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Author Topic: How do you deal with noise?  (Read 6024 times)

Offline ubersam

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How do you deal with noise?
« on: May 31, 2007, 08:27:08 AM »
In my time with guitar/gear related forums, I have come across plenty of discussions about noise gates, noise reduction devices, etc. More often than not, only the devices are discussed and there are no discussions about the source of the noise or how to address it. Noise reduction/gating/filtering devices are not the be-all/end-all solutions to noise problems. Noise can be from a number of sources, anywhere from nearby electrical/RF/magnetic activity, insufficient shielding, improper or inadequate grounding, to just plain noisy devices. The noise should be addressed at the source. It can be a lengthy trial-an-error process but any noise reduction/gating/filtering devices should be the last thing you would implement, and only to address either any residual noise that the other solutions did not clean up, or in some cases, if everything else fails.

Examples causes and possible solutions:

Noise due to an improperly grounded amp:
Ground the amp properly.

Noise due to dying or microphonic tubes:
Get new tubes

Noise due to transformer (as in an adapter) with a big EMF in the vicinity of a sensitive device:
1. Move sensitive device away from the transformer;
2. use mu-metal to shield the transformer or the sensitive device;
3. get a transformer with a smaller EMF, like a toroidal transformer.

Noise due to ground-loop:
break the ground-loop (here is some info on ground-loops and how to address them: http://www.rane.com/note110.html)

Noise due to a noisy guitar:
1. Shield the guitar;
2. Check the guitar's wiring, a star-grounding scheme might be in order
(check here for more info on shielding and star-grounding: http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php)

Noise due to a dirty/unfiltered power supply:
1. Get a better power supply;
2. Filter the power supply (this applies to AC power as well as DC).

Noise due to a microphonic p-up:
1. Re-pot the p-up;
2. Get new p-ups

Noise due to noisy effects circuit:
1. Have the effect modded to minimize, if not remove, the noise;
2. Get a better effects pedal

Noise due to excessive high-end content (hiss):
1. Bring down the treble/prescense, i.e. adjust the tone control settings;
2. Could be high-gain hiss: either turn down the gain or try cleaner sounding preamp tubes.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. There are other causes/sources of noise and specific solutions to correct them. For instance, midi signal ground is isolated from the device's chassis ground. In my midi-controlled rig, one of the midi-plugs developed a short between the ground pin and the shell, causing a ground-loop. I had a tough time tracing this noise source. I ended up removing devices one at a time and checking all the plugs before I found the culprit.

There are also some situations where a noise gate of some sort seems to be the only choice. For example: I have a Mesa Boogie Triaxis preamp. I absolutely love the tones from this unit. However, some noise can be observed when in the high-gain presets. The guitars I use are already shielded and star-grounded, so that takes care of that possible noise source. Then there is the lone wah pedal that I run through, which is in a midi controlled signal switcher (looper). Whether or not the wah is in the chain, the noise is still there, so it is not the wah. If I plugged the guitar straight into the preamp and there is still noise. After the trial and error approach, I came to the conclusion that the noise coming into the preamp is exaggerated by the nature of the high-gain circuitry, nature of the beast so to speak. Could have been the p-ups being noisy but I like the p-ups and did not want to change them. I even tried using lower gain preamp tubes and/or cleaner sounding tubes. The results were either the noise was still present, or I did not like the tone. So in this situation, it seemed like the only logical solution was to use a noise gate.

The only question then was, where to place it in the chain. Before the wah? After the wah, before the preamp? After the preamp, before the power amp? There really is no one-and-only correct answer. It is up to you (or me in my case), where the gate will go, where it will give the best acceptable* result. Trying it before or after the wah seemed to have the same result, which was better than having it after the preamp. Having the gate after the preamp did not sound and feel natural to me. So, I just decided to have it as the first device after guitar and placed the gate before the wah. This give the preamp a cleaner signal to work with, there is a smaller noise level that the high-gain circuit can exaggerate. This was also gave me the most natural sound and feel (response). I also ran into this question when I was playing around with a pre-mod SD-1, and came to the same conlusion: place the gate before the noise generating device. After the mod, there was very little need for the gate.

