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Active pup's > hiss in headphones?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Vandy, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Vandy

    Vandy Banned

    Dec 24, 2011
    After various searches here (TalkBass), I have not run across this particular scenario - but, cross-info speculation leads me to ask the following:
    So, a "rehearsal room" containing:
    A) computer w/recording software,
    B) pre-amp gadgets, etc. for microphones, XLR/quarter-inch "ins" for bass, drums (pads as trap set), guitar & keys that feed said computer, plus headphones that receive the mix (watch your step!),
    C) recessed ceiling incandescent lamps,
    D) security "smoked-glass bubbles",
    . . . can all create a "noisy" headphone environment?
    "Live", the bkgd. noises are negligible. For instance, my Hartke has a wee bit o' treble hiss, but . . .
    Headphone-wise, I'm the "culprit" > Ibanez BTB (active) > Hartke 210c (speaker unplugged; XLR out). My amp level is (maybe) 8 o'clock, my ground lift on/off makes no difference, my XLR pre/post makes no difference, adding/subtracting pedals - nada (usually, just a TU-3 tuner), kinda' fiddling with the detached 1/4" pre-amp/amp feed that goes to the combo speakers affects the bkgd. a little - but, there's a hiss in the phones - until I turn off the amp. But, when "on", I can move (walk, or sway) and the sibilance will increase/decrease. Raising the head of my bass toward a recessed light will increasee the hiss . . .
    Did I mention that it's a "finished" low-ceiling basement & we're stuck in a 10x12ft. section (double glass panel-doors, nice paint/carpet). It's the drummer's place (he's also the sound/record tech) . . .
    What's a good troubleshooting starting point? Sometimes, the drum set-up (pads and/or module), or the keys go wonky, but that's a much worse "crackly" intrusion (or complete cut-out) . . .
    And, of course, the others hate me . . .
    I'm going mad I tell you, mad!!! :D
  2. The pre on my BTB676 is a little hissy, especially if I boost treble. Try cutting treble a bit in the onboard preamp and see if that helps.

    Beyond that, you're left with removing one device at time from the signal chain to see if you can isolate the source(s).
  3. psyoptica


    Jan 12, 2012
    Have you tried playing with the lights turned off? I know the ballasts from certain lights can interfere with active pickups.
  4. Vandy

    Vandy Banned

    Dec 24, 2011
    Yes, to the treble cut - everyone is thinking that the Hartke introduces something, since the "headphone" relayed mix loses its hiss when I turn the amp off. But, even though the speakers are disconnected & only the XLR out is in play, the amp level is so low, that I'm baffled as to how the amp is involvd. Alone, at my place, the level has to be around 2pm position with the treble boost/cut matching it to hear any hiss.
    I'm wondering about the hiss variation when I move around . . .
    There's got to be some weirdness in the room - I've heard guys (here on TB) mention everything from cell phones (inside) to "dog control fences" (outside) . . .
    But, it's not my house & the owner/drummer/recording guy is trying to work out his new gear. Oddly, when I first plugged in the XLR cable the other night, a radio station "came on". That had never happened before . . .
    Then, that phenomena stopped after a round of unplug/plug, try this & that - no definitive answer as to "why" . . .
    We've got to be more scientific, but the main reason for the headphone rehearsals is to save the family's ears upstairs on a school night. Hence, there's also a time factor involved . . .
  5. Vandy

    Vandy Banned

    Dec 24, 2011
    What method/technique can be used to eliminate this hiss?
    I titled this thread w/the "active pup's" angle because I would feel stupid investing in a DI (say an Eden WTDI) and have it not solve the problem because it was the bass (or whatever) that was the instigator . . .
  6. Vandy

    Vandy Banned

    Dec 24, 2011
    Ah-h-h . . .
    The PreSonus "FireStudio" (in this environment) has a phantom power button - engaging it ruins a balanced line-in signal . . .
    Thanks guys, for reading . . .

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