1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

How to stop that irritating buzz when you hit the pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MEKer, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    OK, I searched under buzzing--no answers but maybe my search was approached wrongly. Here's the deal:
    Everything is quiet in my effects chain on or off--that's perfect. I hit a distortion box and get the bs noise buzz/hum we all hate (until you start playing). Lightly touch the strings--it helps only a bit, obviously put some distance between me and the rig--it helps just a bit.
    Yes, I also try to find the balance between gain/level/volume to no avail that still keeps it at a playable volume. This is both with a Digitech and a ToneMod.

    What STOPS it? Grrrr.
  2. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Maybe a Boss Noise Supressor, ISP Decimator or EHX Hum Debugger would help you... But the noise could be down to a lack of shielding in the control cavities of your bass, poor quality cables, or noisy power supplies, so I'd look at those areas first.
  3. +1

    I sheilded the cavity of my bass and that buzz went down to an annoying hiss. I think I need better pickups, but I definitely traced it down to my bass being the root. It's not bad now, but when I throw high gain in the mix with not playing it is very audible.
  4. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Hmmm----wouldn't the Noise pedal just be halting the sound wave past a certain peak? Clipping/gating it off at a certain point? Mind you, the noisiness is only a big bother when the one type of pedal is on but I am not playing.

    No other type of pedals are the culprits--just distortion pedals. And that makes me believe the cables are fine, shielding is not a problem either.... Whaddaya think??
  5. It's actually exactly the opposite of what you just described. You're talking about a compressor or a limiter. I'm not familiar with the Hum Debugger or the ISP Noise Decimator, but the NS-2 cuts off the sound once it falls below the threshold that you set. So, once you stop playing or have a pause, the gate closes and you have silence.

    I use a Boss NS-2, and I don't know what I did without it. It works perfectly for me. I use a lot of distortion, so I would have a lot of noise to deal with.
  6. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Hey Bassman1185---------Thank you very much for the clarification. I will go by your experience, as it addresses exactly what I am doing, and go get the NS-2!
    I've always avoided the Noise pedal thing, figuring its a waste, but not now! Oh and might as well put it last in the pedal chain, yes?
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yes, last.
  8. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Gated fuzz?

    Something like the Woolly Mammoth, Flying Tomato, Brown Dog, Hairy Balls - kills your signal inbetween notes, reacts very quickly but no good if you want endless harmonic sustain. The overall effect is a lot choppier than a traditional fuzz but works well for bass.

    I still think the best-sounding fuzz I've used in terms of sheer tone on bass is the old green Sovtek Muff, but for most of the music I play a gated fuzz has the vibe I want. Tight and gnarly.
  9. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    I think it's the sweet sound of rock n roll.
  10. As touched up, that buzz when you hit the pedal is really just the distortion/fuzz pedal (which has a huge amount of gain) indisciminatly applying that gain to the regular ground hum/buzz from your bass. That sound is always there, and is a result of the pickups and electronics in your bass. Gain pedals just amplify the noises greatly.

    Eliminate the root causes of the problems (single coil pickups, poorly shielded electronics, missing/broken/insufficient ground to bridge/pickups/pots), and you'll help the noise a great deal.

    IMHO, "noise suppressor" pedals just mask the problem and can just make your signal chain worse.
  11. I wouldn't put it last, but that can work. The NS-2 has an effects loop, and I would recommend using that instead. It is most effective for silencing the signal between notes. If I were you (since according to your profile you don't have any delay or reverb) I would just run all of my pedals in the loop. If you do have delay or reverb, you may want that after the NS-2.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.