*Acceptable results: Many times, a player gets too focused on getting a pristine, clinically clean sound. It might not always be attainable, in some cases you might have to sacrifice something to attain it. A player needs to determine what amount of noise is acceptable to him, and at what cost. Will the audience notice, or even care, if there is a minute amount of noise? Will the amount of noise be noticeable once the whole band is playing? Is the player willing to sacrifice the feel or vibe of his rig just to attain hospital-white cleanliness?

Anyway... Just some random, unsolicited thoughts about noise and noise reduction/gating/filtering solutions.



Offline skunkyfunk

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 10:11:16 AM »
In my time with guitar/gear related forums, I have come across plenty of discussions about noise gates, noise reduction devices, etc. More often than not, only the devices are discussed and there are no discussions about the source of the noise or how to address it. Noise reduction/gating/filtering devices are not the be-all/end-all solutions to noise problems. Noise can be from a number of sources, anywhere from nearby electrical/RF/magnetic activity, insufficient shielding, improper or inadequate grounding, to just plain noisy devices. The noise should be addressed at the source. It can be a lengthy trial-an-error process but any noise reduction/gating/filtering devices should be the last thing you would implement, and only to address either any residual noise that the other solutions did not clean up, or in some cases, if everything else fails.

Examples causes and possible solutions:

Noise due to an improperly grounded amp:
Ground the amp properly.

Noise due to dying or microphonic tubes:
Get new tubes

Noise due to transformer (as in an adapter) with a big EMF in the vicinity of a sensitive device:
1. Move sensitive device away from the transformer;
2. use mu-metal to shield the transformer or the sensitive device;
3. get a transformer with a smaller EMF, like a toroidal transformer.

Noise due to ground-loop:
break the ground-loop (here is some info on ground-loops and how to address them: http://www.rane.com/note110.html)

Noise due to a noisy guitar:
1. Shield the guitar;
2. Check the guitar's wiring, a star-grounding scheme might be in order
(check here for more info on shielding and star-grounding: http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php)

Noise due to a dirty/unfiltered power supply:
1. Get a better power supply;
2. Filter the power supply (this applies to AC power as well as DC).

Noise due to a microphonic p-up:
1. Re-pot the p-up;
2. Get new p-ups

Noise due to noisy effects circuit:
1. Have the effect modded to minimize, if not remove, the noise;
2. Get a better effects pedal

Noise due to excessive high-end content (hiss):
1. Bring down the treble/prescense, i.e. adjust the tone control settings;
2. Could be high-gain hiss: either turn down the gain or try cleaner sounding preamp tubes.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. There are other causes/sources of noise and specific solutions to correct them. For instance, midi signal ground is isolated from the device's chassis ground. In my midi-controlled rig, one of the midi-plugs developed a short between the ground pin and the shell, causing a ground-loop. I had a tough time tracing this noise source. I ended up removing devices one at a time and checking all the plugs before I found the culprit.

There are also some situations where a noise gate of some sort seems to be the only choice. For example: I have a Mesa Boogie Triaxis preamp. I absolutely love the tones from this unit. However, some noise can be observed when in the high-gain presets. The guitars I use are already shielded and star-grounded, so that takes care of that possible noise source. Then there is the lone wah pedal that I run through, which is in a midi controlled signal switcher (looper). Whether or not the wah is in the chain, the noise is still there, so it is not the wah. If I plugged the guitar straight into the preamp and there is still noise. After the trial and error approach, I came to the conclusion that the noise coming into the preamp is exaggerated by the nature of the high-gain circuitry, nature of the beast so to speak. Could have been the p-ups being noisy but I like the p-ups and did not want to change them. I even tried using lower gain preamp tubes and/or cleaner sounding tubes. The results were either the noise was still present, or I did not like the tone. So in this situation, it seemed like the only logical solution was to use a noise gate.

