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Thread Buzz/hiss sound when recording on scarlett 2i2

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1 Buzz/hiss sound when recording on scarlett 2i2
Hi guys!

This is my first post and it's a bit long so apologies for that, but this issue is driving me nuts.

I recently got a scarlett 2i2, and although recording with the condenser mic using the scarlett has worked perfectly, when I plug in my guitar there's this very annoying hiss in the background. Initially, I thought it was a latency issue inside my laptop so I ran some tests.

Here's what the latency program had to say about it:

'Your system seems to be having difficulty handling real-time audio and other tasks. You may experience drop outs, clicks or pops due to buffer underruns. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.'


Specific results regarding drivers, the driver ndis.sys is giving off some feedback but it's still green when tested with the focusrite.

ACPI.sys, this one is in the early yellow range.

What I did then was optimize my laptop for sound by making it work under high performance and made sure the CPUs were unparked.

I ran the test again and got the same results, so I did it with my wifi off. This was the new result:

'Your system seems to be having difficulty handling real-time audio and other tasks. You may experience drop outs, clicks or pops due to buffer underruns. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.'

A new driver popped, storport.sys but it was in very early green.

Because of these issues I decided to try and record on cubase with my wifi on and off. The issue persisted, in fact the buzz did not change in the slightest...

After some googling I figured it might be a ground trouble instead. I restarted my laptop several times to record when it's plugged and when it isn't, while the buzz was a bit more noticeable when I had it plugged, it was still there when unplugged. This made me wonder if perhaps getting a ground loop isolator might help.




To me it seems that my problem is a mix between all of these issues. While the ground loop thing seems to be fixable. What worries me is the ACPI.sys driver because despite optimizing my laptop, the issue persists. Could this mean perhaps my laptop can't handle direct audio recording? I've read ACPI.sys problems can be rooted to the motherboard and in that case it apparently means there's no point in optimizing it. Granted when using the scarlett, it never reaches the red levels in the latency program. It does go nuts, as it does ndis.sys., when I run the tests without the scarlett.

I also want to note I've tried recording with 3 guitars and different cables so yeah the issue imo seems to definitely be my laptop. What can I do? I hope there's a way because my PC seems to be a very decent device.

BTW I took some screenshots and recorded a couple of tests if you want to give them a look! I don't know how to share them, though haha


Once again sorry for the long post and I really appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

2
Hi Angon,

Thanks for the post and sorry that you seem to be having a little trouble.
I think we have a couple of different (potential) issues here. The latency issue would not really manifest itself as a buzz or hiss in my experience, any kind of DPC latency would usually sound like crackles, pops and audio drop out if the computer cannot handle this. The DPC checker has obviously flagged this, however if you have not noticed any of the above, you're probably fine on this computer for now. There are some other steps and troubleshooting that we can undertake if this becomes a problem.

The hissing/buzz that you describe when using guitar as opposed to Mic sounds like a different problem. There is some buzzing that is intrinsic with certain guitar pickups, single-coils for example have a 60 cycle hum that has become synonymous with them, humbuckers can be used to combat this in most cases. Please could you let us know what pickup combinations have been tested with the 3 guitars you mention?
We should also not rule out a grounding issues on the guitars themselves.
If you're using a kind of gain on the guitars (distortion/overdrive etc), then this will obviously also increase any hiss/buzz.

The other point to explore is does this hiss/buzz record? or is it only on playback. I suspect the former as you're only noticing it with guitar and not on general system playback and mic inputs.
If you have some audio examples you should be able to upload them to an online file storage service such as Dropbox and post the links here.

Let us know how you get on.
Simon // Focusrite Technical Support