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How to mitigate hum and signal noise in an older home?

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  • How to mitigate hum and signal noise in an older home?

    I am trying to do some really basic collaborative demo'style recording using my MacBookPro into Logic Pro X using just a very simple one-input Apogee Jam USB interface for guitar. I am using a 2015 American Standard Fender Telecaster and a super fancy Monster chord (it was a gift).

    So, the Telecaster has the standard two single-coil pickups, which we all know can be noisy. But... man... for some reason, my situation is pretty much unusable. When i plug in my guitar to the Apogee Jam, and enable a "guitar track" in Logic that has a modeled, amp... it almost sounds like an old dial-up modem there is so much noise. Weirdly enough, if I don't sit directly facing the laptop screen, some of the noise lessens, but not a lot; just a little. So I have to press record, and then spin my laptop sideways to try to get some usable takes.

    I know that turning off cieling fans, televisions, overhead lights etc. all affect this kinda thing, and I know what 60-cycle hum is... but... I can't even get a usable take without enabling a steel trap noise gate that ends up sputtering in the middle of a musical phrase and ruins it. The house was built in Feb of 1950. I do not think that any upgrades have ever been made to the electrical in the house. So none of the outlets have a third 'ground' prong.

    I have seen really high end audio equipment in studios that has something called a "Power Conditioner Unit" between the wall outlet and the equipment. I always wondered what those things were... but... do those things remove 60-cycle hum, or is it more electromagnetic than that, and the interfearance is "in the air" rather than physically coming from the outlet? If a power conditioner does help with signal noise, can someone please recommend a popular option?

  • #2
    Your computer is radiating noise, and the guitar is picking it up.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

    Comment


    • #3
      My drill is like this:
      1. press record
      2. move several feet away from the computer/workstation
      3. spin my body to orient the guitar to get the least amount of radiated noise from house wiring.

      How long a guitar cord do you have? Press record and wander around, moving the guitar to see where you can get the least amount of interference.
      If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
      If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
      We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
      MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dolmetscher007 View Post
        I am trying to do some really basic collaborative demo'style recording using my MacBookPro into Logic Pro X using just a very simple one-input Apogee Jam USB interface for guitar. I am using a 2015 American Standard Fender Telecaster and a super fancy Monster chord (it was a gift).

        So, the Telecaster has the standard two single-coil pickups, which we all know can be noisy. But... man... for some reason, my situation is pretty much unusable. When i plug in my guitar to the Apogee Jam, and enable a "guitar track" in Logic that has a modeled, amp... it almost sounds like an old dial-up modem there is so much noise. Weirdly enough, if I don't sit directly facing the laptop screen, some of the noise lessens, but not a lot; just a little. So I have to press record, and then spin my laptop sideways to try to get some usable takes.

        I know that turning off cieling fans, televisions, overhead lights etc. all affect this kinda thing, and I know what 60-cycle hum is... but... I can't even get a usable take without enabling a steel trap noise gate that ends up sputtering in the middle of a musical phrase and ruins it. The house was built in Feb of 1950. I do not think that any upgrades have ever been made to the electrical in the house. So none of the outlets have a third 'ground' prong.

        I have seen really high end audio equipment in studios that has something called a "Power Conditioner Unit" between the wall outlet and the equipment. I always wondered what those things were... but... do those things remove 60-cycle hum, or is it more electromagnetic than that, and the interfearance is "in the air" rather than physically coming from the outlet? If a power conditioner does help with signal noise, can someone please recommend a popular option?
        Couple of thoughts here, You have what could be described as a fully portable setup. Take it all outside try it, one it says whether the environment is to blame or not.

        Another thought is ground loop.
        And another is a really cheap usb cord

        or the invertor in your laptop screen is throwing out electronic hash and the only fix for that is another invertor or laptop.
        nosaj
        Last edited by nosaj; 01-29-2019, 01:47 AM.
        Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nosaj View Post
          Couple of thoughts here, You have what could be described as a fully portable setup. Take it all outside try it, one it says where the environment is to blame of not.