The only question then was, where to place it in the chain. Before the wah? After the wah, before the preamp? After the preamp, before the power amp? There really is no one-and-only correct answer. It is up to you (or me in my case), where the gate will go, where it will give the best acceptable* result. Trying it before or after the wah seemed to have the same result, which was better than having it after the preamp. Having the gate after the preamp did not sound and feel natural to me. So, I just decided to have it as the first device after guitar and placed the gate before the wah. This give the preamp a cleaner signal to work with, there is a smaller noise level that the high-gain circuit can exaggerate. This was also gave me the most natural sound and feel (response). I also ran into this question when I was playing around with a pre-mod SD-1, and came to the same conlusion: place the gate before the noise generating device. After the mod, there was very little need for the gate.

*Acceptable results: Many times, a player gets too focused on getting a pristine, clinically clean sound. It might not always be attainable, in some cases you might have to sacrifice something to attain it. A player needs to determine what amount of noise is acceptable to him, and at what cost. Will the audience notice, or even care, if there is a minute amount of noise? Will the amount of noise be noticeable once the whole band is playing? Is the player willing to sacrifice the feel or vibe of his rig just to attain hospital-white cleanliness?

Anyway... Just some random, unsolicited thoughts about noise and noise reduction/gating/filtering solutions.


What you said.  :-D

Offline pizarro84

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 10:17:44 AM »
Siguro po sir I'll just add good shielded cables, good connectors and clean contact points. Minsan din po kasi pag madumi yung contact points nagkaka noise.

Offline vaisteen2003

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 10:19:17 AM »
In my time with guitar/gear related forums, I have come across plenty of discussions about noise gates, noise reduction devices, etc. More often than not, only the devices are discussed and there are no discussions about the source of the noise or how to address it. Noise reduction/gating/filtering devices are not the be-all/end-all solutions to noise problems. Noise can be from a number of sources, anywhere from nearby electrical/RF/magnetic activity, insufficient shielding, improper or inadequate grounding, to just plain noisy devices. The noise should be addressed at the source. It can be a lengthy trial-an-error process but any noise reduction/gating/filtering devices should be the last thing you would implement, and only to address either any residual noise that the other solutions did not clean up, or in some cases, if everything else fails.

Examples causes and possible solutions:

Noise due to an improperly grounded amp:
Ground the amp properly.

Noise due to dying or microphonic tubes:
Get new tubes

Noise due to transformer (as in an adapter) with a big EMF in the vicinity of a sensitive device:
1. Move sensitive device away from the transformer;
2. use mu-metal to shield the transformer or the sensitive device;
3. get a transformer with a smaller EMF, like a toroidal transformer.

Noise due to ground-loop:
break the ground-loop (here is some info on ground-loops and how to address them: http://www.rane.com/note110.html)

Noise due to a noisy guitar:
1. Shield the guitar;
2. Check the guitar's wiring, a star-grounding scheme might be in order
(check here for more info on shielding and star-grounding: http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php)

Noise due to a dirty/unfiltered power supply:
1. Get a better power supply;
2. Filter the power supply (this applies to AC power as well as DC).

Noise due to a microphonic p-up:
1. Re-pot the p-up;
2. Get new p-ups

Noise due to noisy effects circuit:
1. Have the effect modded to minimize, if not remove, the noise;
2. Get a better effects pedal

Noise due to excessive high-end content (hiss):
1. Bring down the treble/prescense, i.e. adjust the tone control settings;
2. Could be high-gain hiss: either turn down the gain or try cleaner sounding preamp tubes.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. There are other causes/sources of noise and specific solutions to correct them. For instance, midi signal ground is isolated from the device's chassis ground. In my midi-controlled rig, one of the midi-plugs developed a short between the ground pin and the shell, causing a ground-loop. I had a tough time tracing this noise source. I ended up removing devices one at a time and checking all the plugs before I found the culprit.

