Noise Gates: Do you also need two?!

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Bassman1, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Also, try plugging into different/separate outlets for your pedalboard and amp. That helps a lot too.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    New doesn't mean better - you're talking about a community that often prefers vintage tube amps over more modern tools. Maybe it would technically solve the problem, but some people just like individual pedals - and digital can't recreate every sound out there. This is one of those cases where "get with the times" isn't applicable.
     
  3. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Are you absolutely sure that the pedals are the problem? As I've stated previously, the MT15 is a notoriously noisy amp. Why don't you just disconnect all of the leads going into the MT15, turn it on and switch it off of standby? If you're still getting the noise, it's the same noise every MT15 owner is getting. If you're not, start connecting the pedals one by one to isolate which of the pedals is causing the issue.

    TBH, I'm pretty convinced that it's just a noisy amp and you have the same problem all MT15 owners have.
     
  4. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    I am pretty positive it is not the amp. I had some noise with the MT15's FX loop. However, I switched the FX loop tube in V6 for a 12AU7, and that made the loop very quiet. The amp certainly has a lot of noise, however, on the lead channel when the gain is cranked past 1 or 2 o clock. But, that is something I expect for a high gain amp.

    The funny thing is, when I used the NS-2 in an X pattern just by itself a few weeks ago it was silent. I mean it took care of my guitar noise and the noise on the lead channel using lots of gain. However, when I use the NS-2 in the X pattern with all the other pedals, I get a lot of noise. In fact, I can hear the noise being added as I turn on the compressor, chorus, TS Mini, etc. There is also considerable background noise without those pedals being engaged now. This is even with my new CS12 isolated power supply.

    HOWEVER...I used to use the NS-2 to take care of pedal and guitar noise only. I looped all pedals going in front of the amp through the NS-2's loop, plugged my guitar in, and then went straight into the amp. That solved ALL pedal and guitar noise...like stupidly so haha. The whole reason why I changed that is because I wanted to use the NS-2 to ALSO get rid of the preamp noise when using high gain on the amp. So far, it seems like in can either A) get rid of all pedal and guitar noise, or B) get rid of preamp noise. I can't quite get it to take care of both simultaneously.

    I have an idea though. So, let me know what y'all think...

    SOLUTION 1:
    Guitar > NS -2* > amp input...FX Send > EQ > Chorus > NR300 Noise Gate > delay > reverb > FX Return
    ** pedals in front of amp looped through NS-2

    SOLUTION 2:
    Guitar > NS -2* > amp input ... NR300 Noise Gate in X Pattern
    ** pedals in front of amp looped through NS-2

    I was doing some reading last night, and it seems like a good amount of people (including bands like Periphery and The Devil Wears Prada) use two loops. Some seem to have two in front of the amp, like Periphery, while others throw one in front of the amp and another in the loop. The NR300 costs $28 USD new on Sweetwater, and everyone reviews it pretty well it seems. So, at face value it seems like a viable, yet cheap solution.

    Please keep in mind that I am playing metalcore, mathcore, djent style stuff. So, I am looking for quick and short staccatos.
     
  5. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    I appreciate everyone's responses and ideas. I've certainly thought about multi-effects units. However, I have just never quite come clear with them. I certainly prefer individual pedals more. While they can cause headache and hassle to set up with a new rig (LIKE NOW!), I really enjoy them once they are set up. Also, I am a teacher going into summer break soon. So, I have the time to deal with this haha.
     
  6. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    Maybe something like this?
    https://cioks.com/products/dc10-link/

    I'm using one of their 6 outlet power supplies, and this used in conjunction with an ISP Decimator II has pretty much solved my high-gain hiss problem.
     
  7. Charlie Foxtrot 3rd

    Charlie Foxtrot 3rd Oakie Doaky

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    I found my signal cleared up heaps when I bought a Voodoo Labs isolated power supply, I went from using 2 noise gates to just using one on its lowest setting. No noise gets through, no noise trail at the end of notes. Power supply makes a huge difference.
     
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  8. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    I just tried out my pedals again one by one...

    In X formation, my lead channel gain hiss is drastically reduced. However, I can't get the NS-2 to ALSO take care of pedal noise...regardless if the pedals are before it/after it or in front of the amp/in the fx loop.

    When I loop my deals through the NS-2 in front of the amp, however, my pedals are all quiet. In fact, I turned on my compressor, chorus, envelope filter, and tremolo all on the same time...nothing. No noise at all, and no pop when engaging them. This was also true when I used the CS 12 power supply to power the NS-2, and the NS-2 to daisy chain my loud Digitech pedals. Still, it was very quiet.

