Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc.

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Tripecac
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2010/11/29 20:41:43 (permalink)

Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc.

When I crank up the headphones on my audio card (Delta44), I can hear a slight metallic clanking noise whenever I do something on the computer.  This happens when I mouse-over things, type, move windows, etc. 

It's very faint, but I never had it on my old computer.

The loudness of the noise depends on how loud I set the input volumes of the audio card; the louder the input, the louder the noise.

Any idea how I can fix it?
post edited by Tripecac - 2010/11/29 22:21:32

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#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    johnnyV
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/29 20:47:44 (permalink)
    I have that as well on the Audigy PCI card, USB interfaces don't seem to do it. I think it's just "the noise in the machine" But It made me worry about if it was recording so I did a test and It does not show up on a blank track cranked up so oh well.
    #2
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/29 21:05:00 (permalink)
    When I record, the noises are being recorded too, so I definitely need to do something about it.

    I plugged the Delta44 breakout box (OMNI I/O) into a separate room's outlet via an extension cord, and still get the same sounds. 

    Not sure what else to try...

    tripecac.com
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    #3
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/29 21:22:45 (permalink)
    Could it be an IRQ conflict?  Here's my current assignments:

    IRQ 0    System timer    OK
    IRQ 1    Standard PS/2 Keyboard    OK
    IRQ 8    System CMOS/real time clock    OK
    IRQ 12    Microsoft PS/2 Mouse    OK
    IRQ 13    Numeric data processor    OK
    IRQ 15    Intel(R) ICH10 Family SMBus Controller - 3A30    OK
    IRQ 16    PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge    OK
    IRQ 16    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A37    OK
    IRQ 16    ASUS Xonar DX Audio Device    OK
    IRQ 17    Intel(R) ICH10 Family PCI Express Root Port 5 - 3A48    OK
    IRQ 17    M-Audio Delta 44    OK
    IRQ 17    Intel(R) ICH10 Family PCI Express Root Port 1 - 3A40    OK
    IRQ 18    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A36    OK
    IRQ 18    Intel(R) ICH10 Family PCI Express Root Port 3 - 3A44    OK
    IRQ 18    VIA 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 18    Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller    OK
    IRQ 18    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 3A3C    OK
    IRQ 19    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A39    OK
    IRQ 19    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A35    OK
    IRQ 20    Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller    OK
    IRQ 21    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A38    OK
    IRQ 23    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 3A3A    OK
    IRQ 23    Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A34    OK
    IRQ 28    Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller    OK
    IRQ 34    High Definition Audio Controller    OK
    IRQ 81    Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System    OK
    IRQ 82    Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System    OK
    ...
    IRQ 189    Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System    OK
    IRQ 190    Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System    OK
    IRQ 4294967282    ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series     OK
    IRQ 4294967283    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967284    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967285    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967286    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967287    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967288    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967289    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967290    NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller    OK
    IRQ 4294967291    Intel(R) 5520/5500/X58 I/O Hub PCI Express Root Port 7 - 340E    OK
    IRQ 4294967292    Intel(R) 5520/5500/X58 I/O Hub PCI Express Root Port 3 - 340A    OK
    IRQ 4294967293    Intel(R) 5520/5500/X58 I/O Hub PCI Express Root Port 2 - 3409    OK
    IRQ 4294967294    Intel(R) 5520/5500/X58 I/O Hub PCI Express Root Port 1 - 3408    OK

    The Delta is on IRQ 17, which is shared with PCI-E ports 1 and 5.  According to my motherboard manual, PCI_2 (which I am using) is shared with PCIE16_3, which I am not using.

    PCI_1 is shared with PCIE1_1, which I *am* using for my PCI-E 1x sound card.



    tripecac.com
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    #4
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/29 22:16:44 (permalink)
    More info... The noise happens even if I turn the power of my breakout box off; I can tell this by recording a few seconds and moving the mouse around.

    Does this mean it's *not* a grounding problem?

    tripecac.com
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    #5
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 01:59:51 (permalink)
    Okay, this is very strange...

