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Mic/Line In BUZZ

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tim Harrison, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison

    Apr 8, 2006
    hey all,

    was plannin on doing some recording on acid music just now, but when i plugged my bass into the line in there was a horrible loud buzz, and the speakers seemed to cut out. however, i was able to play music on wmp and stuff, just not my guitar. then i tried it through the mic input and the same thing happened.

    i turned down the mic/line in input level and when it's gets below about half way it's fine, otherwise it cuts out.

    the problem is, when i tried to record to acid, or just windows sound recorder, the input volume shown on acid is stuck constantly in the red unless you mute the input on windows volume control. i can hear the guitar playing through the speakers with no distortion or loads of volume. it just aint recording.

    any ideas?
  2. Bassmunkee

    Bassmunkee Guest

    Feb 20, 2008
    South West UK
    You don't say what version of Windows you're using?
    If it's Vista you might find that you have to play with the inputs a bit - if your PC has multiple INs you may have to disable the ones you're not using.
    Also check to see that the drivers you're using within Acid are the same as the ones you're using in Windows.
    Are you sure you're not picking up a groundloop from somewhere? If it's a laptop try using it in battery power and see if this makes any difference.
    There could be an issue with too much gain I guess, extra pedals perhaps - something like that?
    Have you changed a setting in Acid?
    Dodgy cable...?
    It may be none of the above but that's where I would start...
  3. dbcandle


    Jan 30, 2008
    I'm new to recording (just got Sonar), but not buzz. Broadly speaking, you probably have one of two problems:
    • Single-coil pickup buzz
    • Ground-loop
    If your location seems to affect the amount of buzz (relative to location of amp/computer), that's single-coils.

    More likely, you've got a ground-loop/problem. Common causes:
    • Stomp-boxes plugged into A/C outlets - try batteries
    • Other A/C units in your device-chain (like a mixer) - try plugging-in to a common outlet, eliminating anything you don't need (like a mixer), just for process-of-elimination
    • Use of a laptop (horrible for buzzing/ground problems!) - Issolation transformer?
    • Bad connection (bad ground) - use good contact cleaner like Caig "DeOxit"

    I sometimes use an Ebtech "Hum Eliminator" (an issolation transforer).
  4. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison

    Apr 8, 2006
    hey, thanks for the help.

    checked the cables they were fine, and i didn't use any pedals or anything. i tried uninstalling the audio drivers and then re-installing them, but that's completely buggered my audio.

    now everything - windows media player, windows alerts, youtube, itunes, etc... is completely distorted. does anyone know whether this means my sound card is knackered?

  5. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    It sounds to me like you probably blew out your sound card. The other possibility is you blew out your speakers.

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