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bad noise when monitoring tracks, power conditioner? Dynamics Plugins
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

bad noise when monitoring tracks, power conditioner?

Hi there,

Ok so i have been having problems getting horrible noise through my speakers i think from the computer from my soundcard. After a post on this site i determined i had a ground loop, so i bought a ground loop isolator and put it inbetween my speakers and my soundcard, and that elminated the problem when im not using any outboard gear, however when i monitor and record (mainly my juno 106) the noise is still there, really loud, like a horrible electrically whine.

how can i solve this problem, is a power conditioner the answer, i dont really know anything about them??

any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Rusted Vacuum's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmac88 View Post
Hi there,

Ok so i have been having problems getting horrible noise through my speakers i think from the computer from my soundcard. After a post on this site i determined i had a ground loop, so i bought a ground loop isolator and put it inbetween my speakers and my soundcard, and that elminated the problem when im not using any outboard gear, however when i monitor and record (mainly my juno 106) the noise is still there, really loud, like a horrible electrically whine.

how can i solve this problem, is a power conditioner the answer, i dont really know anything about them??

any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
Hi neilmac88!!!

I solved this problem by an independent physical earth in the study, was careful to connect the earthof each of the devices directly to that earth, not interconnected with each other, because this is what can generate a ground loop.
So, the center-tap in all your outlets to a new line that goes to the garden or what ever earth you have, then purchase a rod for earth ground in your hardware store, and bury it as it comes in the instructions, the deepest you can on the piece of land that you have at your disposal, conect here the cable from the earth of your studio.

While ground loop is the primary cause of unwanted "injected" power-line noise, there are other noise sources that need to be mentioned:
  • Light Dimmers. Your innocent triac-based lamp dimmer is a major source of unwanted power-line noise. With dimmers, the noise is injected directly on the Neutral return (white wire) as well as radiating said noise. There is only one practical way to eliminate this noise source: Removal of all dimmers from your home's wiring.
  • Miswired Outlets. The possibility exists that you have one or more "miswired" AC outlets where the Hot (black) and Neutral (White) wires are reversed on the terminals. This condition can be immediately ascertained by using an "outlet checker" (Radio Shack #22-101 or equivalent). Any outlets determined to be "miswired" should be immediately corrected as it only takes one miswired outlet to "screw-up" every outlet.
  • "Lost" Saftey Grounds. This condition can also be determined with the "outlet checker". If your A/V equipment uses 3-prong (grounded) plugs, this condition can cause no end of trouble as well as expose you to potential shock hazzard. These outlets should be corrected ASAP for your safety and for the safety of your 3-prong A/V equipment as mentioned earlier!
  • "Motorized" Appliances. Refrigerators and freezers are prime noise-inducers. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to directly "quiet" them. If they're connected to "ungrounded" outlets you're "asking for trouble", both in terms of noise and saftey!
  • Radio and TV Emissions. We all live in a veritible sea of emitted RF radiation from sources (TV, radio, arcing switches, etc.). Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to directly "quiet" these sources, though you can minimize their "effects".
Power-line isolation transformers. While an expensive way of isolating your equipment from the main AC system, it's probably the most fool-proof method. IMPORTANT: make sure the transformers you use are double the total wattage rating of the total power draw of your A/V equipment and all your A/V equipment is connected to the isolators. If using more than one transformer, physically connect the shells/ground connections together so they'll be at the same "ground potential". Also make sure the "ground pin" is isolated from the household receptacle ground (not applicable if your A/V equipment uses 2-prong plugs). WARNING: this method creates a "floating ground" condition that, under certain circumstances, can pose a life-threatening as well as equipment-destroying condition! Use this method only as a last resort and only where there is no possibility of contacting a "regular" ground while touching the "floating" equipment.
Physically routing AC power cords away from signal interconnects. This will reduce unwanted "coupling" of AC line noise from power cords into interconnect shields. NOTE: Do not "coil" excessive lengths of power cords, just "bunch" them together in a random fashion. Same goes for "extra-long" signal interconnects. Finally, the more you can separate the power and interconnect bundles from each other, the better.
Use "good quality" signal interconnects. The signal cables that come with your A/V gear, while adequate for most people, have inadequate shielding. "Monster" brand, as well as Radio Shack "Gold Standard" interconnects are good quality interconnects while not being too expensive.
Physical relocation of the gear. In some cases, there is a "nexus" of house wiring behind the wall (many parallel runs, hidden junction boxes, etc.). This is a condition very difficult to detect, but which nonetheless can exist, especially on older residences (i.e. >30 years old). The only way to escape this is moving everything to another part of the room, while hoping another "nexus" doesn't exist where you relocate. In other situations, the TV itself acts as a "noise radiator". Oftentimes moving the receiver/amp to a different location relative to the TV (or vice-versa) can reduce/eliminate unwanted hum.

Calling in a licensed electrician. If all the above methods seem to be useless, it's time to call-in a licensed electrician to examine your home's wiring. This is the ultimate last resort because if the above methods are failures, there's probably something "really wrong" with your AC wiring and/or earth grounding. It's also the most expensive method as there exists the possibility of the need to re-wire the home. Only the electrician can determine this and, like "shopping" for a doctor, get a "second opinion" (and third or fourth) before committing to this action.

Here you have 2 examples of ground loop in guitar, and the other one is a line without it. Good luck....
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