    When I plug my keyboard into my PCI-E 1x sound card (Asus Xonar DX) via the mic input, I hear exactly the same buzzing and metallic sounds when I move the mouse (or do anything really).  This is on completely different headphones!

    So the bad sounds are affecting both cards (Delta44 and Xonar DX) in the same way!

    Listening on the Xonar's headphones, here's what I notice:

    1) If I unplug the cables from the keyboard, the noise goes away.

    2) If one cable is attached to the keyboard, the noise is present, but a little less than when both are attached.

    3) If both cables are attached to the keyboard, and the keyboard is also plugged into either (a) power or (b) the Delta44 breakout box, then the noise is there.

    4) If I bypass the keyboard and plug the Xonar directly into the Delta44 breakout box, the noise is there.

    5) However, if I unplug the breakout box from the Delta, the sound goes away, even if the breakout box has power.

    This means the noise appears on the Xonar headphones if it's connected to either:

    a) the keyboard when the power cord is plugged in
    or
    b) the Delta44 (via the breakout box), with or without power

    Does this make any sense to you???

    It doesn't seem to be an IRQ conflict, because it affects 2 different sound cards in exactly the same way.  Also, the noise depends on what the sound cards are connected to.   Is it fair to assume that IRQ is not an issue?





    tripecac.com
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    #6
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 02:23:31 (permalink)
    Another weird clue...

    On the Xonar: If I change the power plan to "Power Saver", the noise goes away.  If I changed it to "Balanced" or "High performance" the noise comes back.

    On the Delta44: "Power Saver" has very little noise (even when inputs maxed, "Balanced" has more noise, and "High Performance" has almost constant noise.

    The "minimum processor state" setting seems to have the most effect; if it's 100% (as in High Performance) there's constant noise.  5% has far less.

    There's always at least some noise, unless I turn down maximum processor state as well.  At 60% or less the metallic noises are gone, and all I hear is very soft static (probably tolerable).  Above that, and the noises come back when I do things like move the mouse over the tabs in firefox.

    UPDATE:

    This is very wacky, but if I create a new plan based on the "Power Saver", and change mix and max processor state to 100%, the noises are still going.  Even if I change all the other settings to the same as High Performance, the noise is gone.  I'll reboot and see if this is still the case...

    tripecac.com
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    #7
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 02:43:58 (permalink)
    Rebooting shed some more light...

    The Power Saver plan quiets reduces the noise most of the time, but not all.  In fact, when Windows 7 first boots, it's very noise.  It apparently takes a while for the power plan to kick in.  Even when using Power Saver, if I start a really CPU-intensive app like a game, I start hearing noises, though they are not as bad as with High Performance.

    Also, on the Delta44, it has to be plugged into the powered keyboard in order for the noise to be there.  As soon as I unplug the keyboard from the wall, the noises vanish.

    So, the problem seems to be dependent on these 2 things:

    1) CPU activity
    2) a cable connection to either the powered keyboard or the Delta's breakout box

    If either of those is absent, the noises go away.


    tripecac.com
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    #8
    Kalle Rantaaho
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 03:20:08 (permalink)
    First I thought that if the noise is always connected to video movements, my suspect number one would be the video card or its drivers.The fact that unplugging the keyboard silences the noise talks against my assumption.

    Are all the gear connected to the same wall-outlet? Grounded or non-grounded? Have you tried different wall-outlets? Using different wall-outlets often causes humming or something depending on the electrical system of the house. A refrgerator or similar machine can also cause problems.

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    #9
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 03:25:43 (permalink)
    UPDATE:

    If I plug the keyboard into a different power outlet, the noise on the Delta44 goes away.  It's still there on the Xonar, however, if I plug the keyboard into the Xonar.  However, hopefully I won't need to use the Xonar for Sonar.

    This just leaves my Pod Pro...  When I connect it to the keyboard or the OMNI I/O, I get the noise.  When I plug its power into the same as the keyboar, I get the noise, even if the Pod Pro's not connected via cables.

    NOTE: The Pod Pro is being powered by a step-down transformer, because I'm in a country w/ 220V instead of 120V.

