Ahh, crap: fizzly noise from my audio card

(Originally posted 9 Jul 2008)

I guess I never listened that carefully to my new music production PC. This is the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 + ASUS P5E based system I had built to be as silent as possible.

Well, as I mentioned in previous posts, it is delightfully quiet in the room. It’s barely a whisper and essentially inaudible from more than about 6-8 feet away.

I normally don’t monitor at a very high level, and when I am mixing the music masks noise, but recently I turned up the monitor volume a little higher while not playing anything and heard to my chagrin that the system was making noises.

This is sort of hard to describe, but I think I could actually record it and create a sample file. Basically, when an application like Sonar or Live is active, or when you move a window or the mouse, the sound card emits a crackling, fizzly noise. When the system is idling, it doesn’t make this noise.

I’m pretty sure it’s not necessarily coming out of my E-mu Audiophile 2496 card, since I can get the same thing to happen when the output device is the motherboard’s built-in SoundMax chip set. In any case it’s starting to really annoy me, and I’m not sure what, if anything, I can do to minimize it, if it’s radiated energy from my mobo.

The ASUS comes with a little utility to change the CPU speed and various parameters which I guess I can tinker with to see if it makes any difference.

(Update 18 Jun 2011)

At my age, just having a few years go by has probably meant that a combination of tinnitus and deteriorating hearing means that this is less and less of a problem. That’s a depressing thought.

 

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