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Author Topic: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files  (Read 64538 times)

Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2013, 11:39:33 PM »
I don't have much experience with Win8, but what I gathered is that it is windows 7, slightly dumbed down, with the Windows RT interface tacked on top of it. Windows RT is the ARM processor-based OS for tablets that won't run most Windows programs. They are apparently going for a unified "experience" on any device, including Windows phone devices. Ugh.

Anyway, internally Windows 8 doesn't add much above 7, and in reality it is actually Windows NT 6.2, where Windows 7 is only version 6.1. Vista would be 6.0, though all the 6.x versions are, at the core, still Windows NT 5.0. All the 6.x stuff is just eye candy (aka bloat). And the primary goal of 8/RT/phone is to promote the touch screen stuff, which I think will go out of style on the PC platform. It's great for phones and tablets, but I don't believe it will survive the PC platform.

For one, a touch monitor (which I've been pricing) for a PC/laptop is VERY expensive. Also, the PC needs more intelligent interactions, like, oh, I don't know, a real physical keyboard and perhaps a pointing device. In other words, it's a fad, trying to take the tablet interface to the desktop...

Enough ranting about Microsoft (I do that a lot). The bottom line is, there simply MUST be some common thread on this buzzing problem. After a few years, one would think a root problem would have been discovered, which is why this intrigues me. I'd love to know the common thread - CPU/heat problems, virus, bad driver, or something else...

I just looked at the links you provided, and I kinda noticed a trend in the usernames of the official support techs, who keep parroting the same answers... but I'll digress before I get into that issue...

One question though - have you ever installed any third-party audio driver (specifically ASIO) promising lower latency etc? I know from experience that some ASIO drivers not only mess up the sound system, but they also don't uninstall easily. You remove the driver, but then you plug in another USB sound card and Windows uses that third-party driver all over again...
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Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2013, 11:44:25 PM »
By the way, if you ever were curious about the *actual* internal version numbers of the various Windows versions, see this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Microsoft_Windows

They used to use version numbers (3.0, 3.1, 3.11), then years (95, 98, 2000), then made-up names (NT, XP, ME), then version numbers again that aren't the actual version number... it's like they are trying to confuse consumers intentionally...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2013, 05:37:25 AM »
Hi Justin,

I agree with you, I'm sure there must be some common thread causing this and I'm surprised it hasn't been figured out by now.  You're also right about the support techs saying the same thing.  There are many other pages that have people complaining about this and the response is usually something about checking the Troubleshooter (which doesn't help).

Anywy (before I start ranting too..  lol), thanks for the insight into Win8.  The Windows history link was interesting and very comprehensive!

I have never installed any third party audio drivers, only what was posted on Lenovo and that is RealTek. 

I'm glad you're intriqued by this, I bet if anybody could figure it out, it's you!  :)

I'm still thinking the fastest resolution to this for me is to just buy another computer.

Talk to you later,

Ron

Offline Fabio

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2013, 02:47:44 PM »
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If you are holding a mic and touch anything that is grounded, and your system is not grounded at the same potential, you can get a hell of a zap

And this is why I use wireless mics... :P

Quote
I got to thinking, I wonder if this issue is on Win 8 also?
If it's an issue with Window 8 after you do a clean install then this would point to a hardware issue.  In fact it's possible that your hard drive could be causing the issue...the built in motor can cause noise.  Also, it would also cause some hesitation on the playback if it's going out on you. BTW, are you pretty sure your CPU is getting the proper cooling?

Here's my suggestion if you have an extra hard drive.  Do a clean install of Windows 7 on it to eliminate the hard drive as an issue. If the sound issues are still there then it's probably not the hard drive.  Also I would take a can of compressed air and clean out the cooling ports just to make sure dust bunnies are not causing cooling problem.

