Why is my audio interface making noise? (Explained for beginners)

When your audio interface is making noise, it can be a frustrating problem.

There are many different reasons that your audio interface may make noise, and they range from the obvious to the not-so-obvious.

In this post, we will list some of the most common reasons for noises coming from an audio interface to better understand what could be causing yours.

Why does my audio interface crackle?

The most common reason that an audio interface would make a crackling noise is due to loose or dirty connections.

While this can be caused by the hardware, it could also mean that there’s something wrong with your software, and you’ll need to update drivers.

It may seem like these sorts of problems happen all over the place, but they are usually easy fixes if you know what you’re looking for.

For example, maybe some dust got in between the connection points on your computer.

Or maybe you have a cable that has gone bad.

Do audio interfaces go bad?

Yes, they can. Audio interfaces are electronic devices with problems with the power supply, circuit board, or other internal components if not properly cared for. 

There is also a chance of manufacturing defects.

Inputs can get worn out over time and cause noise.

Noise can also be caused by an insufficient power supply or circuit board when the interface is under load.

The type of input signal will determine what kind of problems you are likely to encounter with an audio interface.

Plug-in inputs on mixers typically have more minor wear and tear than other types like microphone inputs because they don’t get used nearly as often.

The wear from plug-ins may come in the form of electrical noise that becomes audible over time through headphone monitoring while mixing (and if it’s severe enough, your speakers could pick up some too).

The environment can make a difference

For example, suppose you are in an environment with a lot of electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio waves coming from nearby cell phone towers. In that case, the interface will be subjected to more noise than otherwise because of these external sources that can cause electrical currents to run through its circuitry.

Noise comes in all shapes and sizes when it comes down to audio interfaces, including clicks, pops, feedback loops, ringing or buzzing sounds on input channels while recording or mixing for playback.

It could also take the form of distortion, which causes an unpleasant sound with lots of high frequencies like hissing or white noise.

This type might not happen right away but will show up after some time has passed as the age of the circuit out.

Room humidity could damage electronics components in the device, so it is crucial to keep a good airflow when using an audio interface.

The best way to prevent noise from coming into your signal chain would be to invest in a high-quality, well-built interface with low electrical and magnetic fields.

How long do audio interfaces last?

They can last for years depending on how much you use them.

The lifespan of an audio interface is dependent on the quality and usage levels. Still, there’s no way to know in advance how long it will last.

Many factors can affect reliability: manufacturer specifications (such as MTBF), operating environment, frequency of use/downtime between sessions, or other issues like wear and tear from frequent plugging and unplugging USB cables.

How do I get rid of static sound in audio?

Static sound in audio is usually caused by a ground loop.

This occurs when the grounding for an interface isn’t up to snuff and sends electricity from one input circuit, through the user’s body, back into another input circuit.

To fix this problem, you’ll make sure all electronics are grounded and connected to a single power outlet.

If you’re still hearing static, try turning off all of your equipment and then turn it back on in order until the noise goes away.

How do I know if my audio interface is broken?

If your audio interface is making a noise, it could be broken.

If you are experiencing any other issues with the device (intermittent or complete power loss), contact the manufacturer for warranty assistance.

Try testing your interface on another computer to see if the issue is coming from your operating system or a hardware driver.

If you are experiencing intermittent noise, these could be caused by cables that have loose connections in either the audio interface or the computer.

Please note not all types of noise coming from an actual problem with your device. It can sometimes simply exist as interference on other channels.

If this does happen to be a faulty cable, try turning off any nearby speakers or devices to isolate where the noise is coming from.

How do I reset my audio interface?

You can reset your audio interface from the control panel on Windows and Mac and a few other ways.

  • On a PC, close all programs that might be using sound resources to ensure you have enough free space for the reset command to work correctly. From there select Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services – > Right-click “Windows Audio” then choose stop service followed by start service
  • On a MAC open System Preferences-> Hardware-> Sound & Screenshot. Press the small cog in the top left corner of this window, go down to the Input Devices tab and press the options button below ‘Built-in Microphone.’ Then finally, disable the mic before changing any settings. It is most likely selected as the default device already.
  • Select Start -> Run on Windows and type in “MSConfig,” then press enter. From there, select the tab that says Startup, click ‘disable all.’ You can start them back up one by one to determine which program is causing the problem (it may be due to an update).
  • Open your Sound settings via System Preferences-> Hardware->Sound & Screenshot and make sure you have the correct option selected for Audio Output device as well as Input Device.

I’ve tried everything from updating my audio interface drivers, checking if it was connected correctly with both inputs checked off at once or individually.

I even changed USB ports a few times, but nothing helped! My soundcard started making noise when I moved around any of my miscellaneous cables.

Why does my audio interface turn off?

This could be due to a couple of reasons. 

The first is that the power adapter has been unplugged, or it’s not connected correctly and running on battery power only.

The second reason could be that the audio interface needs more processing speed than your computer can provide (the CPU may have too many other programs open).

You can check this by opening task manager and limiting how much percentage of processor time each program is using up – if you see anything over 50%, then consider closing some applications.

Why is my audio interface making noise?

It could be that the audio interface is picking up noise from sources around it.

This can happen if there are nearby devices such as monitors, speakers, or even microwaves that emit electromagnetic waves in a similar frequency range to your device’s input and output channels.

This problem can be alleviated by ensuring that you always distance your computer and other devices with these frequencies emitting them.

Another common reason for the noise is interference caused when data cables come into close contact with each other.

This happens more often than one would expect because they seem like harmless items. Still, their metal cores carry currents of electricity at all times (even when not connected to a power source).

When two cable tips touch, static electricity created by non-moving electrons being pushed together and drawn apart accumulates and makes noise.

A common cause for this is when the device’s audio interface comes into direct contact with a cable carrying data or electricity, emitting electromagnetic waves in a similar frequency range to your device’s input and output channels.

This problem can be alleviated by ensuring that you always distance your computer and other devices with these frequencies emitting them.

Another possible reason for this issue may be interference caused when data cables come into close contact with each other because their metal cores carry currents of electricity at all times (even when not connected to a power source).

When two cable tips touch, static electricity created by non-moving electrons being pushed together and drawn apart accumulates to generate noise

Some people have reported their interfaces turning

Problem: Audio Interface Making Noise

Solution: Here are some of the most common reasons for noises coming from an audio interface.

Your computer may have too many applications running at once, or you may have a malware infection on your system, which can cause sound to emit through external speakers and/or microphones.

You might also be experiencing a grounding issue with one of your electrical cables, so this could lead to interference in the signal path of both analog and digital signals.

Lastly, there may be something physically wrong with either the input device – such as a broken capacitor- or output device – like distortion caused by overdriving amps into clipping ranges; all these issues will result in imaging distortions within music productions.”