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Need help contolling extraneous noise

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by KeiBau, Sep 18, 2002.


  1. OK, I've been searching the forum for several days and still haven't found a clear answer to solve my problem. This is going to be an effects question so please be patient. I've recently purchased a Behringer UltraBass BX1200 to use as a practice amp and as an easily transportable unit for small functions. My problem is that, playing through this amp, everything extraneous is amplified. Just picking up the bass rings loudly through the speaker. When rapidly playing, a harmonic sets up that hums right through just as loudly as the strings I'm playing even though muting. The plus of this is that it is forcing me to develop an even softer touch and better muting techniques but it's getting frustrating and the better techniques aren't solving the problem. I can set the EQ on the bass and/or the amp to subdue the noise, but by the time I've brought the level down I have nothing left of what I'm playing but mud. With our group, I play through an Ampeg 350W head with 4X10 cab and when we practice at our group leader's house I play through a Fender Bassman. I do not have this problem using those amps, only with my practice amp at home. I have been considering some type of effects box to solve this, but am not sure which, if any, would solve the problem. Some I've considered are the Tech21 Bass Compactor, and the Boss LMB-3 Limiter/Enhancer. My Behringer amp otherwise has great tone, volume, features I'm looking for....... Anyone have any thoughts or expertise in this area??
     
  2. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    Do you have the input gain set too high?
     
  3. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I have the boss LMB-3 and I just can't recomend it, its full of static really makes your sound go all fuzzy and lo fi especially if your pluging into a solid state amp.
     
  4. In repsponse to the question about the input gain - I've tried setting the input gain low and the volume high and then setting the input gain high and the volume low. Same results. I can turn everything down to eliminate the problem but then the tone and volume goes to soft mud. I like the overall tone of the amp, but I did notice that the other amps I play through offer some form of compression control. My amp says nothing about compression. That's why I thought I may need to add some sort of compression device or limiter.
     
  5. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    I am not sure compression will help. It sounds like you are looking for a noise gate. A gate is the opposite of a compressor. It will cut off the signal if it gets too quiet. You set the lower threshold. If the signal goes below this volume, you won't hear anything. This should help with the noise as you pick up your bass, but it won't help with unwanted rings from other strings. (As long as you are playing a note, the gate will be open and all sounds will come through.) For that, only technique will help. The down-side of a gate is that if you set the threshold too high, it will cut off the decay on long notes.

    Personally, I would mute the bass until you have it in position on your body.
     
  6. Thank you for your suggestions lo-z. I appreciate your input. I do always mute the instrument until ready to play. That has been a habit from the start. It just seems that the combination of my amp and my bass, Ibanez BTB405, makes for a very senstive mix that I don't experience when connected to other systems. As I said earlier, this has caused me to be more aware of technique and, for that, the amp makes an excellent practice tool. I have been playing bass for about nine months so, I admit, I'm not an expert. However, I have been taking lessons from a professional instructor and our music team's leader is a our lead guitarist and a music teacher who also plays bass. Both individuals believe I'm playing quite well in such a short period of time and neither has made any adverse comments on my technique. However, neither one of them has heard me on my own amp. So, I'm back to considering this an equipment problem even though I don't consider either the bass or the amp to be defective. I will add that my bass offers more sustain than anything else I've played and given that the amp doesn't seem to provide any compression, I guess this provides, well, for a very sensitive mix.
     
  7. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    Compression makes the louder parts quieter so that you can make the quiet parts louder. I don't think it will help in this case.
     
  8. Thank you again lo-z. Any suggestions on a low cost (under US$100.00) noise gate? I'm not familiar with the device. Would the Boss LMB-3 Limiter/Enhancer be considered a noise gate? I noticed that TaySte_2000 recommends against that particular brand though.
     
  9. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Boss ns-2 I think. I've been told it is a good noise gate. The LMB-3 is the total oposite of a noise gate its more of a noise adder if there is such a thing.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Thank you for the info TaySte_2000. I went to several of the online suppliers websites and found a review on zZounds regarding the Boss NS2. The reviewer said that he was experiencing ridiculous squalking and feedback, but after purchasing the NS2 he had no more problems with noise. The squalking and feedback somewhat describes my problem, so that may be the direction I'll pursue.
     
  11. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    For cheap gating, you want this
     
  12. Thanks again to both of you who have contributed to this thread. While doing my research, I've come across some other possible solutions. In practicing at home I have to sit rather close to my amp. I should make sure that the amp is turned away from me to minimize the potential for feedback. Also, I need to check to see if the bass's pickups are "microphonic". I hope not, but if they are, I may need to wax the pickups or change them.