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String static/popping when playing through a mixer but not an amp - any remedies or insight?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by usernamev19, Jul 17, 2019.


  1. usernamev19

    usernamev19

    Jul 10, 2019
    I have a fender rumble 40 and Mackie 402VLZ-4 channel mixer. When I plug my bass and headphones into the Rumble, I get no popping/static whatsoever. But when I do the same (bass and phones) on my mixer, I get popping/static if I touch the strings and my fretting hand isn't touching the strings or bridge. It's really annoying it gets much worse if I turn up the treble/bass knobs on my bass's preamp. Adjusting any mixer settings like phantom power doesn't change anything.

    Does anyone know why it's happening on the mixer and not the amp? Any suggestions for how to fix it? I intended to return the rumble and practice through the mixer since I'll be in college.

    I looked up the popping and it's supposed to be a grounding/shielding issue or a house wall socket issue - but no mention of it happening on different devices. I also recall having the same issue with a rumble 25, and both it and the rumble 40 have a 3 prong connection is that makes any difference. Thank you.

    I tried a power conditioner strip and it made no difference. The rumble is dead quiet on any outlet of my house, but the static/popping noise on the mixer happens no matter which outlet I use.

    Here is the mixer in question: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/402VLZ4--mackie-402vlz4-4-channel-mixer
     
  2. Are you using 1/4" to 1/4" or 1/4" to XLR?
     
  3. usernamev19

    usernamev19

    Jul 10, 2019
    1/4 to 1/4 into channel 1, I press the button meant for instruments being plugged in without a DI, but not pressing it doesn't make a difference static wise
     
  4. Are you able to play through the mixer and out of speakers? I had an old pre amp/effects pedal that was fine until I used the headphone jack. My stereo in recording interface does the same thing if there is a cable going in, but no signal. Also, not to be captain obvious, make sure while the little guitar button is pushed in that the one to its left is not. Does line in 3 and 4 do the same thing?

    Can your bass switch to passive? or can you try a passive bass through it?

    Sometimes you really gotta rule every little mundane detail out for issues like this. :banghead:
     
  5. usernamev19

    usernamev19

    Jul 10, 2019
    I do not have speakers, just noticed that the static is always there if I'm not touching the strings or bridge. It also happens on 3 and 4. I had the same issue with my old rumble 25. My bass doesn't have a switch, but I can turn the preamp knobs to zero. I'm still so confused as to why I get no static with the Rumble 40, but I'm going to chalk it up to my old rumble 25 and this mixer being fairly cheap - grrr. The mystery continues
     
  6. Haha it is definitely annoying. If you don't really hear it while playing then I guess you can get by. Hopefully someone with more electronics knowledge rolls through here and instantly knows what's up.

    Good luck and I just noticed you're new! Welcome to TalkBass! :bassist:
     
  7. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    have you tried putting some other signal through this mixer to see if the static is present? could be your mixer needs cleaning / repair / replacement.
     
  8. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    Is your mixer nearer a computer screen, or light with a dimmer, than your amp is?

    The power supplies on small format mixers can be pretty crummy, and cause interference.

    What else is plugged into the mixer?
     
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    - what are your input gain levels? too hot?
    - some cable issues might show up on the mixer, but not the amp direct.
    - is the "static" more like a hum?
    - is it ever intermittent, or is it always present?

    believe it or not: if we could hear what you're dealing with = we might have better suggestions: can you make a recording of the "static" and "pops?"

    hope you can get things worked out --- good luck! :thumbsup:
     
  10. usernamev19

    usernamev19

    Jul 10, 2019
    Thank you, I went ahead and made a video.

    The static is definitely more like a hum. It stops when I touch the strings.

    The hum and pops are still there regardless of the volume/gain levels, but it gets much worse if I crank the gain and all of the volume knobs which is to be expected I think. It is also always present along with the strings popping.

    Here is the video, sorry for the distortion. I cranked the volume so you can all hear it - it's my phone pressed up against my headphones. The clicks are audible but I don't think the hum is in the video. Thank you.



    This is the video's description: The clicking that you hear occurs when I simply tap/touch the strings while not touching the strings or bridge with my left or right hands. So if I'm just holding the bass or if it's laying on my bed and I tap any of the strings, I get a click. But if I fret a note, mute a note, or touch the bridge and then touch/tap the strings, I don't get a click. Pardon the distortion, but in the middle of the video you can hear me playing harmonics and muting notes and I do not get clicks. Like I've explained above, it's because another part of my body (be it my fretting hand or right hand) was in contact with the strings as I tapped them. Additionally, though it is inaudible, there is a persistent hum when I am not touching the strings/bridge. The hum goes away if I touch the strings/bridge.
     
  11. usernamev19

    usernamev19

    Jul 10, 2019
    No, it is not. I turned off my electronics and the issue persists, the only thing plugged into the mixer is my bass and headphones.

    Here is a video for reference:


    And the video's description:
    The clicking that you hear occurs when I simply tap/touch the strings while not touching the strings or bridge with my left or right hands. So if I'm just holding the bass or if it's laying on my bed and I tap any of the strings, I get a click. But if I fret a note, mute a note, or touch the bridge and then touch/tap the strings, I don't get a click.

    Pardon the distortion, but in the middle of the video you can hear me playing harmonics and muting notes and I do not get clicks. Like I've explained above, it's because another part of my body (be it my fretting hand or right hand) was in contact with the strings as I tapped them. Additionally, though it is inaudible, there is a persistent hum when I am not touching the strings/bridge. The hum goes away if I touch the strings/bridge.
     
  12. mc900ftj

    mc900ftj Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2014
    One difference between the Rumble 40 (assuming it's a v3) and going straight into the board is that on the Rumble, your signal goes through the preamp, EQ and the "contour buttons" sections, as well as the built-in cabinet simulator before hitting the headphone jack. The preamp, EQ and the contour selection of the amp color the sound and the cabinet simulator does additional high frequency attenuation.

    Perhaps that's why you are not hearing the "static" with the amp. It may not be as noticeable on the amp versus straight through the mixer.

    Try turning off any contour button (like the Vintage button) and crank up the treble and hi-mid EQ of the amp...do you hear the static then?

    If you do, try EQ-ing the mixer channel to cut those frequencies and see if that helps.
     
  13. usernamev19

    usernamev19

    Jul 10, 2019
    You are correct, I maxed out the treble/hi-mids on my rumble and It was noticeable, I had everything at noon before. I still don't understand why the noise stops when I put my hands on the strings or the bridge, but after doing research it is apparently somewhat normal and shielding helps. I checked my ground connections with a multimeter and the pots, bridge ground cable, and ground lug all beep. The shielding paint was applied poorly and it gives a reading sometimes, but it does not beep. I also learned that the single-coil J pickup naturally hums. I hope that shielding the bass will help a little with the noise when my hands are not on the strings. The hum also gets louder when I crank the treble knob on my bass, thank you
     
  14. mc900ftj

    mc900ftj Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2014
    You are very welcome!!!! I am glad I could help!!!

    Shielding makes a big difference. I fully shielded my two Jazz V's that have single coil pickups. Made a huge difference. Used copper tape with conductive adhesive ...worked a treat. Remember to shield the underside of the pickguard and bring the tape in the pickup caveties up onto the body a little so it contacts the tape on the underside of the pickguard.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019

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