Mic Boost Noise

Qu9ke

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Dec 21, 2013
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Mobo: ASRock 970 Extreme4
Soundcard: ASUS Xonar Essence STX
Operating System: Win7
Headphones: Sennheiser 598 with Modmic attachment

Noise---> http://vocaroo.com/i/s1pnodN9xtuY

I have seen other people with this problem, but I haven't really found any solution that worked for me. I figured I would personally try my hand here to see if I can resolve this audio issue that has been driving me a bit crazy.

I am currently using the microphone boost feature all the way to 100, but doing so yields quite obnoxious noises which you should hear through the link provided at the top. Turning the mic boost off makes it near impossible for anyone to hear me unless they first turn down whatever it is they may be playing while also cranking their master volume up. I also have these older Turtle Beach Earforce X11's that also produce the same sounds. I originally thought it was due to said headset, that is until I heard it in my Sennheiser. My previous pc I got right here as well, a Dell Studio XPS 7100, also produced these sounds (I think anyway... I could be wrong since memory is a bit hazy).

Did Microsoft really make a feature like mic boost in such a way that it is impossible to use without it producing such sounds? I really like to believe that isn't the case and that I'm just really unlucky when it comes to audio. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I should probably also say that the intensity of the noises produced varies depending on the positions of my mic cable. You could say that it's a faulty wire, but I doubt it since these sounds were heard from a different headset as well, and those were plugged into a different jack at the front of my pc at the time before I even had a sound card.
 
likely your microphone picking up on echo, either from your room walls and you speaking loudly or from your headphones if you have the volume cranked high and your microphone gain set extremely high. some funky sounds can be generated, especially with some noise cancellation, anti feedback or 3d audio options enabled at the same time. it can sound like aliens trying to communicate with you from the mothership.

-test mic with all speakers turned off, stereo mix turned off and in open area to see if that is the case.

hardware based ground loop or emi generally is more of a constant buzz.
 
likely your microphone picking up on echo, either from your room walls and you speaking loudly or from your headphones if you have the volume cranked high and your microphone gain set extremely high. some funky sounds can be generated, especially with some noise cancellation, anti feedback or 3d audio options enabled at the same time. it can sound like aliens trying to communicate with you from the mothership.

-test mic with all speakers turned off, stereo mix turned off and in open area to see if that is the case.

hardware based ground loop or emi generally is more of a constant buzz.
 

Qu9ke

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I have read recently from a couple different places that the problem could potentially be that the pc isn't properly grounded, and that you should try a different wall outlet. I thought I would try that later to see if that helps. I will also give your suggestions a shot if that doesn't work. Also I wasn't talking at all during that sound clip, so I think I can scratch me talking too loudly off the list of possibilities.

What do you mean by hardware based ground loop or emi btw?
 
if its a ground loop... you can get ground loop isolators for 3.5mm or just use a powered usb hub if its usb and it normally goes away. given the strange sounds i'm thinking its not ground loop (which is normally a solid constant buzzing)

by ground loop i was referring to "not properly grounded" or "multiple grounding points" which can cause issues. by emi i meant electromagnetic interference (cell phone, wifi, microwaves, some components inside your pc combined with unshielded cables.. etc.)
 

Qu9ke

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Mmk. Well so far I tried three different things. First I used an extension cord and plugged my pc into a different outlet in the house, but that didn't make the sounds go away. I later plugged my psu directly into an outlet instead of a power strip, but same results or lack thereof. I just now tested my mic on my dad's pc downstairs, however, and the quality is crystal clear. Absolutely no crackling, popping, or buzzing to be heard. That makes me think it is my pc that is the problem... I just don't know what.

I am relatively confidentish that it is an emi problem. I will probably rearrange the order of my gpu and my soundcard and see if that solves the problem. If not, I'll try also adding an emi shield. If that doesn't work either, I'll have to keep looking.
 

Qu9ke

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Just wanted to post my find here in case anyone finds it useful. I figured out the noise was actually coming from my router sitting on my desk. Turns out the problem was electromagnetic interference, but I didn't expect it would be coming from the outside. The closer my mic got to the antennae, the worse the noises got.
 
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