          Another thought is ground loop.
          And another is a really cheap usb cord

          or the invertor in your laptop screen is throwing out electronic hash and the only fix for that is another invertor or laptop.
          nosaj
          Man... thatís a perfect idea! If I go outside w/ it, and it still sounds like garbage then itís not 60 cycle him. Then itís probably one of the things you described. Itís not the guitar, because it happens w/ my bass also. And my guitar doesnít do this at our practice space either.

          Thanks for the suggestions! Iíll give it a shot.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dolmetscher007 View Post
            Man... thatís a perfect idea! If I go outside w/ it, and it still sounds like garbage then itís not 60 cycle him. Then itís probably one of the things you described. Itís not the guitar, because it happens w/ my bass also. And my guitar doesnít do this at our practice space either.

            Thanks for the suggestions! Iíll give it a shot.
            No one was suggesting it was the guitars, but that more or less your pickups are acting like antennas and picking up the noise and routing it through the software.
            nosaj
            Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't think it's the standard 60hZ noise. I think it's all the wireless radiated noise from all our gadgets. If it truly is "hash" then that's why I think that.

              You can actually get a good catch of it by transmitting some data with your phone & putting it by your pickup (not in the middle position). You'll get that "modem noise" as you call it. You may be able to run your laptop on battery instead of brick; those power supplies can throw serious noise. ALL of them. Even if you have any "smart" appliances, amything running on wifi, data, anything wireless - we're glooded with the junk.

              Justin
              "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
              "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
              "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Justin Thomas View Post
                I don't think it's the standard 60hZ noise. I think it's all the wireless radiated noise from all our gadgets. If it truly is "hash" then that's why I think that.

                You can actually get a good catch of it by transmitting some data with your phone & putting it by your pickup (not in the middle position). You'll get that "modem noise" as you call it. You may be able to run your laptop on battery instead of brick; those power supplies can throw serious noise. ALL of them. Even if you have any "smart" appliances, amything running on wifi, data, anything wireless - we're glooded with the junk.

                Justin
                When you take it outside turn off bluetooth, and wifi on the laptop if still experiencing the issues.

                nosaj
                Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wonder if you just recorded a dummy track that just had an old pickup wired to a 1/4 cord and plugged into the interface. This way some noise would cancel out when added out of phase.
                  Hope you get it worked out (I have a similar setup here too).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Justin Thomas View Post
                    I don't think it's the standard 60hZ noise. I think it's all the wireless radiated noise from all our gadgets. If it truly is "hash" ....
                    Yep. I agree. Probably RF garbage.

                    Here's a sample of 60 hz hum for Michael.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John_H View Post
                      Yep. I agree. Probably RF garbage.

                      Here's a sample of 60 hz hum for Michael.
                      This user asks questions and then never follows up with any of it. Just leads a horsechase.
                      nosaj
                      Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ah, I see. IN my studio, I have has noise that fades in and out with the LED sequence- same with the jam space. It's so annoying and I wish there was an easy fix. I have a Hopkins RFI filter here that I thinking of inserting before a power bar in hopes that'll cure it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guitarist View Post
                          Ah, I see. IN my studio, I have has noise that fades in and out with the LED sequence- same with the jam space. It's so annoying and I wish there was an easy fix. I have a Hopkins RFI filter here that I thinking of inserting before a power bar in hopes that'll cure it.
                          What do you mean with the LED sequence?
                          nosaj
                          Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John_H View Post
                            Here's a sample of 60 hz hum for Michael.
                            Well, found out my headphones sure don't go down to 60Hz. By the way, Htz is a new one on me. I've seen Hz and CPS (or 'cycles') but never Htz.
                            "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by g1 View Post
                              Well, found out my headphones sure don't go down to 60Hz. By the way, Htz is a new one on me. I've seen Hz and CPS (or 'cycles') but never Htz.
                              That link sucks try this one
                              nosaj
                              Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                              Comment

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