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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Getting Rid of “Digital Whine” From Digital Effects Pedal

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by TeleTucson, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    245
    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    I learned a really simple and useful fix today for a problem that was nagging me – and sorry in advance to many of you to whom I'm sure this is old news. It relates to “digital whine”, or a high-pitched whirring noise, leaking into a pedal chain. I had attributed this to – and assumed it was inherent to – a less-than-stellar digital effects pedal I use most of the time. While still true in some respects, the effect is not inherently in the signal path at all, but rather digital switching noise bleeding back through the power line into other pedals through a shared, branched 9V power cable, wall wart, and getting into the signal chain that way.

    This has been commented on in by Jody Page of PedalSnake on the web, https://www.pedalsnake.com/blog/2016/09/dealing-digital-whine/
    and is readily cured by getting the offending pedal off the shared power line.

    So the offending digital pedal should have filtered its power line to preclude this, but this one didn’t and I incorrectly assumed it was inherently noisy – but no, now my setup is as quiet as a mouse. So, color me stupid - I’m sure many know this already, but it was useful to me, and maybe others will benefit from this simple fix as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017

  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Guess I'm lucky.never had the problem. Either I'm signaling pedals to one amp, buffered, and floorboard to another, or just the floorboard.
    I was going to start a thread about pedals before or after a digital floorboard, thou.
    Just curious.
     

  3. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    245
    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm guessing it stems from a proliferation of high-functionality budget pedals that are great in most respects, but apparently cut some corners - like filtering against digital noise leaving through the power line.
     
    Doug 54 likes this.

  4. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Tele-Meister

    421
    Oct 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    What's the pedal, out of curiosity?
     

  5. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    245
    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Well, remember I said, "high-functionality budget pedals that are great in most respects," so I was not posting to diss the pedal. This was a Zoom G1Xon whose noise was being picked up by a Way Huge WHE401 through a shared power line even when the latter was in true bypass. It was only noticeable on some of my patches on the Zoom, but take the Zoom off the shared power and bingo, problem is gone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
    Cliffyg62 likes this.

  6. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Tele-Meister

    421
    Oct 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA

  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    Digital pedals often emit a clock noise from the processor, which can bleed through a daisy chain power configuration and become amplified by the other pedals in the chain. The solution is to run digital pedals on their own power supplies, or use a power brick with isolated outputs.
     

  8. Jim McBride

    Jim McBride NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    62
    1
    Apr 9, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm very grateful for this tip!
    When I chased down the culprit in my rig it was the 5v power supply for my tuner making the whine. A long extension cord to isolate that bugger into another outlet and all is well.
     
    Doug 54 likes this.

  9. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    169
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Another outlet or circuit?
     

  10. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 1, 2010
    Hamburg, Germany
    Cool, thanks for sharing.
    Sounds obvious once you say it, but I wasn't aware of it either. :)
     

  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    No need for a different outlet or a different circuit... just run a separate power supply for multi-fx and/or certain digital effects (not all digital effects have this problem). It really is an inexpensive and efficient alternative to buying/using an expensive isolated power supply. I'm not saying it's better... it's an alternative.

    I've been doing this for years... and since my board has always been pretty modest I haven't found the need for a high end supply.
     
    Cliffyg62 likes this.

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