Help! Guitar Noise
tadros86
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5th January 2010
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Help! Guitar Noise

I am trying to record guitar tracks direct using the Daking Mic Pre IV instrument ins. When doing so my guitar will make a buzzing/humming sound. One buzz/hum is louder than the other, and the lower volumed buzz/hum goes away when I touch any form of metal (computer, pickup screws, volume/tone knobs, input jack) I've tried my bass guitar and a second guitar with the exact same results. Anyone know what may be causing this and what a solution could be? I was thinking of investing in a Furman IT-20 II Balanced Power Condition to resolve this problem as I am running my studio unbalanced.

My setup is as follows. Fender Jag-Stang with a DiMarzio Area 58 single coil and a Dimarzio Super Distortion Humbucker> Monster Guitar Cable> Daking Mic Pre IV> Mogami TRS to XLR cable> M-Audio Project Mix> Firewire Cable> Macbook Pro>Furman SS-6B

Any help would be extremely appreciated!
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5th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
I am trying to record guitar tracks direct using the Daking Mic Pre IV instrument ins. When doing so my guitar will make a buzzing/humming sound. One buzz/hum is louder than the other, and the lower volumed buzz/hum goes away when I touch any form of metal (computer, pickup screws, volume/tone knobs, input jack) I've tried my bass guitar and a second guitar with the exact same results. Anyone know what may be causing this and what a solution could be? I was thinking of investing in a Furman IT-20 II Balanced Power Condition to resolve this problem as I am running my studio unbalanced.

My setup is as follows. Fender Jag-Stang with a DiMarzio Area 58 single coil and a Dimarzio Super Distortion Humbucker> Monster Guitar Cable> Daking Mic Pre IV> Mogami TRS to XLR cable> M-Audio Project Mix> Firewire Cable> Macbook Pro>Furman SS-6B

Any help would be extremely appreciated!
The lower hum is normal and should go away once you touch the strings or tuning heads. The guitar is grounded by your body when you touch the strings.

The high pitched hum could be some electromagnetic radiation (guitar pickups are sensitive to that, that's how they work). It's usually power bricks, CRT monitors (computer, TV), neon lights, refrigerator motor (if you hear the fridge going off and the buzz goes away), microwaves, etc.

Don't life the ground on the amp. It would help but (so I've heard), people have died because they received a big jolt through the guitar strings.
tadros86
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5th January 2010
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Well the buzz and hum also gets louder or softer depending where I am standing and what direction I am facing. Is there no way to just have a clean signal? Even when both pickups are in the off position this happens!
tadros86
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5th January 2010
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5th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
Well the buzz and hum also gets louder or softer depending where I am standing and what direction I am facing. Is there no way to just have a clean signal? Even when both pickups are in the off position this happens!
Well if you turn off all the electrical units in the house, it should stop buzzing. Your guitar picks up electromagnetic waves like an antenna. Use that to locate the source of the buzz and hum. Maybe there are power lines closeby?
tadros86
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5th January 2010
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Does it help to state that my recording studio is on a separate ground than the rest of the house? I am basically only using one outlet too. And no I don't have any dimmers... I am using track lights and they just have on/off switches.
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5th January 2010
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The second hum is an earthing/grounding problem. Get an old high E string (or a peice of wire) wrap it around the bridge or a metal part of your guitar where it doesn't get in the way of your playing, then put the other end down your trousers. Seriously.

