Jump to content

Official Home Recording Thread

Recommended Posts

Anyone have any tips for removing hiss in recordings? Or preventing it? I'm using Ableton Live 7, and I put some EQs and compression on a track, but when converting it to .wav the hiss becomes much louder it seems.


well, I dont know what your hardware is, so ill be grasping a bit...but one thing to remember is that if the hiss is in the original recording, compression will only bring it out. You can roll off some high end with eq and there are some plug ins to get rid of noise, but the the best recipe is to not get it if at all possible.


the best way to avoid such noise is to use high end preamps and mics, not everyone's option...but I find getting the right signal level is key, make sure your gains arent higher than you need to get the recording you want. Not everything needs to be recorded loud, etc. Also make sure the environment in the room isnt contributing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 68
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm using an sm57 connected to a line 6 ux1. Maybe I had the mic gain up too much. Also, can you suggest a good preamp?

Dont take this as an insult, Im not a huge fan of the POD, but Im sure it suits your needs. Keep on mind, noise comes from the weakest part of the chain, so if the noisy part is the POD's gain, youre in trouble regardless of your frontend gear.


it is a shame that the preamp market goes from budget to expensive with no middle...two bits of advice i can give here are that 1) any lower end 'tube' preamp that supposedly adds 'warmth' in essence adds distortion, and is really a marketing tool designed to cover for cheap components. 2) many mics (not the 57 really) need a lot of clean headroom to operate properly, and so the gain ends up getting cranked to get an audible signal, so a pre with 2 gain stages, really has 2 preamps, which means twice the potential for noise.


That said, I have 2 presonus bluetube mic pres ($100) that work well for the price point, but i only us them on drums and loud guitars, sources that seldom need much gain. I have a solid state K&K xlr preamp ($145) that is made for guitar, but I use it for many other sources, and I love it for the price. Dieter at K&K is a super cool and knowledgeable fellow, the products are clean sounding and well made. The Grace Designs m101 is the main pre in my rig, I have 2. They simply cannot be beat for the price $500, and they do it all, especially good match for mics that need high dB to noise ratios like my shure sm7 or EV RE20.


Other than that, there arent many good pres in the cheap price range, although im sure there are a few i havent tried. I can steer you away from behringer and art products, hate them noisy things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my friend, first let me break it to you gently, you fell for the marketing there...there is nothing special about the 'anti-latency' tone direct whatever they call it...because you are monitoring from headphone jack on the unit. Laughable in a way, you just dont hear your latency...latency comes from monitoring the files on the computer BEFORE the mix goes back to the unit, which means you are hearing the mix milliseconds after the computer processes and sends the mix back to the pod. Nothing wrong with this technique, which will be fine until you have a mix to complex for that to work properly, but, THERE IS NO WAY TO ELIMINATE LATENCY, no matter what tech or marketing gimmick they come up with; its a fact of life...but memory, fast processors, and the right buffering makes it manageable. When you start doing 12-16 track mixing with midi syncs and realtime edits, youll be really unhappy.



In your situation, your mic preamp would go between the mic and the ux1, and youd first adjust the gain on the pre to get a good signal before boosting the gain on the ux1.


FWIW, my advice would be to invest in a better interface to replace the ux1 before investing in a preamp for the mic...most interfaces have pretty decent built in pres, as well as better a/d d/a converters that that unit--each factor helping your noise issue. But if you like your unit alot, the presonus unit would serve you well.


In regard to hiss/air sounds, its extremely difficult to eliminate it, and while some plug ins can help, you sort of have to compromise and embrace it with a good signal. I always think of Wilco's 'Sky Blue Sky' and Radiohead's 'Faust Arp,' both acoustic songs with terrific sounding acoustic instruments, but noticeable noise at the very beginning of the song.

Link to post
Share on other sites

well thanks for clearing some stuff up. any recommendations for a better unit than the ux1? i think i'm stuck with it for a while, which is fine. at this point i'm just wanting to learn how to make it all work.


