Noise infecting audio cables, part 1 (of 3)

So I’ve just the last night been looking for the cause of annoying noise in the audio cables. After a few hours it seems that disconnecting one of the USB hubs did the trick.

A lot of my gear can be controlled by the computer via USB connection so I need to find a solution for this.
I need to narrow it down.
This will be continued …

Hearing is believing?

The world of acoustics and psychoacoustics is quite amazing.
How you percieve audio, music, sounds is very much tied in with your surroundings (speaker placement, shape of the room, listening position) but also with your expections.
Sometimes that’s a hard one for people to realize and perhaps even more so if you just spent 500€ on a 1,2m cable and “clearly heard a difference”. Well who wouldn’t?

But in this BBC documentary you can actually see and hear one of these expectations in action. It’s called the McGurk-effect.
Check it out while you can!
The McGurk-effect on YouTube

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Graphics resolution and VGA cable length

In the studio there’s two VGA cables running about 7,5 meters from the computer to the displays. They run from the graphics card with a DVI-to-VGA adapter in one end to the VGA-connection on two flat 22″ widescreens at the other end. Previously, with 1,5 m cables, there were no problems using full resolution, 1680×1050. But with the introduction of longer cables there were so I thought I’d share my experience.

One:
The longer the cables the less resolution you will be able to achieve (and slower refresh rate as well).
Signal seems to degrade fast even with good cables. The displays didn’t get recognized at full resolution even though I tried to force it. It just wouldn’t work and I had to settle with less for the time being. I think I managed 1440×900 but otherwise only lower resolutions not really suited for these displays were available.

Two:
Graphics card and computer setup can make a difference! A couple of months later I upgraded the whole computer and with that a new graphics card.
I had to force the resolution by deactivating automatic detection (in the Catalyst driver software) but it finally solved the issue. Now I once again, happily, run at full resolution on my dual screen setup.

All in all, longer cables is a longshot for good display resolution. The only way to really know is to test the setup.
I’m just glad it finally worked out for me.

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64-bit drivers for the old USB-2-MIDI?

Steinberg once did a simple usb midi interface called USB-2-MIDI. Unfortunately they’re pretty quick on dropping support while trying to cover it up (not one of my favourite companies you probably notice). Well this time it’s understandable though since the inteface is quite old.
But as luck would have it, the rumours tell us that M-Audio’s Midisport 2×2 has a similar construction and they keep their drivers up to date!

So installing the Midisport 64-bit drivers works like a charm!
And even though my chain is pretty long (5m usb cable to a 4-port powered usb hub and then another 3m usb cable to the midi interface and then 3,5m midi cable) there’s no problem with latency.
Go M-Audio!

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Adding harddrives and RAID

I have to confess that I really like the Windows 7 OS, 64-bit professional or ultimate.

One of the things that I found out however is when you have a computer where you did not install RAID from the beginning it seems to crash when you switch the BIOS to RAID. And if you try to install RAID drivers in Windows 7 it says RAID is not activated. Catch 22? That sucks.

So you can try this, which worked wonders for me:

  1. With RAID disabled, boot into Windows and start Regedit.exe
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV
  3. In the right-hand column, you should see a value named Start. Double-click this entry and change the data from 1 to 0.
  4. Reboot with RAID enabled – Windows should load just fine. Now install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager as you usually would. This time around, it should detect your hardware and install without any issues.

Now if you try this, do it at your own risk.
Thanks to the guys and gals at geek-republic and Peregrinus.

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