at this moment I have Gretsch streamliner, both humbucker pickups, Mixcraft DAW (but same problem happens on standalone), and STEINBERG UR 12 with latest firmware and drivers.

Whenever I do clean recordings everything seems okey, not great not terrible. But whenever I try anything crunchy my sound starts to CRACKLE. Like in the Background I get this lower sound that simply crackles, and it makes the whole recording sound like trash. I know I’m not clipping, not on DAW, not on UR 12 because I’ve checked. I tried using HI POWER modes that supposed to improve. I tried to change buffer sizes, still no luck. Tried different VSTS but whenever I try to use any effect with higher gain, always the same thing happens. Btw, I’ve tried to stop charging. I’m using laptop, windows 10. I usually stop charging when recording so there is less electricity leakage and it seems to help, stops buzzing and hissing. But that crackling is driving me mad. Any solutions? Same things happens on DAW and on Standalone versions of VST.

BTW Right now I have a new laptop, same results. Same thing happened on the older laptop.

Id buy a new interface but Im afraid the same thing will happen.

I have no issues like that when using real amp. So I’m pretty sure either its the laptop, drivers, firmware, or VST (this is the link to audio sample)

UPDATE: I found a review on the internet. Guy said that he can’t record also trough HI Z, so he’s using DI box to convert the signal and is using XLR port on his UR12 and it seems to work well. So maybe thats the solution. So my friend is gonna give me his audio interface that has “instrument” inputs. I’m gonna try that and see if anything improves. I’d buy a DI Box but first I want to know that HI Z is the problem, not my cable, guitar or laptop. It would be sad to spend 60 euros on a DI Box and realize that’s not the probem.


So I tried my friend’s interface that seems to have instrument input. It seemed so much better except for static, because his hardware used AC/DC adapter. So I’m probably gonna invest some euros into DI box and use UR 12 XLR input to record guitar, because XLR input seems to work just fine.

Still no idea why I can’t use HI-Z. My guitar has passive inputs. I’m not really sure for what HI-Z is used, maybe for guitar but I got tragic experience when I tried to record guitar using HI-Z. So I guess DI-BOX the only choice with UR 12. I’m gonna get active DI-BOX because as far as I understand active DI-BOX is for guitars with passive pickups. I just hope that DI BOX won’t mess up static.

Does it sound like this?

Well, not really or I’m not sure. There’s a link in original post. You can check it out. It’s guitar rig with ac30 sim on crunch preset. I hate that background noise. And I noticed if I increase my attack that noise seems stronger. But nothings clipping. Anywhere. DI box did not solve nothing.

Ok. Yeah, yours does not have that “computer modem electronic sound” I was demonstrating in my SAPS demo. How are you getting the overdrive? Are you going from a pedal or amp directly into the Hi-Z input? Because Hi-Z inputs are for instrument direct signals. If you are not plugged directly from the instrument to the Hi-Z, then, yes, you may have to try something into the line/mic input. Hi-Z inputs are for very low level signals like guitar pickups.

I’m going from guitar straight to hi z, and then I add vst fx or I go from guitar to DI box, and from DI box to XLR on audio interface and then I add VST FX. Both times same result. Cleans quite fine. But distortion adds this high pitch crackling.

Well, I guess I am a little confused then…
If the gain is coming from a VST and then clean guitar is good and clear, wouldn’t that mean the crackling is most likely coming from the effect?
Are you using the Mixcraft VST effects? I have heard of it before but I don’t think it is a particularly high end DAW and even if it was, most DAWs (Cubase included) don’t have the highest quality effects included.
I guess my point is just that it is difficult to judge the interface based on the sound of a recording that has had effects applied to it.