Hum and Buzz

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Member Since: May 31, 2010

Hi. I know this has been asked before. I've checked the most of it. I still need some individual tips on this one. I'm having a ground issue when recording my electric guitar. My standard Stratocaster is the worst humming guitar along with the hum from my power source.

My first question will be: Is there any device I can put at the END of my power rack to ensure that there is no BUZZ LEAK? I was looking at "Rolls HE18" and "Hum X", but I don't know if they are any good. And by the way I don't think it supports norwegian two pins outlet...

My second question goes: Is there any good plugin to reduce hum? Right now I'm recording with my own license of Cubase 5.. Then I have to use Adobe Audition's Noice Reduction Process to reduce the noise of my recordings, and THEN put it back to Cubase 5.. (This is a very heavy process to do this with every recording)... I'm doing this because I find Audition's noice reduction "OK"..

I've had a look into "iZotope RX" but I don't know if it's any good.. If it's heavy CPU dependant it's a downside...
I also wonder if "iZotope Music & Speech Cleaner " is any good..?

So, is there any good answers on my two questions? :)

Regards

Kim

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www.cavvystudios.com
Member
Since: May 31, 2010


May 31, 2010 04:50 am

Try the X-noise plugin made by Waves. It's an intelligent noise filter. You can play a section of the track with just the noise while it's in "Learn" mode and then save a profile for that noise setting. Then the X-noise plugin mathematically deducts the noise from the signal with little to no loss of the desired audio/music. It works better than any noise filter I've ever used. Also, try using it in realtime in your effects chain for live use.

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


May 31, 2010 05:15 am

Thanks! I will definately try it!.. By the way is there any answer to my first hardware question?

Typo Szar
Member
Since: Jul 04, 2002


May 31, 2010 09:16 am

I think with a buzz like that u would be better off with a hardware solution. I dont know much about the units but it seems uve done some research so yeah, i think just any power conditioner that has a ground type function will do loads instead of having an actual hum reducer unit. If u can rid urself of hum before recording itll obviusly be a better option than trying to extract the hum becoz that will degrade ur track and lose some of the qualities.

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


May 31, 2010 10:07 am

Thanks for the answer crux. Unfortunately I don't know what a power conditioner is.. ? I called a music store.. they told me to use a normal "Hum Philter" to put on my power outlet.. ? Is it the same thing we're talking about?

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


May 31, 2010 12:02 pm

A power conditioner is often a rack mounted unit, the cheaper ones are essentially a surge protecting power strip, the more expensive ones actually monitor the power and keep a nice even flow of clean power going to your gear. Raw outlet power often has spikes and drops in power as things are happening on the grid and various other factors. Most electrical devices are built to withstand that within normal ranges...conditioners just keep it more steady.

Typo Szar
Member
Since: Jul 04, 2002


May 31, 2010 12:07 pm

Yeah wat dB said hehe, but higher end power conditioners also protect things like hum n such by giving u cleaner power (not greener, just better regulated). I think itll be better than a hum philter or anything because it will solve teh probelm at its source while also giving u a ton of other benefits such as better care for all ur gear.

Its not so much a music store thing as an electrical store thing so i would go there instead. Ask for a power regulating conditioner that provides somekind of ground lift type thing. U can plug in a bunch of gear or appliances into it just to protect ur valuables

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


May 31, 2010 12:12 pm

A hum filter is sort of like taking Vicodin...it's may mask the pain, but it's not fixing the problem...you're better off trying to find the source of the hum...a bad cable, dirty jacks of pots in the gear or whatever.

www.cavvystudios.com
Member
Since: May 31, 2010


May 31, 2010 05:05 pm

I guess I assumed everyone plugging in musical gear used a power conditioner, I took it for granted that you already had one. Most rack mounted power conditioners I've seen used are made by Furman. I use a Monster Power Center Pro that works pretty well and it has various plugins for various types of equipment. There are high currency filtered outlets for powered monitors, etc.. There are digital filtered outlets for digital gear and analog filtered outlets for analog gear. These things actually protect your gear, not just clean up your sound. Power spikes can sometimes cause permament damage to sensitive digital gear and a regular surge protector isn't always enough to prevent the damage from occuring. I hope this helps, good luck getting rid of the noise. And db's has the right idea. In this case, it's more appropriate to go after the source rather than try to cover up the result. I would definitely focus on getting a good power conditioner first as opposed to trying the hum filter.

http://www.reverbnation.com/2ndg
Member
Since: Nov 27, 2007


May 31, 2010 05:37 pm

I would be checking leads, by that i mean, if they are cheapo's chuck em.

plug your amp's main power into its own power source ie not into a double adaptor with everythig else, and definatley rip open the guitar jack and check the connections.

If youre using an amp head dont have it ontop of the speaker box or near any gear.
If youre using pedals get batteries to power them instead of power packs and make sure the signal chain isnt overpowered somewhere there too.
JMHO.

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


Jun 01, 2010 08:01 am

Thank you guys for all the good response!! I'll have a loook at the power regulating conditioner.. While you were writing I was actually at the electrical store and I bought a hum philter, or net philter as they called it.. reducing the hum. But I will try the conditioner aswell and see how it goes..

I haven't yet tried my hum philter, but I used it for my sound card PSU and then I led it away from all my electric putting it on it's own power source, alone.. I'll try it tonight and see if it helped or not.

