Sound Engineering & Recording

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BrokenBString / Chris Matthews 2mo+11dy ago
Make It Stop, Mum! This is nothing new but I'm now sick of it. I sit at my desk, Mac in front of me and guitar plugged into Logic. Sounds like a bottle of jittery bees in the cans. Buuzzzzzz, hmmmmmm etc So I swing the guitar through 90 degrees and all is peaceful, but I can't see the screen now so I can't follow my prompts and markers. Any deep insight into the 90 degree phenomenon? Does it give me a clue as to where the interference might be coming from?


   

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offthewall   commented 2mo+10dy ago


When this used to happen to me I wondered the same. Got fed up with the swivel. At some point I decided to shell out for an expensive guitar lead .... that did the trick. Don't know if it was special but check out Amazon ... No Bull guitar lead. And stop calling me Mum!

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BrokenBString   commented 2mo+10dy ago


Thanks Daddio! I'll check it out.

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Gemini   commented 2mo+10dy ago


That's EMI interference. At 90 degrees it is out of phase and cancels itself out more or less. Only answer is screening. Proper screened cable. Or distancing :)

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BrokenBString   commented 2mo+10dy ago


Already doing the distancing....arf arf! Going to try big fat expensive cable. Thanks guys.

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joydude   commented 2mo+10dy ago


Hey guys!! can some body help me with drum and keyboards for my project?

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LithiumChris   commented 2mo+9dy ago


Agree it must be EMI since its directional. A ground loop or the like would be noisy in every direction. Any idea what the source of your hum is? I used to have issues from light dimmers/dimmable bulbs and lighting in general. I went around the house turning things off until the hum stopped. Some computer peripherals are noisier than they should be. Of course this only helps if the source of the noise is under your control. Shielded cabling can help. Digitizing as close to the analog source as possible is a classic solution - i.e., use a short guitar cable to get close to your recording interface. Shorten that antenna. Good luck, noise is frustrating to we single coil fans.

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BrokenBString   commented 2mo+9dy ago


No idea of the source, hence my frustration. Idea...I have a guitar that can switch between single coil and humbucking so I'll try that as a diagnostic. Meantime, I've ordered a ££££££$$$$$ cable hoping that proper shielding might help.

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drycamplaptop   commented 29 days ago


1. speaker cables do not work as guitar leads. poss problem. get a decent cable. 2. if it's a laptop... unplug from the power during a guitar take. the battery will run the interface...and will stop the ground noise. 3. look into installing a string ground on the guitar. search google...basically a wire between the metal bridge and the ground (barrel not tip) of the cable. 4. if the guitar plug end is metal...put it against your bare skin...leg or spouse.... all these work...but a decent cable and a string ground are the easiest.

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drycamplaptop   commented 29 days ago


Another quick fix if you have a direct box is to plug the guitar into the direct box XLR into your interface and then use the ground lift switch on the direct box to see if that removes the hum

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


Thanks for the suggestions. I changed one $40 cable for a different brand; no difference and I think that's enough to pay. Not a laptop. Ground wire sounds promising- I'll give it a shot. Cheers.

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Owhit   commented 29 days ago


Or you can remove buzz after-the-fact using Audacity's noise reduction utility -- https://www.audacityteam.org/

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


That's a possible. Would much rather kill it at source.

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WillaWay   commented 29 days ago


First question: What interface are you using?

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


Alesis I/O USB. Not on a USB hub. I did try swapping that out with a loaner from a friend but no change I'm afraid.

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tbase2000   commented 29 days ago


My old CRT Monitor will give me hum if I sit to close. Not the kind of hum I like. Goes away when you swivel. Your monitor is a hummer.

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


It may be the monitor but I use an iMac which is all in one so I need to be near it, especially if I'm following a score or arrangement on screen. Pain having to play at right angles. Can't think how I'd test that?

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LuisLandL   commented 29 days ago


Have the same problem. I figured out the lead should have something to do as it's quite old and not super expensive. Now I'm definitely changing it -sick of having to stand up every time I record!!! Thanks!

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PabloGabriel   commented 29 days ago


Hi, I also want to give some advice! With a voltage meter: check that between neutral and grounding the voltage isn´t high. Here that measurement must be less than 50 v, but the network voltage is 220 v. It would not be much for mains 110v supplies.

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drycamplaptop   commented 29 days ago


This problem is usually ground Quick TEST to see if a string ground will help is to get a short piece of wire...any single strand will do. unscrew the hex nut where you plug the guitar in and poke the wire under there and tighten it backup. then run the wire to a screw on the string plate. Once installed it should be quiet when you are touching the strings... basically YOU are the new ground. 1. mute all unused channels on the mixer. 2. ONE socket for everything? 3. I have an imac and have no problems with the monitor being the hummer. 4. Electric guitars (solid body esp. single coil) tend to hum... you might try a "gate" effect which silences everything under a certain volume. A gate pedal is what a lot of folks use live with elec. guitars. 5. If you can borrow a direct box i'd try that ground lift thing too... might solve everything with out changing anything.

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drycamplaptop   commented 29 days ago


Alesis io Dock? ipad plugged onto a bunch of connections?

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drycamplaptop   commented 29 days ago


Using the instrument switch on the back of the IO dock for the guitar channel?

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


iMac, not iPad. And yes, using the "guitar" setting. Ground wire seems well possible; I'll rig one up and see what happens.

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drycamplaptop   commented 29 days ago


if this works you can probably move the wire inside the cavities.

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liljoe6string   commented 29 days ago


Are you shutting off your mains, and using head phones? might be a dumb question??

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


Just monitoring through the headphone outlet on the USB i/o. No amp/speaker monitoring.

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BrokenBString   commented 29 days ago


Further inconclusive and confusing info (July 14) Ground wire does nothing, no matter where I put it. But... putting my Strat pickup switch into an intermediate position (ie a combination of pickups rather than a single pickup) kills the noise. So it must all be down to the single coil thing. But... I have a Yamaha SA2200 which can be switched between single coil and humbucking mode and it buzzes just the same in both modes. I dunno?

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PeteConz   commented 29 days ago


turn side ways? LOL. Lead or cable (full disclosure, not a guitar player) doesn't make as much sense to me as the cable still has to run to the io, assuming near the monitor/computer, regardless which way you face (not quite as much of I suppose). pickups makes more sense. As Lithium mentioned earlier, directional. Just for giggles, try a piece of foil between monitor and guitar? EMI sounds right. Ever hear your local radio stations through that thing? :P

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BrokenBString   commented 21 days ago


SOLVED!! Feel like such a *******! I accidentally tapped my (fairly old) Alesis usb recording hub and it crackled in the cans. Tapped it again and it crackled, again. Wiggled the (third) cable in its socket and that crackled. Hello, I thought. Here's a clue. So I bought a Focusrite Scarlett and problem gone. (This is not a paid promotion btw)

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drycamplaptop   commented 21 days ago


Scarlet is a good interface, quiet mic preamps for sure. Most problems can be fixed with money...