    If I put the Pod Pro and the step-down transformer on the separate outlet and bring the keyboard back to the main outlet, I get the noise.  So, the keyboard has to be on the separate outlet, and the transformer has to be on the main outlet.

    Also, I notice that if I disconnect some of the other cables going from the keyboard to the breakout box, I get some noise.  It doesn't seem to matter which other connects are made; there just seems to have to be a second electrical connection between the keyboard and computer in order for it to be happy right now.

    So I guess for now I need to forget about the Pod Pro and just plug the guitar into the keyboard, and then use a software amp simulator.  The keyboard's inputs are a little noisy, and I don't know of a good software amp simulator, and it seems a shame to have the Pod Pro collect dust.  I really wish I could figure out what it causing the noise!

    It definitely seems to be electrical in nature.  Grounding, perhaps.  The M-Audio site says that ground loops can be worse when there is CPU or hard disk activity.  That's consistent with my symptoms.  Not sure what to do about a ground loop, though.

    Do you think the problem is the step-down transformer, plus too many cables and several monitors, computers, and a stereo all plugged into one outlet via a series of surge protectors and a UPS?  (I would never have a setup like this in the US but I don't really have an option here as my studio only has one outlet; the nearest other outlet is in the hall, and I have to use a super-long extension cord to reach it).
    post edited by Tripecac - 2010/11/30 03:32:59

    tripecac.com
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    #10
    Guitarhacker
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 08:52:33 (permalink)
    So... skimming through the posts..... I didn't see this ...

    Is the mouse wireless? Wireless mice are notorious for causing noise in audio things from the radio signals they use, getting picked up by unshielded wire and close proximity to the audio input that are turned up higher on a DAW than on most other boxes..... spread sheets and word processors don't care about the audio noise.

    It sounds to me like cheap shielding on the cables used are picking up the signals from the mouse. (If it's wireless)

    Look at all the stuff you have connected to the computer. Disconnect it all and see if the noise is gone. Then connect one thing at a time until something causes it to come back. A process of reverse elimination.

    From your first post however, it appears to be noise unique to the new computer. It's possible that the parts in the machine are the culprit... picking up the internal noise and putting it into the audio bus.
    Cheap component boards, or even the routing of the wiring between boards of the audio input cables. If the input cables are routed close to a part that is radiating the noise... remember that the audio input cables carrying your signals are just small antennas that will pick up the low level radiation and convert it into audio.....  Check the wiring and re-route if if necessary. The computer mfg, never figured that you would be using this as a DAW so for the normal user it didn't matter, but you are not the normal user, and so it does matter to you.

    Basically, you have to play the part of an engineer, and figure it out.  Good luck, and be sure to post what you find.



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    #11
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 11:40:39 (permalink)
    The mouse is not wireless.  Also, it's not just the mouse that triggers the noise; any CPU activity seems to do it.  Setting the power plan to "high performance" creates constant noise...

    ...but the noise only happens if the Delta is connected to one of these:

    a) the Triton keyboard, if it's connected to the same power outlet as the PC or the step-down transformer

    b) the Pod Pro amp simulator, which is powered by the step-down transformer

    Since the noise depends on the electrical connections of the outboard gear, my gut feeling at this point is that there is a grounding problem.  Yes, the PC might be noisy as well (all PCs have some sort of EM interference), but my "engineering instinct" is that if I can fix the grounding problem, I'll get rid of the portion of the noise that it bothering me.

    I don't know how to deal with the grounding problem, however.  I've got a bunch of PCs and other devices in this room, all (except the Triton now) connected to a single wall outlet.  Some things are connected to a UPS, others to one or more surge protectors...  The Delta's breakout box, the Pod Pro, and my printer are all connected to a step-down transformer...  So I've got lots of electrical complexity in this room.

    Would it help if I listed all the electrical connections?  Or are there some general tips on dealing with grounding issues, assuming that's what the problem is?

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    Guitarhacker
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    Re:Noise whenever cpu does something 2010/11/30 12:58:51 (permalink)
    OK.... my next step would be to test the ground continuity and that can be done with an inexpensive ground tester from the local hardware/electric supply store. Lowes and HD have them for under $10.

