Will a furman help eliminate guitar issues

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Sidhu, Feb 7, 2008.

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  1. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India

    I was wanting to know if investing in a furman line conditioner, and running my recording rig through it, will help in eliminating the noise issues im having with electric guitars and basses. I can quite safely say that the guitars in question are reasonably new, and well made, and have their wiring in order. This is for DI recordings only.

    the noise is a broadband buzz... (more audible in the higher registers)

    I am looking at the Pl series.

  2. silverspeedo

    silverspeedo Guest

    Your pickups in your guitar may be causing noise. If so try moving your guitar to a different location. Putting your pickups out of phase my help but will change your sound.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    All electronics make some noise. How much depends on the quality of the components, number of devices, connections, environmental factors...and yes, maybe even power supply/line factors.

    Will a Furman conditioner eliminate your noise? We don't know. Certainly can't hurt to run all your equipment through one, especially sensitive microprocessor-controlled units.

    You say you are recording "direct". We also don't know what you mean by that. We don't know what your recording rig is. Is it a stand-alone Tascam, Fostex, AKAI or Roland type of thing that has inputs (or switched inputs) for direct recording of guitar/bass? Are you running the guitar through stompboxes, or a POD, etc.?

    Are you recording to a computer? What is the interface? Do you have to use a preamp of some type, or are you running through a POD (or Digitech/Zoom guitar "all-in-one") type thing? Are you using any of those things at a "hi-gain amp emulation" setting, which usually adds noise?

    How is your gain-stage and I/O levels structured? Do you have your input device (from the guitar) set way high, and your recording input too low, or vice-versa? Are you trying to run a guitar direct into a mixer input, and having to turn the Input Trim way high?

    Tell us your equipment and path, and that may give a hint.

    IF everything is set as well as you can set it, there are other things you might try...none of them perfect.

    A H.U.S.H. noise reduction unit. Problem with that is that, it works well for in-between playing hush, if set properly. But, that same noise is going to still be there, in the background, when the signal takes over and opens it up. It basically tries to "mask" the noise, with the concept being that the signal is going to be so much louder than the noise, that you won't notice the noise so much. It's also easy to set up wrong, and it can cut tails off reverbs/delays, etc. Best place for one of those is before any time-delay device. Which, of course, keeps it from doing anything to any noise from any of those devices after it.

    Software noise reduction. There are several programs with noise reduction utilities that work fairly well, if you use them properly. These are a last resort. If your computer will run it, you may even find an old shareware version of CoolEdit 96 to play with to experiemnt. (I don't even know if it will run on XP/Vista). This will be the same basic thing as in Adobe Audition, which you may consider buying. (There are others that may do an even better job, but this is the one I'm familiar with. Other folks may suggest other options).

    In this case, you basically want to LEAVE the noise in the track. (Of course, you want to minimize it going in as much as humanly possible...the thing can clean up stuff, but it can't do magic to an extremely noisy track).

    You then make an FFT file, (a sample of the noise), from, usually, the beginning of the track, save it, and then select the entire track to process. Theoretically, it should just remove only the noise that was sampled...like tape hiss, or your low-level hum. Realistically, it can mangle the heck out of things. Best to use it sparingly, and do more than one light pass, at less aggressive settings. Also best to do things on a dry track, as it can also wreak havoc on reverb/delay tails.

    Also, Silver's right about your guitar. You don't tell us if you are using single-coil or humbucker pickups, single-coils being more susceptible to noise.

    So, you may have to resort to a combination of all these things. First, list your equipment, and your signal path. This may throw up red flags right away. If everything seems kosher, then you may explore all the other ideas. It may be that you even have things set up as well as can be, but you'll have to do something after.

    All audio electronics make some noise.

    Hope this helps,

  4. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India
    Hey Krunch and Silver! Thanks a ton for the response. I shud've been more elaborate.

    The noise issues are not restricted to single coil or humbuckers, a tele will be noisy, and so will a Les Paul (unless the tone is all the way down). I am looking at guitar builds across the spectrum, even a line6 Variax (!) will give noise at high gain settings.

    My setup is a DAW, with an emu 1820 recording interface. I usually use a Line6 gearbox, running on a separate machine, and feeding the 1820 via SPDIF. At times i might choose to directly plug the guitar into the 1820 (using a DI) and use a VST amp sim, or not.

    Even sources i mean to record clean, such as a bass, have a considerable amount of noise with the tone setting up. Think Bass guitar tone set for slap playing. Let us currently consider the Washburn bantam XB125 (not high end) or the Fender japanese aerodyne J bass (reasonably well built)

    Same situation with guitar amps, but i don't intend on running them through a line conditioner. When i have critical recordings, i hire out another studio.

    I also know i am running some florescent lights and a dimmer on the same phase, but shutting them off is of no help. Moving positions and directions might be of help, but the noise is still there. I'm using TFT's no CRT's, and turning them off is no good.

    Using a hum reducer is not very desirable, and i want to avoid using a software noise reducers for the reasons Krunch mentioned.

    To complicate matters, I have rented accommodation, and it seems its gonna be that way long. I was initially considering purchase of an online UPS (currently running a regular UPS to take care of surges and blackouts). Or alternatively using the furman. Pity i cannot get one to demo.

    Thanks a ton, again!

  5. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Personally, I think power conditioners are a gimmick. Most electronic devices work on DC. So each device has its own built in power supply that alters the AC to the correct voltage, say 5 to 12 volts for solid state circuits, and 450 to 750 volts for tube circuits. The power supply then rectifies the voltage (converts it to DC) and then filters it to eliminate ripples from the AC, and then limits it to maintain the correct constant DC voltage. This process provides ample filtering.

    Query? Is the hum the common 60 cycle hum, or is it something else? RF hum can come in the power lines, or be introduce elsewhere. The Furman may help that, but so would the torroidal inducters that you can get at Radio Shack and clip onto input cables close to the device. These are the little lumps you see molded into computer connect cables.

    Hum can be induced from other electronic devices in your room. Florecent lights and light dimmers are notoriously noisy.

    Try moving your equipment to a different room, and a differnt branch circuit on the house current.

    Of course, you could try the Furman, as long as there is a good return policy. It should only take five minutes to see if that cures your problem.

    If none of the above works, I would recommend contacting the ARRL, American Radio Relay League, to find and amateur (ham) radio club in your neighborhood. Those guys make a study of finding RF intereference, called fox hunting. With appropriate wide band receivers and frequency scanners, they can identify the source of the interference and try and eliminate it at the source.
  6. You need a line conditioner.

    I use an isobar and LC 1200 both from tripplite. It isolates the ground and makes sure I see a clean 120volts or as close to it as possible.

    Also a very important factor is the quality of your cables, all of them.

    Also with single coil pickups you have to stand away from the source and find the best direction to stand. Yes direction, when you point the guitar at certain places it picks up hum.

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