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Somebody help me get rid of all the feedback!!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Discount Saint, Feb 21, 2008.


  1. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I'm having some real difficulties with some of my new pedals and gear, playing with a new heavy alternative rock band. A lot of these pedals I haven't used much except for recording, and they are acting.. erratically to say the least.

    My current setup is like so: 90's Jazz Bass Plus 5er (Active, with a passive mode), MarkBass SA450 through a Mesa Powerhouse 1X15 cab.

    The pedal setup is this - > Zoom B2.1u (used mainly for EQing, though I am thinking about pulling it altogether) -> Boss LS-2, with 2 seperate loops.

    Loop 1: Ibanez PD-7 Phat Hed -> MXR Blowtorch
    Loop 2: Ibanez SB-7 Synth -> Boss OC-3


    Last night I traded in my LBM for the PD-7 because the LBM was just too damn noisy and lacked the cut-through for the style of music I am currently playing, which is very heavy on guitars .. not a lot of sonic room for me to play with on bass.

    Anyway, the issue is that I am getting insane feedback, mostly from the PD-7 and SB-7 (and also from the LBM, when I had it..). Like the high squealy kind, as soon as I engage the pedals. It seems to stop once I start playing, but as soon as I stop it is back with a vengeance. If I turn everything down I don't get it anymore, but then I can't hear myself playing, and even at the point where the feedback makes the pedal unusable, it still isn't that loud (at least not relative to the rest of the instruments, which are, admittedly, very loud).

    The room that we are playing in is quite small, just big enough for the four of us and our amps, basically. At the moment, my amp is sitting between the two guitarists' amps, which are pretty big and loud, and I am standing across from it. The volume level is very high.. and I am wondering if the problem may be the result of so high a volume in a little space like that, but the feedback happens even when nobody else is playing.. I just turn on the pedal and BANG - instant squeal.

    I guess I need to understand what exactly would cause feedback in this situation, and how I can fix it and still be able to use my pedals in this situation. Help!
     
  2. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Are you getting any noise when the pedals are off, if so you should test each cable individually to see which is generating the noise. If you signal is silent when the pedals are in bypass, but you get a lot of noise, you should check out a gate. The way a gate works is when you begin playing the gate opens and you will hear noise, but you said that there was no noise issue when you were playing, and when you stop, the gate closes and you won't hear the noise. This is just my interpretation so take it with a grain of salt.
     
  3. I think you should find some sort of way to get a bigger space first. Even the beefiest of amps get pummeled into submission when they are in close quarters with two guitars and a drummer. After that, you shouldn't have too much of a problem cutting through.

    As for the feedback, adjust your EQ, but I still say it's a worthy remedy to rearrange the practice space.
     
  4. speak_onion

    speak_onion

    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Well, the room and volume are probably the sources of your trouble, but that doesn't really help you. What you want is a noise-gate with a loop on it, like the Boss or DOD FX30, or probably other decent noise gates. If you put all your effects in the loop of the gate, it lets you effect the output of the pedals, but key the gate on your clean signal. That way, when you're not playing, it will kill the signal, so no matter what the gain of your pedals is in any frequency range, the gate will stomp out the feedback.
     
  5. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +3 on a noise gate. I like the ISP Decimator, $125 on MF.
     
  6. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Hrmm.. so this is the kind of problem that there isn't really a cheap solution to then.. like I'm not really doing anything wrong to cause this to happen.. and it isn't something unusual about my particular pedals that is causing it to happen.. it's just a reality of using high gain pedals? I'd really like to know what the magic is inherent in the blowtorch that doesn't cause this to happen. . .

    Question about noise gates .. would something like the Boss NS-1 be considered a Noise Gate? Are there some lower-cost solutions that will work well, or am I asking for trouble by cheaping out?
     
  7. speak_onion

    speak_onion

    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Ns-1 will do you fine. DOD FX-30B will be fine too, and cheaper. In fact, I'll sell you mine for cheap. See PMs.
     
  8. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    The only thing I worry about with noise gates is that I am going for a high-attack sound with this band (good way to cut through all the guitars) with a distorted upper end. I don't want a noise gate that is going to cut off all my attack...
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In a small room, at high volume, yes that's correct.

    Probably its particular EQ settings. Also the amount that a dirt pedal is prone to feedback is directly related to how much gain it adds. Some sounds will cut through at lower gain, while others (like most fuzzes) will need to be cranked up higher in order to be heard "as loudly" in the mix.
     
  10. idler

    idler

    Oct 12, 2007
    I've never used one on a bass, but one of my guitarists uses one (Decimator ProRack, I think). It filters out much of the cr@p, but still allows some unbelievably filthy distortion through. We like.
     
  11. just turn it off when your not playing duh
     
  12. Well, If you are facing your amp and standing right in front of it, that is at least half the source. You're not going to get that feedback on stage if you're facing away from the amp. So as far as anything you're doing wrong, that would be one thing.

    I like a little feedback sometimes, and I get it easily by adding a little gain and facing my amp.

    As you've noticed, you only have this issue with high gain pedals -- that's typical. Noise gates were invented to stop feedback/create silence with noisy high gain pedals. It should not effect your attack at all, and they are adjustable.

    Cheapest solution -- move your amp so that you're not facing it.

    Otherwise, the gate should fix you up.
     
  13. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Hmm.. at present I stand facing my amp, about 7 feet away or so.. but I was also getting similar feedback (worse actually, from one pedal) before, when I would stand directly in front of any amp (like maybe 1 foot away), facing away from it. Does the distance have something to do with it as well?
     
  14. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Also - I'm reading mixed reviews about the DOD FX30-B - is there anyone else who wants to weigh in on how useful or good this pedal is before I buy one?
     
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I haven't used that one, but based on my experiences with other gear, I'll make this statement: if I had to buy a bass and a noise gate, and had a strictly limited budget, the first thing I'd do is buy the very best noise gate i could afford, and spend the rest on the bass. I would not go for a cheap gate and hope to be satisfied with it; but that's me.
     
  16. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Well.. that isn't really an issue at this point as I already have the bass.. but the severely limited budget is definitely a factor :/
     
  17. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Hey, I just realized there is a Noise Reduction feature on my Zoom B2.1u ... I am guessing I would need to have the Zoom last in my chain if I am going to use it for that, though, right?
     
  18. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Depends on the source of the noise. Unplug the bass, turn the noisy pedals on. If they're still hella noisy, you need to use noise reduction after them. If they're not that noisy when the bass is unplugged, the noise is entering through your bass and needs to be cut out as early as possible.
     
  19. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Well.. I can tell you that I do not get any noise from the bass when the pedals are turned off .. that would see to rule out the bass, wouldn't it? I can cut off the noise by turning my bass down, but I'm pretty sure it comes back when I adjust the volume of the pedal or amp to compensate. I'll have to test that a little more thoroughly.. I've always been told to just crank up the bass and control the volume through your amp. Most of the distortion pedals I've had sounded like crap with the bass volume turned down too...
     
  20. I would think that the PD7 is the culprit. I can get some pretty nasty feedback at times with that pedal when it is engaged and I'm not playing something. It's something that I've learned to deal with...I disengage the pedal when I'm not playing. It's a pain in the rear to keep switching it off an on, but I really like the sounds it makes...and sometimes the feedback is desireable.
     

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