Tracking electric guitar

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earth tones
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Tracking electric guitar

Post by earth tones » Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:51 pm

While attempting to track an electic guitar, I have faced a great deal of difficulty in controlling the noise that the amp is producing. The amplifier is by no means a high quality amp, so I am assuming a nicer model may reduce this noise. It seems to increase when FX pedals are inserted into the chain, especially when powering them with an AC adapter. Does noise in general exist due to electrical grounding and interference? I am sure there are more factors than the amp and pedals. The guitar tone that I am working with is absolutely beautiful, and quite dynamic. But, the dynamicity is spoiled when the noise is competing with the softer passages. Overdubbing is a nightmare of compiled noise. How can I resolve this without compromising the tone of the guitar? Thanks to anyone with advice.

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mjau
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by mjau » Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:15 pm

I sometimes get a similar problem with a couple Laney amps I have. They are both tube, and every tube amp I've ever had (from Laney, Fender, and Orange), had some noise to it. I just figured it was part of that amp's character. But...one thing that would add noise would be a long chain of effects. When recording, I only hook up the effects I'm going to use, leaving everything else out of the chain from guitar to amp. Also, try different plugs in your wall. This works for me. Moving the amp can help, too. I had a Fender that would pick up some wierd Russian radio broadcast when I was living in New Hampshire, but only in one certain area of the room would the amp get that. Go figure...

Fieryjack
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by Fieryjack » Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:18 pm

Try rotating your chair in a circular motion until you find the least interference....don't know if you tried this already.

madtho
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by madtho » Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:25 pm

Things I know make noise:

single coil pickups - try moving yourself around the room, even just turning in place can make a huge difference
computer monitor - turn off monitor while you track
crappy cable
crappy guitar jack

is the amp noisy with nothing plugged in? if it's getting worse with effects it sounds like no. Then it's probably a guitar/cable issue (see above), If yes?

It could be an amp issue, some great amps buzz, some cheap ones don't.
Is it a tube amp? is it old? The filter caps could be shot; get someone that knows how to fix it.
Does the amp have a grounded plug (three prongs)? if so, you can get one of those adapters that go 3 into 2 and try plugging it in both ways (flipped).

a recent post had a guy touching the guitar strings above the bridge and the amp faceplate while the player overdubbed (sounds like great fun)

get a noise gate

best of luck
-mad

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I'm Painting Again
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by I'm Painting Again » Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:51 pm

also make sure your not near a light dimmer..
if its a two prong plug on the amp make sur the polarity is correct..
you could get an isolation transformer to plug the ampand fx into..
that all i can think of right now..

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space_ryerson
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by space_ryerson » Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:53 pm

I agree with all of the above, but also bear in mind:

in certain cases, like a wah pedal, use a 9v battery rather than an adaptor. Actually, use batteries as much as you can for pedals. It's a cleaner power source than an adaptor, and therefore often quieter. Power conditioners help a smidge, but probably not enough to make a big difference.
Modifying pedals for true bypass will help for when they are turned off. Also, the grounding/shielding of your guitar's wiring can also affect things. Foil sheilding that is well grounded will certainly give a clearer tone than no sheilding. If the pickups are low-output, then a booster or buffer will probably give you a better signal/noise ratio. Oh, and if your amp has reverb, try turning it down to see if that helps. If it is a cause of noise, unless it's a great sounding reverb, turn it off, and come up with another way to get some reverb.

Oddly enough, I've been having a noise problem at home lately, and it turned out that my fishtank in another room was on the same circuit, and due to the filter was generating hum. It took a lot of deduction to figure that one out.

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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by joel hamilton » Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:51 pm

I have tracked records with an alligator clip to the pickup selector, and the other end in my pants for this reason.

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mjau
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by mjau » Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:55 pm

Joel,

I'm not sure I know what an alligator clip is, but I don't think I want it anywhere near my pants.

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J.B.Horns
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by J.B.Horns » Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:46 pm

mjau wrote:Joel,

I'm not sure I know what an alligator clip is, but I don't think I want it anywhere near my pants.
:rofl:

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Mr. Leisure
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Re: Tracking electric guitar

Post by Mr. Leisure » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:34 pm

mjau wrote:Joel,

I'm not sure I know what an alligator clip is, but I don't think I want it anywhere near my pants.
In other words, they are inexpensive 'roach clips'
fantabulouspleefiasco...

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