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Tuning out unwanted noise

edited November 2019 in Support and Feedback

I’m looking for ideas of how to get rid of all sorts of buzz that can make its way into the audio chain. From audio interfaces to cables and isolators, adapters and extensions. Where does the noise come from and how to get as clean audio as possible?

I’ve lately realised that this is the area that is often forgotten by me and I’d like to bring it into focus. My use is mostly looping so noise multiplies with every overdub. I guess it’s not the end of the world but I suspect it wouldn’t hurt streamlining it.

Ideas?

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Comments

  • edited November 2019

    The two things that have helped me the most are:

    1) keep everything battery-powered (so I use a USB battery to power the hub rather than using mains power)

    2) And put my phone as far away as possible from the XLR cables. If the phone is part of the setup then put it in airplane mode, but for me the interference from the cell antenna inside the phone is the biggest cause of buzz, I can hear it in the headphones when I'm monitoring, so I put the phone in another room when I'm recording vocals and it makes a world of difference for me.

  • +1 for battery power. That eliminates at least 90% of issues for me. Fluorescent lights are another source. I used to get buzz when the kitchen lights were on. Then one failed and the ballast was replaced. Since then those lights create only a fraction of the noise.

    The rest I kill with Brusfri.

  • edited November 2019

    Nice link about ground noise

    https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-how-can-permanently-stop-mains-noise-my-studio

    One good example is the microfreak, i have to plug the power adapter into a separate socket than my other gear to avoid hum.

    For USB noise i use a ‘iFi AUDIO iDefender3.0 USB Ground Loop Isolator’

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1349994-REG/ifi_audio_0306016_idefender_3_0_usb_noise.html

  • edited November 2019

    Good tips all around @richardyot @wim . I need to investigate loosing power adapter on my Akai eie. It does work off a power bank but I’m not sure how healthy it is for the interface since it requires 6v 300A, but I suppose not using phantom power I might get away with it.

    I just bought this guy @[Deleted User] but might take a while to get here direct from China. I bought it on the strength of somebody’s tip from FB iOS musicians forum. £8.99 I’m a cheapskate kind of guy ;)

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/352648070881

  • My guitar amp is noisier depending on which way I plug the mains plug into the wall. Flip it 180 degrees and it’s silent.

    Apart from that, almost all my other noise disappeared when I bought a Strymon Zuma to power my pedals. It’s not cheap, but more than worth the price.

  • Another tip is that, if a new buzz or hum begins one day, seemingly out of nowhere, just ignore it.

    So may times I have spent hours stripping down a setup which has worked just fine for months, and found no solution.

    Then, the next day, it’s all fine again. Now I just assume that a neighbor has in plugged something noisy, or it’s solar radiation, or whatever.

  • edited November 2019

    @supadom said:

    I just bought this guy @[Deleted User] but might take a while to get here direct from China. I bought it on the strength of somebody’s tip from FB iOS musicians forum. £8.99 I’m a cheapskate kind of guy ;)

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/352648070881

    Haha, good call! Mine cost me like 40 euro 😬

  • edited November 2019

    RX Elements is often available for 29 units of currency. The included de-hum module is a quick, easy and transparent buzzkiller if the file has been baked already.

  • +1 for brusfri for fixing after

  • Same buzz for me but only via mic in using hardware ( plus using enhancer software ) Just to be a perfectionist in a whingy state. Its there both mains and batteries and there might me hum from power plus hiss from interface amps. So its either the interface output port, which does actually make it worse/less worse when wiggled. Or its the cable. So I guess its a case of trying a new cable. I find myself laughing at the prospect of buying a high quality cable from audio quest if they are the same as a printer cable. Then maybe add a jitterbug isolator. Noise builds up more on mic input, say when you add a unit, volca drum ( on batteries also but that was also using enhancer. Enchancer dosent enhance any noise on software AUM channels as theres no noise. Guess its the amps then, which could benefit a better cable. Hum probably from ipad.

  • @sigma79 said:
    Same buzz for me but only via mic in using hardware ( plus using enhancer software ) Just to be a perfectionist in a whingy state. Its there both mains and batteries and there might me hum from power plus hiss from interface amps. So its either the interface output port, which does actually make it worse/less worse when wiggled. Or its the cable. So I guess its a case of trying a new cable. I find myself laughing at the prospect of buying a high quality cable from audio quest if they are the same as a printer cable. Then maybe add a jitterbug isolator. Noise builds up more on mic input, say when you add a unit, volca drum ( on batteries also but that was also using enhancer. Enchancer dosent enhance any noise on software AUM channels as theres no noise. Guess its the amps then, which could benefit a better cable. Hum probably from ipad.

