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Sep 23, 2021 - 6:19:09 AM

sovio

USA

75 posts since 1/11/2014

I recently bought a Tascam  porta studio to do some home recording. I'm not at all schooled in this stuff and also a bit Tech challenged. I started off slowly with acoustic Dobro and guitar tracks and then wanted to try going in direct with my  Fishman pickup and  JD Aura.  With this setup I'm getting a terrible hum through the headphones. One hand on the coverplate quiets it a bit and the other hand on the strings pretty much eliminates it but if I lift either hand momentarily big time hum. I've tied the Aura with Battery and wall wart and there's no difference. The hum doesn't  seem to appear on the recording but it's still annoying. Anyone have a suggestion where to look for the source?

Sep 23, 2021 - 8:04:45 AM

359 posts since 11/28/2012

Do you get the hum when plugged into an amp, or is it just when using the tascam? Odd that the recorded signal doesn’t pick it up. I’m no expert but those symptoms are usually associated with grounding issues.

One thing to check is that your tascam phantom power is “off” when using the direct line in. (I assume you have XLR / TRS combo connectors…). Phantom can sometimes be a culprit.

Not sure if this is any help, maybe a tech wizard can chime in.

Separate comment, but my experience is that with a decent condenser mic, you will get far better recordings ( as compared to the aura direct).

Edited by - JC Dobro on 09/23/2021 08:05:12

Sep 23, 2021 - 12:31:25 PM

Shaeman

Canada

1 posts since 9/23/2021

Could be a number of things,

I've got a first generation nashville pickup in one of my guitars and 50% of the time it works fine with no ground issues, the other half the time it will be quite audilble (when using the aura pedal) depending on the PA or studio DI setup.  I cant recall the last time I had an issue with my new nashville installed a couple years ago (not sure what generation it is, bought it new though).

Make sure the aura pedal trim is set properly, according to the manual the clip light should come on occasionally when digging in and playing hard.

Check the gain on your inputs of the recording unit and dry dialing them down and turning up the output of the aura to lower the noise floor.  If you have the option on the unit try switching from line input to the mic input - or you could put a DI box in line betweent he aura and the input of your device.

You can blend the aura image really high which helps sometimes.

If that doesnt work move the whole business away from your neon beer sign and try once more :)

Best of luck!

Edited by - Shaeman on 09/23/2021 12:32:24

Sep 23, 2021 - 1:49:53 PM

2185 posts since 8/3/2008

Sounds like the Nashville pickup has lost it's ground if touching strings/coverplate eliminates the hum.

Might have to check the guitar's wiring to trace the ground.

h

Sep 23, 2021 - 3:48:17 PM

sovio

USA

75 posts since 1/11/2014

Thanks Howard, that's a possibility. I swapped out the cone a few weeks ago.

Sep 23, 2021 - 3:51:53 PM

sovio

USA

75 posts since 1/11/2014

To the others that replied, Thanks, It's not the Phantom power but the trim and gain need to be checked too. Will report back if find anything.

Sep 23, 2021 - 4:01:49 PM
likes this

2185 posts since 8/3/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sovio

Thanks Howard, that's a possibility. I swapped out the cone a few weeks ago.


Depending on the installation, some folks attach the ground under the coverplate rather than returning the ground back at the jack.

I'm guessing the culprit will be obvious.

h

Sep 25, 2021 - 5:36:31 AM

sovio

USA

75 posts since 1/11/2014

In order to wrap up this thread I want to report on the fix I stumbled upon. After going through all the obvious and then potential sources of hum I wondered if attaching an Alligator clip grounding wire from the Tailpiece to something would make a difference.
It did but only partially . I then shifted the clip to a spot where it contacted both the TP and the coverplate and the hum disappeared without ever attaching the free end to anything. The solution was to establish continuity between the coverplate and tailpiece. I did a quick fix by wedging a bit of metal in the space between the two ,but now I'm curious why I've never heard anyone else having a similar problem. If this was a common issue it would be an easy fix.

Sep 25, 2021 - 6:23:27 AM

2185 posts since 8/3/2008

You lost your ground and then established continuity. Next time you clean your innards you'll see the problem.

h

Sep 27, 2021 - 7:44:11 AM

wlgiii

USA

1254 posts since 9/28/2010

"Separate comment, but my experience is that with a decent condenser mic, you will get far better recordings ( as compared to the aura direct)."

This has been my experience also.

Sep 28, 2021 - 10:29:46 AM

sovio

USA

75 posts since 1/11/2014

Wayne, I wont argue that point but only say that sometimes it makes more sense to plug in,  like when the dishwasher is running downstairs or someone is vacuuming. 

Sep 28, 2021 - 8:56:44 PM

wlgiii

USA

1254 posts since 9/28/2010

Agreed- A microphone is preferred, but I do also plug in from time to time.

And a note if you WANT those ambient noises.  Ages ago I lived next to a busy road with lots of trucks. I was recording a travel song and wanted a passing truck at the intro, I held my mic at the window and waited....and waited....and waited. For some reason, the trucks took a break that day. (I did finally capture one.)

Sep 29, 2021 - 4:55:38 AM

sovio

USA

75 posts since 1/11/2014

There's a hospital up the street from me that provides plenty of opportunities for recording ambient sirens, should I ever need such.

Oct 1, 2021 - 4:28:25 AM

SamiTheFinn

Finland

3 posts since 3/19/2021

This is an interesting thread, as I am going to test the mentioned alternatives with Gretsch Bobtail, which is not acoustically at the same level with better instruments. Next I'll test recording both Aura signal and condenser mic signal, as my interface has two inputs. How about the Tascam? This way there would be a possibility to blend these signals according to taste.

-Sami

Oct 1, 2021 - 6:09:55 AM

359 posts since 11/28/2012

quote:
Originally posted by SamiTheFinn

This is an interesting thread, as I am going to test the mentioned alternatives with Gretsch Bobtail, which is not acoustically at the same level with better instruments. Next I'll test recording both Aura signal and condenser mic signal, as my interface has two inputs. How about the Tascam? This way there would be a possibility to blend these signals according to taste.

-Sami


Sure, there is no downside to recording both signals and experimenting with the blend.

What I've found is a decent condenser mic is much more dynamically responsive, capturing the nuances of the instrument, and of course some "airiness " of the room (depending on how close you mic).  I also use a figure 8 ribbon on occasion.

You MAY find that some aura signal in the blend gives your recording a solid base, and perhaps tonal enhancement since you are working with a budget instrument.

I've always ended up dropping the aura signal track altogether, but that's just me.  YMMV, and experimentation is easy!

Of course, if there is ambient noise (as the OP describes), an aura may be one's only option.

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