View Full Version : Recording In Garageband

14th July 2005, 11:33 PM
Hi all,

I'm having a play in GarageBand with my guitar but I can't seem to rid myself of a really bad hum....to me is sounds like a ground loop problem.

I've tried plugging in via a preamp and directly into my Mac but I still get the same problem (in fact, going throught the amp makes it worse).

Has anyone else had/solved this problem? I really like the guitar effects in GarageBand....like having a multi-effects setup without the cost.

Could be my guitar although I've checked the wiring and it all looks OK. I don't get the hum if I use something else as the imput (mike, record player, radio etc) so I don't think the mac is at fault.



15th July 2005, 05:53 PM
You might have too high a gain.

Is the hum there regardless of volume (on the guitar, computer, amp/pre-amp)?

Try using a different lead?

Are you using the same adaptor (6.5mm to 3.5 or whatever that little one is)?

Is the plug fitted all they way into the audio in of the Mac? I know this sounds stupid. But its worth checking.

Maybe the guitar has bad wiring? microphonic pickup?

It's hard to say, but that's some of my suggestions.

pipsqeek :thumbup:

15th July 2005, 08:41 PM
If it's a laptop, you can try running it on batteries for a minute - no power supply = no ground, therefore no ground loop...

The only trace of hum I get is with my Sting Ray bass (which is active, and therefore seems to pick up something in my current house that my guitars don't).

16th July 2005, 09:32 AM
My Bass is also active. It doesn't hum at all.


17th July 2005, 12:21 AM
First of all I would try a different cable, as previously mentioned. This is usually the major cause for this sort of noise, from my experience. It really is worth shelling out the extra for Monster, Planet Waves or similar when it comes to buying cabling.

If no luck there, unplug all flourescent lights on the same circuit as your computer (which for many people would be all flourescents in half or even the whole house, not just attached to the same power point.)

You could also try attaching a wire to your toe (or any other exposed part of your body, but this is usually easiest), and grounding it. It may sound stupid, but has worked for me before when recording.

What sort of guitar is it? If it has single-coil pickups, try playing with two pickups on.

Is there a ground lift switch on your preamp?

17th July 2005, 04:33 PM

The hum is there regardless of guitar volume (it is affected by line-in voume but then so is the noise I'm trying to record). I've tried a different cable and I seem to have rid myself of most if not all of the hum when playing 'clean'. However if I start adding effects (especially in American Overdrive amp) then the hum comes back with a veneance.

Interestingly I was using my regular guitar leads with an adaptor originally but that produced the worst sound of all. I'm now using some stuff that I had lyng around (thinner than mouse cord stuff) with better results. I've also whacked one of those magnet things on the Mac end of the cable...not sure if that is doing anything or not though. I have also noticed a difference between using mono and stereo cables and adaptors.

I suspect that my guitar is playing up though. I have one original pickup (single coil) but added a humbucker and a Fender lace sensor near the neck (which incedently fell out of a guitar that was smashed onstage by PUSA many years ago...stll works). I think the grounding is wrong. I mean to test this by hooking up a wire to the mac case (a metal part) and testing ground at various spots on the guitar and see what happens.

Thanks all who replied. I'll update with a 'how it went' soon.


17th July 2005, 07:16 PM
You don't say what sort of Mac you are running, but there is a useful Apple TIL article on resolving this exact issue with G5 PowerMacs.

17th July 2005, 09:09 PM

G4 AGP@500mhz with 1.25gb Ram.

Just playing guitar into the thing makes the position arrow thing go orange (no multitrack-recording-all-at-once for me), however it doesn't hiccup under the load.