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Thread: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

  1. #1
    Long time lurking Ozaron's Avatar
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    Unhappy Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Okay I'm posting this here, now, because I'm out of ideas and completely exasperated, plus a little out of pocket.

    After changing my GPU (a simple swap, I'll get to this) from R9 Fury to a 5700XT, something changed in my system, and every time I used my microphone for anything it would simply blast a loud, pulsing static sound at whatever was listening.
    I had immediately assumed that the cord connecting my headset, and its microphone, was broken; I was wrong. Replacement came and it's the same thing.

    I have a video of my desktop, using Discord to listen-back, here: [[ Edited out as problem solved ]]

    It's so infuriating because this problem is NOT:
    the microphone, which I have changed
    the cables connecting microphone, which I have changed
    a problem relating to plugging the PC in to a ground, as I have checked
    a problem with cables inside my PC coming unplugged, especially around the PSU - I just finished partially disassembling the PC and found nothing amiss since I put it all together in the first place
    a problem with the 3.5mm jack port at the front - the back port exhibits the same behaviour
    a problem relating somehow to the 5700XT - I did not need to install drivers or make any software changes to accomodate the swap. Just unplugged old, plugged in new, nothing else, and worse after putting the R9 Fury back in the problem still exists

    I do have one useful tidbit that using a USB-based microphone, or a bluetooth microphone, works fine. So it's related to the audio network you connect the 3.5mm devices to.
    Normal sound audio out is fine, nothing changed. As far as I can tell, nothing changed anywhere, my microphones all just sound terrible now for no apparent reason.

    Pretty desperate for help.
    Last edited by Ozaron; 19-01-2021 at 07:46 PM.

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Weirdly I'm about to spend today troubleshooting almost the same issue for my son. Everything has been swapped but static remains, I'd though maybe surrounding EM interference could be a cause, any lights or anything near to you?

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Record the sound and display it in the frequency domain. Check if it is 50 Hz or a harmonic of it.

    Then it is s case of pulling bits out of the computer. Try it around someone else's as well

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    MaQ
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Not saying that you have the same problem but i had a similar issue a few years ago.
    Turned out it was bad capacitors in my psu causing the interference (Corsair CX600) once i changed the psu the noise was gone.

  5. #5
    Long time lurking Ozaron's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_B View Post
    Weirdly I'm about to spend today troubleshooting almost the same issue for my son. Everything has been swapped but static remains, I'd though maybe surrounding EM interference could be a cause, any lights or anything near to you?
    Sadly no, the only devices near my PC are a battery powered book light and its own wifi antenna, wired into the back of the motherboard. Neither have moved since it was all set up.
    For sanity's sake I unscrewed the wifi antenna, and tested again, but the static remains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumagoro View Post
    Record the sound and display it in the frequency domain. Check if it is 50 Hz or a harmonic of it.

    Then it is s case of pulling bits out of the computer. Try it around someone else's as well
    I'm no sound expert but I think I've done what you ask, and I'm attaching it below...

    Don't know what this says, I suppose 50hz is the most common frequency but it's loud across the board up to 20k.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaQ View Post
    Not saying that you have the same problem but i had a similar issue a few years ago.
    Turned out it was bad capacitors in my psu causing the interference (Corsair CX600) once i changed the psu the noise was gone.
    Sadly the only other PSU in this house is currently in use in an active machine, though I could of course give it a shot, I'd have to gut them both with the approval of the owner.


    Edit: just to pre-empt, the system specs in my user info are the ones I'm working with.
    Last edited by Ozaron; 28-12-2020 at 08:55 PM.

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    Long time lurking Ozaron's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Took the motherboard out entirely and (once again) removed my GPU. I searched for anything which seemed wrong or out of place in case I'd knocked something while transplanting a card.

    I found that the below capacitor was a little bent and touching a nearby cap, and I pushed it gently back where it belonged:



    Was convinced in the moment that this was the problem, but after I had everything back together and tested it, nothing had changed.
    Was I on to something? Could there be damage here?

    In the meantime I'm looking into borrowing a PSU from somewhere else, and maybe buying one if I have to.

  7. #7
    Long time lurking Ozaron's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Okay I think I've found it. There's a small scratch across the realtek ALC1220 chip and I believe it's now missing a small resistor or similar. So basically I must have maneuvered the new card in like an ape and broke my sound processing.



    I've circled the scratch and drawn a rectangle around where a resistor(?) isn't, that I think should be.
    Here's an image of the original from a review:



    No idea what to do about this as I don't know if I could find the missing bit, let alone solder it on.

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Going back to 50 Hz noise. If it had been that there would have a big spike at Hz but obviously there isn't.

    Moving on to the board I think it is a capacitor if it looks like the other small blocks near by. It looks like the track has been ripped up and it connects to other one. If you are lucky and you find the missing component you could solder it on to the one pad and run a wire. I can't tell if there are any other connections. You could get a similar physically sized cap from a donor board a it will likely be a similar rating. Failing that just run a wire across. As it is audio though it might not be good enough.

    You would be better off buying an audio card and for fun have a go at a later date when the computer no longer matters.

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Agreed with Kumagoro, probably not worthe the potential damage and expense of a repair. Just get a £30 add-in sound card and call it a day.

  11. #10
    Long time lurking Ozaron's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    Agreed with Kumagoro, probably not worthe the potential damage and expense of a repair. Just get a £30 add-in sound card and call it a day.
    Yep, I spent most of an hour searching for the lost cap and didn't find it, then ordered a sound card.

    Especially grateful for your help (and sharp eye) Kumagoro.

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozaron View Post
    Sadly no, the only devices near my PC are a battery powered book light and its own wifi antenna, wired into the back of the motherboard. Neither have moved since it was all set up.
    For sanity's sake I unscrewed the wifi antenna, and tested again, but the static remains.



    I'm no sound expert but I think I've done what you ask, and I'm attaching it below...

    Don't know what this says, I suppose 50hz is the most common frequency but it's loud across the board up to 20k.


    Sadly the only other PSU in this house is currently in use in an active machine, though I could of course give it a shot, I'd have to gut them both with the approval of the owner.


    Edit: just to pre-empt, the system specs in my user info are the ones I'm working with.
    What did you use to get these?

  13. #12
    Long time lurking Ozaron's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_B View Post
    What did you use to get these?
    If you mean those readings? I fired up Audacity, made sure it had my troubled microphone selected and just hit record. In either a right click tool tip or in the top options bar I found an option to analyze the audio, which gave me the lower frequencies analysis window.

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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    Yeah the app, thanks for that.
    Mine looks very different, would this suggest a component issue? I literally have no other psu/gpu/Mobo I can test

    https://flic.kr/p/2kp6p5a

    Excuse the quality, curved screen taken on a phone isn't the best method to get a clear picture ;D

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Very loud static pulsing in microphone output

    In case anyone ever comes across this thread in the future.

    I downloaded the audio drivers for the motherboard and installed them, this gave me more options including a option to remove system noise and I also checked the 'rear front and back audio ports as one' et voila! Noise gone.

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