Tips for reducing recorded amp hum in low volume situation?

SedanDelivery22

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For reference, here's our last project. Listen to track four, To the Light...* The hum is there under the guitar intro, and especially at like 1:47... Our songs will often break down in the middle with only quietly strummed guitars barely keeping the beat, and that's where the noise becomes really noticeable.



I like that bari guitar solo. Nice stuff. I posted a similar question today. Bought a new, noisy amp today.
 

Telecaster88

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Thank you! That's my Strat on the solo, double tracked with each take slightly detuned to give a mild warble or chorusy feel... A trick I from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

Good luck with your new amp!
 

BlueTele

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Hey all, I have hyperacusis, so playing and recording for me can be complicated sometimes. I have to avoid certain tones and protect myself from what most of you would probably consider even moderate volume levels.

My old band "got together" long distance a few years back and recorded four new songs. I recorded my guitar and vocals at our drummer's house, and the rest of the band overdubbed their tracks long distance via file sharing. It came out WAY better than I could have hoped. The only "glitch" was there was some low volume hum coming off my amp (Super Champ X2) that ended up in the recordings. (I would say it's just baseline hum, not single coil hum or a bad tube etc, just the underlying electrical sound of the amp.) This was not even noticeable to me playing in the room (With earplugs) but it's there in the quiet passages of the songs on the recordings. We're getting ready to record some more, and this time I'm experimenting with recording direct to DAW via a Tech 21 Blonde to avoid the hum, and it sounds pretty good... but in some cases I miss the "sound of the amp."

The amp's hum is really pretty quiet, but I think the issue is with my hearing disorder I have to play very quietly (about 3 on the SCX2 dial is as loud as I go), so I just think the signal to noise ratio is not great.

I'm considering a few alternate approaches with mic'ing the amp...

One would be backing the mic off the amp speaker, moving it out in the room... A foot? A few feet?

Two would be putting the amp in a neighboring room behind a door and turning it up, staying as far away as I could with a longer cable to mitigate the volume hitting my ears.

My question to you folks is... Any advice? We're recording neophytes,* so with even basics like mic placement we're kind of winging it. Would, pulling the mic off the amp a bit give it enough air to mainly catch the signal and miss the noise? What distance would you guys suggest? What should we expect soundwise in doing so?

I know "if it sounds good, it is good," just trying to enlist some advice to keep us from chasing our tails unnecessarily.

Any other suggestions?

Thank you so much!

*We've recorded a ton in our lifetimes, but always with a pro behind the boards/setting up mics etc.
If you otherwise like the sound/tone of your Super Champ, take it to a good, reputable amp tech/repair guy to source and fix the issue. You may have DC current ripple. Insufficient filtering through a Choke (a.k.a "Inductor") if the amp has one, and/or insufficient filtering capacitors, both that act to "smooth" the DC ripple after the Rectifier did its work will cause hum. That is usually the source of hum. Of course, if your amp is solid state (no Rectifier), then the source is elsewhere. It can come from your pre-amp tubes that are oscillating a bit. You might try some rubber O-rings that can be bought from any amp parts supply website...usually under their "accessories" tab. They just slide up/around the tube and quell the vibration. I'd also make sure that you aren't playing in a room with fluorescent lights or a room that has a lot of active electronic devices that are turned on. Leave your cell phone across the room or in another room too. Cell phone interference is usually a "rhythmic popping/clicking" sound though.
 

randomhitz

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Logic has some filters that allow you to attenuate in a very narrow band. Hum from the mains tends to be either 60hz or 120hz. Often you can attenuate these specific frequencies and not affect the guitar tone. Try using the single band eq plugin, set it to parametric, tune it to 60 hz, set the Q to 100 and turn the gain down to -24. If that doesn't work try it at 120hz.
 

Telecaster88

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If you otherwise like the sound/tone of your Super Champ, take it to a good, reputable amp tech/repair guy to source and fix the issue. You may have DC current ripple. Insufficient filtering through a Choke (a.k.a "Inductor") if the amp has one, and/or insufficient filtering capacitors, both that act to "smooth" the DC ripple after the Rectifier did its work will cause hum. That is usually the source of hum. Of course, if your amp is solid state (no Rectifier), then the source is elsewhere. It can come from your pre-amp tubes that are oscillating a bit. You might try some rubber O-rings that can be bought from any amp parts supply website...usually under their "accessories" tab. They just slide up/around the tube and quell the vibration. I'd also make sure that you aren't playing in a room with fluorescent lights or a room that has a lot of active electronic devices that are turned on. Leave your cell phone across the room or in another room too. Cell phone interference is usually a "rhythmic popping/clicking" sound though.
Thanks, will give the rings a try!
Logic has some filters that allow you to attenuate in a very narrow band. Hum from the mains tends to be either 60hz or 120hz. Often you can attenuate these specific frequencies and not affect the guitar tone. Try using the single band eq plugin, set it to parametric, tune it to 60 hz, set the Q to 100 and turn the gain down to -24. If that doesn't work try it at 120hz.
Will pass this info along to my drummer, who mixed the music in Logic. Thanks!
 

FortyEight

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U could try a gate. last drum tracks ny drummer sent were electronic drums. very cool sound. but it had a hum and when i compressed them the hum got louder. i gated it and it was gone. i didnt notice any quality loss. But this was reapers gate. not sure how your daw does.
 

scelestus

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I hesitate to recommend plugins, but I finally found some help with a similar problem in iZotope RX. Even the basic Elements version.

There's a tool where you can sample the noise and essentially apply an eq-based expander. It's pretty neat.
 




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