Old 06-21-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
Jason Brian Merrill
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Default how much guitar noise is acceptable?

I feel like my guitars are noisy.

The noise goes away for the most part when I touch the strings...

have I just been spoiled by my variax? Or have I forgotten how much noise a guitar makes?

I am trying to figure out where it's coming from - instruments are the only cause of buzz...
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:14 AM   #2
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I feel like my guitars are noisy.

The noise goes away for the most part when I touch the strings...

have I just been spoiled by my variax? Or have I forgotten how much noise a guitar makes?

I am trying to figure out where it's coming from - instruments are the only cause of buzz...
Edit or gate out the noise. Pretty simple.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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i am just unsure if this is some weird electrical thing with my house, or something that is typical.

heres a sample
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3305204/001-003.mp3

thats my hand touching the strings and letting off... it's obviously using me as a ground or something haha
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Have you checked the wiring in your guitar? I had replaced the electronics in my guitar and ended up trying a complex wiring setup. I, somehow, didn't ground it properly and had a lot of noise. I redid the wiring in a less complex manner and eliminated most of the noise.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
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Have you checked the wiring in your guitar? I had replaced the electronics in my guitar and ended up trying a complex wiring setup. I, somehow, didn't ground it properly and had a lot of noise. I redid the wiring in a less complex manner and eliminated most of the noise.
ill test some other guitars again. I brought it to my guitar guy and he said it's no different than any other guitar....
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:33 AM   #6
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this is my variax...

(not the digital mode, this is using the mag pickups)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3305204/001-004.mp3
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #7
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Gates do nothing but get rid of the noise when you aren't playing. There are a few things that can cause this (at home) that you can look at.

1. Your VGA Monitor and computer - shield them. The case should be metal and cover the entire PC, empty drive bays should have the little metal 'space holders' put back in place etc. This is easy to test, yurn the PC and monitor off and see if the noise is reduced.

2. Florecent lighting uses balasts which give off noise that can be picked up by your pickups. Even the CFL ones have them. Light dimmers also induce noise on an AC line, as do motors. Turn off all the lights and unplug the fridge or whatever might be the cause of the noise to test.

To fix AC problems, the best way is to put all of the noisy 110v stuff on one leg of the AC, and put your audio stuff on the other. A different circuit, meaning a different breaker, but on the same leg will make no difference. A large UPS that recreates the AC sinewave (like a Powerware 9 series) may be a quick fix as well.

Of course, there is also gain structure to consider as well, but I assume that you are having an environmental issue.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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this noise persists when the pc and monitors are off... checking other things though. an ebtech humx didnt work.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
i am just unsure if this is some weird electrical thing with my house, or something that is typical.

heres a sample
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3305204/001-003.mp3

thats my hand touching the strings and letting off... it's obviously using me as a ground or something haha
Sounds about right. Twist your body (with guitar strapped on but not holding strings... i.e. let it buzz) clockwise or counter-clockwise until you get the least amount of buzz. That'll be your playing position
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:21 AM   #10
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if it sounds typical, then i wont bother doing anything else to my setup...

I mean, ive recorded with microphones, etc with no perceivable noise floor..
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
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I only notice it with guitar... I
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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if it sounds typical, then i wont bother doing anything else to my setup...

I mean, ive recorded with microphones, etc with no perceivable noise floor..
Get rid of it... it's like recording vocals with a baby crying in the background. Guitar players seem to be the only ones that find this level of noise acceptable, and then insist that they have to play through a tube amp because it sounds better!
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:51 AM   #13
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if it's typical, and no fault of my hardware or electric, then what am i to do?
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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Plug in a guitar to the same rights that has piezo or lace sensor pickups. If the problem goes away then it is emf induced.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #15
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have the same thing with my lace sensor-equipped strat...
but i cant hear it from my acoustic guitar pickups
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #16
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have the same thing with my lace sensor-equipped strat...
but i cant hear it from my acoustic guitar pickups
Its nearly impossible to get rid of 100% of all EMF (even with shielding) in most passive pickups because the pickups themselves are basically an friggin' antenna. They don't call 'em a "pickup" for nothing

I haven't listened to the sample (maybe later, little busy) but all I want to mention is that "some" amount of buzz is likely always going to exist and if it goes away when you touch the strings even better as it isn't going to be there whey you are playing.

It is likely environmental but there are few perfect environments. I'd be interested if the buzz changes as you turn in a circle in the room while holding the guitar. Either way it comes down to how close to the noise floor it is and whether it will affect the recording while playing etc. assuming you don't find a culprit in the room (tv, computer, preamp, refrigerator two rooms away etc.).
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:26 PM   #17
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and then insist that they have to play through a tube amp because it sounds better!
Not me man. Modelers all the way!

Some day I'll have an AxeFX II, but for now it's just Digitech and Line6 stuff. My old house was noisy (bad electricity from the junction box). We moved last summer and so far the new place is nice and quiet on that front. No more unwanted hum/buzz in my headphones.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #18
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Guitar players seem to be the only ones that find this level of noise acceptable, and then insist that they have to play through a tube amp because it sounds better!
Its a byproduct of passive pickups aka the technology. Secondly, if its the pickups not the amp which is typically the case, using a modeler isn't going to make an ounce of difference.

As far as tube amps/modelers they are different beasts, there is no way a modeler will truly replace my amps AND vice versa.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:48 PM   #19
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As far as tube amps/modelers they are different beasts, there is no way a modeler will truly replace my amps AND vice versa.
I've got both as well. They each have their place in my musical lineup.

HD100 > 1960B 4x12 in my home studio rattles the walls everywhere. It makes the neighbors baby cry. (I take a certain amount of pride in that ).

