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pixxelpusher
Sep 10, 2012, 10:21 AM
Hi I was just wondering if anyone else has found that Garageband gets noisy when using the Amp Models to record guitars? And what's the best way to get rid of the noise, while retaining the wanted sound? I definately know it's within Garageband and not coming in externally.

Some background:
I've spent the last few days looking over my setup (which is pretty simple) for the cause of the background noise in my recordings and think the Amp Models in Garageband 6.0.5 (428.5) are the culprit!!
All I have is a M-Audio FireWire Solo connected to my MacBook Pro over firewire. Everything else disconnected, even guitar and headphones. The signal-in is clean which I have verified using M-Audio's software which has no sound on the input monitor scale. However the output monitor scale shows quite a bit of noise on output, which is coming from GarageBand, and can be heard as a hiss. Also as another test, zooming in on a clean recording in Audacity reveals absolutely no waveforms in the silent parts at the start of a recording (I left it recording silence for a few seconds to varify).
Amp models like Ominous Crunch, Stadium Solo, Woodstock Fuzz, Punk Rock and Industrial Overdrive, seem to be the worst for me, especially when turing off GB's noise gate, which I generally dislike.
Using a Real Instrument track instead of an amp modeled one, is acutally quite a bit better, seem's to produce a cleaner input tone? Would this be right? However, adding some amp effects like Big Wheels, British Overdrive or American Overdrive starts to get noisy again, but not as bad as what I'm getting from the Amp Models / Stompbox method.

I've heard home GB recordings online and on youtube that have overdrive/distortion on the guitars but sound clean, the noise I'm getting muddies the tone a bit especially when layering tracks.



ChrisA
Sep 10, 2012, 01:09 PM
Seems like the models are to accurate. Real tube amps make lots of hiss and hum but you don't notice because the guitar sound is louder.

One thing to try is to download the free version of "Amplitube" I think it is a better amp modeler than GB. Maybe even easier to use. But those amps, just like the real amps make noise too. They might be calling the free version "custom shop" now but either way it is free. It comes with a few amps and you pay for some add-ons if you like. Having two products allows you to see if this is a problem with GB or with amp modling in general.

I think they all make noise, even real tube amps.

Kasalic
Sep 10, 2012, 03:28 PM
You say you don't like the Noise Gate, however that's what I imagine most people use to cut out the noise from the amps. You could try another 3rd Party noise gate.

Personally I'm not a fan of the amps in Garageband, I tend to use the Line 6 amp modelling software that came with my USB preamp. I am experimenting with Main Stage 2 at the moment, however I imagine it will be the same as Garageband.

pixxelpusher
Sep 12, 2012, 03:04 AM
Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'll give Amplitube a go on the weekend and see how it compares. Chris Do you find it better than Garageband? Interesting to hear that they might be "designed" to be noisy... this seems a bit counter productive from an engineering point of view.
I guess I don't like noise gate from the way it cuts out the sound, so if you're just striking the stings in a rather loose style and palm-muting them to cut the notes (which I tend to do quite a bit) the noise gate starts to sound a little odd (hiss, no hiss, hiss, no hiss). But I haven't played with it that much to be honest so I might need a bit more experience with it to get it working properly.
I haven't heard of Main Stage 2 Kasalic but will look into it. I did come across a plugin called Isotope RX2 Denoiser which visually shows the dB signal coming in and going out. (http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/rx/images/Denoiser.png). With the M-Audio the sound coming in even when there is nothing attached to it is around -105dB (bouncing peaks), which is probably normal right? But the same signal with one of those amp models I mentioned is very noisy in comparison.
I guess I could use that to clean things up, but I'd rather have less noise if possible to start with than try and bandage it up afterwards.

Wildy
Sep 12, 2012, 10:09 AM
I uninstalled Mainstage so I can't verify this, but I'm pretty certain that Mainstage uses the exact same plugins as Garageband/Logic - so if it's the amp model that's causing the noise then it won't make a difference if you are playing through Mainstage.

Stick a noise gate in after the amp and have a play with the settings and try to lower the aggressiveness.