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Author Topic:  How To Reduce Noise In The Studio
Ariel Lobos


From:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Post Posted 10 Feb 2008 2:15 pm     Reply with quote

Hi to everybody, I was recording at studio ( was my third pro session) and that was in a non rock studio type.I mean,there's two types of studios and enginear's here,the rock/pop ones who doesn't care about my sho bud's little noise and the other's,the guys who record orchestras and mostly acustics instruments.They seems to hate it ( along with electric guitars,bass,amps etc).I thought that was the typical amp static noise,but they told me the noise was in the steel circuit,otherwise the producer overlooked it and we did a nice part for the song ( a blues for a french singer,with violins,cellos,piano and bandoneon,nice combination)but my question is : how can I reduce the noise without loose my signal for my next studio situation ? Thanks and hope to see you in st louis,I can't go to texas,if somebody goes,please take Mike Auldrigde seminar and comment for us,ha !
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 10 Feb 2008 3:17 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Ariel--this is what humbucking pickups are for. If you are 100% in love with the sound you have now (I assume with a single coil Sho Bud pickup) then you will have to accept the compromise in tone that humbuckers present. But don't worry---they can sound great. The most popular Sho-Bud HB replacement is the Bill Lawrence 710. I believe that there are some fans of BL 705's (no longer made, except for the re-issue pickups that are not associated with Bill Lawrence).
If you change the title to "What replacement pickup in a ShoBud" or something, or start a new thread, you can see the range of suggestions.
What you describe is a very common problem and the pickup replacement is pretty much the only solution short of just living with the hum.
Most of what I've written is from general knowledge (humbuckers vs. single coils) and forum reading (the specific Sho-Bud recommendations). My 12 string Pro 1 will not fit a Lawrence HB in the cavity so I'm living with the hum. In a demanding studio situation I'll just use a different guitar.
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John Roche


From:
England
Post Posted 10 Feb 2008 3:41 pm     Reply with quote

Ariel, it depends on what amp you are using or if you are DI to the mixing desk, the hum is not a problem if you are only playing just a solo and not all over the track, there are lots of filters that will remove hum from your take, unless you isolate you track and listen with cans it won't show up in the final mix, the bass will cover most of the hum that left after filtering ,
If the studio is using digital recording method then any hum in between notes can be zeroed to produce a very clean take. if your using a Nashville 112 amp , use the fx loop for your volume pedal this will reduce it even more . Hope's this helps . we do this in our studio here in Spain, there is no need to go changing pups for the sake of it..JR
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Dan Tyack


From:
Olympia, WA USA
Post Posted 10 Feb 2008 5:36 pm     Reply with quote

I occasionally have noise problems even when using a humbucking pickup. These are usually caused by either a studio with less than perfect electrical setup or by an engineer who was toilet trained at too early an age (overly picky about noise).

Some things that can help:

If there are lights with faders (BIG no no) have them turn them off.

See if the noise gets better if you turn off lights, period.

Make sure your volume pedal turns all the way off, and make sure that you keep the volume all the way off except when you are actually playing with the track. There is always some extra noise caused by the guitar, but they're not going to hear it as much (or at all) if you are playing at the same time.
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Dan Tyack


From:
Olympia, WA USA
Post Posted 10 Feb 2008 5:41 pm     Reply with quote

Come to think of it, if they are having problems with all electric instruments, then it's *very* likely that they have grounding or other electric issues. Next time you should take the position that you'd be glad to do whatever you can to help them with *their* noise problem. I'd bet that you can help the noise issue by turning off the lights....
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Ariel Lobos


From:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Post Posted 11 Feb 2008 6:34 am     Reply with quote

yes...,I guess the problem is in the studio electric system,is diffrent in each studio,...in some places those things never happen...but I thought maybe was my ignorance about a device or something to prevent the hum.Thanks for the advices,im reading it .Yes the lights add noise,sure !
Sorry for my mistakes,I was remember the engineer's face,singular, and I had to say they don't h,not they doesn't,they seem,not They seems ha ha.
Other challenge of that session was all the instruments were in 442 not in 440,so I had to tune just with the bar !regards and thanks
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Ariel Lobos


From:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Post Posted 11 Feb 2008 7:03 am     Reply with quote

Thanks jhon, yes I have the old sho bud mic' s(the original ones ) those are the humbuckings ? ,as you said the sound is great and I like it,....the lawrence's will change the tone ?
jon ,I just use a fender twin reverb or the pod xt,( ahhh,and these day I did forget my old echoplex,to add more noise for sure! ) ,I will try to buy a peavey nashville ,I don't know wich one yet.But the guys at the studio turn off the amp and the hum was still there,so,I asume is a litte in the mics,a little in the studio electric system,the lights ,you know,it works like a snow ball growing a little here and there.....
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 11 Feb 2008 12:52 pm     Reply with quote

To clarify---the original Sho-Bud pickups are S=single coil. The Bill Lawrence replacements are humbucking (noise canceling). The process of eliminating hum tends to take out a little of the sparkle and clarity that we love in the single coil pickups. But if I am not mistaken, Lloyd Green uses the humbucker (somebody please verify--710?) so I think that says a lot.
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 11 Feb 2008 1:13 pm     Reply with quote

Yes Jon your right, Lloyd does use BL710's. I also find that good quality cables like George L's make a big difference as well. If I have to go direct I always go from my rack to the desk with a George L cable.
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Eric West


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 11 Feb 2008 4:07 pm     Reply with quote

Ariel.

RF static is picked up the most by the reverb spring. Spring reverb is something I haven't used for 10 years. Peavey amp reverbs are particularly bad in that respect. Use a digital reverb of some type. I don't use anything but Pods. either my Xt or xtLive.

Second is from cables.

IMHO, and in my experience, 1/8" "Lawrence Type" replaceable end cables provide the least surface area to pick up RF static.

Also cut the highest frequencies a bit and see if that does it. They can brighten it a bit later.

See about just recording through a Podxt. LOTS of people use them exclusively.

I do, for what little stuff I do in the studio.

I also have single coil pickups, and very seldom have I had a problem with them. If you do however in a certain location, you are kinda screwed.

Smile

EJL
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 11 Feb 2008 4:38 pm     Reply with quote

Two causes, One, the studio MAY have a problem with the lights but it's the orientation of your guitar pick-up within the studio environment that can help reduce the noise.

Move the guitar, turn it around and find the "Dead Spot" re the studio's interference, THEN as Dan said only open the pedal when actually playing, closing it between phrases.

I've recorded for almost 50 years in some of the top studios around and NEVER had to compromise tone by using "Humbucker" pick-ups.
Improve your technique and use the volume pedal more.
I think..
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Marvin Born


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 12 Feb 2008 12:04 pm     Studio noise. Reply with quote

I read you posting about studio noise All of the info posted so far is correct and include many good suggestions, maybe I can add a few more.

First, when you were told the problem was in your guitar, did they isolate the noise just to your guitar or did that include the volume pedal, tuner and cables?

The single coil pick is most likely the problem; however, I can think of a few things to check. Check to see that the lead from the pick-up to the jack (if you have a S-10) is shielded. Some pick-ups have two leads with no shield. if that the case, sometimes twisting them together will reduce the noise. But you should have shielded wire. Or slide some braid over the twisted wires and ground on jack end Note there is much more electrical noise in studios and practice room than there was even 20 years ago, so shielding is more important.

As a test take a clip lead and ground the changer to the ground side of the jack. This could help or make it worse, but it is a quick try.

I make guitar cables for 6 string players that is 100 per-cent shielded. The cable has a second carbon shield under the copper braid. These are very helpful in noise areas. The cable is Mogami 2524. It has slightly higher capacity than the current popular cable that steel players use, but has better shielding.

Some early volume pedals also used un-shielded wire inside. Check that out and either shield the wire or try another pedal with shielded wire to the pot or try one that is all electronic.

If you too all of this and you still have noise, then you are back to the Humbucker VS single question.