Just thought of something, am I understanding this correctly? did say that this only happens at home when you're NOT plugged into an amp? You could still be dealing with a ground loop issue even if you're not connected to an amp. Are there other electronic devices near it that might be causing it?  if that's so try moving it to other areas and at least for the time being unplug it from the electrical source...just use the batteries and just use a headset.  If you don't hear the noise through the headset this would point to a ground loop.  if you still hear it then at least you have eliminated the ground loop as an issue.

-Fabio

Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline vcationguy

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2013, 05:10:56 PM »
Thanks for the input Fabio.  :)  The noise is like a 60 Hz electrical buzz.  Could the hard drive still make that kind of noise?

I've had my computer in the same spot, same outlet for years (lots of different computers) and I've never had this problem before.  Could is still be a ground loop?  I'll try unplugging it when I get a chance and see if it still happens on batteries.

Thanks again!

Ron

Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2013, 05:54:50 PM »
If it's a 60 Hz buzz, that points more to ground loop. Definitely test it on batteries and see what happens. Also note that anything else connected to the computer (USB printer, monitor, etc) that is also grounded (eg, plugged in) will provide another path-to-ground, which is what causes ground loops. An external HDD (if it has a three-prong plug) as well.

If it's periodic and infrequent, it sounds to me like something on that circuit is drawing energy for brief moments, causing a voltage potential in the extra ground path, causing the noise (and making it hard to track).

My guess would be that this has nothing to do with Windows 7 or 8, and that all of those other people simply hadn't figured out that it's caused by a ground loop (and why Microsoft can't seem to provide a good answer). I know that Laser printers draw enormous amounts of energy for brief moments, I've seen the lights dim with mine...

Let us know if any of this helps.

Fabio: I use UHF wireless mics exclusively too, but mostly to avoid cord tangles and trip hazards with drunken singers :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
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Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2013, 05:59:00 PM »
Just to clarify, you're talking about the internal Laptop speakers and not external powered speakers, right? Because that would point to something else entirely... eg a weak connection that periodically breaks loose.
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2013, 08:00:09 PM »
Hi Justin,

I tried it on batteries and it still did it.  Nothing else with an electrical plug is connected, it's a laptop and the printer is connected wirelessly, Lexmark inkjet.  My external hard drive is USB powered, but it also does it when the external hard drive isn't connected. 

Yes, I'm talking about the internal laptop speakers (but it does it with the external speakers too). 

I don't know what it is but this really sucks.

I use UHF wireless mics also for the same reasons, and also, people can't swing them by the cords.  lol

Ron

Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2013, 09:02:42 PM »
Quote
I use UHF wireless mics also for the same reasons, and also, people can't swing them by the cords.  lol

Heh, that's another reason I forgot about. Nothing peeve's me more than that!

So now I'm utterly stumped on the buzz issue. (BTW I have a wireless Brother Inkjet and I love it).

If it does it on battery, with nothing physically connected and grounded... that kinda only leaves a hardware issue. Except for the fact that it's 60Hz, which screams AC power and ground loop. But if nothing is connected to AC power and you still get this problem... well again, I'm stumped.

I would suggest going to Fabio's suggestion that the hard drive might have something to do with it. I know hard drives can make a lot of electrical noise when they are in the final stages of failure... so the first thing I'd recommend is backing up that drive (I've had many drives fail over the years, so backups are in my opinion essential). And like Fabio suggested, try a clean install on a new/different drive and see if the problem persists.

If it does, it's definitely a hardware issue. If not, try cloning your drive to a new drive and see what happens.

EASIS Drive Clone is a free program that I have found to be great for cloning a hard drive, even if they are different sizes. It is the only one that let me clone my drive, swap it out, then boot up as if nothing changed. It's best to shut down *everything* before cloning, and then immediately shut down and swap the drive.

A couple months ago my internal 320 GB Western Digital decided to start doing the "click of death" sound, a really loud clicking noise that indicates the drive is failing. I was lucky enough to catch it in time, and I cloned the disk to a smaller 160 GB Hitachi drive. After swapping it out, it booted right up and worked, still working just fine to this day... using the EASIS Drive Clone program, which again is free...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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-- Justin Nelson, CEO
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   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline vcationguy

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2013, 09:31:01 PM »
Thanks Justin!

