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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:01 pm 

Cheers for helping! I forgot to mention that I tried moving around the room and it didn't make a difference. Also tried playing with the monitor switched off.

I'm wondering if maybe it's the guitar cable. It's good quality (Fender Custom Shop) but it's far longer than I need and I'm not sure if it's balanced/unbalanced. Maybe I should try a shorter, balanced cable and see if maybe that'll fix it.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:02 pm 

Tezcatlipoca wrote:
Cheers for helping! I forgot to mention that I tried moving around the room and it didn't make a difference. Also tried playing with the monitor switched off.

I'm wondering if maybe it's the guitar cable. It's good quality (Fender Custom Shop) but it's far longer than I need and I'm not sure if it's balanced/unbalanced. Maybe I should try a shorter, balanced cable and see if maybe that'll fix it.


Guitar cables are always unbalanced and shorter cables are always better all else being equal.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:02 pm 

Yeah, you're right. I completely forgot the difference between balanced and unbalanced cables.

I've tried a new cable (Planet Waves, much shorter than my Fender cable) and the noise is still there. I've moved the sound card around too and nothing changes.

When I disconnect the guitar cable from the interface altogether, and even turn off the amp sim, noise is still being generated (I can track it with ReaEQ in Reaper). I can only hear it when I turn my interface up, but the fact that it's there at all shows me that this has nothing to do with cables or guitars.

I'll try to source a USB Isolator to use with the interface, because I'm fairly certain now that what I have is a USB grounding issue. I'll report back once I get one.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:57 am 

Yeah the balanced/unbalanced thing could be worth a look. If there's a ground lift on any of your gear try using that. Over the years though Ive noticed that different pickups are better/worse at rejecting noise from various sources... but flouresecent bulbs and CFL bulbs can be noisey too as I recall, try switching them off if you have them nearby to check. You could always use a gate with a low threshold too I guess...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:21 pm 

How much gain are you using? If it's tons then noise is always going to be an issue. Pickups are basically shitty microphones so they will pick up ambient sound as well as the guitar strings. I find every single Metal preset on software has the gain up to unusable levels.

Forget the balanced/unbalanced thing, as Moose pointed out all guitar stuff is unbalanced. If you use a balanced cable it'll just use the TS part of the TRS cable anyway.

Have you tried it with a different guitar? I know you're saying you're getting noise without a guitar plugged in but it looks to be the only thing you haven't checked.

Also try it with a DI box going into the Mic input of whatever interface you've got and try it with the ground lifted and unlifted. That is the main way of fixing ground issues.

Also, plug everything into the same plugboard/source. If you have stuff plugged in from different sockets that can cause grounding issues.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:23 pm 

I've used two different guitars - one is copper shielded too (humbucker pickups).

I've tried recording completely clean, no VSTs added - and that faint noise still appears on sustained notes after I switch *any* amp sim on. I've even tried using more blues-based VSTs with only a little bit of gain, and the same thing happens. I've played in the dark and with the monitor switched off too. :lol:

I've EQed a lot of noise out already but this doesn't seem to be in the spectrum at all. I can't target it anywhere. :?

So I'm between deciding on getting a DI box and a USB isolator. DI boxes are easier to come by than USB isolators that support Hi-Speed USB connections, so I'll probably just go for a DI box and hope it fixes the problem.

Cheers for the help, everyone!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:26 pm 

The "$1500 recording studio challenge" - worth a look for someone starting out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4rmQdc51Eg


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:29 pm 

Floss wrote:
The "$1500 recording studio challenge" - worth a look for someone starting out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4rmQdc51Eg

I watch this lad regularly, often some good tips & tricks in his videos. Decent selection of stuff here, you could probably do a little cheaper buying some of the same stuff used or b-stock on thomann where possible and then going for different monitors, he says himself that the ones he got are fairly weak even for the price.


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