You can simulate the noise problem by setting up you steel in front of you TV. The single coil pickup will pickup the vertical sweep field from the TV set and make a noise similar to dimmer and light noise in the studio. One you hear the noise from the TV you can then try all the suggestions you have received and see / hear which ones help the most. Most likely you will find a combination of noise from each of the possible problem areas.
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Ariel Lobos


From:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Post Posted 13 Feb 2008 1:39 pm     Reply with quote

Hi guys,thanks a lot for the info.....I will try doing the things you said,just wait me a little.
It wasn't a ground problem marvin,they tried it with clips an the hum still was there ,I guess I haven't the better cables available in the market,and also the studio haven't the better ones....so,there was a possible part of the problem.I got the old sho bud pedal with a new pot,(increideble smooth canadian one that I bought in st louis at the franklin's )and it was connected all the time.....as I said,in some places happen,in other's less,some people don't care,some people hate it,is really diffrent each time....i'm not shure if it one or more than one causes.
I will buy the better stuff at st louis if I could go this year,I will record with the pod xt until that if the problem happens again and of course I will go with this post along with my bars and picks,to give them so they could find a solution from your advices.
I'll writte you after trying your solutions
regards !!
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 17 Jun 2017 5:53 pm     Reply with quote

The single coil in my Shobud hums even if plugging it into a battery powered mini amp and no amount of turning the guitar in all degrees of the compass helps.


Best you can do is cut some of the lower frequencies in the recording most likely 60hz. Otherwise it's humbucker time.
_________________
From the Bronx via Manila
ShoBud The Pro 1
YES it's my REAL NAME!
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Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 17 Jun 2017 6:22 pm     Reply with quote

I nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw the answer by Eric West, rest his soul.

I think your Bud might be poorly grounded. It might be the jack needs removed and sanded, the ground wire is cold-soldered, or a ground wire needs re-attached or re-soldered. Bad cord?

Your description of "the problem" sounds like a different problem to me. Proper grounding of the guitar, strings, electronics, is paramount in a single-coil guitar.

Old thread...good thread...
_________________
RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Gibson Console Grande, Lazy River Wiessenborn
Session 400, Bassman Amp W/Altec 418,
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
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Ariel Lobos


From:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 6:25 am     Reply with quote

Hi!

Yes, old thread, but always in force. After that i bought the twin reverb so you can imagine sometimes the hum is worst than the time when i wrotte this Very Happy Very Happy I love the Bud sound as it is, i never changed the mics. I bought the george l´s cables. This year i could bought a fender steel king in Dallas for a really good price. I like it, but there is something in tube sound that i really need and prefer. Thanks for your interesting advices, i´ll take it and ill try to do the things you mentioned, i ll let you know what happened.
_________________
ShoBud The Professional 72.Emmons PP D10 83. Fender Stringmaster, triple neck. 1927 Weissenborn style 1. Fender Twin Reverb 77. Fender Princeton Reverb 78.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 9:57 am     Reply with quote

As was sort of eluded to in a recent post......

This topic has recently been resurrected.........after 9 years dormant.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 10:13 am     Reply with quote

I play single coils in the studio. Most of the time keeping the amp volume as low as I can stand or reorienting the guitar will get me by. Occasionally, I will plug in my EH Hum Debugger and that gets it every time. tho it does introduce a slight random phasing. I can live with it.
_________________
LeGrande II, Nash. 112, Harlow Dobro
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 2:56 pm     Reply with quote

I finally figured, out at least for my rig, that the reason moving the guitar's position to mitigate the hum does not work is because the pickup is sitting upright like a cake not hanging on its side like a regular guitar during playing position.

I removed the pickup and plugged it into a battery powered mini amp after trying to shield the pickup. The only way the position relation trick works is if the pickup is put on its side with magnets facing to the left or right (east or west) not north or south.

Since we can't play our psg's on its side, we can't cancel the hum as easily as a guitar player can. And while out of the guitar, holding the 80's Shobud pickup on its side did present an acceptable amount of hum reduction enough for the louder sound of the steel being played to cover over the hum. If only the pickup can be installed on the guitar on its side and still pick up strings.