There are also some situations where a noise gate of some sort seems to be the only choice. For example: I have a Mesa Boogie Triaxis preamp. I absolutely love the tones from this unit. However, some noise can be observed when in the high-gain presets. The guitars I use are already shielded and star-grounded, so that takes care of that possible noise source. Then there is the lone wah pedal that I run through, which is in a midi controlled signal switcher (looper). Whether or not the wah is in the chain, the noise is still there, so it is not the wah. If I plugged the guitar straight into the preamp and there is still noise. After the trial and error approach, I came to the conclusion that the noise coming into the preamp is exaggerated by the nature of the high-gain circuitry, nature of the beast so to speak. Could have been the p-ups being noisy but I like the p-ups and did not want to change them. I even tried using lower gain preamp tubes and/or cleaner sounding tubes. The results were either the noise was still present, or I did not like the tone. So in this situation, it seemed like the only logical solution was to use a noise gate.

The only question then was, where to place it in the chain. Before the wah? After the wah, before the preamp? After the preamp, before the power amp? There really is no one-and-only correct answer. It is up to you (or me in my case), where the gate will go, where it will give the best acceptable* result. Trying it before or after the wah seemed to have the same result, which was better than having it after the preamp. Having the gate after the preamp did not sound and feel natural to me. So, I just decided to have it as the first device after guitar and placed the gate before the wah. This give the preamp a cleaner signal to work with, there is a smaller noise level that the high-gain circuit can exaggerate. This was also gave me the most natural sound and feel (response). I also ran into this question when I was playing around with a pre-mod SD-1, and came to the same conlusion: place the gate before the noise generating device. After the mod, there was very little need for the gate.

*Acceptable results: Many times, a player gets too focused on getting a pristine, clinically clean sound. It might not always be attainable, in some cases you might have to sacrifice something to attain it. A player needs to determine what amount of noise is acceptable to him, and at what cost. Will the audience notice, or even care, if there is a minute amount of noise? Will the amount of noise be noticeable once the whole band is playing? Is the player willing to sacrifice the feel or vibe of his rig just to attain hospital-white cleanliness?

Anyway... Just some random, unsolicited thoughts about noise and noise reduction/gating/filtering solutions.


wow!!! thanks sir ubersam. this is actually worth printing and keeping in any guitarist gig bag for reference. thanks
GAS Free 2007
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Offline niceguy_2007

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2007, 12:06:27 PM »
what we can ask for? nasagot nyo na po lahat. tnx and God bless po sir


Offline IncX

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 12:13:10 PM »

this should be sticky-ied

Offline stiffhands

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2007, 12:18:18 PM »
ei thanks!  :-D
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Offline ubersam

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007, 03:15:31 PM »
Thanks guys, just trying to share what I've learned along the way.

Offline hardcore misery

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2007, 09:01:53 PM »
dapat naka-sticky to tama?
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http://talk.philmusic.com/board/index.php/topic,71925.0.html

Offline your_guy

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2007, 04:05:59 AM »
Up ntin para sticky!  :-D

van13

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2007, 04:32:26 AM »
NICE...

Offline Phil

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2007, 05:55:17 AM »
my setup is so quiet right now.

I guess.... go simple...guitar and amp.
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Offline nineworkz

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2008, 01:42:03 PM »
kelangan maitaas ulit to para maraming makabasa at matulungan!

props to ser ubersam!!!

Rock On!!!

Online dullFingers

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2008, 01:52:34 PM »
amen! :-D

Offline doremi

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2008, 01:55:58 PM »
Minsan din po kasi pag madumi yung contact points nagkaka noise.

yung gitara ko dati nag kakaron ng buzz sounds e, tas ayun pag silip ko sa jack may mga amag amag na ewan na kulay green. haha. .....madali lang yung solusyon, nag bilog lang ako ng sandpaper tas inin out in out (sorry la ko maisip n term hehe) ko dun sa jack, ayun wala n yung mga dirt na nag caucause ng buzz. ......nag caucause sila ng buzz kasi di na maganda yung pag contact ng cable dun sa jack.

tas eto natutunan ko dun, .....tuwing mag sasaksak sa jack, punasan muna yung cable ^_^ ......sana nakatulong hehe

Offline chromeknive

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2008, 02:10:29 PM »
Crazy! So helpful, really....

