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What is causing clicking in my usb audio interface?

1132 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  bobobo96
I have irregular popping coming from my usb interface. I have been using this interface for 2 years, but since a week it's been popping like crazy. At first I was afraid my speakers might be busted. But I'm sure it's the interface because there's clicks coming from the heaphone output too. The interface is a Tascam US-144. It's quite old and there is no driver support for Windows 10. I've been using the drivers for the US-144 MKII. I tried reinstalling the drivers. Reinstalling the drivers for my on board sound card. Diffrent usb cable, diffren usb port. Nothing seems to work. How can I figure out if this is a software problem or if the USB interface is just broken? And what can I do to try and fix the problem if it's not broken? The popping happes when I record mic or guitar in Ableton, not as much on playback in Ableton. It happens especially when I just watch movies on my laptop normally. I don't think it's a cpu/processing issue. I have 16GB's of ram and a quad core i7 processor. And I've used the interface on my old laptop, which was way worse spec wise. I also tried all latency settings, seems to not make any difference.

Help! :'D
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It's highly likely that something along the line is damaged or not connected properly. I wouldn't bet on it being your "interface" though, its more likely to be the sound card if both input and output are producing the issue. It would be easier to give you some trouble shooting steps if you could provide additional information on your set up, as in all input and outputs and what goes into what.

To find the problem with this kind of stuff requires quite a bit of work, either way the first step would be to test your peripherals - as in your headphones and mic, plug your headphones into your phone and playback some audio to check they are working.
Then test the motherboard by plugging the headphones into that and playing back audio for youtube or something.
Then test the sound card by doing the same, then finally the interface.

By doing this you can work out for sure which part is causing the issues.

I hope this helps.
Hi Xsage, thank you for responding.

When I plug my headphones or speakers into my laptop jack output they work fine. With my 'interface' I mean my external sound card, as in the Tascam US 144.

My monitor setup is this:

Laptop -> Tascam US 144 -> line out into active subwoofer -> subwoofer line out to studio monitors.

There is also a headphone output on the Tascam, which also produces popping. As the laptop without the Tascam does not pop. I'm quite sure it's the Tascam that is causing it.
Could you suggest some more troubleshooting steps to figure out if it's a hardware or software issue?

Much apreciated. :)
Ah okay, I was assuming you had a slightly more complex setup.

Unfortunately with audio, any 'popping' type noises are usually caused by a hardware issue. It's likely the external sound card got overloaded at somepoint. I recently had a similar issue when I was recording myself playing the drums, I tweaked the volume up on my input just a little and as soon as I hit my snare, the soundcard was fried and produced popping or robotic noises on both input and output.

There is also no easy way to determine if its software or hardware. Unless you happen to have a spare soundcard that uses the same drivers or a PC running an older version of window to install the legitimate drivers on.

Check if the product is still under warrenty (unlikely - but its always worth checking). If so contact the supplier and request a replacement.

If not i'd look on the bright side of it all, you proberbly got your moneys worth with a decent few years use out of it. But now you might aswell treat yourself to an upgrade.
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Yeah that was my train of thought, time to upgrade! ;)
Already had a look around, so easy to find good sound cards for next to nothing!
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