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Am I going crazy? Can't record anymore!

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Am I going crazy? Can't record anymore!

Postby Kennytonia » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:07 am

There’s something wrong with all my gear! Recently, all of my guitars started sounding thin, weak, muddy, tinny, and super hummy. You can hear this nasty interference in the background and if you turn the amp/interface loud enough you can subtlely hear a radio station. WTF

The issues are present with both my humbucking and single coil guitars, but definitely more noticeable with the single coils. I’ve tried different guitars, basses, cables, interfaces, amps, settings, as well as moving to different rooms. I have short sound files to show what I mean. Listen closely to how awfully weak and thin the guitar sounds as well as the hum/interference on the 2nd snippet (will need headphones):

Before the problem started:
After the problem started:

I feel like the problem isn't with the guitars, interface, or computer. I'm wondering if it might be due to RFI, EMI, or a problem with the grounding of my home. I keep hearing nasty hum, interference, crackling, static, buzzing, and sometimes a sand/wind noise when i pluck lower strings. I haven’t been able to record for months because of this, so if anyone knows anything, it would be more than appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Am I going crazy? Can't record anymore!

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:02 pm


Where are you based? UK? Europe? USA? Somewhere else?
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Re: Am I going crazy? Can't record anymore!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:36 pm

Your description sounds like the kind of sound you get with a broken balanced cable in which one side of the balanced line is disconnected. It could possibly be a broken speaker... But given the hum issues I'm going with the broken cable hypothesis. It could also be a TRs plug not fully inserted since that also disconnects one side of the balanced line.

With problems like this you need to work through the system methodically.

If your interface has a headphone socket, try playing back a known good-quality music file and see if it sounds okay on the headphones. Assuming it does, try playing it to the speakers and check they sound okay. If the speakers sound bad, check the cables and plugging...

If the replay system is okay, work through the record side, maybe use a keyboard or an mp3 player as the source...

It wouldn't explain the hum, but another possibility is that you're listening to both the direct sound and a feed coming back from the computer at the same time. The computer feed is slightly delayed, and so the combination results in bass cancellation... So check the interface monitoring/routing/mixer settings.
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