Topic: Hiss when receording direct to PC

Have been recording acoustic guitar directly onto PC via a magnetic soundhole pickup plugged directly into the microphone socket. It works surpisingly well, not a pure acoustic but it's a sound I like.

The only thing is, there's a lot of 'hiss'. Using the standard Windows control panel I can click a 'noise suppression' option (from memory, am not at that computer at present) which works but also cuts the treble end of the signal (like the old Dolby noise reduction on cassette players).

Any ideas for addressing this? Am just using Audacity or the standard Windows Sound Recorder. Hoping to record some short instrumental clips for posting on websites.

Re: Hiss when receording direct to PC

the hiss could be the shielding on the chord or the plug there is a function in the effects tab that removes unwanted sound its kind of tricky.I find the best way with Audacity is to amplify the signal with a powered mixer or digital tape recorder no hiss at all but check the chords and plugs first they could be bad.

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Hiss when receording direct to PC

Hi flester
I agree with Russ a direct conection to your PC from your guitar could be the source of the hiss sound. Better to use an interface of some kind with the conection to the PC from the interface through a line-in not the mic socket.

Re: Hiss when receording direct to PC

Agree with above. Your computers input is not designed for that sort of thing. You need an interface to clean it up or an advanced PC soundcard. An interface is much less expensive and can be external (USB or Firewire). I use a Tascam US-144 runs about 100 US $. They can be as low as 50 US $

I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
Elvis Costello

Re: Hiss when receording direct to PC

put a compressor inline.  evens out your signal and you have gain sustain and attack control.  this should help clean it up a bit.  I even do this with Microphones. it really helps!  or like abouve I saw this for 80 in another thread,

or you could look at Maudio.  If you have a XP OS I could sell you a Maudio cheep.  Its not compatable with Vista,,, but maybe with 07. I hear it has a xp shell for older programs. or that you can get one.

“It’s like a Jab, you got the squeeze and you got the attack, you got the guitar and the emotion behind the song. 
You can plug into a Marshall, but if you are not attacking it,  it's just going to sound so-so.  If the song doesn't grove, you are just bashing through chords” .
-- Mike Ness,  Social Distortion

Re: Hiss when receording direct to PC

A usb condenser microphone will make a big improvement. From what you have described your signal to noise ration is most likely to low. By using a better connection with less noise such as I have described coupled with the extra sensitivity of a condenser microphone and you will have ample signal getting through which will be far louder than any noise which should therefore be all but unoticible. And, as described by beamer, a compressor will also improve things : software comprssors can be found free as plugins if you have a daw capable of running them.

The very best recordings of accoustic guitars are always made by micing the guitar up and not from pluging them in through pickups.

As always I hope you enjoy my musical journey as much as I do.