Man...ang dami namang iniisip ng gitarista....

 :cry:

Offline rad_12

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2008, 02:11:35 PM »
yung gitara ko dati nag kakaron ng buzz sounds e, tas ayun pag silip ko sa jack may mga amag amag na ewan na kulay green. haha. .....madali lang yung solusyon, nag bilog lang ako ng sandpaper tas inin out in out (sorry la ko maisip n term hehe) ko dun sa jack, ayun wala n yung mga dirt na nag caucause ng buzz. ......nag caucause sila ng buzz kasi di na maganda yung pag contact ng cable dun sa jack.

tas eto natutunan ko dun, .....tuwing mag sasaksak sa jack, punasan muna yung cable ^_^ ......sana nakatulong hehe
tip lang wag mong direktang isaksak yung gitara mo sa amp na naka-on nakakasira daw yung ng amp

Offline kawayan_strat

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2008, 06:09:28 PM »
Reliable yang si sir ubersam at laging tumutulong,lalo na sa mga technical matters sa DIY thread. Maraming salamat sir!

Langxst

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2008, 10:56:37 PM »
@TS

+1000, tama dapat sticky post na to.  :-D  :evil:

Offline xid02

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2008, 12:37:24 AM »
sa mga lespu at rakpa.....


pa-sticky na po...
tapos mas nagiging wild pa sila kase feeling nila dominant sila na parang "i-wil devour you"

Offline pings15

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2008, 08:36:43 AM »
also try lowering the gain...

yun lang ang ginagawa ko hehehe...


thanks! for posting this! very helpful!
OH MAN! OH GOD!
Progressive Metal
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itchybrain

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2008, 09:16:54 AM »
How do I deal with noise? I call the barangay. :-D

Sorry korni. :(

Seriously, I dealt with this problem through trial and error-- very expensive error. I bought a noise gate thinking this would cure the problem but no! I soon found out, that the noise generated by the guitar actually came from cheap patch cables. I solved the problem by making my own patch cables, which i learned through trial and error too. Then I sold the noise gate. It still has that hum which BAMF told me might be coming from computer monitors. He was right. :-)

There's this one time when I brought my Fender Ri project to Jon (elegee) for him to put together. He asked me if I want to paint the cavities with "anti-static paint." I asked him what it was but his answers just flew over my head. What I pictured in my mind though was a scene in Spinal Tap when the band's playing in an air-force base and the sound of the radio is heard through Nigel Tufnel's gear. :-D Aahhh. So that's what it's for.

I learn from masters here at Philmu so thank you, Sir Ubersam, I learned new things today. Always a great feeling.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2008, 09:45:53 AM by itchybrain »

Offline dime001

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2008, 09:33:03 PM »
In my time with guitar/gear related forums, I have come across plenty of discussions about noise gates, noise reduction devices, etc. More often than not, only the devices are discussed and there are no discussions about the source of the noise or how to address it. Noise reduction/gating/filtering devices are not the be-all/end-all solutions to noise problems. Noise can be from a number of sources, anywhere from nearby electrical/RF/magnetic activity, insufficient shielding, improper or inadequate grounding, to just plain noisy devices. The noise should be addressed at the source. It can be a lengthy trial-an-error process but any noise reduction/gating/filtering devices should be the last thing you would implement, and only to address either any residual noise that the other solutions did not clean up, or in some cases, if everything else fails.

Examples causes and possible solutions:

Noise due to an improperly grounded amp:
Ground the amp properly.

Noise due to dying or microphonic tubes:
Get new tubes

Noise due to transformer (as in an adapter) with a big EMF in the vicinity of a sensitive device:
1. Move sensitive device away from the transformer;
2. use mu-metal to shield the transformer or the sensitive device;
3. get a transformer with a smaller EMF, like a toroidal transformer.

