Anyone ever mic an unamped electric guitar?

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
I have a noise problem with my guitar that stems from a grounding issue. To almost eliminate the noise, I have to orient the guitar perfectly but there’s still some buzz left. I then rolled off the highs (14k and above) and it gets rid of 99% of the noise but this leaves me with a little bit full of a guitar. I micd the electric guitar and blended it with the DI track and voila! It sounds right again.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
I should see if I have any of the 6 string thin pickup prototype pickups I wound for a builder I used to work with. I would build covers either out of brass or nickel silver so the single coil pickup was fully shielded. I recall you posted something about this before. Surprised you've not resolved it yet. Don't recall your signal path and set up but this shouldn't be that hard. I used to test these unshielded by taping them to the body of a guitar. Here's a couple of pics.

dano.jpg

dano_2.jpg
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Unfortunately, I feel as though the only thing that will resolve this issue is to move. That won’t happen for at least 5 months.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
So depending on the guitar, try a piezo. Can you solder? You can pick up cheap piezo disks off ebay or amazon. Solder a 1/4inch cable to it and fasten it to your guitar using removable mounting putty you can get at a craft store. If your guitar has good resonance and isn't sonically dead, you'll get a pretty good signal. It is rather high in impedance but it will work with a amp or interface.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Have you lined the pickup and control cavities of your guitar with foil (attached to the ground circuit)?
 

Folkcafe

Active member
I’ll give these suggestions a try—the foil first of course since that’s a cheaper and easier option.
I feel like there already was this conversation but perhaps that was someone else. Plenty of us are happy to help if you give us some details as to your signal chain.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
It’s a strat into an ART MPA II into a Komplete 6 (usb powered). I assume the noise is either from interference from external utilities or that the grounding issue is going through my computer and through the USB. If it’s from external utilities, it’s probably outside the house. The noise is loudest when facing the window to the outside.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
As to external noise, I have the image of a starving musician living above the local bar with the huge neon sign right out the window. Not you? Some cheap LED lights emit noise like no ones business. Where I grew up, I had a ham radio tower about 40ft from my bedroom. If anything was out of whack with my neighbors rig, it F'd up everything. So what is outside that window?

Do you have any sort of amp? Same noise when you plug in? Same noise if you bypass the ART and go directly into the 6?
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Same noise with an amp and same noise directly into the 6. I saw a video of one guy a week ago who was trying to find noise in his new home and he tried everything. He actually had a battery powered amp and went outside to find it like it was a metal detector lol. He found the green box in his neighbors yard produced the noise. He called the electric company and it was fixed a week later. I don’t have a battery powered amp so I can’t really experiment with that.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Same noise with an amp and same noise directly into the 6. I saw a video of one guy a week ago who was trying to find noise in his new home and he tried everything. He actually had a battery powered amp and went outside to find it like it was a metal detector lol. He found the green box in his neighbors yard produced the noise. He called the electric company and it was fixed a week later. I don’t have a battery powered amp so I can’t really experiment with that.
Troubleshooting is the process of elimination. Laptop or desktop? If laptop both on battery and plugged in. Desktop, grounded outlet? Also, didn't answer the what is outside the window. Anything obvious like the fore mentioned neon sign? Big huge transformers on the electrical pole. Live near an AM radio broadcast tower? I can think up questions for days.

Could be grounding in the strat but not that convinced. It be handy if there were another guitar you could plug in to confirm. Otherwise you are back at square one. If you have some test leads or just some bare wire, you can try temp grounding between bridge and cable ground, interface and computer.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
its a desktop. Well, the house is very, very old, and it uses knob and tube wiring, so I think the 3 pronged outlets are honestly just for show and that there is no ground. The house does have a 200 amp box, though, so maybe the K&T wiring was abandoned. I don’t see any green boxes out there. No neon signs. There are a lot of light poles, though.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....

Anyone ever mic an unamped electric guitar?​

Yeah. I've done it a few times. The first time I tried it, it wasn't quite what I expected but subsequently, I've used both an external pre~amp and the on board pre~amp of my DAW.
The thing with miking the unamped electric is that it rarely will sound good on its own unless you are specifically going for that thin, high pitched, twangy sound in and of itself. But in conjunction with an acoustic, mandolin or banjo or overlaid with other instruments, it's a more than viable option. Ireally like its sound.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
I highly suggest that you get the outlet tester Folkcafe shows above. It'll serve you in many ways over time. Also as suggested......check under your pick guard to see how much shielding there is. Some guards have most of the pick guard covered and some have a small amount near the controls. The more the better and it's easy to cover the entire pick guard with a little glue and foil. You can line the body cavities fairly easily as well. Every time I've done that I've gotten at least SOME results. As well.....and it's easy to overlook or dismiss......but cables are a common source of noise. Cheap or even damaged cables can easily allow noise intrusion. Have you always had this noise with this guitar and amp....or did it start later? And of course.....led bulbs and other devices...as stated....are TERRIBLE for noise creation. Hang in there and you'll likely find a good solution.

Mick
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Don't forget pickups have a figure of 8 response, so while it's pointing at the window, it's also pointing through your body to behind you. As interference follows the inverse square law (as in double the distance and it drops to a quarter of the level), outside interference would have to be HUGE. Look locally. 50/60Hz hum of the low frequency sine wave-ish type is pickup from the mains supply, but if it has harmonic content - so 100/120 and then maybe 200/220 etc it's probably from a power supply ....... somewhere that is having a little party of it's own. The Strat pickup's directional property should let you actually hone in on the source.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
I highly suggest that you get the outlet tester Folkcafe shows above. It'll serve you in many ways over time. Also as suggested......check under your pick guard to see how much shielding there is. Some guards have most of the pick guard covered and some have a small amount near the controls. The more the better and it's easy to cover the entire pick guard with a little glue and foil. You can line the body cavities fairly easily as well. Every time I've done that I've gotten at least SOME results. As well.....and it's easy to overlook or dismiss......but cables are a common source of noise. Cheap or even damaged cables can easily allow noise intrusion. Have you always had this noise with this guitar and amp....or did it start later? And of course.....led bulbs and other devices...as stated....are TERRIBLE for noise creation. Hang in there and you'll likely find a good solution.

Mick
It started happening when I moved into this old house. Cables and everything are fine.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Active member
Use a Furman with voltage meter or similar. Verify wall current. It is required in my home. Use it with a variac.

Make up any lost voltage with a vibrational feeder variac. Or turn it down if there is too much.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Active member
This might help. With the space heater on in the other bedroom, I'm in the red! Did I wake up in Japan with 100V?

20210309_092846.jpg

This vibrational feeder dials the voltage back up.
20210309_093319.jpg
 
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