Very annoying hum on my USB interface... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Very annoying hum on my USB interface...

Okay I have an Alesis multimix 8USB. I've had it for around 3 years now and I've been recording with it and it sounds great and has no noticeable lag.

What I've always done is monitor the audio through separate USB headphones from my soundcard. Well, my heaphones broke ($10 on ****) and I got new headphones that came with a 3.5mm to 1/4 adapter, so I said hey, I'll try and monitor everything through the mixer!
Everything works fine, EXCEPT, there is this hum through the headphones when I have set it as going to master so I can hear everything on the computer. Its really annoying and gets louder as I put increase the volume. I can barely hear it when something is playing, but when nothing is playing this annoying hum is present.

Any solutions? The hum is not present when I have it switched to monitoring the microphone, only when its going to master so I can hear the stuff on the computer, so I think its probably a computer hardware/software issue, and not a problem with the mixer.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 09:22 AM
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Location: Fairfax, VA - USA
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Re: Very annoying hum on my USB interface...

Sounds to me like you're getting ground noise on your computer and it's manifesting itself through the headphones. I'm getting the same kind of issue on my work computer and can hear noise at low volume levels. I would try plugging the pc or your surge protector into a ground isolator.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 03:36 AM
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Re: Very annoying hum on my USB interface...

Man HUMMING noise.. how i been through that. I found it could be alot of reasons.

I was getting humming from my system too.. i had a edirol USB UA3 audio device as well as a UM3 midi! Before i bought the UM3 i used to be hooked up through a midi cable that I got for sound card joystick port. (yeah back in them older days).. I think it was like a sound blaster midi cable?! not sure exactly dont quote me on it.

well i was getting TONS of hum with that. Until i found that reason was from the MIDI cable that i bought to hook to the joystick port.. was designed to use the ground on one of the midi ports.. i cant rememe if it was IN or OUT!.. But thats the way these cables were designed... so instead of cutting in to the 30$ cable.. which are to find now!.. I had already bought these little female couplings for like 3-4 bucks each... which allowed me to join a LONG standard midi cable to the end of that short midi to pc cable!

So what i did was take one of them couplings apart and rewire it so that the ground was disabled. i retaped it up and put back in between the cables and BOOM humming gone. OF course when i bought the UM3 that made THAT particular hum go away for good as i was using a different source ... a MIDI to USB now!!

Now that was back then.. now since my system grew.. i had MORE humming.. seems that every time I turned on my rack mount effects which I used for vocal only for monitoring. Still using the same edirol UA3 and UM3 i got a new computer!.. and the new hum!... from rack effects. it wasnt the midi this time.... what it was, was the tascam 488 MKii causeing it to humm due to the way i had the effects looped through the 488 to be able to monitor the effects but NOT record them caused it to hum through that! But it RECORDED the hum! too!.. which was annoying but i lived with it cause thats all i could do! I just had to reedit that partcualy tracks audio wave file and remove the hum digitally.. it was more of a BUZZING sound then HUM anyways!

EVENTUALLy I got a NEW pc.. again!.. this time a faster pc..quad core! and a completely new interface. A tascam FW-1082.. which i didnt get any buzzing from.. OK that removed my buzzing noise... I guess it was mainly that i cant monitor EFFECTS from the rack with it.. hehehe .. i have to use the digital effects on the DAW.. and monitor it that way.. but with FIREWIRE it is faster!.. and with a quad core cpu no lag.

But soon as i hooked my guitar up.. HUMMMMMMMMMMMM came back.. DAMNNNNNNN .. i thought it was my DIGITECh RP-12 now making it. Welll after continuoulsy trial and error method.. i found that it was the line mixer i had in my rack for all my rack synths that hooked the out put from it directly into the tascam 7 and 8 input ... well i unhooked the RP-12 from that line mixer and hooked it direct into the Tascam FW-1082 and TAHST WHEN i found out, that it was a patch cable.. YEAH.. a simple little patch cable.. so i replaced it.. and I left the rp-12 hooked direct to channel 7 and 8 of the tascam .. NO HUM!!.. yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!..

Now for the rack mount line mixer ... i hooked my old RP-1 unit back in to where i had the RP-12 unit on the line mixer. And NO HUM.. which was even better .. so now i can have TWO guitars going at the same time recording simulatioulsy IN STEREO hehehe!.. on seperate tracks!!

I know i know.. i can only play ONE guitar at a tuimne hehe but my buddy Cooldude comes over to jam and i hook him in to the RP-1 input and me in to the rp-12 and the FW-1028 can record them simutanously! i can record 8 mono tracks at the same time or 4 stereo tracks!.. killlller.. and sometimes with accoustics.. we only use a mono track each!

So i guess the whole point of it is.. based on experience.. is you need to do trial and error... if you got an extensive setup like i have then you have to start unhooking things and hooking them back up one at a time.. but if it is a simple one cable setup type thing.. then there is a good chance it COULD just a bad CABLE!!

Surge protectors with noise reduction DOESNT all work if you have a bad cable.. cause i have been using one of them since day one..

Audio cables wrapped around power cords specially when you got a rack mount of full of stuff that needs power. There is TONS of cables behind my rack.. and well seperating the power from the audio.. HELPS alot too!

yeah it ia a fun game trying to pinpoint the hum source .. but it is a trial and error method! No doubt about that!

Oh yeah i have even tried hum eliminators too!.. NOOOOOOPE.. that doesnt work!.. well that was back when i had the midi cable hum problem!

:O) well sorry for rambling i hope that i gave some insight to the hum problems.. I know we all experince it one way or another!!

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 05:23 PM
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Re: Very annoying hum on my USB interface...

Ebtech Hum X Hum Exterminator. 'Nuff Said
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