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Firebox Preamp Noise

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by sadd3j, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. sadd3j


    Jan 9, 2006
    Hi everyone, my first post here.

    I picked up a firebox yesterday and played around with it for about half an hour. completely new to recordingl, I'm wondering whether or not the noise level in my firebox is how it should be.

    My setup is basically an ESPB254 (passive pickups, active EQ) into the mic input on the firebox, into my powerbook G4 using Garageband.

    I max out the volume on the ESP (just like when I play through an amp) and then.. what kind of settings should I expect to be able to use for the various different options available.. such as:

    channel 1 volume (dial on the box)
    channel 1 slider (in the mixer)

    Using the bypass and monitoring the bass through headphones plugged into the firebox, I found that it gets really noisy really quick. I'll try to post up more specific volume settings I'm using.. but I believe last night in the mixer I had ch1 set to around -8db, and then on the actual box I can't up the headphone volume (maybe to like 4ish position) or mic1 volume at all it very much before it gets quite noisy..

    Just seeing if thats normal or should I be able to have all the inputs (except the bass) set to like half of max volume and not have it noisy as heck.

  2. Denyle Guitars

    Denyle Guitars

    Nov 30, 2005
    I'd start by setting the fader to 0 db. Then use the input gain to adjust the level. Try backing away from the computer or turning until you find a quieter position. A DI will help also by providing the firebox with the proper impedance. Some DI boxes have a high cut switch to further reduce noise.
  3. sadd3j


    Jan 9, 2006
    Thanks for the reply,

    I went home last night and plugged in my ovation and managed to get a much cleaner sound ie. higher levels, no noise. So I'm fairly sure its not the firebox now. My guess is that the preamp in the firebox isn't enough for the bass, probably need to add a DI before it.. sorry if that's common sense haha. :crying:

  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I think that's your problem right there. Only *passive* basses with no electronics should be dimed for recording purposes (since the capacitance of the volume circuit robs high end).

    If your bass has an active preamp, maxing the volume on the bass is going to hit the Firebox like a ton of bricks, and introduce a lot of distortion and noise.