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USB connection causing NOISE with 4CM


efunkelist
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I love using the helix with my real tube amp. I can use the real amp-sounds and just effects and/or the preamp modulation from helix and a real power amp kicking a real cab.

 

Now, I would reaaaally love to have the helix connected to my DAW at the same time so I could also record and reamp the signals but plugging the USB between my helix and my mac causes all the speakers go justinbieberbangingcyborgbritneyspearsbrmmmmmmmm

 

: C

 

I haven't had this kind of problem with any other gear in my home studio. Any ideas? I could just use the analogue connections back and forth between my mixer but would love to skip all the A/D/A-conversions...

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I have this same problem with my HD500X and my Egnater Tweaker 40. As soon as I plug the USB port I get the buzz. Was hoping it would be solved with the Helix which should be arriving soon, hopefully. This happens on Mac mini as well as MacBook Air. Of course, if the Helix sounds as good as I think, I may just stop with the 4CM and go straight into my L1.

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I love using the helix with my real tube amp. I can use the real amp-sounds and just effects and/or the preamp modulation from helix and a real power amp kicking a real cab.

 

Now, I would reaaaally love to have the helix connected to my DAW at the same time so I could also record and reamp the signals but plugging the USB between my helix and my mac causes all the speakers go justinbieberbangingcyborgbritneyspearsbrmmmmmmmm

 

: C

 

I haven't had this kind of problem with any other gear in my home studio. Any ideas? I could just use the analogue connections back and forth between my mixer but would love to skip all the A/D/A-conversions...

 

You may want to try insuring the Helix and any electronics and peripherals you connect to are plugged into the same power strip, or multiple power strips on the same outlet (assuming outlet has sufficient capacity). Make sure the outlet/power strip is properly grounded first.

 

Quote from https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug06/articles/qa0806_4.htm :

 

"Ideally, the solution is to make sure that everything is earthed at one central point, so that everything shares the same common earth reference point. The easiest way to do that is to plug everything into a star arrangement of plug-boards fed from a single socket (assuming suitable power capacity). If that can't be done, the safest solution is to break the loop by isolating the audio cable screens at one end. The cable is still screened, but there is no longer any possibility of a loop, so the hum currents can't flow around it. Inserting transformers in the signal path can also break the loop, and this solution is common in outside broadcast and live sound rigs. DI boxes feature transformers for this purpose too."

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Thank you very much for good replies! This community rocks!
 

I've got several splitters/transformers/isolators and I've tried them through, no help there either. I thought I was aware about the ground loops and I try to keep this jungle as simple as possible to avoid loops and hassle.

 

I think I'll have to try the gadget that Punkyboy linked if I can't find a way around with existing gear and cables :L

Atleast it would seem like a fix because the only connection making actual noise here is the usb-connection...

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Hi Efunkelist

 

I'm experiencing the same problem and have just put a post up about it.

Using the Helix as an Audio Interface gets me some great sounds into Logic X via my Macbook Pro running El Capitan.

However for each playback the sound degrades with what appears to be a pile up of digital glitches until the audio is rendered useless.

Unplug the Helix's audio and now plug my MOTU Audio Interface in and that very same recording is perfect. Swap back again and after a few repeated playbacks the sound deteriorates again.

This doesn't appear to be ground hum. I think its far more serious sadly. On the weekend coming I will run it through a G5 running an old version of Logic Audio and will report my findings.

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If you're talking about using Helix as an audio interface... where the audio eventually degrades into A-sync distortion (almost a ring-mod type sound), that's most likely driver related.

 

It's best to avoid extra stages of A/D D/A ... but if running analog to the MOTU works, you're not losing a huge amount of fidelity.

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I feel grateful for having a presonus 16in/8out available along with the helix in my studio. Due to the noise problems I'm going helix to DAW via the XLR's like I would do if I was on stage live. Too bad this way I can't use the beautiful idea of a digital reamp-unit via the USB which was one main reasons for purchasing the helix.

Also I was totally intimidated by the idea of having ONLY ONE A/D conversion in my whole setup when playing variax models through the variax input. 

So far, still, that doesn't work because of the USB-problem... I guess I will end up being bound to get a software modeller for the reamp-world... I wish I could have used full analogue tube-half stack and real mics through the reamp.

 

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Hi Efunkelist

 

I'm experiencing the same problem and have just put a post up about it.

Using the Helix as an Audio Interface gets me some great sounds into Logic X via my Macbook Pro running El Capitan.

However for each playback the sound degrades with what appears to be a pile up of digital glitches until the audio is rendered useless.

Unplug the Helix's audio and now plug my MOTU Audio Interface in and that very same recording is perfect. Swap back again and after a few repeated playbacks the sound deteriorates again.

This doesn't appear to be ground hum. I think its far more serious sadly. On the weekend coming I will run it through a G5 running an old version of Logic Audio and will report my findings.

 

There's good news - the most recent two betas of El Capitan have solved this for me.  Apple really screwed the pooch on this one - not just for Helix users but for all the users of at least a DOZEN USB audio interfaces.... 