The shielding of the pickup and the cavity underneath did not remove the 60hz hum but it smoothed out some of the frequencies of the pickup's tone.









_________________
From the Bronx via Manila
ShoBud The Pro 1
YES it's my REAL NAME!
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 3:02 pm     Reply with quote

Not that it will cure the hum problem, BUT your pickup is WAY too far from the strings.
Also after what you've said I could guess that you're close to a TV or Radio transmitter.

CLICK THIS ---->
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 3:53 pm     Reply with quote

basilh wrote:
Not that it will cure the hum problem, BUT your pickup is WAY too far from the strings.
Also after what you've said I could guess that you're close to a TV or Radio transmitter.


Surmising you were answering my post...Smile
Is there a proper distance setting number? Yeah I was wondering about that but it was an all-day affair getting the pickup out and back, even broke three dreaded 3rd strings trying to get the strings back on. The bass end of the pickup was too low at least for my novice playing approach and the B string kept hitting the magnet so I lowered it a touch.

Not close to a TV or a radio station that I know of in the area at least. I do live in a city setting of tall buildings with heliports and microwave antennas not unlike the NY guys' mentioning. The rig is in my studio which was Faraday caged and earthed to grounding rods when it was built and is pretty quiet. I even have a good quality isolation transformer in the studio's clean AC circuit after a 5000 watt Stac AVR (automatic voltage regulator).

Playing through a Fender BXR25 bass amp that is stateside 120vac, the hum is horrendous and only the Shobud has ever created that amount of hum just going direct.

Again the pickup really likes being on its side for hum cancel which is disappointing but enlightening all the same.

Someone, Cycfi Research, has invented a pickup that has side pole pieces but then again it's not a vintage Shobud single coil and he's made them for guitars.









_________________
From the Bronx via Manila
ShoBud The Pro 1
YES it's my REAL NAME!
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Terry Barnett


From:
Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada
Post Posted 19 Jun 2017 5:04 am     Reply with quote

Ariel...One thing that will always be the common thread, is that your guitar has a single coil pickup. No question, they have a sound of their own but no amount of extra shielding or grounding (assuming it's correct) will change the hum problem. That's why the humbucker was invented and they are certainly not entirely hum free.
I have used the BL710 and personally I really liked it. I have a Mullen with single coils and again, I really like it but I deal with the hum. That leopard isn't gonna change it's spots anytime soon...

Godfrey...somebody's always trying to build a better mouse trap. That pickup is pretty odd if you ask me but hey, listen to Basil, he knows of what he speaks.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 19 Jun 2017 5:45 am     Reply with quote

Terry Barnett wrote:


Godfrey...somebody's always trying to build a better mouse trap. That pickup is pretty odd if you ask me but hey, listen to Basil, he knows of what he speaks.


Once worked a session in a studio in Nebraska. The studio was next to a radio station antenna. Whoa! The station's broadcast used to come through the headphones. Imagine the pain trying to track listening to that.They even tried putting a Faraday net over the studio building. Didn't work. As you mentioned you play single coils and deal with the spots. Guess that's what I'm doing as well. Can't uproot your location for one instrument that's quirky. Can't stop being a leopard even without the spots. Smile

Yeah that pickup is cosmic to say the least. Something new every day.

Again, what is the correct height for the strings off the pickup pray-tell.. ?
_________________
From the Bronx via Manila
ShoBud The Pro 1
YES it's my REAL NAME!
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 19 Jun 2017 9:16 am     Reply with quote

In most cases I just play loud enough that the guitar signal overcomes the hum to get a good signal to noise ratio. That means I am playing louder than required for being in a small studio. It also mean editing out the parts where there's no playing but there the hum is there.
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post Posted 20 Jun 2017 7:57 am     Reply with quote

I switched over to humbuckers in the mid '90's and have never looked back, and have never felt tone comprised... For me, indispensable in a studio setting...
_________________
John Macy
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Engineer/Producer/Steel Guitar
Fessenden Guitars
Benado Effects
Telonics Amplification
Sarno Music Solutions
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