A small amount of noise?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by TuBlairy, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. TuBlairy

    TuBlairy Active Member

    Feb 18, 2005
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    Hi, this may seem a silly question. Both what is an 'acceptable" noisefloor? Basically, I'm thinking about recording the final tracks for my CD - the vocals and acoustic guitar parts - at home on some very good gear. I treated the room with high-density fibre-glass panels, including a few that are 4 ply for the low frequency stuff. All the micing is strictly close up using the direction feature on a u87. The room is reasonably quiet but not perfectly sealed. There are some low-level low frequency hums from outside - traffic and a transformer.

    The mix sounds reasonably quiet and the noise doesn't appear on an meters. But I'm somewhat concerned about the build up of the noise over 4 tracks (2 vocal and 2 guitar) and that even if it isn't audible, that somehow it would affect the tone of the whole thing, or make it sound muddy? Will it make the overall recording marginally better to record in a real studio or much better for the average listener - the buying public?

    It's not really about being cheap, its just I feel more comfortable taking my time and recording my parts at home.

    Penny for your thoughts.
  2. Rider

    Rider Guest

    i have some pretty loud noise in my mixes, but its not noticable, mainly because almost all my songs are distorted guitar all the way through.

    shouldnt be too bad using well set noise gates, or manually chopping out silent parts, seems like instruments flood it out pretty well.
  3. aaronlyon

    aaronlyon Guest

    I agree. Unless you are recording very nuanced, breathy jazz vocals, with extremely quiet passages, no one is going to be able to hear the noise.
  4. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
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    I agree with the others that these "nuance" freq's have a tendency to be labelled as "unwanted" but are easily gated out or removed in the mix if you're mixing "in the box". And it's usually wise to force silence in the breaks between lines on any one given track, especially since it's so easy to do these days.

    And you're also correct that these rogue freqs can build up to muster as unwanted mud as the tracks get layered on.

    But I believe it's really the tones of the instruments your listeners will be paying attention to and commenting on. The audiphiles may (and will) complain about background noise here or some analog hiss there, or the self-noise of a cheap LDC that was used on a featured acoustic guitar or vocal track. But it's the music that matters and the sound of the record and the songs and the instruments.

    It sounds like you've done everything you can to build the best environment for getting your groove on and now it's just time to "get your groove on". Forget the noise and make your record. You're ready. And if a car horn or passing jet or other outside influences make it into the background somehow, then that's just what's supposed to be on that record. It's good to worry about having the quietest environment possible. We all do that. But don't let it get in your way at this point. Make your record now man. Push Record and don't stop for anything.
  5. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    If I might make a suggestion. Unless you have an amazing monitoring setup, it's not always a good idea to use gates to get rid of unwanted noise. As the instrument or voice comes in and out, so will the unwanted noise level, and it can draw attention to itself that way. It depends of course on the particular noise.

    You know the way when you listen to some records where samples are used, and you can hear the background hiss along with the sample. It can be a little disconcerting, but a constant hiss would be far less of a problem.

    With good grounding and good shielding, you should be able to get rid of practically any transformer noise with your U87. When I bought mine I thought there was something wrong with it, but it was rather easy to sort out. IMHO this type of noise is much more important than ordinary environmental noise, but if it is so low that it doesn't register on your meters, it shouldn't make any difference, even with four tracks.

    Good luck with it!
    John Stafford
  6. TuBlairy

    TuBlairy Active Member

    Feb 18, 2005
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    Thanks to all for the advise and encouragement. About the transformer, I should have been more clear, its 60 cycle hum, which i assume is coming from the big *ss electrical transformer 75 yards away. Maybe it's just somehow from the apartment building itself. It's not in the gear, thankfully.

    So based on what you're all saying, I think I'm being a little too fastidious. Three years in the making; enough procrastination! Thanks to Coyotetrax for the kick in the butt. I need it.

    Ok, Here I go...
  7. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    A good enough monitoring system and careful(Sometimes not so careful) listening, will find "noise"(Unintended material) in most any recording. Of course, most of our monitoring systems add a bit of their own, too...

    Purists may faint, but, as far as AC hum goes, there is often no prob just filtering out everything below 60 cycles(Ain't much down there.). Even 80, 100, up to 120 cycles - or more(To catch the first harmonic of the AC) - at least for tracks that just don't need to go this far down, frequency-wise - your call as to what they may be, but most vocals would be a start.


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