Static on PLayback #02

Thanks, WC, for your answer to my question “Static on Playback”. I shut off my AVG anti-virus, but it did no good. Then I began to notice that the “blats” of static corresponded to the flashing of the red “working” light on my hard drive. I went to “Run”, typed Msconfig”, and shut off all programs. That cut down a little (but did not eliminate) the HD’s work-light signal. I made a new recording, and every six seconds or so there was a large red flash from the light, and a “blat” of static. There were smaller flashes too, irregularly. What now? Would the HD register less on different recording modes of file types, or different settings? I do not know anything much about various sound cards, etc. My computer is a desktop, a late-model Pentium III 667, 40gb HD, 256 RAM, W98SE. I also have a laptop, an IBM Thinkpad T40, 1.5gig HD, 35 gb HD, 512 RAM, Win XP. But it has no line-in! Do you have any other ideas? Thanks in advance.


Please don’t double post.

Now it’s a pain in the butt. I’m going to have to go back over all the forum questions to remember what the original question was.

I’m not going.

What was the original question?


Koz, his original question was:


Paul, if that little red light wasn’t flashing every six seconds or so then you wouldnt be recording! As I explained in my last response, Audacity writes out its adio in small segements, little .au files - hundreds of em’ for one recording. You are seein the little red light as Audacity writes each of these small files to disc.

As for your “static” - apart from my original suggestion I’m stumped. If you want to use the laptop you could consider an external soundcard (US$30-70) - consider the Behringer UC202 or the Edirol UA-1EX.

And do please pay attention to Koz’ request and don’t double post - the forum works much better if you stick to a single consistent thread.

November 24, 2007

Koz and WC,

I have not often used members’ forums, and I was unaware of what was meant by double-posting. I thought by titling my second note the same with a #02 after it, I was helping continuity. But now I see what you mean by a thread (so much jargon to get used to), and I trust I have done this reply correctly.

As to the red light flashing, I am aware it shows the computer operating - in this case, recording. The point is, why should that operation be showing up on my audio, and how do I stop it?


<<<how do I stop it?>>>

You may not stop it with that machine. You have the high power motors of the disk drives and head actuators getting into your sound. My guess is that the power supply for the machine–the thing in the back with the big fan in it–isn’t quite up to the job. You have “dirty” power running around inside your machine affecting all the analog systems. If you had an analog video capture or television card, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was affected, too.

We have found that problem has legs, too. If you buy a self-powered USB device, they use the computer power to run their internal analog services. The dirty computer power. This is what killed the early iMic USB sound device and why about 30% of the people who bought it couldn’t get it to work right. “How come I get clicking in my voice track?” I could tell every time my hard drive spun up with mine. You want a plug-in wall power supply with a USB device in this case.

It’s possible you have a sound card so cheap that they didn’t filter the computer power before running the card with it. It’s possible your sound is built into the motherboard in which case you’re seriously hosed.

It’s remotely possible your hard drive is dying. Electrical motors can do strange things when they’re near the end of life.

It’s possible you have a disk drive cable laying right on top of the sound card inside the machine. They warn you to keep the sound card as far as possible away from everything else. Electrical trash will jump through the air. See: radio.


November 24, 2007


Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your taking the trouble to lay out the details. I will probably give up on this Pentium III desptop; the old stuff can wait a little longer to be transcribed. I’ll copy your (and WC’s) replies and have them handy when buying a replacement desktop,as I intend to within a few months. It’ll be worth a little extra money to have a techie check the machine before I buy it, to make sure that if it has any of the problems you mention, they’re fixed ahead of time.