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What does everybody got against hum?

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EzraplaysEzra
(@ezraplaysezra)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Topic starter  

I say it again, whats everybody got against hum? I like hum. It makes the room sound alive. I think there is a pending danger to 60 cycle hum. It's good white noise to my ears, hum sounds like dirty rock and roll is about to happen and it goes away when things start to get loud. Have you ever really nailed it in a rehearsal or in the studio...as the last notes and crashes dissolve while every body waits for the track to stop... I love how the hum feels in that moment, like you played so well you broke something in the universe.
How sterile is too sterile?


   
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Derek Wilkerson
(@derek-wilkerson)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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hum for guitar=ok
hum for bass=NOT GOOD
hum for drums=.....?
hum for vocals=you're at the wrong gig...

bassist for the crux
Randall RB-125-115 120 watt 15" eminence spk.
Randall RBA 500
2X Acoustic B115's
Peavey T-40
Indiana P-bass


   
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EzraplaysEzra
(@ezraplaysezra)
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Topic starter  

hum for guitar=ok
hum for bass=NOT GOOD
hum for drums=.....?
hum for vocals=you're at the wrong gig...
Hum for vocals, I wanted to start an a cappella group called "The Anniversary Hummers". Is that too revealing about me?


   
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imalone
(@imalone)
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Hum for guitars, like feedback: no-one ever gets criticized for not having it, but sometimes it can be magic.
Hum for drums=rigged to explode.


   
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idj
 idj
(@idj)
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Hendrix is the perfect example of someone who used every noise his gear made to make music. Mind you, there's only been one Jimi Hendrix. But it really doesn't hurt us to reach...

Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded. - Jimi Hendrix


   
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Diceman
(@diceman)
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If the hum is intentional , it can be called artistic expression , and some would call it music . IMO , if it happens all the time , it is just noise unless you can get it to vary in pitch or make a rhythm out of it . To each his own .

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


   
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s1120
(@s1120)
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If the hum is intentional , it can be called artistic expression , and some would call it music . IMO , if it happens all the time , it is just noise unless you can get it to vary in pitch or make a rhythm out of it . To each his own .

I agree with this big time!! SOme hum is cool in some songs/styles.... some its just noise.

Now drums.... Dont you hate when they put the bass speeker too close to the drum kit, and every bass note rattles the snare!!!!!

Paul B


   
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EzraplaysEzra
(@ezraplaysezra)
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Topic starter  

My initial query began when a friend whipped out his new Tele the other night. Its one of the lower priced americans', deluxe or player or highway 1. Whatever it was, he was all jazzed about the "Noiseless" pickups. They were called "Vintage Noiseless" I think and they were poorly named. They were hum-cancelling for sure, and they didn't sound bad, but they did not sound like prototypical tele pickups. The output was there but they had no attack whatsoever. Hit it hard, hit it lightly, same sound and it was real mid-range-y. I make pickups, so I might be a bit more "tuned in" to what I expect a "vintage" Tele pickup to sound like, but even he felt it was pretty anemic sounding compared to squier vintage vibe cheapo(ish) with a custom shop bridge pickup sitting around.
But I asked him, what do you have against hum? And I thought about it, it's only really there when I'm not playing or dinking around with an amp low enough to hear it. I don't care what my guitar is doing when I'm not playing it, it can go off and play emo for all I care. Even modest studio's have noise suppression. And if you're compiling tracks on your PC does anyone ever say "yeah, it good except for that hum. Sorry, no contract."?
These noiseless pickups were designed to eliminate hum and I'm sure the designer realized it was at the sacrifice of some tonal dynamic. And that's what really blew my mind. Is hum bothering you so badly that you're willing to sacrifice tone to eliminate it, thus allowing people to better appreciate your degraded tone?


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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Would adjusting his pickups have made a difference?