    That will tell you if the outlet has a ground that is properly connected.

    The next step, it run everything from the UPS. get it all on that one circuit.   Then try it without the UPS, from the same outlet, try different outlets in other rooms... run a drop cord to do this.  It might very well be a grounding/wiring issue.  Keep in mind that the ground checker is NOT fool proof. It is possible to connect wiring in such a way that the checker says it's ok when in fact no ground actually exists there.  In a newer house this is not likely to be the case but in an older home, there is literally no telling what you would find when you open the boxes and actually check the wire. This is where a licensed electrician should be called if you do not know what you would be looking for inside the service and or sub panels.

    DO what I mentioned earlier this time with the electrical stuff. Unplug everything not needed......like the printer, and other non-music related stuff. See if that changes anything. Narrow the possibilities down a bit.

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    #13
    Searchfinger
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/11/30 13:43:56 (permalink)
    When I crank up the headphones on my audio card (Delta44), I can hear a slight metallic clanking noise whenever I do something on the computer. This happens when I mouse-over things, type, move windows, etc. It's very faint, but I never had it on my old computer. The loudness of the noise depends on how loud I set the input volumes of the audio card; the louder the input, the louder the noise. Any idea how I can fix it?


    Dang, and I thought i was the only one having this problem... I'll be monitoring this thread for the solution...
    #14
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/11/30 15:53:28 (permalink)
    More clues...

    I get the same problems with my midi+audio usb interface (Edirol PCR-A30); if I hook it up to the Pod Pro, I get noise.

    Also, if I hook my portable mp3 player up to the PCR-A30, I get tons of noise, to the point of obscuring the actual music... unless I also touch something "grounded" to the computer (the end of a cable, the headphones, etc.)  Just touching something with my hand makes a huge difference to the noise.

    Does this sounds like a typical grounding issue?



    tripecac.com
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    #15
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 02:43:39 (permalink)
    I tried moving my graphics card to a different PCI-E slot, and the Delta to the other PCI slot.  This helped reduce the noise even further, but it's still there.  It's worst when I switch the guitar to a noisier pickup for some reason.



    tripecac.com
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    #16
    SubSample
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 05:22:05 (permalink)
    Hi I have stumbled across this issue recently but with different hardware.
    If I switch to Instrument/guitar on a channel I am using I get this system noise.
    I guess it is some sort of signal boost when using this selection.
    I am using guitar rig at the moment and I do not want to hear the sound of my guitar blending in with the sound of guitar rig so selecting line resolved my issue but still have to test it out while using the external mixer.

    I'm not sure if this relates to your case in some way but it's food for thought.
    #17
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 12:28:16 (permalink)
    So, you were hearing mouse movements, cpu activity, etc. when recording guitar?  And if you record the guitar at a lower volume (which means you need to turn up your actual guitar), you hear less noise?  Is that what you were saying?

    I also find that if I increase the input volume sliders on my sound card, the noise gets more pronounced.  So the noise strength is definitely related to the recording volume of the sound card.



    tripecac.com
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    #18
    Beagle
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 14:31:12 (permalink)
    Tripecac


    So, you were hearing mouse movements, cpu activity, etc. when recording guitar?  And if you record the guitar at a lower volume (which means you need to turn up your actual guitar), you hear less noise?  Is that what you were saying?

    I also find that if I increase the input volume sliders on my sound card, the noise gets more pronounced.  So the noise strength is definitely related to the recording volume of the sound card.

    tripecac - how old is your delta 44?  I had mine for 5 years and then suddenly it started having distortion on the inputs.  all of them - so it was probably a problem with a component in the A/D converter circuit.  I pulled it out and replaced it with a MOTU.  I've been in contact with m-audio because I'd like to get the D44 fixed, but I haven't had time to jump through all of their hoops yet.  maybe I can get to that during Christmas break...
     
    anyway - I digress - my suggestion is that maybe it's a hardware problem with the D44.

