Hissing with amp rack, amp distortion, etc.


I’m new to cubase and scoured the forum for an answer but didn’t see anything related to my problem. I’m running an eval copy of Cubase 8.0.35, Alesis Multimix8 USB, electric guitar in, high-z on, MacBook Pro with USB in using the only driver available. When I add any amp sim or amp rack model I get a constant background hiss. I can gate the hiss but as soon as I start to play it’s back, loud enough to hear, and especially noticeable on a clean setting. I’ve tried eq’ing the high end and high cut but it just muffles the guitar tone. Raising gain on the MultiMix increases hiss but I have been unable to figure out a setting where I get good guitar sound and no hiss. And no hiss if I don’t have an amp setup in Cubase so i don’t think the problem is in the Alesis mixer.

My primary interest is jamming on my guitar with Groove Agent so mixing out the hiss later isn’t an option. I’m also running out of my free trial time and if I don’t figure out how to eliminate or significantly reduce the hiss will probably have to bail on Cubase. Seems like a great product so I’m sure there is a solution!



Have you got guitar pedals to test out if your guitar is outputting this noise? (it would be fair to test the same kind of FX though)

If using distortion kind of FX it’s always a booster kind of effect and thus boosting the little noise/hiss there is automatically (happens with analog pedals to).

Noise is one of the great issues recording electric guitars. There are many different reasons for it.

Firstly you did not say what kind of guitar you use. If you use a single coil guitar noise is inevitable, but much of it can be avoided. If you play near your laptop you will get a certain amount of noise. You can try positioning your guitar in different places relative to the laptop to see if there is any change.

It also depends upon how you set up the amp sim. Compressors can amplify the noise especially as the plucked note decays - in which case don’t use too much threshold or gain reduction. People often add too much preamp gain into overdrive sounds which in itself can add a lot of noise.

I also find that having the Strat bridge pickup wired to a tone control can be very helpful - rolling off a bit of the top end can often reduce the noise substantially without noticeably affecting the tone, sometimes it actually improves the tone. I have actually fitted Kinman noiseless pickups to a couple of my guitars to avoid noise - they work very well and sound very good too.You are likely to suffer far less if you have humbucker equipped guitars.

The fact is that overdriven sounds are inherently noisy and discovering what works and what to avoid is an ongoing process of discovery. However, I would like to make one thing clear. Cubase is not responsible for guitar noise. This will be an issue whatever Amp Sim you use in whatever DAW you choose.

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