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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imalone
(@imalone)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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These noiseless pickups were designed to eliminate hum and I'm sure the designer realized it was at the sacrifice of some tonal dynamic. And that's what really blew my mind. Is hum bothering you so badly that you're willing to sacrifice tone to eliminate it, thus allowing people to better appreciate your degraded tone?

I suppose it's maybe better to say change rather than sacrifice, if you want to reject noise then you'll have to make a compromise with the response. The electric guitar we have today is the result of lots of these compromises that didn't work quite as foreseen. Think of all those classic Fenders and Vox amps that claimed to give perfect clean sound, but people used them to get distortion, or even the original humbucker which is a good solution to the problem posed, but introduced tonal difference (and maybe more importantly, more power). Of course different isn't necessarily better, but it doesn't have to be worse either.


   
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idj
 idj
(@idj)
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My initial query began when a friend whipped out his new Tele the other night. Its one of the lower priced americans', deluxe or player or highway 1. Whatever it was, he was all jazzed about the "Noiseless" pickups. They were called "Vintage Noiseless" I think and they were poorly named. They were hum-cancelling for sure, and they didn't sound bad, but they did not sound like prototypical tele pickups. The output was there but they had no attack whatsoever. Hit it hard, hit it lightly, same sound and it was real mid-range-y. I make pickups, so I might be a bit more "tuned in" to what I expect a "vintage" Tele pickup to sound like, but even he felt it was pretty anemic sounding compared to squier vintage vibe cheapo(ish) with a custom shop bridge pickup sitting around.
But I asked him, what do you have against hum? And I thought about it, it's only really there when I'm not playing or dinking around with an amp low enough to hear it. I don't care what my guitar is doing when I'm not playing it, it can go off and play emo for all I care. Even modest studio's have noise suppression. And if you're compiling tracks on your PC does anyone ever say "yeah, it good except for that hum. Sorry, no contract."?
These noiseless pickups were designed to eliminate hum and I'm sure the designer realized it was at the sacrifice of some tonal dynamic. And that's what really blew my mind. Is hum bothering you so badly that you're willing to sacrifice tone to eliminate it, thus allowing people to better appreciate your degraded tone?

This is absolutely great as far as it goes.

If a new guitar is made with 'noiseless' pups, that becomes the tone of the guitar and you're not really sacrificing anything. You can try to mod it for more clarity, attack or highs or whatever, but then you're modding its original tone. But, as you say, to say a pickup is vintage to a specific guitar, and then make it noiseless and change its original tone makes the vintage moniker untrue. It is no longer 'vintage', it's a noiseless pickup with a different tone than the original. The original was different and this can't be called vintage.

Good comment EzraplaysEzra. You're right.

As far as the product goes, it's just marketing, and they're not selling to people who can compare it to the original tone. They're hoping those people don't ruin sales by telling other people this. Music companies are doing this. Getting people used to digital downloads resulting in fewer CDs or vinyl sold which results in people getting used to a less than optimum sound (due to compression) and telling them that it's the best out there and then it will become the standard (except for audiophiles). That's why I'm moving back to vinyl as much as possible. :)

Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded. - Jimi Hendrix


   
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EzraplaysEzra
(@ezraplaysezra)
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Topic starter  

Boy, tell me about it. You record direct to tape, then mix it down to 16bit... Its kind of heart-breaking listening to your tracks in a control room under near perfect conditions and thinking "this will never sound this good again". But I press everything to Vinyl, and the cost of limited runs has come way down in the last 10 years. When I was young vintage guitars were lame, than grunge came along. How long until having an album collection in a player the size of a rubber is lame? EVERYBODY, GO BUY A TURNTABLE!


   
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idj
 idj
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EVERYBODY, GO BUY A TURNTABLE!

If everybody bought a turntable we'd see more new pressings and would have to rely less on finding good, clean used vinyl. I'll second this, if it's a motion! I just won't shout. :)

Everybody, go buy a turntable!

Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded. - Jimi Hendrix


   
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