Why does everything have to add noise??

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by ukepicker, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Thanks - I must've missed that TPS episode.

    I'll do some cable swapping with just the SD-1 when I get a chance. On a battery. I swear the noise in the buffer is discernible to me. (to be fair, it's no waterfall, but it is disernible)

    I'd be relieved to find out it's the power supply. That's easy enough to replace.

    But I'm worried it's probably "crazy picky".
    I mean, I've never had any of this trouble with my acoustics.
     
  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Are we talking noise or buzz or hum?
     
  3. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I'm trying to minimize the noise that most pedals seem to make just by being on. Doesn't matter what kind of pedal they are. "Hiss" is the word that makes the most sense to me.

    I had a JHS Summing pedal once. Basically it was two buffered inputs combined into a single output. And the hiss on that thing was so loud I couldn't use it. Not from the pedals going into it, just simply by virtue of being powered up.


    The more I talk about this, the more I think maybe I'm just being unreasonable.
     
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  4. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    No, what I designed was a preamp/OD, but I was set on using mosFET gain stages, because the response is on par with the typical great sounding guitar-specific preamp. I considered going with some other quieter topology, and even built a few rough prototypes, but all the good sounding sonics disappeared along with the thermal noise. So I redesigned everything, adhering to best design practices. It mostly required deviating from much of what would have been the standard approaches taken by many pedal makers.

    Here's a schematic of a Boss GE-7, just to give an idea of how much extra stuff is getting added to your signal chain:
    [​IMG]
    ...Compare that to the Boss SD-1, which only uses a pair of op amp stages (triangle shapes pointing to the right):
    [​IMG]
    ...That should give a clue as to why the noise level is prone to being so much greater with the typical multiband EQ, even if you set all the bands flat.

    Regarding the notch filter - I've played around with those, and generally concluded that they're just not that great for guitar. What you really need is a parametric band, so you can target the frequency, set the Q (e.g. how much or little adjacent frequencies also get removed), and then cut there. By the time you've built that, you might as well just have a multi-band parametric, IMO.
     
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  5. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I find that a pedal is noisy, I get rid of it. There are plenty of quiet pedals around.
     
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  6. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    my peavey express 112 has reverb, turned down i have a hiss that changes while turning the reverb up and there is a spot that will almost cut that hiss.
    no idea what that is, but so you see that some things have problems.

    maybe i am wrong, but some opamps are holy grails (like in the tubescreamer) but made in mass and where not quiet.
    because of that holy grail factor it became a sales reason/booster even though the amp/pedal could benefit noise wise from another opamp.

    that what makes DIY pedal making better so you can tweak more.
    so maybe think about what you really need in pedals, than find something to build to your specs?
    about the varitone, maybe it would be possible to filter out the hiss in that way but you would need other specs?
    good hiss hunting
     
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  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    The history of analog audio is largely the history of guys obsessively trying to eliminate noise. Get a better "signal to noise ratio." Lower the noise floor. If you showed Tom Dowd the noise levels digitall audio can accomplish in 1972, he'd have jumped up a kissed you for joy.

    I don't know what's up with your homemade pedal, but "noise' is the historic bugaboo of analog.
     
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  8. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the schematics, Keith - It drives the point home well.

    Interesting to think about about the good tone disappearing along with the thermal noise. Thanks for that, too.

    As far as EQ goes - parametric is my preferred method. I know how to use it and would love to incorporate it into my rig. It seems like each additional band would be adding noise, though. Hence my problem with the Empress ParaEQ: 3 bands + boost = NOISE.
    I'm guessing frequency sweep and Q aren't options with a passive notch. That's the only way I'd really be okay with it. Even graphic EQs aren't precise enough for me. I want to find the actual resonant peaks (not give or take an octave) and even them out a little.


    Maybe I'll just unplug all the pedals and just enjoy my amp. It has almost no noise when I get it all adjusted right. And is a pleasure to play.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    To be fair, IME that's been with circuits where getting an amp-like response, dynamics, etc. was the most important thing. It just happens to be that for me, I tend to prefer the mosFET-based stuff the most, to the point where I've spent a lot of time using CMOS inverters, which were never intended for audio purposes at all (TTBOMK). They actually have mostly all the wrong electronics characteristics as far as what you'd want with a pedal - high current consumption, non-optimal impedance issues, and horrible thermal noise, but the harmonic content is 'just right,' and dynamic response is like the best I've ever experienced, personally.

    ...Some others prefer using jFET-based topologies for similar reasons, because you can achieve 'a triode equivalent' with them - see The Fetzer Valve for that. You can get things much quieter with jFETs IME, but their gains vary too much, and the thru-hole types have been obsoleted. You can even get really good sonic characteristics from jFETs w/o using the Fetzer Valve methodologies, but IMO it's just not as good as mosFET/CMOS inverters.

    Anyway, long story short is that I learned how to get mostly noise-free performance from CMOS inverters. It took a few years to get there, but IMO if it works with those noisy suckers, it might be possible to apply those circuit-level tweaks to other stuff.
     
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  10. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    i'm ok with noise, but in my experience the power supply tends to be the culprit.
     
  11. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    have crazy amount of pedals on the home, for fun board...3 cheapy daisy chain wall warts & $15 moskey buffer at end..no noise no tone suck at all
     
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    We are talking about a compressor pedal. The quality of an Empress does not add noise, it accentuates the noise you already have. Use your EQ to eliminate that noise. You might even try to find out where else in your chain is making the noise while using the Empress EQ.
     
  13. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's

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    Where do I get this buffer?
     
  14. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    found this quick. Think you can get em on Ebay $16 range now

    https://www.moskyaudio.com/product/product-64-818.html

    not at home or i would take a pic of my run on the board..but this is Moskeys buffer..i believe it's close to this, got a Moskey few years back..here is a pic of my studio set up for quick bumps ..the moskey is under the rear board last in line amp final4.jpg
     
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  15. thechad

    thechad Tele-Meister

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    Not sure if it’s what the OP is getting at, but I’ve found moving pedals around (earlier or later in the chain) helps somewhat. I run all my pedals off a power supply. When I added an EHX pitchfork pedal to my board the noise increased 10 fold. From pretty much nothing to very noticeable. I almost took it off the board and sold it, but I tried plugging it in with its own AC power adaptor so it wasn’t on the same power supply as everything else. Now my setup still has some noise but that made a huge improvement. Maybe you are having a similar issue?
     
  16. sardinista

    sardinista Tele-Meister

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    Countless reasons.
     
  17. Rob77

    Rob77 Tele-Meister

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    Using primarily OD pedals with my Vox AC15, on their own they are relatively quiet.
    When stacked there is significant noise, especially when I have my amp mic'd up theres always some amp "hiss" that gets amplified on top.
    At gigs I have had to learn to use the volume control in quiet passages, especially certain venues where the sound guy insisted to me to use humbuckers instead.
     
  18. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    Mo’ pedals mo’ noise.
     
  19. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Something in your setup or environment sounds off. Got good cables and plugs? Are cables short? Have you got a pedal with a buffer somewhere early on to beef up the signal?

    True bypass setups with too many interconnects can just increase the noise floor and magnify any noise with the cable capacitance degrading the signal.
     
  20. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

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    It is always about complicating things...eh??
    The powersupply will add noise depending in which way it is oriented, stand it up, turn it...reorient it or remove it as far as you can from the pedals....sometimes it is all what needs to be done....
    Dirty power from the electrical outlet is also a big sinner.

    And in a band setting white noise will be drowned anyways....
    But if you sit at home with your head inside the speakers....oh well.....fiddle with the powersupply...or go batteries only.
     
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