Reducing the noise in Amplitube and other amp simulators, Static noises and humsWritten by Helmut Watterott
Amplitube Noise Problem solved without using noisegate
The internet is full of questions and posts in forums asking for help with reducing noise when using Amp sims and modellers like Amplitube3, BIAS, Guitar Rig and Revalver. This article is one solution to help reduce the noise, static noise, hum etc in the sound from your amp sim.
Use well grounded gear
In many cases the advice centres around the gain structure of the setup and using the noise gates. In most cases this does not relieve the problem.
I too had the problem of a very noisy signal. The noise was so bad that it ruined the otherwise workable tone you get from using an amp modeller.
We will focus on Amplitube 3 as this is the amp sim I use predominantly. I can confirm it also works very well for the others as I have tested it on BIAS, Revalver and Guitar Rig as well.
The problem it seems (in most cases) is the not the gain structure but the interface. Most 'budget' USB Audio Interfaces are USB or Firewire. In most cases these are powered by the PC and is not running off its own powersupply and is not earthed (in its own right).
To be clear I am no electrician so my thoughts and assumptions are not derived from years studying electronics!
A step back...
I use an Alesis iO2 Express and it works a treat for me. No matter how much of the advice I take from vids and forums the noise and static while using Amplitube3, it stays. Applying the noisegate works but you can clearly hear the noise in the signal especially when using drive in the amp sim. The noisegate only makes the amp sim go quiet when the strings are not strummed. When strummed you can still hear the noise even through the distorted signal.
I personally believe that the need of a noisegate only points to a problem with your signal path and gear.
I guess the digital recreation of the 'tone' and amp stack amplifies a noise in the signal signaficantly. The noise was too much to bear so it struck me that the 'noise' sounds a lot like a ground loop hum or a bad grounded guitar. I decided to put the signal through a well earthed device first before entering into the audio interface. I first tested using my practive amp headphone out (which also serves as a basic amp our/ recording out). Immediately it sounded miles cleaner, even with drive on Amplitube.
I did not like the fact that I had the signal from a crappy amp simulator and I wanted a virgin signal from the guitar so I can use Amplitubes drive pedals and amps without the sound first being tainted by the amp.
The solution is fairly simple:
Put the guitar signal through a DI or a mixer that has a guitar line in, then out the signal into the 'CD/MP3 in' of the amp. This allows the guitar signal to bypass the pre-amp of the amplifier and therefor is unchanged.
I guess well grounded audio interfaces will be quiet as well as grounded mixers straight into the audio interface.
The noises it does'nt stop is having the audio drivers buffer to fast and getting pops and clicks. Other bad grounded devices in the chain including the guitar. Real groundloop issues in the house or studio, etc.
I hope this helps as the tones achieved from amplitube and revalver are now significantly more usable.