Steinberg UR44 periodic burst of static noise

Hi all,

I have been using my Steinberg UR44 on my Macbook pro for years and had no issues. However, recently I bought a windows workstation laptop (specs below) and have had a few issues.

I am having issues of short and loud static bursts coming through my speakers as I use the interface. This issue does not happen with my internal laptop speakers and it did not happen when I tried a different interface (a Focusrite, being used with the same speakers that I am having the issue with). This issue seemed to happen both when I was using Pro Tools and when I was gaming. It also happened both when using the Steinberg driver, and when using ASIO4ALL (as an additional issue, Pro Tools does not recognise the interface when using the Steinberg driver,but that’s a separate issue). I tried changing the sample and bit rate via control panel > sound > advanced, and changing the buffer size via ASIO4ALL to which I was unsuccessful and the issue would persist.

My specs are below:

Computer: MSI Creator Z16P, 32GB RAM, Intel i7 Processor 12700H,
OS: 64-bit Windows 11 Enterprise V22H2
DAW: Pro Tools 2018.3

Any thoughts?

You mention two sets of speakers - “my speaker…my other speakers”.
Is the digital USB signal bleeding into one of you speaker sets? Is one balanced and the other unbalanced? Is it a ground loop issue?

With my UR44 I use balanced cables and had to disconnect the ground to stop a similar issue (recommended by a person who knows more about audio than I do - someone here might know what it does, all I know is it worked). I completely forgot they were setup that way until you mentioned your post. Don’t even know if I need it that way anymore, it’s been wired that way for a long time now! :slight_smile:

Ah sorry I’ve gone and fixed what I wrote. By my “other speakers” I just meant my laptop speakers when they weren’t running from the interface.

This is an interesting point. My cables are unbalanced, and there was never an issue with this on my Macbook. when I tested my exact setup through the Focusrite interface, I used the same cables and didn’t have the issue. Could the balancing still be the issue?

Hi mattr21k and welcome to the Cubase community.

Sorry to read you are having issues with your UR44.

You could try using a USB 2 Port, but since your laptop does not have one, you could try a USB 2 Hub, or maybe a USB 2 extension cable. Another alternative, is to run your USB 3.1 port as USB 2 via the UEFI.

Failing this, have a read on this Steinberg article to see if it shed’s any light.

This does sound familiar and changing laptops means a change in how signals are handled so could be the issue.

In my case the digital noise was coming from my studio monitors that the UR was connected to. If I am following your thread correctly your noise is coming from your laptop speaker. In which case I’m not sure if what I am suggesting below will help, but I’ll put forward my solution as it sounds so similar and perhaps others can chime in on why the laptop is making the noise and make suggestions.

In my case the noise coincided with traffic from the UR communication.
Probably easier to check if it stops when the UR is just idling with no audio playback and/or no MIDI events (since both go over the USB). If you are confident that it coincides with comms then it’s likely the ground loop issue I also experienced. From memory, in my case it was quite clear the noise was consistent with comms activity.

You can get more information on ground issues from this article Ground lift - Wikipedia.

I am no expert on this but in my case, with the studio speakers making the noise, my Studio speaker and the UR both support Balanced cables. With the Balanced cables in place it may eliminate the noise by itself. If not then at one end of the cable you can cut the Ground (not the two signal cables). Make sure to shorten and isolate it enough so it can’t accidentally reconnect in daily use. I did this for both left and right cables. In my case this eliminated the comms noise.

The suggestion in the other reply to use a Hub may also eliminate the issue as it will alter how the circuitry is hooked together and may provide isolation. Definitely worth a try.

Hi all, thanks for the help! I have since solved the problem by doing:

  1. Navigating to Control Panel > Device Manager > Sound, video & game controllers.
  2. In there, there were 2x Steinberg UR44 drivers. I had to navigate to properties > driver > update driver
  3. Select “browse for drivers on your computer”, and uncheck the box that said “show compatible hardware”, navigated to “Yamaha Corporation” and select “Yamaha Steinberg USB Audio”.

It turned out that even though I had DOWNLOADED the most recent driver, it somehow wasn’t installed via device manager? I repeated steps 2 - 3 for both duplicates of the driver in “Device Manager > Sound, video & game controllers” (for some reason there are 2?).

Pro Tools now recognises my interface and I no longer get static burst.

Interestingly, I now cannot change my buffer size from 512 samples which is a bit frustrating. Here’s to the next fixing adventure!