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What causes hissss and how to you prevent it
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illusory
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Joined: 10/01/2011 01:17:14
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Wondering how you deal with hiss problems when you are recording. I'm gettting hiss recording through the presonus audiobox into the current computer. Don't know if it's just coincidence, but we switched from a laptop, cause it's dock got fried by a power surge (even with a surge protector). We weren't getting this hiss before. Now the whole process is virtually unuseable because layering things with hiss is a problem obviously.

We've tried lots of settings -- turning the amp down and the presonus box up and vice versa. We are also running the amp through a DI box into the audiobox. Necessary when you want to record the full amp sound, not just the preamp. I've got stuff recorded exactly the same way, without the hiss. With the same setting for everything, but now this. Depressing.

If anyone has run into hiss problems and managed to solve them, I'd sure like to know how.

Thanks,
NJ
PS is there a better sound box around for a reasonable price. We havent been exactly happy with the presonus box... And now this. If you turn the audiobox up past 12 o'clock it will hiss on it's own even without anything plugged in. This is the second one we've tried... And if we turn the box down and the amp up we also get hisss

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 31/03/2011 05:25:46

Motoko
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Make sure you are not getting electrical interference or grounding issues.
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db
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Yep...his and hum can have a few causes.

This article might help.

But this...

If you turn the audiobox up past 12 o'clock it will hiss on it's own even without anything plugged in. This is the second one we've tried... And if we turn the box down and the amp up we also get hisss


...sounds exactly like an issue I had with with a new FireStudio Mobile which in the end had to be replaced. Initially they (HHB) could not reproduce the issue I was having with the unit but after a second delivery of the unit to them they were able to repro and replaced the unit with a completely new one. I had to buy an FA- 66 to replace it though as I lost weeks trying to get the issue sorted. I also had to sell the new replacement unit HHB (UK distributor / support for PreSonus) sent me to cover the costs of the FA-66.

I would like to get another PreSonus unit in future though (definitely) and my experience is not meant to be in any way representative of other PreSonus hardware users. I would suggest at least contacting tech support (or register the unit first then contact them). I am sure they will be more than happy to sort it out for you.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 31/03/2011 10:44:55

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illusory
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This is the second audiobox they've sent us. The second one they sent us because the first was too hot. We now have two side by side in an effort to test them and see which one to send back. Both have the same problems, one seems to be worse than the other.... Neither seems more or less hot... I would like to find a different box altogether because I am fed up with these.

Thanks for the article link.
themuzic
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Well, I have an audiobox as well and that unfortunately is the nature of that beast. I have tried extensive methods to get rid of the hiss to no avail.

The preamps are so hot that it's unavoidable if you find you need to crank up the input trims to mak an incoming signal louder. On my mobile system where I use it alot, if I can get the source loud enough, without having to crank up the input trims, I get a really mice quiet signal.

So be aware there's nothing really that you can do as the Audiobox is not a Pro interface and is more noisy than Presonus' firewire gear.

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themuzic
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Ok, so my recommendation for a quieter USB audio card would be either one of the M-Audio Fast Track cards or the Steinberg CI2.

The M-Audio Fast Track series have beautifully clean preamps even at high input gains. I have one of these as well and would never sell it!

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illusory
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Thanks for the recommendations, Johnny. We are ready to try another box. 
I notice you don't list the M audio Fast Track in your specs...
Would you say the Fast Track Pro is better than the entry-level, or does it just have more inputs?
Is this our least noisy option? Is Firestudio comparable? We can't afford another mistake here...

 What you describe really speaks to our situation. We have a Mesa amp running through a very nice DI box (DBX), with a pad switch for three output levels -- 0db, (-)20db, (-)40db. We love this box because it enables us to get the amp's true full sound. Anyone with a Mesa knows it takes some ttweaking but when you get the sound you want, you dont want to lose it by only recording from the pre-amp! 

At the highest level DBX output setting (0db) our speaker becomes a mic and we actually get recorded background noise from talking! So we can't go higher than the middle switch setting for output from the amp. Which should be fine considering we were previously using the lowest output setting, with the Audiobox level at 12 oclock. And no hiss. And fine levels. Now the Audioboxes, both of them, hiss even at that setting, and to get a good level even at the middle (-20db) DBX pad setting, you  have to turn the amp up too far. Turn the amp up too high and you will get too much amp noise. Hum is filterable with the 60 hertz notch  eq. But hiss is unacceptable. And the Audiobox hisses even when the inputs are unplugged! I wish I knew what was causing this, with all the cables, settings, guitar and amp the same. Only the computer has changed -- no longer a laptop. And nothing wrong with it.

