Buzzing Sound

  • Deep Brown
Posted: Mon, 07/16/2007 - 11:50
Newbie here :) I was just trying out some linux music distros, and I found 64studio. It seems great (It actually works with my USB card unlike pure:dyne) but once it has started up it makes a buzzing sound... This happens over both the internal and external cards, and won't stop whatever I try... Any ideas?


  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Tue, 01/13/2009 - 18:23
64 Studio runs a Real Time kernel out of the box. This type of kernel would be "zero latency" were it not for the fact that you need some kind of buffer in jack to prevent xruns on the hardware IO.


  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Tue, 01/13/2009 - 18:15
There is another source for the buzz, and it is the combination of the alsa drivers, and HDA sound devices through the Jack server. You need to set the "Periods/buffer" to 3. Let us know. I saw this on my brother's machine. Although it would run fine on 2 periods, it would periodically run into a crazy buzzing sound, as if the converters are having a power brown-out of some kind. Cheers, Q


  • jd0739
  • 01/13/09
  • Tue, 01/13/2009 - 03:39
I too have an issue with a realtek sound card and when I run zynsub through jack I get a buzzing. I have previously run Ubuntu studio with the same machine and I did not have the same problem. The only differences I can tell between this linux and that was this is 64bit and that was 32. Does 64Studio run a low latency kernel out of the box?

Jeppe, it is because you

  • ttoine
  • 11/15/07
  • Wed, 02/13/2008 - 18:12
Jeppe, it is because you have to configure well the latency, period, etc... in qjackctl. Think that a motherboard soundcard like this one is not made for low latency, so it will buzz. Consider buying a cheap but low latency ready sound card, it starts at 99€ or less with some M-Audio products. Another cause of buzz is sometime the chipset of the soundcard, exemple with via 4in1 motherboards, some realtek or intel chipsets : moving the mouse create/stop buzzes you can ear in the speakers... So first of all... I good thing to consider is the sound card. Toine

Buzzing noise

  • 01/14/08
  • Tue, 01/15/2008 - 00:20
Hello, I am new to 64 studio, have just installed it. When I start the ZynAddSubFx Software Syntheziser without first starting Jack the sound is OK. If I start Jack and then start the ZynAddSubFx, I get a buzzing sound on top of everything. This is true for all other programs that uses Jack. Only when I run the ZynAddSubFx without Jack the sound is OK. For the time beeing I am using my onboard soundcard, Card: HDA VIA VT82xx Chip: Realtek ALC662 rev1 Any sugggestions on how to get rid of the buzzing noise? Best regards Jeppe Gothenburg, Sweden

Ground loop or RFI?

  • swift99
  • 11/21/07
  • Wed, 11/21/2007 - 08:02
Another cause of buzzing is RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). The PC ground is isolated from the electrical ground. Any RF signals that are internal to the PC become part of the audio ground signal. The solution is RFI filtering or optical isolation between the PC and the audio system.


  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Mon, 07/16/2007 - 12:09
There are two sources of buzz on a PC based system 1) Hardware 2) Software Hardware related are normally not software specific, and include things like ground loops etc. What happens if you would unplug all of the cable to your system and plug in walkman earphones into the cards? Still hear the buzz? If you don't the problem is the ground loop. The amp for your speakers are not on the same grounding as your PC, and this can only be solved by isolating the grounds. Optical isolation or audio transformers work well (balanced inputs). If you suspect software, does the buzz start straight away, or only after you start jack? Does it go away when you start jack? Hope you find your problem. Let us know!

I don't hear the buzz when I

  • Deep Brown
  • 07/16/07
  • Mon, 07/16/2007 - 13:12
I don't hear the buzz when I use headphones, so I think it's the hardware; however, as I'm using an extension lead to power eveything, I don't think it could be the ground.. The "card" (Really a recorder, with the ability to do sound) I'm using is not the one I would use (My Mbox doesn't like linux)

PC Power supplies

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Mon, 07/16/2007 - 13:55
That brings us to the next topic... PC power supplies are made to be small and cheap. Only recently did they become something approaching quiet... but not on the electrical side of things! Your buzz is a typical ground loop. The PC is using a power supply that is not isolated from mains, and thus the rails are drifting on a slight 50-60hz ripple. Not a problem when you want to type a letter or check your mails, but horrible when you want to create music. This is not a problem with headphones (no ground connection) or cheap PC speakers (same reason) but when you use a larger device with its own ground and proper analog power supplies, the cards will buzz. If your card had balanced outputs, this would not have been a problem. Solution - break the earth connection temporarily to the amp to the speakers. Be careful, especially with older amps as they then have a tendency to bite! Get a isolating 1:1 transformer for the PC. Hope it helps! Cheers

Thanks. Out with the trusty

  • Deep Brown
  • 07/16/07
  • Mon, 07/16/2007 - 15:20
Thanks. Out with the trusty screwdriver and hope the friend will accept repayment with my amp (When I get it out of storage) if I damage his :P Anyway, thanks. Should do for practise, and I'll be getting a new computer soon anyway, so all is good :) EDIT: Never, ever, say thanks for the help when you haven't yet tried it. OK, so it didn't work, but I'll use cheap speakers which DO work for the moment and try and get the PA to work some other time.

PA stories

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Mon, 07/16/2007 - 17:36
I bought myself a set of near-fields studio monitors (ESI nEar 5) and afterwards I wondered why I did not dot it sooner. PA is great if you have nothing else, but those monitors really opened up the music for me. I suddenly heard stuff in other people's music I never heard before, and I franticly started to re master most of the stuff I have done, and thought was ok... The monitors have balanced inputs, and that should take care of buzz. But besides, you are getting a new PC. Sounds exciting. I still remember assembling my new piano-black Sonata PC, connecting the Digi Mixer via ADAT, and then struggling for two days to get anything done in windows. After a visit to the software shop (and realizing that the software I need costs more than the system) my journey with linux started. Those were the days! Sorry to hear my quick hack did not work for you. At least you did not blow up your friend's PA then! Cheers!