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Video & Audio Microphone USB Device :: Hissing Background Sounds on Playback :: 4:43AM!

Posted on 2007-11-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hello,

I just purchased a Windows Lifecam, and it all works perfect, but I cannot get rid of an annoying hissing-bumpy ringing tone after recording any sound.

I've tried:

-- complete reinstall (several times)
-- Tried all USB ports (in and out of my video card)
-- Tried all variation of sound/volume adjustments
-- Search google relentlessy but could not find anything valuable!

Notes:
-- hissing sound stops when the volume is off or muted
-- The hissing is not caused by voice. its the same if i just let the mic site silent.
-- hissing is slightly uneven and rigid sounding
-- do not have this issue when another mic is plugged direct into the mic port
-- It's 4:43am now
-- Hissing only happens on playback of sound file
-- hissing also occurs when i use Windows sound recorder (and through the same mic)

This device is a USB that runs video and sound.

Does anyone have any ideas?
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Question by:w3developing
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 20311927
More note:
-- Hissing gets louder and softer based on volume when playing back
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 20311947
Another note:
-- It's more like a light fax machine sound but not jumpy like a fax. I just wanted to clarify the hissing is said ) I guess it's hissing)

-- I tried in multiple sound players for playback to see if it was player related.

-- When I look at the mic EQ to test voice volume there is a persistent green bars unless i turn the volume all the way off. The bars raise when i raise the EQ volume even when I am not talking.
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 20312231
seems like my pc is putting off some "feedback" through the usb.. Is this possible?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 20318485
i would test it on another PC, to be sure it is the PC or the cam
Other options are grounding and shielding
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 20318845
Hi nobus,

I figured it all out  a few hours ago. Believe it or not, I spoke with a Staples staff member about possible camera issues, and his final suggestion before return was: Move your wireless router. So I moved it about 6 ft away (it was about 4ft before), and the issue was resolved!

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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 20318849
You know... I thought I was at a total loss w/ my pc...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 20319008
good info !  you can ask to refund your points then
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 20319032
Yeah it's great info. I actually suggested to the guy: Do you think my phone or router would cause this (of course I think of this while Im on the phone and not before!)? And he said give it a shot... so I should take the credit ; )

I'm sure someone will be able to solve their "hopeless" problem now like I had. I think this is really one of the only posts around to address this - at least easy to find.
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Accepted Solution

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w3developing earned 0 total points
ID: 21715896
Well, since I found out what the problem was I will share it.

Be ready it's complex. It is very complicated:

It was all caused by the lights in my office. That's it. Fluorescent and standard bulbs both caused the hissing. Lights off == no hissing : )

Hope my solution is as easy to understand as the problem itself.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 21716845
just a note : if it is caused by the lights, then they are not properly installed (the filter  capacitors are bad or not in place imho
tx for the info !
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 21719536
well - vee mod; it is a shame you can't give additional info without interrupting the request !
Bad programming maybe ?  lol
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 21721266
nobus,

I guess all 9 lights (and variations) I tested are "bad". I brought in external house lights and used several different bulbs and styles of lights - all to the same issue, but note each one have difference variations of frequency and "hiss". All my lights are bad, but they certainly light the room well : )
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 21721444
>>  All my lights are bad,   <<   that was NOT my conclusion; some can be bad, or worse, but not ALL.
then you need to check the proper grounding of the AC, and PC
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 21721547
Hmmm.. ok "proper grounding of the AC, and PC" .. do you have any suggestion on how to ensure this is all grounded properly? My pc is plugged into an APC backup. And I assume the PC grounding would be internal - but there is no hiss when the lights are off, so it's an odd situation. All lights that I have used and tested with cause some type of hiss - it's pretty scientific at this point : )
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 21726635
you can measure if the PC ground (case) connects to the AC ground.
For checking the AC ground, you need an electrician, or specialised equipment (ground meter)
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