Home studio noise reduction solutions?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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inverseroom
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Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by inverseroom » Tue Jun 03, 2003 12:18 pm

I recently switched over my home studio from an 8-track (the trusty Boss BR-8) to a 16-track (Akai DPS16). I have good budget equipment (Studio Prjcts mics, TC Electronic M300, RNC, etc.) but run it all unbalanced. Noise was never much of a problem with 8 tracks, but with 16 it begins to add up, and those 24 bits of resolution mean beautifully reproduced hiss!

So where should I begin? I replaced the cables (goodbye, Hosa!) and that helped a little. Is there a decent outboard noise reduction unit (as opposed to a gate, which I have on the DPS)? Or should I start somewhere else? A non-Behringer patchbay perhaps?

Oh my God! I am now an ASS ENGINEER! I think that means I should think about spending more time outdoors.

John.

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by Kyle » Tue Jun 03, 2003 12:33 pm

Has the machine been serviced?
Do you ever print high eq to tape and then roll it off in the mix?

I use a 1/2 16 and I print more highs to tape this is noise reduction in a sense because you are turning down the noise floor.
Kyle

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by inverseroom » Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:57 pm

Well, the DPS16 is a DAW, not a tape machine, but I could give that a try--how does it work--I just track through an EQ with the hiss frequencies boosted, and then turn them down in the final mix? I'm sure this is engineering 101 stuff, but I am a lowly dabbler...I gotta consult a book or something.

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by wowandflutter » Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:41 pm

are you sure its not a noisey room adding up after so many tracks as opposed to noisy equipment ? man! if i could get my noise floor down to just the equipment only id be half professional. i live in an apartment so i have to a: wait till late at night and b: till the refrigerator turns off to get as quiet as possible a recording. i guess it depends on what kind of noise your talking about.

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by Kyle » Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:44 am

Sorry, I didn't read the DSP16 part. The printing highs only works for tape.
Kyle

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by Mark67 » Wed Jun 04, 2003 8:38 am

Couple real simple suggestions:

I know the BR-8 makes noise--how about the Akai? Make sure that room itself is as quiet as it can be.

It may help to run stuff on its own circuit--that is, you don't have lights (especially florescent, halogen, or dimmer) or appliances on the same circuit as your recording stuff. Those lights can also make noise in the room.

If you record guitars with single coil pickups, the noise from those will always be a pain in your @ss, particularly if you record near your recorder.

I don't know anything about power conditioners, but many studios seem to use those to ensure "clean" power to your eqpt.

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by inverseroom » Wed Jun 04, 2003 9:47 am

All good ideas, and I'm doing them all already! The power conditioner worked well, and the DPS16 is much quieter than the Boss unit. But perhaps my problem is one of expectations. If my Porta One had sounded half this good I would have whooped with joy. And I am pretty much whooping with joy, it's just...you know how easy it is to imagine the PERFECT SOUND...and a bit of hiss dampens the delight. Seriously, though, is there a hiss-destroying unit out there, like the digital equivalent of dbx or Dolby?

By the way, Bill Lawrence L280's on a Strat? Fan-frickin'-tastic, and absolutely SILENT.

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by bedbug » Wed Jun 04, 2003 2:47 pm

What about these things called ferrit beads, or something? I read up on them a while back. We're getting a little radio noise (the classical station is pretty good!) from our amps at our practice space.

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Re: ass engineer?

Post by supafuzz » Wed Jun 04, 2003 2:48 pm

Ass engineer? Maybe you should move your studio to san francisco or fire island
:twisted:

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by cassembler » Wed Jun 04, 2003 3:42 pm

No, I'd be more focused on tying to print hotter signals to disk, which will help maximize the s:n ratio. I'm definitely not saying to peg it out, but a small amount of peak compression (with an appropriate makeup gain) might help somewhat.

It would help though if you described the noise to us precisely- white noise? 60Hz hum?

But as far as honest-to-goodness NR goes, your best solutions are software based, such as Cool Edit Pro and many, many other solutions.
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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by inverseroom » Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:02 pm

Hey cassembler, I'm just talking regular white noise, not 60-cycle hum. I usually record guitars direct through a Tech 21 PSA1 & they are nice and quiet. In fact I am beginning to feel from these responses that I'm complaining too much about a very tolerable thing.

I'm not set up for software though. Maybe there's something on the Akai unit I haven't yet discovered.

Your web site looks awesome, nice work.

John.

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Re: Home studio noise reduction solutions?

Post by bedbug » Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:59 pm

I don't know. That half second of hissing before Pollard starts singing on "A Salty Salute" really makes the song for me.

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