Again, thanks a bunch!!!

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


Jun 01, 2010 04:50 pm

Hi again. I've now tested my hum philter in it's own circuit! It didnŠt help.. I'm then asking: Since my PC is connected to a power rack WITHOUT a hum philter, will it lead an eventually Hum from the PC throughout the FireWire cable and out?

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jun 03, 2010 05:21 am

If there is hum without the strat plugged in then, yes. If not, no!

Is your strat plugged straight into your computer? Or amp/pedals??

If you move around the room, does the hum increase/decrease?

I don't think a power conditioner will help your problem, buuuuuuuut Quote:
norwegian two pins outlet
Could this be some of the problem? Honestly don't know how 2 pin mains is wired...

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


Jun 03, 2010 06:04 am

Hi and thanks for the answer :) The hum becomes active when I plug in an instrument.. This can be my strat, my hohner b2 bass or my takamine acoustic guitar.. I always have to wire from the guitar and beneeth under my foot to get rid of the hum :)...

"If you move around the room, does the hum increase/decrease?"
YES, it does.. Especially when pointing my pickup towards my COMPUTER! :((( ANNOYING!!!!

(What the hell are the professionals in studio doing to get rid of this??) :)

EDIT: I don't think the two pins outlet is the problem, cause it's grounded.. But I have two power racks into it.. and on the power rack I have plugged my PC, two screens and an Xbox 360.. (May theese cables cause disrupting signals to my music cables?)

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jun 03, 2010 08:25 am

What kind of soundcard do you have? What type of cable are you using?

If you turn your screens off, what happens to the hum?

Typo Szar
Member
Since: Jul 04, 2002


Jun 03, 2010 08:45 am

Yeah i would check ur screen and ur computer, maybe ur picking up something

I am not a crook's head
Member
Since: Mar 14, 2003


Jun 03, 2010 04:21 pm

This is almost certainly 60-cycle (or whatever the frequency of the alternating current is in Norway) hum that's being picked up by your instruments.

This interference is generated by computer monitors, light switch dimmers, flourescent lights, improperly grounded electrical circuits in your house, and a few other things.

The fact that it comes through the most on your Strat is no surprise because most Strats use single-coil pickups that are very succeptible to picking up 60-cycle hum. There are ways to shield your Strat to reduce the amount of hum it picks up. Take a look here for a tutorial on adding shielding to your Strat to reduce its hum:

www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php

You'll have to find a position in your room where you're as far away as possible from your computer monitor and any dimmer switches (regular on/off light switches don't generate much interference, just the ones with a dimmer knob or slider...not sure why that is). If you have flourescent lighting in your room, turn it off and find an alternative light using incandescent bulbs. I haven't tested to see if compact flourescent bulbs generate much interference.

If you can get those sources of interference under control and there is still a lot of hum, then you've probably got some wiring issues in your house, like a bad ground or something similar. That's a job for an electrician to diagnose and fix.

If you're using cheapo instrument cables, then it's probably time to invest in a few new cables. They don't have to be expensive to do their job. Just make sure that they're shielded.

Keep signal cables away from power cables. Never run them parallel with each other. If you must cross power cables with signal cables, do it at a 90 degree angle to minimize the area of contact.

Hopefully these things will help reduce the amount of interference you're picking up.

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


Jun 04, 2010 02:12 am

Great!!! This helped me alot!!! I'm getting an electrician friend over at saturday.. He will also take a look at how I have installed things. As for the shielding part I have actually bought myself a copper tape and I'm going to install it.

@colonel_sanders, I have an edirol FA-66 soundcard with good cables. I havent tried to turn off the screens yet, but the worst hum comes from the computer itself.

I hope someone can sticky this post as it describes VERY much! :)

Uh, at least one more time . . .
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2007


Jun 06, 2010 11:13 am

I've had the same problem recording my Strat, keem85. I've noticed that if I twist around in the swivel chair I'm sitting in, there's always a "low" hum area, usually when the pick-ups are 180 degrees opposite the computer's monitor, but not always . . . I DI the guitar into a Zoom, always. I can almost always get the hum to drop off to nothing by swinging around til I hear it go away. I usually sit about four feet from the screen. The problem is, you have to remain pretty still when you're playing; just for fun I tried lifting the guitar's neck up towards the ceiling andsome hum was introduced. Also, certain tones hum no matter what--usually distorted ones, or ones with distortion processing. If it's unacceptable, I switch to the G+L, and that thing is always dead quiet. Hope this helps.

I am not a crook's head
Member
Since: Mar 14, 2003


Jun 07, 2010 12:13 pm

You can also try playing your Strat on either of the two pickup positions that include the middle pickup plus one of the other 2 pickups (positions 2 and 4 on a 5-way selector). The middle pickup is usually wired 180 degrees out of phase with the other 2 pickups. So when you sum the signal of the middle pickup with the signal of either of the other pickups, you end up with some hum-cancelling.

Member
Since: May 31, 2010


Jun 09, 2010 03:53 am

Yeah thanks!! :) Right now I can't test it out because I'm in a middle of heavy shielding of my strat.. I'm putting much work in getting it properly shielded.. I've also ordered a copper pickguard from www.monteallums.com.. I'm awaiting this pickguard :) Can't wait to see how it helps or not!! :)

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