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laptop buzzes n things that go bump in the Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 4th September 2007
Lives for gear

laptop buzzes n things that go bump in the

i keep on reading here bout probs people have with laps.
(mebe make this a sticky ??)
1. you hear a hum or buzz over your speakers , but its gone when you use battery power.
are you useing a proper star grounding system ??
heres one possibility.
your lap is hooked up to a different power outlet than the rest of your gear.
try this....(star grounding system i call it.)
house power outlet>>>>surge protected power bars (one or more.)
>>>>>all your gear.
anothe solution as war n hench suggested is to try a 2 prong adaptor.
2. if you MUST use on board sound chips in laps....
ASIO4ALL - Universal ASIO Driver is a MUST.
but the behringer uca 202 is like 30 buks for getting audio into/out of
a laptop. about the cheapest unit i know.
n it dont sound bad,. .good enough for rough demos.
heres some user reviews.
Behringer UCA-202: Harmony Central User Reviews
(yeh i know certain people are down on behr round here...
but its better than on board sound chips prolly......or spend more n get a proper
usb audio/midi interface like a edirol UA series mebe.)
( n have a huge list of usb n firewire sound devices.)
some laptops have no line input so for cheap try the behr 202.
heres the hook up.
mic>>>mic pre>>>line in of 202>>>>your daw software.
stereo line out of 202>>>>your monitoring.
3. in addition dont run a lap with daft low levels of memory.
XP (n vista) NEED FRICKIN MEMORY. also .if u got a crappy internal slow hard drive , get a 7200 rpm upgrade.

hope this helps.
Old 5th September 2007
Lives for gear

I run linux to do my recording from. My issues may or may not be battery vs. power related. With linux, I have maximum memory available. And optimal performance as it's compiled specifically for my CPU, and I only run what I need to run. Which may not be the default settings for most distros.

Anyway, the issues I have are more of a device interaction issue. If I'm downloading stuff while recording it adds noise to the recorded sound. If I move the mouse around while recording something it adds noise. If I'm not recording or playing back, when I do any/all of the above, there's noticeable noise output from my sound card. Now it may only be 10% or 20% of the level any recorded or played sound. But that's pretty damn noisy.

An external soundcard seems the best solution for me. But since I don't currently have one, I don't really know if that is a solution. Most external devices state 1 to 100 noise to recording ratio. If your low powered mic only inputs at 20% of 100, when you amp it up to 100, that's 5% noise. So far it seems like I need a high quality high gain mic and recording levels of the computer at 1% mic/gain, to get a quality, low noise, recording.

Also if I run from a linux liveCD in console only mode using arecord. I get probably the lowest noise level of all. Not that that's all that easy since I don't get any mixer settings feedback until I play the track with aplay. And otherwise look at the waveform in a gui with audacity. Without optimal mixer settings, I need to normalize/amplify the sound which increases the noise level.

Just my take.
Old 5th September 2007
Lives for gear

difficult to comment without knowing hardware details of your pc.
what is it ?? to quote monty python
sounds to me your useing on board sound chip in a laptop.
these are inherently noisy.
also some laptops dont have line input...only mic in.
if u try n use a mic in on a laptop as a line in to record from,
this is another potential issue. cos u have an impedence mismatch prolly.
i would check on linux user forums as to which external sound device might suit your needs. i believe RME will work under linux but are epensive.
dont know where their laptop situation is at.....
but heres a link....
RME Intelligent Audio Solutions - Overview Linux Driver

if your useing mic in on a laptop and thats all u have, be aware its for a computer simple mic u find at computer stores. the mic in is no good for hooking up
proper pro mics.
the PROPER input signal chain is....
pro mic (eg shure sm57)>>>>mic preamp (eg rane ms1b)>>>>>external sound device (eg linux compatible external sound device with ADA in it)>>>record a track.
output signal chain....
traks from your pc mixed to stereo>>>>external sound device( compatible with linux sound device.)>>>>your monitoring/speakers.

this says linux
Digigram Products - VXpocket v2 - audio production on laptop, 24 bit, microsoft's WAVE, ASIO, Mac Sound Manager, stereo SPDIF input, stereo SPDIF output, digital record, digital playback, LTC time code input, 2 balanced analog inputs, 2 balanced anal

heres a list of suggested sound devices that work with linux.
OSS v4.0 Supported device list for Linux

as you can see its difficult mebe picking a suitable linux device.
(lots of beta drivers etc./situation is in a state of flux etc.)
therefore i would suggest you contact the maker of your linux distro ,
as well as various manufacturers offering sound cards with linux support and
give them details bout your pc and distro being used.

mebe also contact maudio....big vendor of sound devices n see where they stand re linux support. a brief google search suggested there was activity on this front.

thats about it n all i can offer.
to be frank....sometime ...assuming a recent laptop that will support win xp,
load reaper on it ( and fly baby. unlimited tracks etc.
if u peruse the reaper forums i believe someones got it running under wine.

all the best.
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