KRK RP6 constantly and increases/changes when I do stuff, like for example if I scroll the mouse, open a new window, etc.
I've bypassed my soundcard and went straight into my line in (from TS unbalanced to jack) and still got the problem.
I also tried to change the computer power cable as I was told the plug might not have an earth wire going true it but the problem remained.
I'm going to try and change the cables to balanced as some of you said, but I'm pretty sure the problem will persist.
It is so annoying to work with, I hope I manage to get around it.

Thanks!
Old 30th January 2014
  #17
I have a similar imac and have the same problem - noise when i scroll and open folders and such. any help?
Old 30th January 2014
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Equator D5s flank an iMac in an editing room here, and have a slight noise that I have definitely traced to the wireless mouse. Noise changes as mouse is used, or is sitting idle. Shut off the mouse - no noise… Do not know how to solve the issue. i simply live with it…
Best.
Byll
Old 30th January 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Try 'clip on' ferrite filters on the inputs to the (audio) monitors, as close to the speaker as possible. Get several and use more than one per cable as RF reduction would be greater.
These filters are the 'lumps' you often see on digital cabling (PC monitors for example) and switchmode power supplies. You can get clip on which require no cutting, soldering or seriously technical effort.
I have been suggesting this for a couple of years now but no one has had the decency to report back on how effective they have been, so far.
As a note, balanced cabling is unlikely to have any significant impact on 'noises' that are significantly above power line frequency although messing with different cables may appear to help you are not 'curing' the problem which is essentially a small radio transmitter blasting directly into the monitor amplifier.
Matt S
Old 30th January 2014
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
Try 'clip on' ferrite filters on the inputs to the (audio) monitors, as close to the speaker as possible. Get several and use more than one per cable as RF reduction would be greater.
These filters are the 'lumps' you often see on digital cabling (PC monitors for example) and switchmode power supplies. You can get clip on which require no cutting, soldering or seriously technical effort.
I have been suggesting this for a couple of years now but no one has had the decency to report back on how effective they have been, so far.
As a note, balanced cabling is unlikely to have any significant impact on 'noises' that are significantly above power line frequency although messing with different cables may appear to help you are not 'curing' the problem which is essentially a small radio transmitter blasting directly into the monitor amplifier.
Matt S
Can you confirm this will work for my situation? I am about to order some today....
Old 30th January 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Unfortunately I can't say it will definitely work but it is more likely than swapping to different cables and some other techniques. It has a major merit that it does not compromise safety at all. Even if it doesn't cure the noise I am sure that over time they would come in useful in a 'problem situation' on a mic lead or something.
I don't have monitors that suffer this problem otherwise I would try them myself.
Please get back here and report either success or failure and any observations such as a reduction in noise level or change in 'tone' of the noise.
You can put them on the audio cables at the monitor end, right close to the monitor itself, and if you have more than two, you could try them over other cables too. If you don't clip them firmly they can be removed and used elsewhere although the clips may be 'once only' fitting.
Hope it goes well.
Matt
Old 19th November 2016
  #22
Here for the gear
Hello. Old post, but probably many peeps still have problems with this. Since the PC sends the signal trough analog to the active speakers they will get the hiss with RCA/XLR cables. Since the noise is being made inside the PC probably trough the something of the hardware. Easiest fix that actually works is to use an DAC that is powered trough its own(not by USB as this transfers the noise).

My DAC died and I have been using my active speakers directly onto the PC, believed at first it was since I had to use RCA cables instead of XLR. But wrong, tried out diferent USB powered DACs in the house still the hiss was there. >Bought a new DAC/AMP who is powered by its own, problem gone even when using RCA or XLR. AND if I feed the DAC with COAX/USB/spdif nothing changes still clean sound no hiss.
Old 20th November 2016
  #23
I can also hear white noise when I put my ear right next to the speaker. While sitting in my chair, I can't hear the noise. Not an issue for me. I may try some balanced cables just the same though just to see it it solves the problem.
Old 20th November 2016
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Putting your ear next to the monitor is an 'unfair' test as all amplifiers have some noise.
Balanced cables will have NO impact on 'hiss' whatsoever UNLESS an unbalanced cable is picking up RF and it is being demodulated. Even then, a balanced cable could make it better or worse.
Matt S
Old 23rd November 2016
  #25
Gear Nut
 
Rusty Falcon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
Putting your ear next to the monitor is an 'unfair' test as all amplifiers have some noise.
Balanced cables will have NO impact on 'hiss' whatsoever UNLESS an unbalanced cable is picking up RF and it is being demodulated. Even then, a balanced cable could make it better or worse.
Matt S
True. I put my ears next to my powered Tannoy monitors and I hear hiss.
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