[linux-audio-user] X events making noise through soundcard.

james at dis-dot-dat.net james at dis-dot-dat.net
Thu Jul 27 07:36:26 EDT 2006

As people have been saying, it's EM interference.  Muting the analogue
stuff you aren't using might help (as has been suggested) but so does
moving the soundcard as far away as possible from the graphics card.

Alternatively, try and only move your mouse and perform window
operations in time with your music.


On Thu, 27 Jul, 2006 at 03:35AM -0500, Gian Paolo Mureddu spake thus:
> Hash: SHA1
> Hi everyone!
> I have noticed this for a long time, but did not actually thought
> about it until recently. It so happens that apparently a lot of X
> events produce some sort of noise ranging also from what I am doing.
> First of all, here are my system's specs:
> * AMD Athlon 2800+ (S754)
> * VIA-based motherboard with K8TMM chipset. VIA VT8235 southbridge
> (the box says VT8237R, but it actually is a VT8235)
> * 2x 512Mb RAM DIMM sticks DDR PC-2700
> * 2x 80 Gb ATA-100 HDDs; one Western Digital, one Seagate. Attached to
> primary IDE channel.
> * 1x 40 Gb ATA-133 Maxtor HDD, connected through add-on IDE card.
> * 1x 10 Gb ATA-66/100 Seagate HDD (used mainly for storing .ogg
> files), connected through the IDE add-on card
> * 1x LG CD-RW 52x32x52, secondary IDE master.
> * 1x LG 16x DVD-RW , secondary IDE slave.
> * 1x generic brand Floppy disk drive.
> * 1x GeForce 5900, 128Mb VRAM. Using nVidia's proprietary driver.
> * 1x Sound Blaster Live! Value, the primary sound card. Using ALSA
> 1.0.11 emu10k1 driver... This has been my trusty sound card for so
> many years now.
> So this noise happens whenever there are events, from dragging the
> mouse, to cliking on windows, to scrolling a window or even typing
> some text. The noise is not very audible, only if I crank the volume
> really high, and it is composed primarily of low frequency sounds.
> These noises even vary from application to application. They're like
> clicks in Thunderbird, with a rather low repetition frequency, and a
> much more rapid succession in Firefox, for instance. When changing
> focus of windows, or when changing from one virtual desktop with some
> windows to another (despite if the other has or no windows) the sound
> I can only describe it as "similar to that sound in Diablo II when you
> changed tabs or clicked the close button of any other "window", like
> the Inventory"... I can't really describe it better than that. I will
> try to see if I can record some these sounds. There's a "base humming"
> sound in the background if I crank all the way up the volume either on
> my speakers or headphones.
> Anyway, my question is what are these, and why are these produced? I
> know they respond to activity in the computer, mainly from X, or the
> video card, but why?
> Another thing that I think I read somewhere a while back. I have
> optical drives connected to the sound card through analog cables... Is
> it possible that these are working as "antennas" and what I hear is
> actually the the activity of the PSU/CPU/Memroy, etc?
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.4 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Fedora - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
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> 3RrbKGGkvr+Sn3/fI6yEWq0=
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