I've got no complaints with my Mackie Onyx Satellite. It's solid, reliable, easy to use, and has got top-notch mic pre-amps built-in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard some not-so-good reports about things mackie has been putting out recently- reliability and workmanship issues, namely, as a result of production being taken to China(?).  Is yours new/ recent?


I bought my Mackie in September ’07 for, I think, NZD500 at the time – around 300-350 of your US dollars, I guess.


It would be pretty hard to imagine an electronic product like this not being built in China - and sure enough mine was made in China.  I’ve had no problems in the 2+ years that I’ve had it.  The things that you can touch and see are solidly constructed – from the extruded aluminium housing of the pod, through to the quality of the knobs, buttons and connectors.  From the outside, at least, it gives the appearance of being a high quality piece of gear.


I don’t claim to be a home-recording expert and I don’t have a lot to compare this with (except my old SoundBlaster card), so here’s a review to add some credibility:




The talkback mic is a fairly over the top feature on a unit like this, but it has provided much entertainment, as I insist on using it whenever I’m recording another musician – even though they’re sitting in the same room with me.


In a thinly veiled act of shameless self-promotion, you can listen to some example recordings made with the Mackie here:



Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking for one decent channel for a mic preamp, and you need some compression the Focusrite Platinum Trakmaster is totally usable. Its got optical compression on it, and I still use it after years, and I have some stuff that is much nicer.


If you are interested in recording with more than a mic or two at a time and you want something to grow into look up Sytek. The MPX4aii has four channels, can be found used for 6-700 dollars, and is a phenomenal piece of solid state mic preamp. Steve Albini has championed them for years. I've got two of em and use them on drums and bass guitar all the time, but they're also great for acoustic instruments and won't do anything bad for vocal recording either.


But that's if your looking to spend for the future. You can probably snag one of those Focusrites used for a couple hundred bucks. Either one is much better than a Presonus Bluetube. Another affordable option is a used Presonus MP20. Much nicer than the Bluetube, can be found used for 300 or less, has two channels. Is easily upgradable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...

I'm finally making the switch from an analog recording set-up to a PC based one. I've been thinking of going with an RME Fireface 800 interface and Cubase 6. Anyone using either of those? Feedback on those or any other suggestions are most welcome.


Also looking for feedback on going the controller route vs. using the computer for everything. What are your experinces on this matter?



Here's my current set-up for anyone curious:





Link to post
Share on other sites

Hit the store today, ended up getting the RME Fireface 800 and Cubase 6. Now the fun begins, learning how to use this stuff. I'm thinking I might get another computer just to use for recording. My current one is pretty loaded up with stuff. Might be better to have one dedicated to one thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hit the store today, ended up getting the RME Fireface 800 and Cubase 6. Now the fun begins, learning how to use this stuff. I'm thinking I might get another computer just to use for recording. My current one is pretty loaded up with stuff. Might be better to have one dedicated to one thing.

Oh, nice unit...I wish I'd gone that route, rather than the persons firestudio I have now...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious what's in everyone's mic cabinet...


My current collection: shure sm7b, ev re20, akg 414,(2) akg 5900c, akg d112, akg c900, akg perception 220, (3) akg d3800s, blue encore 100 and 200s, shure 58s, shure 300 ribbon mic


I'm saving for a blue mouse...


I use grace m101 preamps mostly


How bout y'all?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice collection you have there rowboat.


Here's what I've amassed over the years mic wise:


1 x AKG C 414 B-ULS (vocals, various acoustic instruments, guitars, etc...)

1 x AKG C 451 B (acoustic guitars, hi hats...)

1 x Shure SM58 (vocals)

2 x Shure SM57 (snare, amps, vocals)

2 x AKG SE300B + CK91 (use these mainly for drum overheads)

1 x AKG D112 (bass drum, bass amp)

1 x Audio-Technica AT3060 tube mic (vocals, acoustic instruments)



Mic Preamps:



Symetrix SX202

RME Fireface 800 (which I've yet to use)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...