This seems to be a very common problem. Active monitors (and especially Yamaha HS series) have annoying hum/hiss/scratchy hi-freq noise coming that depends on your laptop activity: HDD, fans, CPU load. It’s like listening to your laptop inner noises amplified.
My setup is
Acer laptop + M-Audio Fast Track Pro (USB interface) + Yamaha HS50m
If i unplug laptops adapter from the electricity socket – all noises are gone.
Two solutions that worked for me (in different apartments). Both unexpectedly easy.
1. Plug your laptop AC into a different electricity socket. Once I separated the monitors from the laptop this way – problem was solved. It did not help in the new apartment though.
2. Try a different laptop AC adapter. In my case I used cheap no-name Chinese “replacement adapter” instead of the original Lite-On that came with the laptop. And what do you know, to my big surprise – noises disappeared!
So don’t be discouraged if you have ground loop problem: just try any kind of silly small fixes, it might actually work.
If it still doesn’t go away, check, for example, this:
and google for “ground loop”.
“If sound designers had the capabilities in the early 80s that we have nowadays…”
When I was playing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time I used to just stand at the Fairy Fountain location for a while listening to this.
And perhaps you have never heard this? This awesome remix on Zelda music by Ochre features the theme as well.
Sometimes true magic comes from small tunes like this…
That’s an awesome “guide”! Actually, it’s even more interesting to watch for a person who knows games industry well. It will teach nothing to newbie really – to many insider’s jokes.
The program is done with such passion: just look at the details, music accompanying each scene, precisely found bits of gameplay… and Charlie just really knows what he is talking about. In fact, I think he understands games better than some IGN “experts”. ;)
If you are ever in an urgent need to take a glance on some classical piece – I highly recommend you this online printed music library. It’s in Russian (use Google Translate), but it has tons of scanned music, like, for example, all the most popular pieces for piano. As well as full orchestra score, jazz songs, choir etc. Maybe if you play a piece it will be better to get proper score (printed stuff doesn’t look so good and can be hard to read), but as a “take a quick look at that Chopin prelude” resource it is simply irreplaceable!