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I buy one and get it normaly next wednesday

I let you know about it

 

 

Just take care ,That stuff don't work with device more than 200Ma

 

I use a Roland Duo Capture power consume 96Ma

 

I have noise too on the laptop when recording, I will see next week

 

Hope it work 39,99 euro free shipping on AMAZON      

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Helix doesn't use much if at all from the USB power.  The isolator will have to work with high speed USB to work.  I tried one with my HD500x a while ago and it did not work because it only ran USB1 speed. (I did not realize this until after purchasing it)

I wish I had heard this before..! :L

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yep

 

I testing it too

 

But yes that thing cancel the noise (recording with a sound card not with the Pod) 

But when I place it on the Pod USB  It don't recognize the pod when I launch Hd edit ? NO DEVICE CONNECTED!

Also when I use my sound card (Roland Capture) Noise is cancelled but can not launch a song from my pc BAD SOUND!

That thing seems to be working in 1  way ?

 

NOT FABULOUS!

 

But It help me 1/2

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey all, wanted to insert my two cents worth. I was having this same issue with the HD 500 X going into my mac mini. I was hoping that the helix would solve this but it didn't. Using 4CM into my Egnater Tweaker 40, I could not have the USB connected for it would generate an intolerable noise.

 

Yesterday after reading some of these posts I decided to connect the helix to my MacBook air using a USB 3.0 hub and lo and behold no more noise. This solves a huge issue for me because I wanted to be running ableton through the helix at the same time as having my amp connected.

 

Doing further testing in the next few weeks. Have rolled everything back to Yosemite though due to the crackling and other issues I was finding in El Capitan.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone, sorry to bring back such an old thread but I'm Having this issue on PC (Windows 10 64bit)

 

Happens on all the amps I have on hand, Mesa Rectoverb, Fender 57 Custom Champ(5watt), Fender Supersonic.

 

Happens when connected front-of-amp on the champ or 4cm on the RectoVerb and Supersonic. Not that I ever thought it was an amp issue.

 

I was leaning towards ground, but I've tried quite a few different ways of plugging in power for everything with a few different surge protectors, also no surge protectors. Still, no luck but the hum did change slightly. (I think it did, it kind of oscillates anyway so hard to tell)

 

Have USB 3.0 and 2.0 on my workstation and tried both, (Have a Motu 828mk3 and Roland Octa-Capture I run via USB and those have no issues with noise)

 

Tried removing everything but mouse keyboard and Helix, no luck there. 

 

I admit I did not unplug all my other USB devices when I installed the Helix drivers/Editor, so I'm going to try uninstalling and doing a more careful install.

 

I attached a little clip of the sound it's making. Helix USB Hum.mp3

 

Thanks for reading!

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Last night while checking out firmware 2.20, I discovered that two USB charging cables, each connected at their source end, to a filtered power supply's USB power jacks were acting as close field RFI transmission antennas! They were not connected to their respective devices: a Smartphone and Tablet. Rather they were laying along the living room couch cushions. When I powered on the Helix and connected my Les Paul via a known good 10' cable, I heard a significantly elevated noise floor when there should have been none, via the headphones connected to the Helix. As it turned out, these 5' USB charging cables were within about a foot from the Helix and the Guitar's Instrument cable. As soon as I disconnected these two USB charging cables the noise was gone. Even when they were reconnected and energzed, when they were moved several feet away, no RFI was preceptable.

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Just thought I'd chime in here... I bought a usb isolator from a web site hifimeDIY. Works great and ellinated noise from usb. The bite in the lollipop is that you need the really expensive one because of Helix 8 channel usb capability. The cheaper ones aren't capable of seeing the 8 channel's. Computer sees helix 95% of the time...sometimes I need to unplug usb and then plug it back in. Good luck

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 3 years later...

I know this is an old topic, BUT I think I have found one possible cause of the problem (at least on my case), and I hope this helps someone.

 

My setup

Helix connected using 4CM to a rack full of gear (mostly preamps). 

 

Signal Path:

Guitar > Helix > Helix FX send > Outboard Preamps > Helix FX return > Helix XLR -> Audio Interface

 

The Audio interface is connected to a laptop via a powered USB 3 hub. I have 

 

The Computer gear, Audio interface and Helix are all powered by a Furman line conditioner. The outboard rack gear by another Furman. Both Furman line conditioners are currently connected to separate power points but this makes no difference whatsoever. I have tried all possible combination of power points, house circuits, all gear powered by the same Furman device, etc.. none of that matters.

 

I get noise (and a LOT) when the helix is connected to the powered USB hub and the outboard gear are connected. I also get noise (like digital noise) when the Powered USB hub is connected and the outboard gear is not, although is not as much noise. The first sounds like a ground loop but it makes no sense.

 

The solution in my case was simple. I just connected the Helix to a standard USB 2.0 port. In my case, this was easily achieved by connecting the Helix directly to one of the laptop's docking station USB 2 ports. I was also able to use the USB c port on the laptop using the Dell USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adaptor with the same success. I tried another two powered USB hubs and all cause noise, and this are not cheap hubs. I did not try with non powered USB hubs for lack of devices.

 

I admit this might not make much sense but I hope this helps someone.

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