When recording direct input instrument audio using Ableton, my recording is plagued with a terrible noise interference that sounds like the clicks and movements of my PCs internal Hard Disk drive. This noise is relatively subtle, but when using VST amplification effects with drive or distortion (such as those found in Guitar Rig, or in some DAWs) the noise becomes so severe that it makes the audio useless for any music production. To me, the noise sounds different from a low frequency hum or constant buzz. This noise is, somehow, directly related to my computer's hard drive movement noises.
Here's some information on my setup and various test setups that I've used to try to eliminate this interference:
- Guitars (Both single-coil and humbucking pick-ups tested. No significant change.) [TS cable running from guitar to...]
- Inexpensive DI Box (LiveWire PDI. Bought for this issue. No significant change.) [XLR cable running from DI Box to...]
- M-Audio Delta1010LT PCI Audio Interface.
- Audio is being recorded using Ableton and NI Guitar Rig 5.
[Just yesterday I had a friend bring over his Focusrite Saffire FireWire Audio Interface in order to test to see if the interface itself was the problem. Unfortunately, the noise continued to exist in the signal... I completely removed the Delta1010LT from my computer when testing my friend's Saffire.]
My PC, Monitors, Speakers, etc. are all plugged into 2 surge protectors which are plugged into two adjacent power sockets on the same 2-socket wall power outlet. Both of the surge protectors have ground indication lights, which are lit up.
Finally, I should also mention that the interference only occurs when recording (and playback of said recordings). Playing back audio from synth/sampler VSTs, youtube videos, games, other people's music, etc. is always fine and without interference. The interference occurs only when I record audio and playback the audio that I've recorded on this setup.
What steps can I take to remove or greatly reduce this strange hard-drive noise from my audio recordings?
edit: Here's a quick sample recording of the noise. (Recorded in Ableton, using some drive from Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 VST.)
edit: AND here's a second recording of the horrible noise pattern. This is broken into 3 chunks. In the first chunk, it's telecaster -> DI -> interface -> DAW -> GuitarRig.. In the second chunk I removed the guitar from the equation. The noise changed, but if you listen carefully you can still hear that same interference pattern! In the third and final chunk I removed the DI box as well, so it's only the internal PCI audio interface, the DAW, and GituarRig!
This noise is killing me! Any ideas how I can fix this?