When come to DIY home recording, especially for recording instrument like guitar or bass by DI (Direct Input) to Audio Interface on PC, we often deal with unwanted noise, Hum and buzz.
The most worst you can get of the unwanted noise while recording a guitar/bass on DIY build PC is the computer fan noise join the the guitar sound in recorded track.
In most cases, the noise become worst when you use a high gain amp simulator. Not only in DIY build PC, the issue also occur in most desktop computer.
It’s good to have a sweet ’noise’ from distortion effect but beside that, unwanted noise is really horrible.
So in this post I want to share with you guys how I cheat when recording guitar track on PC and get rid of hum and buzz and get a better or you can say “a little better” guitar track sound quality.
This is my old experiences ‘diary’ when still active in creating and learning to make music. So if you are into audio and home recording stuff this post may useful.
But before that below is the example of my demo track that have unwanted noise, you will hear it on clean overdrive part:
And below is sample track after I did some fix;
There is a big different of change that you can hear. Okay! here is what you can do to ‘reduce’ the unwanted noise when you record DI guitar on your PC.
Reduce Unwanted Noise By Find Out The Source
First thing you need to do is finding the unwanted noise and the first suspected gear is your instrument, in this case your guitar/bass.
1. Fix noise from guitar
It could be the cables/jack, if you have change your guitar pickup several times it could be a bad guitar electronic soldering and wiring. If you find there is an issue with the guitar then try to fix it but if you check everything is okay with your guitar or in case you are using a brand new guitar then it must be something else.
If you are typical guitar player who like doing surgery to your instrument then it must be a bad wiring. I often do that and yeah! soldering is not easy as it seem, you know what I mean :)))
So find help from electrician man for soldering your guitar, and show him your guitar wiring diagram, so he can help you have a better soldering. And always use the good guitar cable for standard recording. DIY cable sometimes caused the issue too, once again is about the bad soldering stuff.
2. Reduce noise from PC
The second suspected gear is your PC,
Of course beside the human source, PC is the only gear that responsible for all that happen in digital recording. So how to reduce noise that come from computer?
If you are using a DIY build PC you may have the issue, since there is a mix and match component in home build PC it could be the source of unwanted noise that come from PSU fan or cases fan.
I’ve build DIY PC several times, I still remember the first PC I build my self is a desktop computer with the pentium 4 processor and believe it or not until now the PC still live, I give it to my nephew.
And after build some other PC with a ‘better’ spec I think I will never deal with a pc noise again, but the issue still happen.
It come to my conclusion that I think the noise must be come from PSU fan. But after a change the PSU it still have a noise this time wasn’t a sound of the fan that become my issue but a continuously hum sounds.
After I check and ask an electrician man the hum sound can caused by the bad home grounding. I will not explain the technical stuff here but I will explain an easy illustration, something like this;
When you record or play your guitar on DAW and in the same time your sister watch TV there is a massive hum noise. But when there is nobody turn on another electronic stuff, the massive hum is become less.
So! If you have the same issue even you are using a factory build computers, that must be your home or your apartment likely having a bad grounding issue.
No, you don’t need to ask the electrician to fix this, there is a better way to make the noise caused by grounding problem gone. Is by using a Power Converter Regulator Stabilizer.
There is some brand that you can find on local computers store or buy it online at Amazon. Below is the example of Power Stabilizer, you can check it on Amazon.com and say goodbye to bad grounding noise :).
By fix the two issue above, you now should not deal with the unwanted noise. At least you now deal with less noise.
But! If you are playing a music with a heavy sound like Metal or Hard Rock. You will need to using a high gain/low gain sound in your track right?
Then you probably will hear again the unwanted noise (not noise from the amp sim)
Even if you have using a gate on your track signal chain the noise will heard again.
What I did to cheat this issue, is by adding another gate in the DAW input. And set it not too aggressive. Just to make the noise that almost un heard when not using amp simulator software.
You can always use a built in vst gate in your DAW software that you use.
Okay, that’s how I cheat the unwanted noise in my home build computers. And by far it works.
So for you guys who just start to learning digital recording stuff, hope this post useful to reduce unwanted noise.
I have no longer as active as in the past in creating music as my hobby. But I will share things related DIY home recording stuff in this blog occasionally for sure.
If you want to start discussion or have other issue etc please feel free to leave your comment bellow. I may can help
If I can’t then someone else that can my be generous to chime in here to help you 🙂