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Hardware noise issue - Help Needed!

#1
Hi wondered if someone good help me with a problem I’m having with my set up.

Basically there’s an objectionable amount of digital noise heard on my recordings when I sample into my hardware sampler via the analogue signal path.

I have a Mackie desk that’s connected to both my soundcard and my hardware sampler (Akai S5000). I record into the hardware sampler via the “tape out” of my mixer. There are digital two way connections via optical cable directly from sampler to the soundcard for synching purposes.

The sampler has three record settings (Pro, Line & Mic) all with adjustable record levels. Typically I record using the pro level, on this setting the background noise is inaudible, but if I do a negative control recording then normalise the sample you can clearly hear the digital noise. The noise is instantly audible at the monitoring stage when the level is set to “Line” and even worse on “Mic”.

I know the noise isn’t a result of inappropriate gain staging on the mixer, because bizarrely the noise is still evident when the mixer is turned off.

The source appears to be coming from my computer because the noise stops when the computer is turned off and you can clearly hear the noise “modulating” in response to the computer processing (e.g. opening/closing programs even moving a window about the screen). The noise also stops when I remove the stereo RCA cable from the “record in” inputs (regardless of whether the computer is turned on or off).

Does anybody have any tips on eradicating this noise? I am desperate for help, since recording things into my sampler on the fly is a big part of my workflow.

Cheers!
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#2
Try a ground loop isolator?

[Image: Ground_Loop_Isolator_868.jpg]

you should be able to pick one up for a few quid off the net.
beats are there to be broken http://musicindevon.org/
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#3
Or try a different cable before the ground loop isolator.

It could also be your computer as well. I've got a laptop that has hideous amounts of noise coming from it, only when plugged into the mains. Maybe soundcard related as well. You've narrowed it down to that area at least. Should be easy to find the source now.
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