I should clarify, when I say 60 Hz buzz, I got that term from you, but it does sound like some kind of electrical buzz or something, so that's why I used that term.  After I thought about it, I thought I might be throwing you off by using that term and not being sure that it is a 60 Hz buzz.  Anyway, I hope that helps.  I just sent a note to Realtek asking them for help and see if they know anything about it.  I'll let you know what they say.

Later,

Ron

Offline Fabio

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2013, 12:40:23 PM »
Quote
I use UHF wireless mics exclusively too, but mostly to avoid cord tangles and trip hazards with drunken singers :)

This is the REAL reason use them, actually and secondly the swinging of the mic...I think that's a pet peeve every karaoke host has...

However, the wireless mics have their own set of pet peeves...the one that's at the top of the list is the flipping of the mic in the air (that's the equivalent of swinging) because half the time they end up dropping it!

Ron: Have yo tried listing with a headset...I'm wondering if your laptop speakers are having a problem.  If the sound is still there then I'd still recommend doing a clean install.

-Fabio
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2013, 01:13:22 PM »
Quote
the one that's at the top of the list is the flipping of the mic in the air

I agree, and have had them dropped many times. I bought the VocoPro all metal rechargeable UHF mics about 6 years ago now, and after suffering a ton of abuse they still work like new, even holding a great charge still. The only damage so far is that *I* broke one of the antennas on the receiver (crammed in my tote with all the other equipment, it snapped off). Nothing a little soldering couldn't fix :)

I had one "customer" get pissed as his girlfriend in the middle of singing, I guess she was flirting with another guy, and he threw the mic on the ground hard. I had to straighten out the mesh, but no real damage. Needless to say that person will never sing at my gigs again...

I told a friend which ones to get, and he bought the less expensive, AA battery wasting plastic VocoPros. Needless to say he's borrowed mine a couple times when his were broken (luckily they share the same two channels)... never cheap out on mics!
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2013, 01:15:25 PM »
On a completely unrelated note, the frequency band my mics use (as with many UHF wireless products) is no longer legal to use. They are on a band that used to be "in between" TV channels, and now that TV is all digital they are selling those frequencies for police/fire and other licensed use... I dread the day my receiver starts picking up police in the middle of a gig lol.
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Noise and hesitation when playing audio and video files
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2013, 02:11:08 PM »
I actually use the IDOLPRO VHF-638 which is a 4 channel mic set...which they no longer make.  Luckily they are still legal.  They are well constructed except for the plastic battery holder.  I've had to replace those several times...that's the part that breaks all the time when they drop it.  I found the company that distributes them and I can buy those at $3 piece, so I always have 3 or 4 extras to replace the broken ones.  I would be nice if they were all metal. 

I've had other singers just drop the mic and walk off the stage because they think they're cool doing it because they've seen rappers or comedians do it....this one pisses me off and I usually have them pay for it and it doesn't cost them $3...I've heard people in the audience sometimes tell the singer "drop the mic!" as they're finishing their song and I usually will jump in with a "you drop the mic and you pay for it!" and that usually discourages them.  I've actually had to replace a couple of the mics over the years luckily they make a 2 channel model and they still use the same 4 frequencies.  The mics are almost identical so I've been able to replace them by buying just the mics...but they're about $80/piece.  Back when they still made them, you could buy the whole set including the metal case for about $350.

They work well, but I know eventually I'm going to have to replace them.  I actually want to buy another set for when I have a private gig (not the bar).  That way I can have my backup host the bar and I can host the private party at the same time. i already have an extra amp, extra laptop, extra speakers and stands, extra TV but no extra wireless mics.  I wouldn't mind trying the VHF version of the all metal Vocopro mics you're using.  What model are those? Maybe I can find the VHF version online.
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke