Monitor interference in recording studio


Gold Supporting Member
I'm putting together a VERY SMALL PC-based recording rig in my music room. Will a "regular" CRT monitor cause extra noise in mics, guitars or recording gear? Or, am I OK if I keep the mics & guitar 5 feet or more away?

Will one of the flat panel monitors avoid this issue (if there is one)?



CRT monitors will cause some interference in some guitar pickups, esp. single coils, depending on how close you are, and that's simple trial and error to find out how far you need to be.

I've never experienced a problem with mics, guitars, or recording gear. Note however that unshielded speakers will cause problems on a CRT display.

You will have less of a guitar pickup problem with a flat panel display, but I have found that if I get close enough with a single coil guitar, say three feet or so, I still manage to pick up some buzz.


I used to have a huge AppleScan monitor, weighed a freaking ton. It caused quite a bit of noise in my guitar signal chain because I'm never farf from the monitor as I record myself. It never caused noise in a balanced connection.

I now have a flat panel and much less noise. As Les said, it's not completely gone if I'm up close to it. But whereas before I had interference pretty much anywhere I stood in the room, now I have much less just a few steps away.


Platinum Supporting Member
Keeping the monitors above the level you play the guitar at helps as well. I use a pair of 15" LCDs at roughly eye level, and I can sit right in front of them as long as the guitar's in my lap. If I stand up there's a bit of buzz - but NOTHING compared to when I was using CRTs!



I'm still using a CRT monitor and I don't have too many problems with noise. My biggest challenge was with guitar pick-ups (I use P90's) and, if I simply alter the angle at which the guitar is facing the monitor, it's no longer a huge problem.

I'm assuming you have a CRT monitor already. Before you go and drop the cash on a LCD monitor, see how much of a problem the CRT poses first.

I might still buy an LCD simply because they save space compared to a bulky CRT.

Good luck. :cool:


buzz coming from flat panels is often from the power supply, moving that to the floor helped me a bit with my 2 lcd's.

Got one of those cool illuminated blue back-lit keyboards as a gift. Took me a while to figure out that it was generating some pretty far-reaching noise. Luckily it has a light switch you can just hit.


Something to also bear in mind: try to keep your monitors (speakers) away from the CRT computer monitor. The magnets in the speakers, even if shielded, will cause interference on the screen.

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