Noise in Bass

I actually have two separate topics to discuss and want advice on -

  1. My setup isn’t a classic bass setup with an amp. I’m using Yamaha TRBX 174 -> Audio Interface (via fresh fender TS wires) -> Studio monitors. I hear two types of noise coming out of my bass.
    1.1 It’s a Continuous noise similar to white noise that goes away as soon as I touch the strings
    1.2 It’s a trebly noise that increases and becomes apparent when I turn up treble more than 3/4 of its total range.
    It’s a little distracting while practicing but not too much to completely wreck it, I’m just afraid will it become a problem while performing live since the overall amplification will be alot higher if I connect it straight to PA.

  2. I am a newbie so I’m not really good at technique. What used to Happen is when I used to release a note I used to do it quickly and it used to end up ringing since it became similar to a pull off. Jeff told me to quickly release from the note to avoid buzz but to keep my fingers in contact with a strings to avoid unwanted noise and that worked out pretty well. But when I listen very very closely. Even if I’m not pressing the string and just resting my hand on a fret (without pressing) and release it there’s a very less audible note that gets produced (kind of like the harmonics but on every note) . Now I’m a producer these small details kinda worry me because it makes the overall sound muddy. Is that normal? Is that something I should worry about?
    Any kind of help is very very much appreciated.
    Thank you for being patient and reading this. :slight_smile:

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I use a very similar setup. Noise can be hard to diagnose.

Is the noise the same if you plug in headphones to the audio interface and take the monitors out of the picture? Or do you mean studio monitor 'phones?

How is the audio interface powered? USB, battery, or adapter? If adapter, is the noise still there when it is unplugged and you’re using battery power?

Since that’s a passive bass without humbucking pickups, is it possible something (fluorescent lights, etc) is causing electrical interference and your pickups are receiving it? Is it possible to try this in a different room?


I’ve not tried headphones yet. Now that you’ve mentioned it I’m gonna try it first thing tomorrow (it’s midnight here “India”) . It is adapter powered but can be powered USB too. It’s zoom U24. I’ve never used it on battery power I guess I’ll have to try that too.

What about the second question? What do you think about it? :face_with_monocle:


No problem - we are all starting somewhere and trying to get better. Are you presently taking @JoshFossgreen’s course?? There are many pointers in there for good technique, be that plucking, fretting and, especially, also muting!

First off, who’s Jeff?? Jeff Vader who runs the Death Star?? Joke aside, from what you write, it is a bit hard to follow what exactly is going on, but if you mean “end/stop” a note when you say “release”, then you need to mute that note, not by releasing the finger from the fret, but by muting with something else, preferably in this case one of the fingers of your plucking hand (again, see Josh’s course for details).

Again, not sure what exactly is going on here. How can you rest your hand on a fret??

As for harmonics: you can get harmonics pretty much at every fret (though a bit hard on the first fret), so if you touch the string lightly anywhere, you are bound to get some (harmonic) ringing. Muting is again the key here, and proper muting should be done with intent, i.e., more than lightly touching, but, of course, less than pressing down all the way to the fretboard.

Maybe if you could share some recordings that (or, better still, a video) such that we could hear and see what you are doing!?


I have a U-24 as well. One thing I have noticed is the input gain in the interface gets a little white noise when dialed over about 8.5. Does the noise go away if you turn down the input gain?

Are you using the Hi-Z setting, and if so have you tried it the other way?

Generally I have had good luck with my U-24.


@Gray any luck?

I’ve noticed my bass preamps picking up some interference recently. It only happens on my TRBX604 at max treble and volume so I never noticed it before. On my Warwick it happens at 3/4 treble or higher. It only happens with active preamps.

After isolating things, it turns out the noise is coming from my PC. If I shut down the PC, the noise stops. If it is on, I can increase the noise by generating USB or SATA bus traffic in any way. It’s hilarious.

It makes sense that it happens more on the Warwick as it is not humbucking; its pickups are more sensitive to electrical interference. Walking away from the PC with either bass reduces or eliminates the noise, so PC is broadcasting/leaking EMF.

Looks like I need to shield my PC :slight_smile:


I’ve noticed my bass also makes a slight hissing sound on its own, but when I touch a string, it goes away.

I tried to find an answer by google-ing, but really couldn’t figure it out. I think it may have to do with your house not being grounded properly.

Hopefully someone knows the answer to this problem.

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You could always try plugging your amp into a different electric outlet, or into a power strip “surge protector” to see if the noise goes away . . . :thinking:

Could also be a bad cable or ground?

All best and good luck, Joe

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Yeah actually it all got into place eventually. I researched and found that a bass generally makes two kind of hissing noises -
One is an eternal electric noise that will come out of every bass and amp no matter what, though expensive ones might have less. It’s just a normal signal noise doesn’t bother much. You can change directions of bass and amp (or in our case bass and studio monitors) to find the best spot where noise is least for you.

Second is basically due to lack of proper grounding. This noise disappears as soon as you touch the strings since our body is a conductor and helps to provide the lacking grounding. To avoid this noise keep your hands on the strings all the time no matter if you’re playing it or not. You’ll have to do it anyway to mute so, it’s two for one.

And both of these noises are greatly reduced with turning treble nob a tad down. Plus in a band setting nobody will hear it. So nothing to worry about.


Who’s Jeff though?


@bassbot Who is Jeff?

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Hi! To find out what I can do, say @Bassbot display help.