That infernal hum!

Brian Vita
Sat May 24 10:11:28 EDT 2008

I use a laptop extensively when I'm on the air at WMWM (I keep my production
elements on it).  I've found that the built-in sound card in most laptops
leaves a bit to be desired.  Its not that it hums, it just has a very high
noise floor (hiss and computer clock noise is fairly high).  With the
laptops I've been using a SoundBlaster Audacity external USB sound card.
Not the best but works.  I think that it set me back about $50 or so.

In my studio I use either a Phonic Firefly (for which I'm a dealer) or some
M-Audio boxes.  These are firewire or USB and do all of the A to D
conversion outside of the computer.  The sound quality is quite acceptable.
Of course, if you want to spend money, Audio Science makes the real high end
boards used with radio station computers.

Brian Vita, President
Cinema Service & Supply, Inc.
77 Walnut St - Ste 4
Peabody, MA  01960-5691
(800)231-8849 sales
(800)FAX-CSS5 sales fax
(978)538-7575 business office
(978)538-7550 business fax

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Roger Kirk
Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:38 AM
To: A. Joseph Ross
Subject: Re: That infernal hum!

You can buy a USB sound card that plugs into the USB port of your 
laptop.  Connect the left & right channels from your stereo to the audio 
inputs of the USB sound card.

A. Joseph Ross wrote:
> I appreciate all the suggestions I got a few weeks ago when I asked 
> for help getting rid of an AC hum when I connected my stereo to my 
> desktop computer through a patch cord.  Since then, I've never 
> managed to get the hum to go away for very long.  It keeps coming 
> back.  
> So I'm thinking of another strategy for recording records and tapes 
> into computer files:  Use my laptop.  trouble is, my laptop doesn't 
> have an auxiliary input jack, just a mike jack.  Anything that I play 
> into that jack comes out loud and distorted.  Is there any kind of 
> adapter that I can get that will make it possible to use the laptop 
> for this purpose?  Or do I have to get another laptop?  That's not 
> going to happen for awhile.

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