One problem solved, with an albeit temporary solution

the other one is caused by eletromagnetic radiation from something, fluro lights etc.. find out what it is and turn it off, or otherwise stand on the right angle so the buzz is minimized. Or make a faraday cage and stand in it (this will work but it will probably be expensive and a lot of effort, so I'm not entirely serious about it)

On a side note, if your studio is on a separate ground to the rest of the house I believe it can be very dangerous if you have any setups that span the two grounding systems (I may be wrong, but I thought I should mention it in case I'm right) ( be careful of that wire down your pants in such a situation!)

matt
tadros86
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5th January 2010
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Would getting the IT 20II eliminate this problem? Cause I've taken apart my entire studio to track the culprit and no luck. I'm super annoyed and, though I don't actually want to spend 2000 on power, maybe it'd be for the best if I did. Balanced power running to all the equipment and voltage regulated... it can't be a terrible investment. Or even is this as easy as attaching a Hum X to the control surface? And if this IS the guitar picking it up, what is the point of having a humbucker? I thought these things were supposed to cancel out all the buzz. The single coil is quieter than the humbucker.
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5th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
Would getting the IT 20II eliminate this problem? Cause I've taken apart my entire studio to track the culprit and no luck. I'm super annoyed and, though I don't actually want to spend 2000 on power, maybe it'd be for the best if I did. Balanced power running to all the equipment and voltage regulated... it can't be a terrible investment. Or even is this as easy as attaching a Hum X to the control surface? And if this IS the guitar picking it up, what is the point of having a humbucker? I thought these things were supposed to cancel out all the buzz. The single coil is quieter than the humbucker.
In my experience power conditioners don't get rid of these types of things. Then again they might for you as your situation will be different than mine has been.

If you do want a power conditioner, make sure you get one that will let you try it to see if it makes a difference before buying.

A real tech will probably be able to find the source of the issue and fix it without a power conditioner, perhaps see if you can find a local studio tech?

I would love to be of more help, but I'm not an expert in this area. I have been there though..

matt
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6th January 2010
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I will probably get flamed but I have always hated noisy electric guitars so I finally got a variax and it's silent.... Plus I actually love the sounds... I can now use a super high gain preset in guitar rig and there is zero static...
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6th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
I am trying to record guitar tracks direct using the Daking Mic Pre IV instrument ins. When doing so my guitar will make a buzzing/humming sound. One buzz/hum is louder than the other, and the lower volumed buzz/hum goes away when I touch any form of metal (computer, pickup screws, volume/tone knobs, input jack) I've tried my bass guitar and a second guitar with the exact same results. Anyone know what may be causing this and what a solution could be? I was thinking of investing in a Furman IT-20 II Balanced Power Condition to resolve this problem as I am running my studio unbalanced.

My setup is as follows. Fender Jag-Stang with a DiMarzio Area 58 single coil and a Dimarzio Super Distortion Humbucker> Monster Guitar Cable> Daking Mic Pre IV> Mogami TRS to XLR cable> M-Audio Project Mix> Firewire Cable> Macbook Pro>Furman SS-6B

Any help would be extremely appreciated!
If you haven't already tried this - does the secondary hum/buzz change depending on the position of the pickup selector? Typically the "quietest" as in, least buzzy, setting is the middle position with both pickups feeding the output, and both pickup volume knobs all the way up.
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6th January 2010
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Originally Posted by CZ101 View Post
If you haven't already tried this - does the secondary hum/buzz change depending on the position of the pickup selector? Typically the "quietest" as in, least buzzy, setting is the middle position with both pickups feeding the output, and both pickup volume knobs all the way up.
Both the single coil and the humbucker together are the still giving a loud buzz. Not as loud as the Humbucker by itself. the single coil is the quietest. Playing through the amps at a music store, the problem went away. BUT I was not playing at a loud level, say the level you would be playing during a live show. And here at the studio I am just direct in with no effects and the hum is unbearable. I purchased a device to check the ground on my outlets and it is indicating it is fine. What could be causing this?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
Both the single coil and the humbucker together are the still giving a loud buzz. Not as loud as the Humbucker by itself. the single coil is the quietest. Playing through the amps at a music store, the problem went away. BUT I was not playing at a loud level, say the level you would be playing during a live show. And here at the studio I am just direct in with no effects and the hum is unbearable. I purchased a device to check the ground on my outlets and it is indicating it is fine. What could be causing this?
So, let me get this straight - you're monitoring your DI'ed guitar through headphones - right>?
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6th January 2010
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i also got positive results using a hum-x by ebtech with my electric guitar... i plugged my computer and soundcard into it. it removed most of the noise... but nothing fully cured the buzzing noise like the variax.

