Help! Humming/Radio Interference - Powered Speaker
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  1. #1

    Default Help! Humming/Radio Interference - Powered Speaker

    Hey guys this is my first DJ set up so I need some help on what to do with my sound. I'm getting a significant loud "humming" noise AND to top it off I hear a loud radio host talking about politics... talk about buzz kill when I'm trying to mix

    DJ Set-up Gear:

    1. VCI-100 SE (Traktor Scratch Pro)
    2. MBP 13
    3. Saffire 6 USB External Audio
    4. Technic RP-DJ1200a
    5. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Monster-PRO-800-Color-Coded-Performance/dp/B0002ZO5WC"]Amazon.com: Monster MP PRO 800 with Clean Power Stage 1, Surge Protection, and 8 Color-Coded Outlets High Performance Pro PowerCenter: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BEDVt2bGL.@@AMEPARAM@@41BEDVt2bGL[/ame]
    6. Two RCF ART-312As

    *Note: All items were purchased new.

    Location: On Campus Apartment

    Overview:
    So first I connected all the power plugs into the Monster Pro 800 (I purchased this after I went to Guitar Center and told them about my problem) Now I connected my VCI-100SE and Saffire 6 USB to my macbook pro via USB. Both are updated to it's most recent versions.
    I connected the ART312a powered speakers from it's XLR to the Saffire 6's TRS 1&2 Outputs (the cables are 10 feet long btw) so I assumed the connection would be balanced thus no humming/interference coming from the speakers.

    I am obviously wrong.

    Now when I brought my gear to Guitar Center and just hooked up one of the speakers with the saffire 6 & mbp the speaker was pretty silent. A slight hum but it was fine.
    I tried in different rooms of my apartment and I still get the same radio frequencies coming from the speakers along with the humming. I re-arranged my set up at different angles and made sure all my gear was physically close together but still no luck. Also the volume knob on the speakers have no effect on the loudness/quietness of the humming and radio. I have NO idea what I need to do and these are the only speakers I have to mix with at home lol.

    So ANY "feedback" appreciated!

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard M Elbert Grant's Avatar
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    it's your laptop ground. just buy a 3-2 adapter.[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Prong-prong-grounding-converter/dp/B000I96AUM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298182581&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: 3 Prong to 2 prong grounding converter: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31TabOp5M%2BL.@@AMEPARAM@@31TabOp5M%2BL[/ame]
    for one dollar at your local hardware store...

    and yes, I know this is getto and it could potentially cause some electrical arcs and such but...don't worry about it.

    the other route is getting a ground loop isolator and checking that out.
    Last edited by M Elbert Grant; 02-20-2011 at 01:21 AM.

  3. #3
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    whats the 3rd prong even for? my laptop charger doesnt have one, so i suppose im ahead of the game.
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  4. #4
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Third prong is ground. Those adapters are meant to be permanently installed on a plug that doesn't have a third ground hole. You take the screw that the faceplate is screwed onto and mount the adapter to the faceplate with that. the thinking is the electrical box inside will act as a sort of ground since it's attached to the wooden structure of the building. I would recommend looking into a ground loop isolator.
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  5. #5

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    Is there a ground loop isolator product that you can recommend me for an xlr/trs connection?

  6. #6
    Tech Guru
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    This is how to solve your problem. 1st thing you need to do is go to guitar centre and bitch slap the person that sold you that monster piece of shit if possible return it. Waste of money. If you make sure your sound card is gounded ie on any conductive surface. The laptop power is not connected in anyway.

    The speakers are obv the problem. As nothing you have would be transmitting a radio show. There not a bad pair of speakers. You need to get shielding for the speakers that is where the radio problem is. Ask a local audio store to sort you out

    It is the only place it can be. The ppl at guitar center should know that. Im from uk so cant say if they employee morons. But looks like they do. PS dont buy monster it is overpriced rubbish. If you want good cables go to a local supplyier and get them to make you some custom ones will be cheaper and ul get better cabling.

    If you still get problems with humming run a bit of wire from the sound card to the ground. Then if you still have problems get some well shielded cables. Then if you still have problems post and ask again

  7. #7
    Tech Guru
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    Just spoke to a Man that knows his his stuff about this sort of thing. He rekons ur speakers probs aint the problem. As they are pritty good and the chances are its coming off your sound card. so get a wire and ground it phsically. That monster piece of junk creates a artifical earth. So is pritty useless to be honest.

    TAKE IT BACK IF YOU STILL CAN

    your soundcard aint cheap so shouldnt be shielding but could be. Also maybe as said before invest in some new cables

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Conall's Avatar
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    a ground loop isolator doesnt solve the problem, ground loops are usually caused by faulty laptop power packs

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    If your laptop's power cord is causing a ground loop you can find out by unplugging your adapter and running on battery. I had the same problem and have had the adapter on my laptop for 2-3 years now.
    DVS setup: Traktor Scratch Pro, 2 X Denon DPDJ-101, Numark DXM06, Novation Dicer, Compaq Presario F750CA, Audio 8DJ
    Controller setup: Traktor Scratch Pro, 2 X Denon DN-SC2000, Denon DN120X, Compaq Presario F750CA, Audio 2DJ,

  10. #10

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    @tombruton69: Lol it's a little late to return it but its alright. It actually did dumb down the humming a little bit but the radio interference is louder than ever.

    When you mentioned shielding for the powered speakers, do you mean I need a certain type of cable for it?

    This is what I use to connect from my ART312as to the Saffire 6.
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013MLBFM"]Amazon.com: CBI Ultimate Series Male XLR to 1/4 Inch TRS Cable - 10 Foot: Musical Instruments@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417c0oFBzCL.@@AMEPARAM@@417c0oFBzCL[/ame] Are these cables not shielded?

    @Conall & @djpbe: Either/or, I still have the same level of interference whether I have my MBP power plugged in or not. Which is very strange cause I've been searching through the internet and majority of people that's having this problem mention that the hum/interference goes away when they unplug their laptop's power cord.

    *So my guess is that it must be the cable that's connecting my powered speakers to the audio interface... Hm...

    **I spoke to the guitar center worker after I told him the Monster Pro Surge Protector did jack squat. He was so sure that it would fix the problem. His excuse was that since I'm living at college on campus, there must be a radio tower that's giving strong signals... :eek:

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