    So, it seems like the X pattern can either take care of my pedal/instrument noise OR my lead channel hiss. It cannot, however, take care of both simultaneously as mentioned.

    I don't know guys. The only option I really see here is to try out a second noise gate. The NR300 seems to be reputable. I usually stay very clear of Behringer anything let alone plastic cased pedals. The reviews online seem to say otherwise though.

    My inclination is that if I use the NS-2 just to take care of my pedals in front of the amp, I can probably use the NR300 in an X pattern to take care of the lead channel hum. No idea if it that will actually work...but, I guess it's worth a shot.
     
  9. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    My ISP Decimator G-String II has only left my board once in 15 years, and it was for getting it fixed.

    G-String, TC Sentry or Fortin Zuul. Don't waste money on anything else.
     
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  10. Gudbrand

    Gudbrand SS.org Regular

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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but your description makes it sound like you are trying the pedals before and/or after the NS-2, rather than in the loop, when using what you call the X-method.

    For the purposes of the NS-2, your preamp is just another effects unit, like a distortion pedal. All your pedals (except maybe time-based pedals like delay and reverb, if you want trails) and *also* your amp's preamp, should be in the NS-2's loop - like you were doing in the beginning.

    So the signal chain excluding everything in the NS-2's loop would be:

    Guitar -> Tuner -> (input) NS-2 (output) -> Delay and Reverb pedals -> Amp FX return

    And here is the signal chain in the NS-2's loop:

    (NS-2 send) -> whammy/drive/boost/pedals -> amp input -> FX send -> MXR 10-band -> Tremolo -> (NS-2 return)

    If you do that, plus all the pedals have isolated power to avoid ground loops, plus you set up the NS-2 correctly (high enough threshold, mode set to "mute"), I don't see how it is possible to have noise. The NS-2 operates on the same principle as the Decimator II G-string or other noise gates with a key input or a loop: if the input signal is low enough, it mutes everything in the loop.
     
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  11. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I always prefer 2

    best Noise Gate setup I had was ISP Decimator + Boss NS2

    it went:
    Compressor > ISP > OD > Boss NS2 hardest gating setting > Amp

    I could have also x patterend the NS2 to include the Amps effects loop too if required back then. Im building towards this setup again and my Amp1 Iridium has a built in Noise gate so no need to use the X Pattern.
     
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  12. drgamble

    drgamble SS.org Regular

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    Just about any true analog device is going to add noise. A compressor will definitely bring up noise coming from any sources going into it. The noise issues associated with tube amps and pedals is the rabbit hole that lead to a lot of the Bradshaw rigs from days past. The solution has always been to have a midi switcher that actually removes the pedal from the chain when it is not in use. The other reason that these became popular is because a lot of pedals do not have a true bypass. There are also problems with ground loops, and a whole host of other electrical supply issues like bad grounds in receptacles.

    Another possible source of noise is the guitar of course, but I'd imagine that you already ruled that one out. Like others have said you really need to start from scratch and add one at a time until you find the offending party. Something as a bad capacitor in a pedal can give you really bad noise issues.
     
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  13. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Just get an ISP Decimator II G-string and be done with it. Most amazing noise gate pedal I've ever experienced. It does pre and post amp gating and it somehow reads both signal levels so when you go from distorted to clean you don't need to turn off the gate to avoid signal cutting. It's also one knob to set. Seriously the thing is amazing.


    Rev.
     
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  14. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    So, I just tried out the X pattern again and added pedals one by one just to make sure. I also followed your diagram (thanks for doing that!) exactly just to make sure I wasn't setting it up incorrectly. The NS-2 certainly does a pretty good job. However, I am still getting noise coming through. Sure enough, the culprits were my pedals that are ALWAYS one: Ibanez Tube Screamer and Xotic SP Compressor. I'm not surprised because compressors and ODs typically are the culprits. Additionally, my chorus pedals adds to the noise when the other two are engaged as well. The problem, therefore, are the pedals that run BETWEEN the NS-2 (in X pattern) and the amp.

    So, here are my thoughts...would swapping out my NS-2 for an ISP G String make a difference given the above information? I understand that it is a superior pedal. However, the problem specifically to my rig is the line of pedals that go from the noise suppressor's send into the amp directly. So, how would the ISP G String solve that if the NS-2 functions on the same principle and doesn't solve it?

