Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #15904  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Sat May 05, 2007 8:26 am
Hey all,

Mrs. Crazy 9.5 and I are doing a major renovation to our house. I have been granted the permission to have a small room, pretty much a glorified closet for a home studio.

I am pretty good with all the setup of my equipment but does anyone know how I should have the room wired to avoid 2 cycle hum, and other sound issues?

Should I have two dedicated breakers to the room, one for lights and another for the amplifiers and such?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks all,

Loco 9.5

 #15906  by shakedown_04092
 Sat May 05, 2007 9:55 am
What's 2-cycle hum? :-?

I'm also interested in the responses, since I too will be doing this very soon. Thanks.

 #15907  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Sat May 05, 2007 10:18 am
I think I may have meant 60 cycle hum, but for some reason 2 is in hy head.

Not sure exactly what it is, but sometimes there is a buzz you can not get rid of, no matter what you do, and your amp's ground is either lifted or not but you can't get rid of it.

I think that is what I am hoping to avoid in this studio.

I do know there are a vast number of things that can cause electrostatic interference and I think the 60 cycle or 2 cycle or whatever I am talking about is just one of many.

I am sure an audiophile will chime in and set the record straight forus.
 #15921  by Zolzar
 Sat May 05, 2007 3:22 pm
The best way to remove the 60 cycle hum is to use an isolation transformer, I'd simply wire up that room on it's own circuit(s) and add an isolation transformer between the wall outlet and your equipment.

Good luck!

 #15944  by ~dave~~wave~
 Sun May 06, 2007 7:55 pm
Crazy 9.5 Fingers wrote:there is a buzz you can not get rid of, no matter what you do, and your amp's ground is either lifted or not but you can't get rid of it.
Modern electronics and digital recording have pretty well eliminated 60 cycle hum.

If you are into vintage guitars, amps and effects, you will always live with a little of it.

Ground "lift" switches actually open the ground to an amp, which is damgerous and un-necessary. Power reverse switches swap neutral and hot to try to eliminate hum, but were more used in 60's vintage amps in live performance situations (if you got a shock when you touched your strings and a mic at the same time.)

In my experience, hum comes mainly from cheap cables and pickups and poor shielding. An isolation tranformer would be expensive overkill in my opinion.

Rather than spend hundreds on a transformer, here are my suggestions:

1) If you haven't already, invest $40 in a high quality guitar cable. I've had good luck with Planet Waves. This goes for mic cables, patch cords, etc. as well Also be aware that single-coil pickups are more susceptible to noise than humbuckers. All the metal on your axe, expecially the bridge, should be grounded behind the pickguard. If you hear more hum when you're hands are not touching the strings, this could be a problem. Get a guitar tech to check it.

2) If you are re-wiring the room, it would be worth having a dedicated circuit. A home studio shouldn't use too much power, one 20 amp circuit should be enough. But you might want to over-size the wire, especially if the run is long. Please get an electrician if you don't know what you're doing. Also have the electrician make sure you have a good ground at your breaker panel. A lot of grounds in old houses are clamped to a water pipe when they should be using a copper rod driven into the dirt.

3) You are correct in wanting to keep the lights and the power circuits separate. Two of the biggest hum sources are dimmers amd fluorescent fixtures. Don't use them around a studio.

4) Computer monitors are another big source of hum. Keep your distance when the record light is on.

Just one old guy's opinion.
 #15956  by brownr2006
 Mon May 07, 2007 10:49 am
I have run into this problem at work, using transducers to pick up a grand piano. One way to eliminate the hum is to run your amp through a DI in between the amp and the console. As long as you can supply phantom power (+48v) to it, you can use the ground switch on the DI. This has solved most of our problems.. hope that helps, The other solutions seemed feesible as well, but if the hum is simply coming from one instrument, that is another easy way to fix it.