    I generally use ipad with an interface alongside Novation Circuit. I also have an fx pedal and all of the above run off a single multisocket thingy that plugs into the wall. I don't get anything from Circuit but I get a fair amount of noise which comes and goes depending on how I position guitar cables running from the effect unit into the interface. The noise is always there but intensity changes quite a lot. So basically most of the noise comes from the interface which hopefully will get filtered out by the usb isolator.

    NB. The noise is not that bothersome on the whole but when I do live overdubs, especially in quiet bits, it can get quite noticeable. Basically I'm trying to fine tune my system rather than fighting a serious bother.

  • A while ago, I had a fairly large rig that always gave me a tiny but audible bit of hiss and hum. Nothing too disturbing (and this kind of noise can easily be removed by your go-to spectral denoiser). Only every once in a while, for a short moment, some radio station tuned in and entertained me for a few seconds until it faded away and kept silent for another few weeks.
    Actually I found it quite funny and it gave my rig some kind of human feel so I didn't do anything about it except re-routing power distribution units to get the central ground as close as possible and reduce the hum at least.

  • Brusfri works well. I’ve used the gate on the ChannelStrip app by audio damage a lot with my guitar and that works really well usually

  • @RedSkyLullaby said:
    +1 for brusfri for fixing after

    Definitely Brusfri for post recording noise removal.

  • @supadom said:

    @sigma79 said:
    Same buzz for me but only via mic in using hardware ( plus using enhancer software ) Just to be a perfectionist in a whingy state. Its there both mains and batteries and there might me hum from power plus hiss from interface amps. So its either the interface output port, which does actually make it worse/less worse when wiggled. Or its the cable. So I guess its a case of trying a new cable. I find myself laughing at the prospect of buying a high quality cable from audio quest if they are the same as a printer cable. Then maybe add a jitterbug isolator. Noise builds up more on mic input, say when you add a unit, volca drum ( on batteries also but that was also using enhancer. Enchancer dosent enhance any noise on software AUM channels as theres no noise. Guess its the amps then, which could benefit a better cable. Hum probably from ipad.

    I generally use ipad with an interface alongside Novation Circuit. I also have an fx pedal and all of the above run off a single multisocket thingy that plugs into the wall. I don't get anything from Circuit but I get a fair amount of noise which comes and goes depending on how I position guitar cables running from the effect unit into the interface. The noise is always there but intensity changes quite a lot. So basically most of the noise comes from the interface which hopefully will get filtered out by the usb isolator.

    NB. The noise is not that bothersome on the whole but when I do live overdubs, especially in quiet bits, it can get quite noticeable. Basically I'm trying to fine tune my system rather than fighting a serious bother.

    Hope you fix it Supadom. Brusfri suggested could work. Mine isnt so bad.

  • We're talking> @sigma79 said:

    @supadom said:

    @sigma79 said:
    Same buzz for me but only via mic in using hardware ( plus using enhancer software ) Just to be a perfectionist in a whingy state. Its there both mains and batteries and there might me hum from power plus hiss from interface amps. So its either the interface output port, which does actually make it worse/less worse when wiggled. Or its the cable. So I guess its a case of trying a new cable. I find myself laughing at the prospect of buying a high quality cable from audio quest if they are the same as a printer cable. Then maybe add a jitterbug isolator. Noise builds up more on mic input, say when you add a unit, volca drum ( on batteries also but that was also using enhancer. Enchancer dosent enhance any noise on software AUM channels as theres no noise. Guess its the amps then, which could benefit a better cable. Hum probably from ipad.

    I generally use ipad with an interface alongside Novation Circuit. I also have an fx pedal and all of the above run off a single multisocket thingy that plugs into the wall. I don't get anything from Circuit but I get a fair amount of noise which comes and goes depending on how I position guitar cables running from the effect unit into the interface. The noise is always there but intensity changes quite a lot. So basically most of the noise comes from the interface which hopefully will get filtered out by the usb isolator.

    NB. The noise is not that bothersome on the whole but when I do live overdubs, especially in quiet bits, it can get quite noticeable. Basically I'm trying to fine tune my system rather than fighting a serious bother.

    Hope you fix it Supadom. Brusfri suggested could work. Mine isnt so bad.

    I already have noise gate on my guitar multieffect pedal and that does the job well but I’m getting a slight buzz from the interface but I’ll see what usb isolator does to it.

  • Embrace the noise.

  • @lukesleepwalker said:
    Embrace the noise.

    My kids have taught me that one

  • wimwim
    edited November 2019

    @supadom said:
    I already have noise gate on my guitar multieffect pedal and that does the job well but I’m getting a slight buzz from the interface but I’ll see what usb isolator does to it.

