#1
I have a new guitar (tele w/ noiseless pickups), and it is making a buzz or a hum noise. I run a cable directly from the guitar to Focusrite 2i2 audio interface, into a desktop computer (or laptop, see below), through TV speakers. I don't have spare guitars, amps, or cables, so I don't know if the problem is in the audio interface, the cable, or the new guitar. But here is what I can tell you.

I recognize the typical 60 cycle hum, and it sounds a lot like that.

The hum doesn't occur when I run everything through a laptop on battery, but the same hum comes back if I plug the laptop in. When the hum is occurring through the desktop or the laptop, I can feel a slight shock when I touch the bridge.

It hums regardless of which pickup is being used, but the tone of the hum changes.

The hum is reduced, almost eliminated when I turn the guitar's tone knob to 0.

The hum is slightly reduced when I touch the strings or other metal parts.

The hum gets louder when i remove the cable from the guitar. Then it disappears if I remove the cable from the audio interface.

The hum disappears when I turn the guitar's volume knob off.
Last edited by condoravenue at Jan 24, 2015,
#2
What you are describing sounds a lot like a grounding problem with your guitar. Take your control plate off and check for wires that should be grounded to the back of one of the pots but aren't (they are usually the black ones) and check for cold or bad solder joints. One common problem is that the bridge plate isn't grounded. Take a piece of wire and touch one end to ground and the other to your bridge plate to test that.
#3
Check your other thread, and try to keep this problem in one or the other.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#4
You say it's a new guitar. If so, you may be able to take it back to where you got it and have them check it out.

You seem to have a complicated guitar rig, utilizing an interface and a computer, etc. There are a lot of places in a rig like this that interference or grounding problems could manifest themselves.

I would try to plug the guitar straight into an amp and see if you get any buzzing. Maybe you should buy an inexpensive amp with a headphones jack that also mutes the amp's speaker when you plug in a good set of headphones.

Let us know what you find out.
"Now all the things that use to mean so much to me have got me old before my time." G. Allman, "Old Before My Time", Hittin' The Note cd.
#5
Quote by Paleo Pete
Check your other thread, and try to keep this problem in one or the other.


I posted a separate problem about fret buzz.

I found a place where I could check a few things through an amplifier in a different building. I used another guitar and another guitar cable. Through that amp, there was the same hum, but it was very quiet, and 100% eliminated by touching the strings. The guitar store owner said the hum occurs because the building isn't grounded properly. I tested his other guitars there and they all make the same (acceptable) noises that my own guitar makes. My guitar and cable are fine. Regardless of proximity to other electronic equipment, if the computer is plugged into the wall (back in my apartment), the hum is very loud. It's quieter when I touch the strings, but still very loud and annoying. Note that the same hum sound comes from my laptop's internal speakers, and my desktop's internal speakers; I'm not using external powered speakers. Also note I don't use a pedal board, or a guitar amplifier. Guitar -> Audio Interface -> Computer (Amplitube). Someone told me the problem is that my apartment isn't grounded at all (I live in 3rd world country). Could that be right? Is it possible that putting an Ebtech Hum Eliminater (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/ebtech-2-channel-hum-eliminator?rNtt=hum%20eliminator&index=3) between my guitar and audio interface would fix this?
#6
It definitely sounds like a grounding problem, one solution might be to try a power conditioner that you plug into the wall and then plug your equipment into to get electricity, but I don't know how effective that will be if your whole building isn't grounded.
#7
Quote by condoravenue
I posted a separate problem about fret buzz.

Someone told me the problem is that my apartment isn't grounded at all (I live in 3rd world country). Could that be right? Is it possible that putting an Ebtech Hum Eliminater (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/ebtech-2-channel-hum-eliminator?

rNtt=hum%20eliminator&index=3) between my guitar and audio interface would fix this?


There should be a way to ground just your rig, where it plugs in, but you might need a separate power conditioner. I can't remember how that HumX works, but that might help. Something that cleans up and grounds that house electricity right close to where you plug in might be an effective way to handle the problem.

Somewhere in your guitar rig you should get some protection going if the whole house isn't grounded. I think you can get electrocuted by the guitar strings even, if the wrong thing goes down with that ungrounded electricity - you would become the ground and touching the strings you would take the electricity straight to the earth. I'm pretty sure that kind of electrical shock "draws your hand onto the electrical item" rather than blowing it off, and this is how you get electrocuted - because you can't get your hand or whatever off of the shorting electrical item. It is a bad situation, for sure. Ask around about this, but I think I'm correct on it.

Good luck with trying to get this worked out. The power conditioner should help and there must be a way to ground out your rig itself to protect yourself.

Some one here should know how to do this and give you some protection, plus reduce the noise.
"Now all the things that use to mean so much to me have got me old before my time." G. Allman, "Old Before My Time", Hittin' The Note cd.
#8
Does the computer have a flat screen or one of the older CRT type monitors? The big, blocky CRT ones create a hum that won't wait. We used one for recording years ago and had to turn the monitor off to record.

Click Record, turn monitor off, do the track, turn it back on. Left a lot of dead space at the beginning and end of the track but that wasn't hard to edit out. Flat panel monitors shouldn't do that.

So if you have that type monitor, get everything running then just turn the monitor off. It won't hurt the computer, you can even unplug it from the computer with no damage at all, I've done it many times. (I've been a computer technician fro about 15 years. Troubleshooting a bad monitor is done exactly that way, swap it while running.) If the hum goes away that's your problem, the only way to eliminate it is to turn the monitor off. Or get a flat panel LCD monitor...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...