How do you get rid of Usb noise??

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
User avatar
Re8et
Posts: 1243
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 16 Jul 2022

Hi all.
I have plenty of examples of new gear that has only usb power, usb power but can run on batteries, or mixed usb power and common Dc transformer but lots of noise humz anyway.

Korg NTS-1 runs only by usb connection. No batteries. Noise is terrible when used in a mix it's almost ubereable. I could only think of making a fake usb-battery pack just to run the Nts-1...

OP-1: Only usb power, but execcionally low noise.

All of Roland Boutiques, when usb connected, have noise. Unplug usb and run on dummy batteries and you are set, but lose the usb power of connecting to your Mac/Pc..

My other solutions are:
Audio filters, which thin the sound, but the get a lot of the nise off.
Ground the Device in some ways.
Use ferrite on cables I run either for Usb, and for Audio.

It doesnt' matter if I use a standalone High quality 220-5v usb power brick, or a high quality isolated out usb hub, or a low quality usb hub.
Noise is always there.

A fun video on the matter. And why it does matter.


User avatar
DaveyG
Posts: 1705
Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 16 Jul 2022

You can get USB isolator dongles that fit between the PC/Power supply and the synth but the results vary.

An option that always works it to invest in a portable power pack / power bank:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cell-Phone-Por ... 5520530031

They will happily run most synths for many hours and can be recharged overnight (or swapped out for your second one if you want to be posh).

Incidentally my NTS-1 is very quiet when powered directly form my PC but crap when powered from a hub. So it is worth trying any different ports and hubs that you have available. And the quietest hub I have is one I got for free at a trade show years ago!

Steedus
Posts: 788
Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 18 Jul 2022

I've never fully understood what these actually do, but maybe this is just what you're after?

https://www.audioquest.com/streaming-co ... terbug-fmj

MuttReason
Posts: 132
Joined: 28 Jan 2021

Post 18 Jul 2022

USB ground noise is seriously irritating. There are a few things that can help. Always plug direct into computer if possible instead of via a powered USB hub. Powered hubs are a big source of ground noise problems IMO so if you have enough ports available, go direct. If the device connects via MIDI DIN and uses USB for power only, try moving the USB charger for the device between different power outlets to see if the noise levels drop. You can buy USB opto-isolator widgets but I’ve had mixed experiences with them personally… some helped, others didn’t make any difference.

Ultimately, the problem is USB was not designed for pro audio or MIDI. It’s a computer peripheral connection. My approach now is I won’t buy gear that doesn’t offer a MIDI DIN connection and conventional audio jacks alongside a USB port, and I’ll do my research into users’ experiences if it’s powered over USB (some gear is fine, other gear not so fine). If something is USB only with no MIDI DIN or audio jacks, then it’s a hard no sale from my perspective.

User avatar
raymondh
Posts: 1680
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jul 2022

Korg Arp Odyssey, Moog Sirin and Behringer Model D have no USB noise - they work perfectly and quietly.
All the Roland Boutiques, System 8, TR-08 have terrible USB noise. The solution for me has been use USB for power only (via apple USB charger etc), analog audio thru mixer and DIN MIDI through MIDI interface.

Given Korg, Moog and Behringer can get it right, *surely* Roland should be taking note!

MuttReason
Posts: 132
Joined: 28 Jan 2021

Post 19 Jul 2022

raymondh wrote:
19 Jul 2022
Korg Arp Odyssey, Moog Sirin and Behringer Model D have no USB noise - they work perfectly and quietly.
All the Roland Boutiques, System 8, TR-08 have terrible USB noise. The solution for me has been use USB for power only (via apple USB charger etc), analog audio thru mixer and DIN MIDI through MIDI interface.

Given Korg, Moog and Behringer can get it right, *surely* Roland should be taking note!
Roland definitely have form on this, I cannot think of a single bit of Roland or Boss gear I’ve ever owned that hasn’t had poor USB implementation, from crappy drivers to ground noise. I love Roland stuff but connections are strictly MIDI DIN and audio jack only. I don’t even bother unwrapping the USB cable when I unbox a new piece of gear, it is pointless.

Everything else I’ve owned has been OK for MIDI over USB if plugged direct ie not via a powered hub. No ground noise.

I don’t use audio over USB from any of my gear as I prefer to have a single dedicated audio interface with multiple analog ins. Much simpler all round.

User avatar
Faastwalker
Posts: 2102
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 21 Jul 2022

Interesting thread. It never even occurred to me that you would get noise from USB. I suppose it seems obvious now I think about it. Just thinking about what devices I have that are USB connected and powered. The Arturia Microfreak is connected over USB for power and MIDI. That's probably creating some noise ................ When I get home from work today I'm going to check all my USB connected audio devices after reading this :?