edit: does it buzz when the macbook pro is on battery power and not plugged into AC? if its quiet on battery, the hum-x will really help. same if you can test with a soundcard that works on bus power and not AC... for me i had to plug both the laptop and the soundcard into the hum-x but the laptop definitely was creating more and benefited the most from the hum-x.
tadros86
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6th January 2010
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So, let me get this straight - you're monitoring your DI'ed guitar through headphones - right>?
First I was just doing it through the monitors. Heard the buzz, figured it was the monitors, turned them off and plugged in the headphones. Still buzz, the worst part about this is I hear that a computer could be the cause of this. I am using my laptop. This NEVER happened before, and I have no way of testing this with my computer off as it will leave the interface unusable. Extremely frustrating
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
First I was just doing it through the monitors. Heard the buzz, figured it was the monitors, turned them off and plugged in the headphones. Still buzz, the worst part about this is I hear that a computer could be the cause of this. I am using my laptop. This NEVER happened before, and I have no way of testing this with my computer off as it will leave the interface unusable. Extremely frustrating
its the laptop mostly.. did you try it on battery?

Ebtech Hum X from zZounds.com

this thing works miracles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
First I was just doing it through the monitors. Heard the buzz, figured it was the monitors, turned them off and plugged in the headphones. Still buzz, the worst part about this is I hear that a computer could be the cause of this. I am using my laptop. This NEVER happened before, and I have no way of testing this with my computer off as it will leave the interface unusable. Extremely frustrating
You can't use the interface in stand-alone mode? (I'm not familiar with that interface - so maybe you can't)

Also - I'm sure that your Daking is outputting a +4 signal, so have you checked that the M-Audio is set to accept +4 (and not -10) input? The +4 input should be balanced (in an ideal world) and also be better equipped to handle the higher output from the Daking. And also, I'm assuming you're going TRS line in - just checking..
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Did you always have this problem or is this ( Daking) a new piece of gear you are using.. Does it happen if you use another preamp..?..Just making sure that there's nothing wrong with the Daking before you spend $2000 on the Furman.......Good luck...
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6th January 2010
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Originally Posted by CZ101 View Post
You can't use the interface in stand-alone mode? (I'm not familiar with that interface - so maybe you can't)

Also - I'm sure that your Daking is outputting a +4 signal, so have you checked that the M-Audio is set to accept +4 (and not -10) input? The +4 input should be balanced (in an ideal world) and also be better equipped to handle the higher output from the Daking. And also, I'm assuming you're going TRS line in - just checking..
I've used the computer on just with its battery, idk if that makes a difference... I also timed the screen to turn off after a minute to test if it may have been the screen.

How would I know if it is set to accept +4 or -10? I am going TRS line in. This also happens when just connecting the guitar to the instrument input on the interface.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatchman View Post
Did you always have this problem or is this ( Daking) a new piece of gear you are using.. Does it happen if you use another preamp..?..Just making sure that there's nothing wrong with the Daking before you spend $2000 on the Furman.......Good luck...
The Daking is a new piece that I have just purchased. The mics I recorded with it sound amazing now. The problem happens when I only use the interface too, so I don't think it's the Daking.
tadros86
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6th January 2010
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M-Audio Project Mix

Line Inputs (A/D)

