I've just got Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD and the thing I'm trying to figure out first with it is if it is ok to have some amount of (white) noise in the background. The state is the following:

  • Audio track in Reaper with armed recording from the audio-interface input
  • Nothing is plugged into the audio-interface input
  • The noise becomes audible if the Gain on the audio-interface input is higher than 70-75% (gain knob pointing like to 2 o'clock)
  • On the highest gain possible the noise is -54.9db with PAD off, and -27.9db with PAD on

Of course, if I plug in the guitar and apply some high-gain vst amp sim to the track (amped roots for example), I will have loud enough constant background noise, almost no matter how much gain is set on the interface.

I understand that there can be several different reasons for that background noise: from some interference to internal interface problems. However, I'm now just trying to figure out if is it ok to have that amount of noise, is there really a problem I'm trying to troubleshoot? Do you experience the same what I do?

I actually wanted to buy Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 first but then decided to save some money at the last moment. And now I am a bit worried if there is a problem with the interface itself :facepalm:

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    Is this a laptop? If so, test with the power supply unplugged. Sometimes there's crosstalk. Personally, 'acceptable' is if I can just about tell the machine's switched on when I set everything to full volume.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 26, 2022 at 10:14
  • @Tetsujin nah, it's PC. I've also tested with a laptop separately, the same thing. Also compared with my colleague's Behringer UMC404HD. It has the same amount of noise, so probably it's OK for this kind of device. I decided to order Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and compare it with the Behringer I have, I'll return the one that I like less and that's it. I'll leave a comment here then. Thank you for the reply! Aug 29, 2022 at 10:57
  • I've never tried any of this new generation of entry-level USB interfaces, so I really don't know how noisy they are. These days I just have a Line 6 UX2 from the early 2k's. It is, to all intents & purposes, silent. [Sure, there's a noise floor but it's never noticeable in general use, I have to wind everything right up to hear it].
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 29, 2022 at 11:01
  • @Tetsujin Yeah, I can imagine. It's my first audio interface, that's why I'm wondering what level of noise I should have expected, just have no experience. I did some recordings on the weekend, the noise was only an issue when working with really high-gain guitar amp simulators. Though it's kinda resolved by applying a noise gate. It's fine in general. I'll see if using another device changes anything. Thank you for your feedback! Aug 29, 2022 at 11:12
  • Well, any amp sim is going to introduce its own noise floor as well as lift/compress anything that's already there. I use a Variax & the amp sim [Amp Farm] in the UX 2 a lot - & even though the Variax is categorically silent [it has no pickups to get EMF/RFI from] the amp sim will add noise depending on how hi-gain the sim is.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 29, 2022 at 11:22


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