Anyway, if the M-Audio is the most hiss-free solution we'll go with that. If there's a better one, please let us know. If there's something most suitable for use with a more powerful computer (not a laptop), that would be very good to know.
If there's anyone who disagrees, please say!

Thanks,
NJ

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 31/03/2011 22:14:21

westom
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illusory wrote:Wondering how you deal with hiss problems when you are recording. I'm gettting hiss recording through the presonus audiobox into the current computer. Don't know if it's just coincidence, but we switched from a laptop, cause it's dock got fried by a power surge (even with a surge protector). We weren't getting this hiss before. Now the whole process is virtually unuseable because layering things with hiss is a problem obviously.

Hiss is often called white noise. Basically noise at all frequencies. In reality, what many called white noise is more often Johnson or thermal noise. One reason for this would be a semiconductor that still acts as if working. But has been modified.

Other examples of white noise would be rainfall or static on an empty radio frequency.

Generally, Johnson noise will increase with temperature. And decrease with cold. One method of finding it is to touch a soldering iron to various semiconductors one by one. And monitoring the noise volume. A defective semiconductor may increase noise.

Bad grounds or ground loops would cause a hum. A noise at a constant frequency. You do not describe that kind of noise.

Also learn what that protector did. It does not claim surge protection (read its numeric specs). If located too close to electronics and too far from earth ground, then it can even make electronics damage easier. You had damage because it did exactly what the manufacturer said it would do. Learn from your mistake. Effective protection must be located elsewhere.

BTW, define too hot. Normal temperatures for semiconductors are so hot as to be uncomfortable to touch. When is a semionconductor too too hot? When you touch it and leave skin.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 31/03/2011 23:55:58

illusory
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Too hot meaning amplifying the signal too much. Not temperature.
Thanks,
NJ
illusory
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I'm reading too many Very Bad Things about the M-audio Fast Track from Internet reviews. Serious driver issues for one thing. We returned our Onyx Blackjack for that very reason, and it sounded good when it worked....
Seriously, folks, what is GOOD out there? Even if we have to pay more, and I don't mean pay more for a lot of extra inputs we don't need...

Help?
NJ
themuzic
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We are ready to try another box.
I notice you don't list the M audio Fast Track in your specs...
Would you say the Fast Track Pro is better than the entry-level, or does it just have more inputs?
Is this our least noisy option? Is Firestudio comparable? We can't afford another mistake here...


The M-Audio fastrack is my backup interface just in case but I wouldn't use it in an actual session unless I had to. It's a good option for entry level recording but if you need a few more inputs and want a truly quiet set of pres I'd go Firewire and get a Presonus Firestudio Interface like the Project or the Mobile

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Presonus+firestudio+Project&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=12178630444031079&sa=X&ei=Wi2VTZWNLJGG0QHDy5TvCw&ved=0CFEQ8wIwAw#

http://www.google.com/search?q=Presonus+firestudio+Mobile&tbs=shop%3A1&aq=f

the Audiobox hisses even when the inputs are unplugged! I wish I knew what was causing this


I have 2 Audioboxes (one was from a client that owed me money...lol) and it's just the way that box is. Anything below the 12:00 position is ok just don't go any higher on the audiobox. Although even with a bit of hiss I have gotten some pretty awesome tracks done and with a good condenser mic like my Rode NT-1a or the Presonus M7.

I have really gotten some beautiful analog textured recordings with just a tad bit of the hiss on the tracks. I have recorded a few Acoustic Guitar tracks with the Audiobox on purpose, just for the cool flavor.

If there's something most suitable for use with a more powerful computer (not a laptop), that would be very good to know.


I'd say, if the amount of inputs isn't really an issue, your best bet would be a Firestudio Mobile! It's got the quiet pres, 2 great preamps on the front and 6 1/4" ins on the back.

I break down my sessions like this.

Small mobile sessions for say, a solo guitar player and singer - My 2 Rode NT1-a mics and my Audiobox

Larger mobile sessions for 2 mics and some direct keyboards and midi gear - My 2 Rode NT1-a mics and my FS Mobile

Full sessions needing drum mics and other live gear - My drum mic collection, 6 SM 57s and the FS Tube

Not sure any of this is helpful but take from it what you can.

http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic
Email - homestudiotrainer@yahoo.com
Skype - themuzic
Phone - 773-303-7260
I offer FREE assistance for Studio One (any version) and Presonus hardware, to anyone having issues or anyone who simply wants to learn

Gateway Tower - Intel Core i5 3330 CPU 3GHz 8GB Ram and 64bit Windows 8
[Email] [WWW] [Yahoo!]
 
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