    I just ordered a NR300 just for testing purposes. I figured I will try the setup you mentioned here with the X pattern, then running pedals into the second noise gate, then amp.
    So...
    Guitar -> Tuner -> (input) NS-2 (output) -> Delay and Reverb pedals -> Amp FX return
    (NS-2 send) -> whammy/drive/boost/pedals -> NR300 -> amp input -> FX send -> MXR 10-band -> Tremolo -> (NS-2 return)

    I figured that it wouldn't hurt just to try it out. And, if it doesn't work I can just return the NR300 back to Guitar Center.

    That being said, I could see myself selling my whammy to get an ISP G String...
     
  16. Gudbrand

    Gudbrand SS.org Regular

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    It wouldn't hurt to try the NR300. And it's possible the ISP would do a better job, but I do not think that the differences between the NS-2 and other noise gates like the ISP are related to how muted they get. The difference comes down to how and when they engage the gate, how they track the incoming signal, how they sustain, etc. Once the gate is fully engaged, they should all be about equally quiet. Muted is muted. (Admittedly this is a bit of an oversimplification, as there could be differences in the noise floors of the pedals, noise bleed from the loop, and other minor differences.)

    Are you still getting hum even if you set the NS-2 to to most extreme settings -- i.e. threshold max, decay min, mute mode?

    With those extreme settings, and with all the pedals running on isolated power to avoid ground loops, I don't see how there can be hum. Every pedal in the loop and the preamp could be producing as much output as they are capable of, and it should be dead quiet until you open the gate by playing a note.
     
  17. Moltar

    Moltar SS.org Regular

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    I've had great experience with the ISP decimator G-string as well. First section of the pedal is before the amp, and the second section is in the effect loop. I actually prefer the first version of the Decimator G-string, rather than the G-string II. Not sure why, but the original just works better with my setup.
     
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  18. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    I'm running the NS-2 with the above settings mentioned... Threshold max and decay at minimum.

    It does a pretty good job of keeping things quit. However, when I engaged the compressor and OD (which I typically leave on at all times), it gets noisy. I honestly wonder if it's all just too much noise for it to handle. I'm this regard, perhaps a G string would perform better here ? Not sure. Then again, the issue is really the compressor and OD that are running FROM the NS-2 send and INTO the amp's input.
     
  19. Gudbrand

    Gudbrand SS.org Regular

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    Something doesn't add up. I love solving mysteries, so I'll keep trying to think of ways to troubleshoot and solve this. If you don't want to keep investigating, though, just tell me.

    I think one of the following must be true:
    1. You hooked something up incorrectly. This seems unlikely, given the details in your post, but I'm trying to be thorough.
    2. You forgot to engage the NS-2. This also seems unlikely, but we all have those moments. Like looking for your glasses that are already on your face.
    3. Somehow your guitar or tuner hum loud enough to keep the gate open. This also seems unlikely, since you would have noticed when gating just the pedals, or just the preamp.
    4. Your NS-2 is faulty. Either it is leaking noise even when the gate is closed, or the gate is not closing for some reason. Is the "reduction" light coming on when you're not playing?
    5. All NS-2 pedals have a design flaw that leak noise if the noise in the loop gets loud enough.
    6. What Boss calls "mute" isn't a true mute, but rather just a large pad. If that's true then even with the gate fully closed, the attenuated noise would still be audible if it is loud enough.
    You could test that last case by hooking up like so:
    • (nothing) -> Tuner -> NS-2 input -> NS-2 output -> FX return
    • guitar -> whammy/boost/drive pedals -> amp input -> FX send -> NS-2 return
    • And just to be thorough, plug a patch cable into the NS-2's send jack, but don't plug it into anything. Just in case the circuit detects that something is plugged in there.
    Then trying playing some guitar. If the NS-2 is working correctly, the gate should always be closed, because there is no signal entering its input jack, and the "reduction" LED should always be on. You should not hear what you're playing. If you can hear your playing, but it just sounds quieter than normal, then for some reason the gate is padding the signal, not actually gating it.
     
  20. Gudbrand

    Gudbrand SS.org Regular

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    Okay, I read the manual more carefully and I realized I was making an incorrect assumption about the reduction/mute mode. It doesn't switch between noise reduction and a noise gate circuit, like I assumed. There's only one noise reduction circuit. In mute mode, the pedal just acts as a mute switch. Nothing to do with the noise reduction circuit.

    So when the NS-2 is in mute mode, and step on it to engage the mute, your rig should go completely silent, except for any hum from the power amp.
     

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