Digitech GNX3 with my custom presets > Mackie 1402-VLZ3 > ProFire 610 lets me record well after everyone else has gone to bed.

When no ones home but me....the HD100 gets CRANKED (mostly just for fun though).
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:49 PM   #20
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I only use DI into software modelers
I have marshall/fender amps.. but for playing around and practice only.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:52 PM   #21
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Two thoughts:
1. it is not really the level of noise that matters so much as the signal to noise ratio (so to speak) i.e. if the overall mix is loud the noise is probably suppressed enough not to matter.
2. You COULD "noise reduce" the guitar tracks- as the noise will be consistent it is a simple job to do, innit?
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:54 PM   #22
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with a loud distorted patch like above, does it sound like too much?
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:58 PM   #23
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If you have the problem with the lace sensors, but not with the piezo, then it sounds like you have a really bad EMF problem.

If you use your standard guitar pickup, you can probably locate the power source, and it may be the power mains running through the building, or a large transformer close by. If it is a powerline running through the building, then you need to shield that line with a high carbon steel pipe, it will be abput 4" in diameter, and it will have a carbon mark/number on it. Normal metal will not work, it has to be high carbon.

You could also make a recording booth that is a faraday cage, but again you will have to use a high carbon based metal for the screens.

Both of these options are fairly expensive, so relocating your studio might make the most sense.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:07 PM   #24
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did anyone listen to the samples? is it a problem or what?

I mean, you are not obliged to, but it would just be helpful.

relocating is not an option. I dont mind putting money down.

keep in mind, this is literally the only noise in my entire setup.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #25
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I tried, but dropbox is blocked at my office.

Can check it later when I get home.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #26
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You do need to check if your interface shield is grounded. And that this ground is continuous through the shield of the guitar lead, the foil shielding behind your backplate and the bridge and strings.

A "Faraday Shield" is no good without grounding. Is your interface grounded? Is your computer grounded? Is it a desktop or laptop?

And finally, is the house electrical ground grounded at all? This would all contribute to the noise you are getting.

Ungrounded guitar amps can be quite dangerous, but if this is just an ungrounded shield then not so bad. Bad domesticnearths could be another thing though. Have you access to a multimeter?


>
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #27
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yes, i do.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #28
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Have you access to something you can be pretty sure IS grounded?

A central heating system is usually a good bet, else a steel or copper rod knocked at least a foot or two into damp ground.

First you need to check there is no voltage from your strings to the ground point with the meter. If not, measure the resistance. Check from earth point to electrical socket earth too. Get someone to do it for you if you're unsure of electrics here.

Measure the resistance from shield to strings too with yournguitar lead. Less than 1 ohm is what you want here.



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Old 06-21-2013, 01:40 PM   #29
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did anyone listen to the samples? is it a problem or what?

.
I did and two things.

Both my strats and my tele makes equivalent noise due to EMF and single coils. However, being EMF it doesn't go away when I touch the strings but yours does so.... Is the ground lifted on your DI or vice versa and does it do it if you plug into just the amp etc?

For me, if it goes away when I touch the strings, I'm not working to hard to get rid of it because it is somewhat irrelevant to my needs (not touching strings or bridge, not recording) but the fact that touching gets rid of it makes me think you have a chance at solving it.

Forgive if I missed something.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:46 PM   #30
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thanks for that karbo im gonna try and get to the bottom of it!
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #31
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thanks for that karbo im gonna try and get to the bottom of it!
Forgot to add, be sure to try a different cable too just in case.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:13 PM   #32
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I am fairly certain my older tracks did not suffer from this. I am going to have to get my electrical-saavy friends over here and see what I can do. Perhaps the oultet im using is not properly grounded.

I used an amp in a different room and same thing, however.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:36 PM   #33
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There are methods to insulate guitars, but I would recommend a Pro did it for you. It means taking the electrics apart and shielding them. There are a few tutorials webside that you could check. But with caution. But that's just the guitar, all the other stuff that p9 said also.

Short Term and if you're using the Guitar with a PODXT {I'm assuming you have one for the Variax}, USB up and start Gear Box, it beats twiddling the little knobs on the PODXT, and put the Gate ON and start dialing. Then get as far away from the PC as you can!

Get onto Gilmourish Dot Com. Goldmine!!

http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=1211

http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=1222

Last edited by FKAB; 06-21-2013 at 02:49 PM. Reason: amendment
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:43 PM   #34
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I didn't have to do this in my last place - so I dont see that it's a problem with the guitars, but it must be a problem with the power im drawing from.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #35
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I didn't have to do this in my last place - so I dont see that it's a problem with the guitars, but it must be a problem with the power im drawing from.
Agreed, did your DI have a ground lift by chance? Just curious.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:56 PM   #36
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Agreed, did your DI have a ground lift by chance? Just curious.
I did try a DI with ground lift and it had no effect
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #37
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I didn't have to do this in my last place - so I dont see that it's a problem with the guitars, but it must be a problem with the power im drawing from.
Guitars sometimes hum. [gotta be careful here about being dogmatic] Maybe you have grown accustomed to the Variax.

But if you think it's the power, have an electrician look it over! It might be a simple case of grounding!
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #38
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Sounds like your mains supply earth is not grounded.

Get an electrician in.


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Old 06-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #39
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Get an electrician in.


>
Bullocks, my advice is to strip naked, douse yourself in water and test the junction box grounds while standing barefoot on a cement floor.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:18 PM   #40
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spoiled by the vax man! my freaking SG is a loud monster. i always seem to go back to the jtv
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