Apparent noise can be made to disappear

I started using Audacity (v1.2.6) with an ION TT. After a while, I started noticing a noise in all the recordings. So, I broke out my old Rega TT, got $700 worth of work done to it and purchased an ART USB pre-amp. I’m still getting a noise. Some of it is record noise, but most of it isn’t (it sounds great through my speakers). The most annoying part is, during replay, I stop the software and have it replay a small portion of music over again and, a majority of the time, most of the noises disappear. When converted to a .wav file, the noises are still there. I followed most of your tips regarding turning off things on my computer (a 4-year old Gateway laptop) prior to my last try at getting a decent recording and it didn’t help at all (in fact, I’d swear the recording is a bit noisier). I have the USB cable plugged into a USB 2.0 adapter which is plugged into the PCMCIA slot (the laptop only has USB 1.0 and I thought this would be a better arraignment). Any ideas? I don’t feel like going through all my recordings and re-playing portion-after-portion. This “noise-reduction” method doesn’t seem to work if I let it play all the way through and then start over again.

this might sound stupid, but do you have any audio cables running close to or on top of power cabels? that makes noises, and a touch of the wire position can stop it or start it. it could be as simple as accidentally kicking a power strip under a desk and you’ll start getting noise. is your laptop grounded well? I have a compaq (also a little old) and the power cabel ground went bad and if I plug the ground peice in it makes noise, but if I don’t, it doesn’t. and if its half way in or a little loose, it just makes noise whenever it wants.

those are just a few things I know I’ve had problems with, and figured it might help.


And you have earthed the Rega TT to the ART pre-amp, right? If you don’t you are likely to get mains hum and its harmonics (but I suspect that you already know that since you are a Rega user).

I would try plugging the USB into the various different USB ports that you have on the computer - other posters on the forum have found that they hace a duff USB port and changing it can improve the signal dramatically.

The Rega ART set up should give you excellent sound recordings (and I assume that the the $700 worth of work included work on the cartridge and stylus?). Incidentally are you using the ART device which is the combined pre-amp and USB sound card - it sounds like it from what you write. I use my old Technics TT refurbished with a new cartridge and serviced by myself connected throug an ART preamp, connected through and external USB soundcard (Edirol UA-1EX) and this gives me excellent recordings. Like you, I started out with an ION iTTUSB but gave up on that as the lightweiht platter gave me far too much wow&flutter..

Good luck in getting this to work - and do post back,

<<<I stop the software and have it replay a small portion of music over again and, a majority of the time, most of the noises disappear.>>>

I know.

How are you listening to the work? I bet you’re not using headphones into the sound card, right? You’re using some sort of external amplifier and speaker arrangement? Unplug all that and plug straight headphones right into the computer and I bet most of the noise either vanishes, or changes dramatically.

I do want to stress that the extra thin black wire coming out of the bottom of the turntable must be connected to the ground screw of the phono preamplifier. Most classic turntables will fail the noise tests without that wire.


Sorry I haven’t posted back quicker; I shouldn’t have posted just before I leave town for 4 days! Anyway, thanks for the responses.

I know that my power connection to the computer isn’t the best; I have the connector propped up on a thumb drive so that it makes proper connection. I guess it’s possible that the connection is intermittent due to the table the computer is on vibrating from the music. But (and I really want to stress this issue to all of you who responded), most of the noise doesn’t appear to be “really there”; I can hear it the first pass over it, but if I stop the playback and restart it just seconds prior to the noise, the noise is not there on subsequent listens!! I have even exited the program, restarted it and the same song, and the previous noise is still gone (I have to admit, I’ve only done this once on one small section of one song). This would be an extremely laborious and tedious effort to clean each and every album this way. I also have to admit I have not tried to clean an entire song and then convert it to see if the cleaning “took” or not. I guess I have to try that next…

The Rega does not have an external ground wire. The $700 was for a new arm and cartridge (somehow one of my kids had ruined both). Yes, the ART is the USB version; all you do is plug the ‘table into the ART and then connect the ART to a computer via USB. I will try the different USB ports, but I was hoping/expecting that the 2.0 card would be better than the standard 1.0 ports on the computer.

Actually, I am using ‘phones into the soundcard (I figured I could edit better than way). Again, the Rega does not have a ground wire. See my reply to OggOrbisRecords on the noise. I wish it was just a constant noise; I might be able to find the problem and fix it. But this intermittent crap is extremely annoying!!!

I read this about three times.

From your first posting, you get intermittent noises when you playback a capture and they’re different each playback? Did I get that? Then, you export the timeline to WAV and there are noises? Do they stay constant when you play the WAV?

As an experiment, set up to capture a record. Put the needle on the record (can be an old, crappy record) and don’t turn the motor on. Just leave the needle sitting there in the middle of the dead record. Go for about 20 minutes or so, stop, and then playback the result. Now play back the result with the USB and turntable completely disconnected.

There is no show sound so it should be possible to hear all sorts of noises that the USB system is making.

Since you’re on a PC, it’s very difficult to turn music sources on and off and be sure that they’re really off. I’m betting your USB system is putting noises into your system as you play your timeline, making it appear that the track is noisy and giving you the odd experience that the noise is different each pass.

There is some real USB noise on the actual track and that’s what you hear on export. During timeline playback, you get double noise.

The preamp gets its power from a wall socket, right, not from the USB connection?


If this gets any more Science Fiction Mystery Theater, we’re going to ask you to post some of the noise so we can hear.