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3048
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 22 Jul 2022

I don't have any noise issues with USB though. My mixer runs off USB. There have been times when having two separate devices plugged to the computer via USB have been an issue, but if the devices are connected to the power stripe, or in separate power stripes (can't remember how I had it set up, half of my studio got left behind when I moved countries), the point is one of those fixed it 😅. Currently, only my mixer and one synth are USB powered and no noise over here, so 🤷‍♂️
The latest release:

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10232
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 22 Jul 2022

I don't have any USB related noise issues despite a HUGE amount of USB connections. These include my SL mkIII controller, Peak, MiniBrute, Zoom L20 Mixer, Midas M32r LIVE mixer, HydraSynth, plus a few extra lines for charging keyboard/trackpad and phone etc - most via a 10x powered hub!
That said, the only audio over USB is from the Zoom and Midas mixers, but they are both able to be the main interface for Reason and sound 100% clean. Also note all devices are also powered directly, not via USB...
Selig Audio, LLC

boomer
Posts: 66
Joined: 09 Nov 2016

Post 22 Jul 2022

Remember, when everything is running off of batteries you have no ground connection.

Same thing when running with wall warts.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10232
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 23 Jul 2022

boomer wrote:
22 Jul 2022
Remember, when everything is running off of batteries you have no ground connection.

Same thing when running with wall warts.
You have not physical/Earth ground connection, but you still have circuits that have ‘ground’ points aka ‘floating grounds’, and you must have one or the other for any circuit to work. Same for wall warts.
Read more here:
http://www.learningaboutelectronics.com ... ave-ground
Selig Audio, LLC

boomer
Posts: 66
Joined: 09 Nov 2016

Post 23 Jul 2022

The problem with “signal ground” (which is of course necessary to complete a circuit so that current can flow) should theoretically have zero voltage. The problem with respect to noise generation is that when you have multiples of them they have different small voltages on them. Having a true “earth ground” provides a way for them to resolve.

To the OP’s point … the easy test is to plug in something to your chain that has a 3 wire power cord and see if that doesn’t fix the problem.

jlgrimes
Posts: 620
Joined: 06 Jun 2017

Post 25 Jul 2022

Re8et wrote:
16 Jul 2022
Hi all.
I have plenty of examples of new gear that has only usb power, usb power but can run on batteries, or mixed usb power and common Dc transformer but lots of noise humz anyway.

Korg NTS-1 runs only by usb connection. No batteries. Noise is terrible when used in a mix it's almost ubereable. I could only think of making a fake usb-battery pack just to run the Nts-1...

OP-1: Only usb power, but execcionally low noise.

All of Roland Boutiques, when usb connected, have noise. Unplug usb and run on dummy batteries and you are set, but lose the usb power of connecting to your Mac/Pc..

My other solutions are:
Audio filters, which thin the sound, but the get a lot of the nise off.
Ground the Device in some ways.
Use ferrite on cables I run either for Usb, and for Audio.

It doesnt' matter if I use a standalone High quality 220-5v usb power brick, or a high quality isolated out usb hub, or a low quality usb hub.
Noise is always there.

A fun video on the matter. And why it does matter.

This shouldn't be an issue, as if you were getting USB noise, it would be in the form of loud pops and clicks, digital artifacts, or a crashing system. But some type of interference is getting to your analog outputs.



I would think no or bad grounding is most likely the culprit. Or a device with bad specs or bad gain staging. Also maybe USB isn't getting/supplying the recommended power, or laptop, device isn't connected to ground, or bad setting somewhere.


One thing on bad specs, I bought a Yamaha Audiogram Interface before which I decided to use for portable recording. One day I took it over to my friends house to record vocals via headphones. Monitoring everything sounded great/clean/professional, but after the recording I heard noise. It wasn't incredibly loud but loud enough to be irritating and sounded like tape hiss. I couldn't wrap my brain on what was going on. But after researching, I found out the Audiogram only supports 16 bit recording, so when trying to record the audio at fairly low levels produced the sound of tape hiss as 16 bit has a much higher noisefloor than 24 bit. I wonder if the device have a 16 bit setting that could be turned to 24 bit.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10232
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 25 Jul 2022

boomer wrote:
23 Jul 2022
The problem with “signal ground” (which is of course necessary to complete a circuit so that current can flow) should theoretically have zero voltage. The problem with respect to noise generation is that when you have multiples of them they have different small voltages on them. Having a true “earth ground” provides a way for them to resolve.

To the OP’s point … the easy test is to plug in something to your chain that has a 3 wire power cord and see if that doesn’t fix the problem.
Yes, and that was supposed to be my point (!): even though they don’t have a ground to produce ground loops, they still can generate noise issues. Meaning, being free from ground doesn’t necessarily mean free from ground related noise.
Selig Audio, LLC

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 2 guests