Noise due to ground-loop:
break the ground-loop (here is some info on ground-loops and how to address them: http://www.rane.com/note110.html)

Noise due to a noisy guitar:
1. Shield the guitar;
2. Check the guitar's wiring, a star-grounding scheme might be in order
(check here for more info on shielding and star-grounding: http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php)

Noise due to a dirty/unfiltered power supply:
1. Get a better power supply;
2. Filter the power supply (this applies to AC power as well as DC).

Noise due to a microphonic p-up:
1. Re-pot the p-up;
2. Get new p-ups

Noise due to noisy effects circuit:
1. Have the effect modded to minimize, if not remove, the noise;
2. Get a better effects pedal

Noise due to excessive high-end content (hiss):
1. Bring down the treble/prescense, i.e. adjust the tone control settings;
2. Could be high-gain hiss: either turn down the gain or try cleaner sounding preamp tubes.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. There are other causes/sources of noise and specific solutions to correct them. For instance, midi signal ground is isolated from the device's chassis ground. In my midi-controlled rig, one of the midi-plugs developed a short between the ground pin and the shell, causing a ground-loop. I had a tough time tracing this noise source. I ended up removing devices one at a time and checking all the plugs before I found the culprit.

There are also some situations where a noise gate of some sort seems to be the only choice. For example: I have a Mesa Boogie Triaxis preamp. I absolutely love the tones from this unit. However, some noise can be observed when in the high-gain presets. The guitars I use are already shielded and star-grounded, so that takes care of that possible noise source. Then there is the lone wah pedal that I run through, which is in a midi controlled signal switcher (looper). Whether or not the wah is in the chain, the noise is still there, so it is not the wah. If I plugged the guitar straight into the preamp and there is still noise. After the trial and error approach, I came to the conclusion that the noise coming into the preamp is exaggerated by the nature of the high-gain circuitry, nature of the beast so to speak. Could have been the p-ups being noisy but I like the p-ups and did not want to change them. I even tried using lower gain preamp tubes and/or cleaner sounding tubes. The results were either the noise was still present, or I did not like the tone. So in this situation, it seemed like the only logical solution was to use a noise gate.

The only question then was, where to place it in the chain. Before the wah? After the wah, before the preamp? After the preamp, before the power amp? There really is no one-and-only correct answer. It is up to you (or me in my case), where the gate will go, where it will give the best acceptable* result. Trying it before or after the wah seemed to have the same result, which was better than having it after the preamp. Having the gate after the preamp did not sound and feel natural to me. So, I just decided to have it as the first device after guitar and placed the gate before the wah. This give the preamp a cleaner signal to work with, there is a smaller noise level that the high-gain circuit can exaggerate. This was also gave me the most natural sound and feel (response). I also ran into this question when I was playing around with a pre-mod SD-1, and came to the same conlusion: place the gate before the noise generating device. After the mod, there was very little need for the gate.

*Acceptable results: Many times, a player gets too focused on getting a pristine, clinically clean sound. It might not always be attainable, in some cases you might have to sacrifice something to attain it. A player needs to determine what amount of noise is acceptable to him, and at what cost. Will the audience notice, or even care, if there is a minute amount of noise? Will the amount of noise be noticeable once the whole band is playing? Is the player willing to sacrifice the feel or vibe of his rig just to attain hospital-white cleanliness?

Anyway... Just some random, unsolicited thoughts about noise and noise reduction/gating/filtering solutions.



laki ng tulong n2
I'm in Heaven.... but i am a sinner

Offline MegaLLica

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2008, 07:25:45 AM »
mods, PA-STICKY KA NMN JAN, STICKY! STICKY! STICKY!...hehehe

ang galing... :-D
thanks ubersam sa info...
very helpful thread...

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Offline guitbox

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Re: How do you deal with noise?
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2008, 02:55:16 PM »
galing nito!
madikit sana!

salamat sir ubersam!
My passion comes from my Jesus...