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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Any idea why my system "crackles" when I plug my computer in and play music? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of biff_g
I realize that this will probably be virtually impossible for anyone to solve without actually seeing the setup, but here goes anyhow.

What I have is the gigman plus karaoke machine (which incidentally is fantastic... both for small shows and for some TRUE entertainment at family get togethers...). I have a laptop that I have been plugging into the karaoke machine to play the music. The problem is, if my laptop is any higher than the very lowest volume setting, I can hear a lot of crackling and it sounds really bad. At first I thought that it might be the cable/adapter that I was using, but after I got a new one the problem was still there. The sound isn't a problem when I play CDs in the machine, only when I plug my laptop in. It also isn't the songs themselves, as it happens with all of them.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Profile of ClintonMagus
If you don't have a "line out" jack on your computer, this could be the problem. Most folks use the "headphone" output, and the signal level is probably high enough to overdrive the amplifier on the karaoke machine.

If you have a PC, you can double click the volume control in the tray at the bottom of the screen to open up the advanced controls. There you will find sliders for "Wave Balance", "Line Balance", etc. Adjust these to a level that gives you more precise control with the "Volume" icon.

If this doesn't work, you might be able to find an inexpensive preamp with a high-level input that will attenuate your signal to a level more usable by your system.

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
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Profile of g0thike

Test the laptop with computer speakers and see if it crackles?

It might also be a stereo & mono conflict with the cables.

But it does sound like a settings problem, listen to what Amos said.

Colin Uk
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Profile of Colin Uk

Check the settings for your sound card and the program you are using to play the music. Go into options in the music software and see if it give you an alternative Sound card to use. If it does try them.

Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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Profile of Daniel Faith
Bad cables or connectors can cause this too.
Daniel Faith
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Profile of styck13
I would agree with amosmc. If you are using the headphone jack from your computer, It's probably too loud. A "line out" jack would be better. BUT if you don't have LINE OUT, try turning down the headphones so you have more control at the sound system. YEARS AND YEARS ago when I started the Mobile DJ thing I did a whold DJ show using jam boxes plugged into a crappy sound system. (in the headphone jacks). If the volume is too high it WILL OVER DRIVE and sound crappy. Hope that helps
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LaCenter, Wa
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Profile of muzicman
The problem I most likely see with magician setups is levels are not set correctly. You might have 3-5 places where you can set levels. The common mistake is to overdrive at one point, and compensate with lowering the level at another point. The results are typically bad quality and crackling, (overmodulation) and distortion. The idea is to keep all the volumes in a medium range starting at the source.

If you are playing a music file from a computer. Check the sound program that is playing the file. Is it cranked up? Set it to about 50% if it is. Then you have the audio settings on the PC itself. The master output volume. Is it cranked? again, set at 50%. If the output is through a headphone jack. Again, that has an adjustment as well. Set it to 50%. There are 3 audio adjustments you can make before it even leaves the PC. The problem is the first 1 or 2 are cranked up, and the output volume at the headphone jack is turned way down to compensate for it. I see this ALL THE TIME!

The karaoke machine may not do well with an amplified source like a headphone jack. It may be designed for a raw audio input which is very low level and it amplifies that raw signal to an audible one from it's own amplifiers. To send an amplified signal to that input could damage the machine if too high of a level is sent.
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Profile of Grandillusionsmagic
I got an external soundblaster sound card, it had RCA line out that is not an amplified signal, the headphone jack has to power the earphones and is to stronf to mixing. I just plug in the USB sound card and then from that int the system, no problems anymore. but if I try to use the headphone jacks it is to strong, even it the volume is way down.
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Profile of biff_g
Great, thanks for all of the advice! I will try it out and let you know what happens.
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Profile of afillius
Go to Guitar Center or and buy a Direct Box, I recommend The Whirlwind IMP it is about $20. Plug the computer into it and from the direct box to the karaoke machine. I am about 95% sure it will solve your problem.
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