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    #19
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 14:44:32 (permalink)
    My Delta44 is from 2000.  It still plays and records very well (except for the noise, which seems to be influenced by other things), and was in my old computer a month ago, doing fine. 

    Currently my Delta44's OMNI I/O breakout box is being powered by a 110V "wall wart" power adaptor which converts to 9VAC.  The wall wart is plugged into a step-down transformer (since I'm in another country).  If I buy a local 9V adapter, I won't need the step-down transformer in the loop.  Do you think it's safe to do something like that?

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    #20
    Beagle
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 14:53:15 (permalink)
    yes, just as long as you have the correct voltage AND current requirements met.  my D44 is the newer one that doesn't have the Omni I/O box, but the newer I/O box with just line inputs and outputs, so I don't know the requirements of your Omni I/O box.  but just match the volts and current rating.  it might be in Volts and VA or "watts" instead of current - it just depends on how they decided to spec it.

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    #21
    johnnyV
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 20:49:46 (permalink)
    My Mouse and CPU noise will happen with nothing but the headphones pluged in. So it's a completly different issue. And as I say it is invisable to the recording stream.
    I know this sounds crazy , but I would try moving the computer and a few things to another location a see if it still does it. Even another building.
    Have you tried a ground lift on the outboard gear?
    220V is scary to us New World people. You folks are brave. Bad enough getting a 110 zap from a vintage amp.
    #22
    SubSample
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/01 21:14:17 (permalink)
    As soon as I increase the gain and set the Line to Instrument when recording guitar I get system noise.
    Moving the mouse about makes a faint noise, moving a window makes even more noise and noise when the hard drive is accessed.
    I am using Guitar rig for sounds with my guitar at the moment.
    My guitar volume is at max.
    So the volume level is not the issue for me but the gain and instrument selected instead of Line.

    I have the volume sliders on my card all the way up.
    gain on the card is three quarters of the way up.
    Anymore and I will start to get faint system noise.
    I am using an Infrasonic Quartet sound card.

    Are you using a power adaptor with non New Zealand plug via a convertor?
    I have been in touch with the NZ rockshop and rthey do supply 9VAC adaptors for $49.95.
    But who knows if that is the issue.

    do you still have your old PC about.
    If you do you could bring it out and fire it up to test the DELTA 44 again just to see if something bad has happened to the DELTA in the transition from PC to PC.

    #23
    Tripecac
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    Re:Noise when moving mouse, using cpu, etc. 2010/12/02 15:30:28 (permalink)
    Okay, thanks for all the feedback!  I have some more observations, and feel like I'm getting very close to identifying the problem:

    When I plug the LINE OUT from another desktop PC to the LINE IN of my Xonar DX sound card, I get the noise on the Xonar. 

    - The louder the LINE IN volume, the louder the noise. 
    - If I mute the LINE IN, the noise diminishes but does not disappear.
    - If I physically unplug the input source, the noise seems to vanish.

    Now here's the interesting bits:

    If I plug a portable mp3 player into the LINE IN of the Xonar DX, I do not hear the noise.

    If I plug my laptop into the LINE IN of the Xonar DX, I get lots of noise...

    ...but if I unplug my laptop's power cord, the noise vanishes!

    So, I only hear the noise if the sound card is connected to a device which is plugged into the wall rather than running off a battery.

    (Again, the noise is a low hum combined with a high-pitched metallic squeaking whenever I move the mouse over firefox tabs, scroll a window quickly, type something long on the screen, or the cpu does something.)

    Since both my sound cards (Delta44 and Xonar) have the same noise, I don't think there's anything physically wrong with either sound card.  Also, since moving the Delta44 to another PCI slot didn't get rid of the noise completely (just made it a little less), I don't think it's an IRQ conflict.

    Does this sound like an grounding problem to you?

    If so, what can I do to fix it?

    (I tried plugging the PC into another room's outlet but get the same noise.)
    post edited by Tripecac - 2010/12/02 17:12:15

    tripecac.com
    Sonar X2, X1d Expanded, 8.5.3 + Komplete 8
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    #24
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