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Topic: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

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  1. #1

    What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    I might have some noise coming into my setup somehow. If I crank my speakers WAY up, I hear a medium pitched hum.

    I went into Sonar and recorded just empty space, then loaded it into SoundForge. Looks like -60dB of something is there. Is that a normal level, or is it not so hot?
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  2. #2

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    That's not too bad really. Typical ambient/computer/drives/fan
    noise.
    Plus you're hearing the hum from your poweramp(s) when
    you crank them way up like that.

    If you have an analog mixer in line, this can cause a little extra
    noise as well.

    What do you have going in your room? Is you computer outfitted
    with silent components/fans?

    Toddk

  3. #3

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    Holy crap.. -60dB is bad when you have to record your piece at a low level to prevent clipping, and then normalize it to -0.5dB later. You can really hear the hum in this piece I just dumped to audio.

    My room is basic..not even a studio. Just a computer with low noise fans in it (I have the Antec Sonata..it rocks), and a hell of a lot of USB cables and other wires. Hmmmmm.. I wonder if it's got to do with the Xbox wired into my Audiophile inputs..even though the Xbox is off. I'm gonna blast the speakers so I can hear the hum, then one by one disconnect cables or power off things until it goes away. I don't recall having this problem before..(with the same computer).
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  4. #4

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    What the ... ?? My LCD monitor is the culprit! I wonder how much noise it's contributing. I was watching the sound levels, and then I turned my monitor off, but then I couldn't see the sound levels anymore! heheh..
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  5. #5

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    I'm gonna blast the speakers so I can hear the hum, then one by one disconnect cables or power off things until it goes away.
    BTW, this is not recommended. You could pop a diaphragm if you connect/disconnect just the right thing in your audio path.

  6. #6

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    What? I can't hear you.. everything was fine before the huge POP that shattered my windows Just kidding

    yeah I found out it was the monitor. I assume the monitor cable is not shielded too well, and it's crossing over a wire that's going into my sound card. I'll have to check it out later.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  7. #7

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    What the ... ?? My LCD monitor is the culprit! I wonder how much noise it's contributing. I was watching the sound levels, and then I turned my monitor off, but then I couldn't see the sound levels anymore! heheh..
    Heheheh
    Theo Krueger - Composer

    www.TheoKrueger.com

    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  8. #8

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    What the ... ?? My LCD monitor is the culprit! I wonder how much noise it's contributing. I was watching the sound levels, and then I turned my monitor off, but then I couldn't see the sound levels anymore! heheh..
    This sounds like a ground loop problem, or it could just be a noisy power supply in your LCD.

    What brand LCD is it? External or internal power supply?

    Also, are you using an analog connection (VGA) or digital (DVI)?

    Make sure your LCD's power cables are physically isolated from all other cables and see if that helps. Maybe it's a shielding problem. It's likely not that simple to fix, but you never know.

    When I disconnect all inputs and record a blank stereo file using Cool Edit, the record meter registers -100 dB, which is consistent with other apps that I use (Sonar, Samplitude). I'd recommend doing a simple frequency analysis on a silent wav. My guess is you'll see a bump at 60Hz. Then do a google search for your LCD's brand and the word "hum". I have read recently of people experiencing noisy LCDs. Likely power supply related.

    - Keith

  9. #9

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    LCD monitors shouldn't induce hum. Try moving the LCD monitor's power supply the frig away from any audio cables. If that doesn't do it, you have a ground loop somewhere. Is everything plugged into the same strip, or at least the same circuit?

  10. #10

    Re: What should totally silent be at, noise level wise?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    I assume the monitor cable is not shielded too well, and it's crossing over a wire that's going into my sound card. I'll have to check it out later.
    Well, there you go... you respond faster than I do...

    Hope you find the problem.

    - Keith

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