Input Impedance 20k Ω bal/10k Ω unbal

Maximum Input Level at Minimum Gain +10dBu bal/+7.8dBV unbal

Channel-to-Channel Crosstalk < -110dB @ 1kHz

SNR -104dB, A-weighted

Dynamic Range 104dB, A-weighted

THD+N 0.00243 % (-92.3dB) @ -1dBFS, 1kHz

Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz, +/- 0.1dB @ 48kHz
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In your interface's control panel you want to make sure that you have the "20k Ω bal" option selected for any line-ins from the Daking - this may be labeled as "+4" in your interface's control panel.. Look in the interface's manual - I suppose it could also be a physical switch somewhere on the interface itself..
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In your interface's control panel you want to make sure that you have the "20k Ω bal" option selected for any line-ins from the Daking - this may be labeled as "+4" in your interface's control panel.. Look in the interface's manual - I suppose it could also be a physical switch somewhere on the interface itself..
Then again, what is more important than having "+4" or "20k Ω bal" selected is that it sounds best to you with the amount of gain that you like to give your mics/instruments through the Daking. (hope this isn't more confusing than it's worth)
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I think you should also try out another audio interface. Can you borrow one from a friend? The project mix has a terrible reputation and is known for being noisy to start with....
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I think you should also try out another audio interface. Can you borrow one from a friend? The project mix has a terrible reputation and is known for being noisy to start with....
Unfortunately it's the only interface I have access to.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
Unfortunately it's the only interface I have access to.
then I would try a couple hum-x's first... they are vveeeerrry cheap and can do very well... in my case it made my old setup usable... in the end even the small buzz left over, which is total normal for an electric guitar... was still too much for me... i had to bail and get a variax for total silence.
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then I would try a couple hum-x's first... they are vveeeerrry cheap and can do very well... in my case it made my old setup usable... in the end even the small buzz left over, which is total normal for an electric guitar... was still too much for me... i had to bail and get a variax for total silence.
So should I get one and put it in front of the control surface? I'm not sure where exactly I'd place the Hum X. I would probably get two. One for my amp and one for the studio connections. But where to put it exactly?
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Originally Posted by tadros86 View Post
So should I get one and put it in front of the control surface? I'm not sure where exactly I'd place the Hum X. I would probably get two. One for my amp and one for the studio connections. But where to put it exactly?
I am no expert, but in my case the macbook was the big source. I experimented and it seemed to help a bit more if I had both the laptop and audio interface on hum-x's, but one for the macbook should do it.

I believe an amp would need the larger rack mount hum-x but in my case I did not use an amp... I always ran the electric guitar directly to the hi-z input of my audio interface. Now, many interfaces have notoriously bad hi-z inputs which is another thing to look into... experiment with a different DI box.. etc..
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7th January 2010
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You could try using a DI box with a ground lift and go into the mic input.
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LCD monitors, like the flat panel in your laptop also cause buzz with guitar (and bass) pickups. Single coils will have more of a problem than humbuckers (hence the name hum-bucker- they minimize hum).

Computers themselves are also a source of electrical noise.

What sort of lighting do you have in your room? Flourescent lights (like CFLs) or lights on dimmers will cause more problems, but regular incandescent can also cause buzz/hum.

The best thing to do is turn off the lights in the room (and adjacent rooms), your computer, and then turn your body to find the best position to minimize buzz/hum.

And a noise gate.


Edit: just read again that you're running unbalanced. Use balanced wherever you can.
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14th January 2010
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Originally Posted by MarvinDog View Post
LCD monitors, like the flat panel in your laptop also cause buzz with guitar (and bass) pickups. Single coils will have more of a problem than humbuckers (hence the name hum-bucker- they minimize hum).

Computers themselves are also a source of electrical noise.

What sort of lighting do you have in your room? Flourescent lights (like CFLs) or lights on dimmers will cause more problems, but regular incandescent can also cause buzz/hum.

The best thing to do is turn off the lights in the room (and adjacent rooms), your computer, and then turn your body to find the best position to minimize buzz/hum.

And a noise gate.


Edit: just read again that you're running unbalanced. Use balanced wherever you can.

I have track lights in the room, I've tried shutting them off with the same results. I've even turned off all near by refrigerators.

I still can't turn off the computer as it is how the sound is coming through the interface.

I have a noise gate, the ISP Decimator, I just feel like, why is it necessary if I have "noiseless" pickups? lol

Will Balanced power help in this situation ?
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