Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface
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Old 23-06-2016, 04:26 PM   #1
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Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

Hi there...

I have a Behringer UMC204 audio interface hooked up to a pair of active monitors. When the output level of the interface is turned up beyond the 50% mark, there is a lot of noise being amplified coming out of it.
This can be somewhat remedied by turning down the amplification on the monitors but that leaves me with less reserves for situation where I need to bring up the volume (e.g. listing to very quiet material).
With the (85W) monitors at 100%, the noise is at about the volume of a normal talking voice.

Obviously, this is a rather budget friendly interface and I don't expect wonders. However, this seems somewhat excessive. If I hook up the output of my iPhone to the monitors and turn it to full volume, there's no noise to be heard.

Is anyone using that same interface and has similar or different experiences?

I had access to a digital oscilloscope and measured the noise coming out of the output to be about 40 mV RMS (-25.7 dBu) - (when the output level pot of the interface was at 100%). However, I don't have any other devices to compare this to. Maybe someone has this sort of experience and can comment on whether this is to be considered "normal"

(I've pretty much eliminated all other sources for the noise. All inputs are at 0%, Monitoring pot is at 100% playback. Monitors are hooked up with balanced cables. Tried moving the interface away from sources of electrical interference, tried different computer)

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Old 23-06-2016, 06:41 PM   #2
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

What does the noise sound like? If it sounds like buzzing or screeching, it might be the result of a ground loop. I had one of those in the past with my monitors and my Behringer DAC, and the solution was to simply plug the monitors into an ungrounded outlet. Not exactly the safest solution, but it worked.
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:22 PM   #3
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

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Originally Posted by Kenophos View Post
What does the noise sound like? If it sounds like buzzing or screeching, it might be the result of a ground loop. I had one of those in the past with my monitors and my Behringer DAC, and the solution was to simply plug the monitors into an ungrounded outlet. Not exactly the safest solution, but it worked.
It sounds pretty much like pink noise. I've made a recording: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

(It's not interference from the monitor speaker it sits on top of. I tried moving it around already to no avail)

I've sent my measurements to their support address and got a nice reply that they would have someone from their testing dept compare that to one of their units. That's promising...

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Old 23-06-2016, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

I think what it comes down to is that Berhinger is just not a very good brand to buy. The one thing you don't want to skimp on is your interface if you plan on recording instruments/vocals.

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Old 23-06-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

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Originally Posted by Numerical View Post
I think what it comes down to is that Berhinger is just not a very good brand to buy. The one thing you don't want to skimp on is your interface if you plan on recording instruments/vocals.
The recording quality is actually great. I'm using it to record all kinds of stuff (synth, guitar, microphones) and there is nothing for me to complain in terms of noise or anything. It's just the output that is troubling me.
Still may be a case of "buy cheap - buy twice" I'll see what comes back from their support

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Old 23-06-2016, 09:16 PM   #6
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidPointer View Post
It sounds pretty much like pink noise. I've made a recording: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

(It's not interference from the monitor speaker it sits on top of. I tried moving it around already to no avail)

I've sent my measurements to their support address and got a nice reply that they would have someone from their testing dept compare that to one of their units. That's promising...
Well that does not sound like a ground loop at all.

Last edited by relic; 26-06-2016 at 06:34 PM..

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Old 26-06-2016, 08:35 AM   #7
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

Get your receipt out and go and wave it in the face of the dude who you bought it from.
Tell him you think the unit is faulty and ask him what he's going to do about it.
If he tells you 'that's how it's supposed to be' and you're not happy with that then you may have to return it and upgrade to a higher quality unit.
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Old 28-06-2016, 11:46 AM   #8
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

The support guys at Behringer wrote back and said they got the same measurements out of their test unit. So my interface does not seem to be faulty. The output pre-amp just seems to be on the noise side.
Returning it to the store isn't much of an option as I bought this over a year ago. I only used it with headphones so far and the issue just didn't show in that setup.
Well... I will live with this for now and when I decide to upgrade, I'll be sure to be a little less cheap :-)

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Old 28-06-2016, 04:37 PM   #9
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidPointer View Post
The support guys at Behringer wrote back and said they got the same measurements out of their test unit. So my interface does not seem to be faulty. The output pre-amp just seems to be on the noise side.
Returning it to the store isn't much of an option as I bought this over a year ago. I only used it with headphones so far and the issue just didn't show in that setup.
Well... I will live with this for now and when I decide to upgrade, I'll be sure to be a little less cheap :-)
Focusrite does budget really well as far as interfaces go : )

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Old 03-07-2016, 08:07 PM   #10
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Re: Output noise on Behringer UMC204 audio interface

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Focusrite does budget really well as far as interfaces go : )
+1 on that. Definitely try and avoid Behringer for high fidelity purposes as I and many, many other people have had bad experiences with that brand over the years.

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