    Even if you power with a battery pack? Or is there no external power involved? Sorry, I didn’t read back through the thread.

    All I know is whenever I have had buzz it’s either come down to external power or (rarely) to things like fluorescent lights. 99% of the time, using a battery bank fixes it.

    I’ve never had even moderate success with isolators of any kind in years and years of playing guitar, though I can’t say I’ve tried a USB one.

  • @wim said:

    @supadom said:
    I already have noise gate on my guitar multieffect pedal and that does the job well but I’m getting a slight buzz from the interface but I’ll see what usb isolator does to it.

    Even if you power with a battery pack? Or is there no external power involved? Sorry, I didn’t read back through the thread.

    All I know is whenever I have had buzz it’s either come down to external power or (rarely) to things like fluorescent lights. 99% of the time, using a battery bank fixes it.

    I’ve never had even moderate success with isolators of any kind in years and years of playing guitar, though I can’t say I’ve tried a USB one.

    No, I use a wall socket. It definitely comes from the 3 adapters running into circuit, the interface and the multieffect pedal plugged into the multisocket splitter and their interaction with the guitar cable running from the multieffect and into the interface.

    The USB cable seems well shielded but I might try a different one tomorrow to see if that makes any difference.

  • I’ve had zero noise in my guitar rig since I switched to a Strymon power supply.

  • @mistercharlie said:
    I’ve had zero noise in my guitar rig since I switched to a Strymon power supply.

    Strymon PS on what component, the interface?

  • Pedals, including an Eventide Mixing Link. I thought you mentioned using a guitar.

  • @mistercharlie said:
    Pedals, including an Eventide Mixing Link. I thought you mentioned using a guitar.

    Yes I did but I have a gate at the end of the chain inside the multieffect pedal so no noise comes from there but I think some of it at least might be coming from the lead going from mfx to the interface picking up interference from power adapters along the way.

  • I never had much trouble with regular guitar noise, other than P90 hum etc. my problems were more often with odd whines when using digital pedals. The Zuma fixed all that. I have a Trio+, H9, plus a Broadcast and a couple more analog pedals, and the only noise is regular gain buzz from the Broadcast.

    It’s an expensive option to just try out, but I wouldn’t go back now.

  • Ok, so the mistery has finally revealed itself to me and is more prosaic than expected. The lead going from multieffect pedal into the interface has grounding issues. I’ve replaced it with double the length cheapo cable (which I thought would be worse) and hey presto...absolute silence.

    So yeah, apologies to all, my fault for not checking my leads. Those guitar leads were quality but they are quite old and extensively used so no surprise there. Phew.

  • @supadom said:
    Ok, so the mistery has finally revealed itself to me and is more prosaic than expected. The lead going from multieffect pedal into the interface has grounding issues. I’ve replaced it with double the length cheapo cable (which I thought would be worse) and hey presto...absolute silence.

    So yeah, apologies to all, my fault for not checking my leads. Those guitar leads were quality but they are quite old and extensively used so no surprise there. Phew.

    cool, you still get to try a USB isolator, luckily a cheap one.

  • @[Deleted User] said:

    @supadom said:
    Ok, so the mistery has finally revealed itself to me and is more prosaic than expected. The lead going from multieffect pedal into the interface has grounding issues. I’ve replaced it with double the length cheapo cable (which I thought would be worse) and hey presto...absolute silence.

    So yeah, apologies to all, my fault for not checking my leads. Those guitar leads were quality but they are quite old and extensively used so no surprise there. Phew.

    cool, you still get to try a USB isolator, luckily a cheap one.

    Haha, yeah good point ;)

  • edited November 2019

    Using balanced connections if the audio interface support it can help a lot.
    Even if the audio source doesn’t have balanced outputs ,making a pseudo-balanced connection also helps (cutting the ring wire of the source connection ,not on the side of the audio interface )
    Or using a DI box (maybe lifting the ground)

    If there is usb whining noise (high pitched) and the usb interface has its own separate power you can cut the black wire of the usb cable

  • Old thread revival.

    I’ve found my Circuit injects noise into my usb hub (which also carries my audio interface usb connection to my iPad from my soon h6).

    If I record the noise and normalise it - there are regular ‘pulses’ in the noise - I.e. looks digital.

    My current solution is to use a usb to 5-din adaptor (the the jack connector) into the Circuit. No weird digital pulses in the noise.

    Makes me wonder if the a) The hub (being cheap) somehow doesn’t have good isolation between ports b) the Circuit has a ‘noisy usb’.

    Switching to battery only didn’t help in this case ^

    Also previously found that a cheap daisy chained power supply to effects pedals generates plenty of ground noise on my guitar feed into the H6.

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