How to clean up Guitar hum

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
3dot...
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by 3dot... » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:00 pm

things to check out :
1. "ground lift" switch on the DI
2. if you have fx pedals...
disconnect their power adapters one by one to figure out if one is faulty/ungrounded
3. check you input jack on the guitar.. and check for loose soldering in the guitar electronics..
4. cables
5. last but not least.. in the case there's no proper grounding in the walls... that's dangerous..have it fixed by a proper electrician
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Mark Lane
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by Mark Lane » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:05 pm

Tone Deft wrote:
filter_7 wrote:The hum is not so big, but would be nice to have a professionally clean recording.
hum is part of the ambient sound of the guitar, let it go.

a gate should be enough, anything beyond that is part of the instrument.

yay humbuckers. ;)
This is a good point, I find when I leave the hum etc the track gels more. I heard that the Slate Digital Analog simulation stuff introduces 'simulated' low level noise for this very purpose.

3dot...
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by 3dot... » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:10 pm

there are hums.. and there are hums...
most of them are shit..irritating .... and shouldn't be recorded really
can't remember a time I ever heard a "hum" which I actually wanted to be in there..
you can filter them out later.. but that could create phasing issues and take some of the life out of the sound...
not recommended either...
better to treat this stuff before it reaches recording ...
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filter_7
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by filter_7 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:36 pm

3dot thanks, very helpful info

@Mark: yes, as 3dot said there are different hums. Mine are very bad 'cause i have it in cleanest guitar situations, and surely even Tom Waits would hate it! :)

anybody human
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by anybody human » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:59 pm

Agree on what's been said above but sometimes as a bandaid I'll notch out or dip at 6000 Hz and/or 3000 Hz

bkwsk
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by bkwsk » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:25 pm

Using a gate is not an option?

chaibuka
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Location: spencerport, ny

Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by chaibuka » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:05 am

Check if hum is from dimmer switch or flourescent lights. Kill all the lights and see if hum goes away.

filter_7
Posts: 370
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:05 am

Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by filter_7 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:50 pm

@chaibuka: yes good point. Now i will check all the 'electricity' issues in my room.

@bkwsk: the gate works only on overdiven sounds, not on quiet ones.

simmerdown
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Location: Northwest Nowhere

Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by simmerdown » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:31 pm

that too, unground all plugs going to outlets, the amp or preamp, your computer, monitors, etc...keep guitar cables from crossing power

H20nly
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by H20nly » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:58 pm

^ yep... +1 for electrical oddities as a potential cause. i plugged all of my equipment into a UPS that filters out brown noise from the electrical wiring in my apartment. it didn't solve it entirely, but it did help A LOT.

i agree with Tone Deft's point about the humbuckers though.. that's what those do. i don't know if you have clean contacts, good cables, and high grade pickups... but i do know that all of these things can [not] work together to make a perfect storm.

some things to try:

- different electrical outlet
- different guitar/bass
- many of the tricks/ideas other posters suggested

see if you can isolate the source (the main cause) of the sound... because that will really give you the best idea of how to treat it.

aldentinnin
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by aldentinnin » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:49 pm

Are your pickups single coils?

miyarakira
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by miyarakira » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:51 pm

Hi filter_7,

Just today I solved a background hum issue between my audio
interface and amplifier, so here's my two cents: DI Box. The one
that did it for me was ART DTI.

However, as you're on a guitar, you might need an *active* DI Box
with Hi-Z input, depending on where in the signal chain you put it.

It feels so nice to get rid of the hum and have a clean signal!

---

Oops, you already have a DI Box... Sorry for not reading the thread
carefully.

Anything with a tube/valve usually has a background hum, it's the
"juice" you hear. :)

filter_7
Posts: 370
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:05 am

Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by filter_7 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:18 am

just to remember, here's my setup with direct recording:
Guitar(Gibson Nighthawk) > Tubeman 2 (tube di box)> audio card > Ableton Live > Waves GTR 3

@miyarakira: now i'm testing the noise from the Tubeman. Would be great to test another di box but i don't have it.

@H20nly: useful advices about change guitar and things in the gear chain, i will try it!

simmerdown
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Location: Northwest Nowhere

Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by simmerdown » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:58 pm

putting up a sample of one of your recordings with the hum could be helpful for diagnosis...

crumhorn
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Re: How to clean up Guitar hum

Post by crumhorn » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:34 pm

one of the worst and most common causes of hum pickup on guitars is lighting dimmers. If you have any dimmer switches in your studio (or even in adjacent rooms) make sure they are turned either off or full on.
"The banjo is the perfect instrument for the antisocial."

(Allow me to plug my guitar scale visualiser thingy - www.fretlearner.com)

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