Noise Issues

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Jeremy Dean, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. Jeremy Dean

    Jeremy Dean Active Member

    Hey everyone!
    I have a mix I'm trying to bring some life back into. I recorded it about 2 years ago and it's been one of my favorite songs to work on. I've learned a lot about mixing since then and want to fix the glaring issues I'm finding with it now. One mess I'm facing is that I didn't do a good job of keeping noise down when I tracked all the instruments. I have limited gear and this is one of the only mixes I have to date where I haven't used any samples or vst's except for some accordian parts. I actually like some of the noise I have, I wanted the mix to sound very "homey" and warm, not super duper polished but not a wreck either. In one section I have a lot of noise on the kick and snare. The tracks I have from two years ago I used a gate to cut out the noise inbetween beats, but when the kick or snare hits each time in this section of the song the noise is very audible and not very pretty. The noise removal stuff I've tried has made my kick sound dull. It takes out all the top end and really messes with the way I'd like it sound. Does anyone have a ny tips on removing noise without making an instrument sound dull. Any tips/tricks are appreciated. Thanks!
  2. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    For me - in my limited experience with this - I was able to take a noise sample during non-playing portions of the track and use a gate to get rid of it. You can also look at the spectrum and selectively or manually eq that area of noise on that track to try to do the same thing.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    can you post a sample?
  4. Jeremy Dean

    Jeremy Dean Active Member

    Sure, here's some of what I'm dealing with. In my setup a few years ago I had problems with some digital ground loop noise. The source was my interface. It has since been resolved, but these tracks were recorded about 2 years ago.


    Attached Files:

  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Those are tough. Notch filtering with a parametric eq would be my 2nd choice. Basically homing in on that frequency with a really narrow "q" or bandwidth setting could reduce it somewhat.

    Spectral editing like in samplitude or Adobe audit I would probably be the most transparent. It would be my first choice if I had the capability.

    I'd also try editing together one or a few kick sounds from the source track by taking the good sections of them and combining them to form a noise free kick hit(s) then editing them in with a drum trigger/replacement pluggin or manually by hand long for style.

    The fastest way is to use a drum trigger/replacement pluggin and either completely replace the part, or layer in a sample that masks the noise to an acceptable level in the mix.
  6. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Personlly I'd just resample the drum track . Possibly the easiest way to eliminate that.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I'm still stuck on, "digital ground loop", but what noise removal stuff have you tried?
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I honestly don't know what a "digital ground loop" is either... ??

    It definitely sounds electronic - and consistent; the sound is the same on every track. It's not "crackling" which would be indicative of a bad cable... it's not "hiss"... Did you happen to use a USB mic on this?
    Maybe a bad word clock connection? Or poor conversion? Faulty Phantom Power? Or ... maybe even just a noisy preamp - like you would get from a cheap/budget model with the input cranked to get sufficient gain ...

    The noise isn't what I'd even remotely define as being "warm" - it's electronic, and distracting; not pleasing like harmonic distortion, or even tape emulation which would give its own character with some saturation, hiss and W&F.

    This is definitely a "brittle" electronic sound, and if you have this noise on every track you recorded, it's gonna ramp up and get louder as the mix progresses, and will become more noticeable with each track that is added to the mix.

    There are a few spectral filters that might work - as mentioned already by my colleagues - but if it were me, I'd throw in the towel on trying to fix this with gates, EQ, or spectral software, and just trigger new samples from a decent sounding drum sample library, like Slate or BFD.

    I don't know what DAW Jeremy is using these days, but most current DAW's - meaning released in the past few years - have some type of an audio-to-midi trigger feature.

    IMO of course.
  10. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    The ones have multiple paths to zero?

    I'm wondering what he's tried, and how aggressively he attacked it. If I have to use broadband noise reduction for anything, I usually get less destructive results if I take 2-3 gentle passes, rather than trying to get it all in 1 really aggressive pass.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    That noise is from my experience, is generally from clocking/sync, or could likely be the result of a laptop power supply.

    My guess is it's a laptop situation here.

    The op indicated he fixed the problem so I'm curious what did it, especially becuase he indicated the interface itself as the problem, would could be a clocking/sample rate issue.

    One issue with simply replacing the sound is if you print the new track it could still suffer the same noise issue, of the noise is a result of recording.

    The obvious work around is to not print the track but that brings in cpu usage, and long term archival issues. For instance software incompatibility with a new OS a couple years down the line.

    Audio and midi data are the two safest. Pluggin settings and instrument soundsets/settings are almost bound to get lost in the mix eventually, for one reason of another. It's just to easy for one little tiny thing to render a change.
  12. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Izotope DeNoiser would eliminate that almost instantly!
    kmetal likes this.
  13. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    It sounds like laptop/USB noise. Some laptop power supplies seem to have a grounding scheme that causes problems with audio devices. My old Dell/Mobile Pre USB setup did that, but it seemed to affect the outputs and not the inputs.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

  15. Jeremy Dean

    Jeremy Dean Active Member

    Sorry, I'm not very educated on correct technical terms in the mixing business. I was using a cheap $30 Behringer USB interface that has 1 RCA in and 1 RCA out. The interface was used for both my recording and monitoring so the RCA tape out and tape in on my mixer would both go to the interface in and outs. There was a good amount of noise on my recorded tracks with this setup but not when listening to music on my speakers with the same setup. If I only used the interface for one function, either monitoring or tracking, only having one line run from the interface to the board then the noise would completely disapear. If I had one of the ends of an RCA cable from the 2nd line even touch one of the connectors on my mixer I would hear that noise. So, that's what I described as "digital ground loop". What would be a correct way to describe what was happening?
    I've only tried noise removal plugins so far. My resources on that are limited. I havcen't spent much money on buying a plugin dedicated to that purpose. I haven't messed very much with the EQ yet. I like the tone of the kick and don't want to change it, but the noise is way to much.
    I've considered this and honestly it may be my best option with how much noise is on those tracks. I'll just have to hunt for something that has the same flavor. I'm very happy with the tone, just not noise.
    Exactly, that's why I want it out of the drum tracks. To my knowledge the only tracks in this project with the electronic noise on them are a few of my drums tracks. Some other ones have some slight hiss which I like. It reminds me of a tape recording. Mind you, I definitely didn't record any of this on real tape, it just has the same feel to it IMO.
    Thanks for the suggestion! May look into that when I have the money to start investing into this more.
    I recorded this with my desktop but I can definitely relate to that problem with some of my laptops. That issue was fixed when I got a different power supply that was better built. I used to have to unplug my laptop right before a service started at church. I left it plugged in during music practice to charge it and endured the noise until service started.
    kmetal likes this.

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