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The hissing is really starting to annoy me!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by reggaeman, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    I am using a 1999 MIA Fender Jazz bass(passive). I have it plugged into a few effects going into a presonus firebox. I am experiencing a constant hiss that is driving me crazy! I tried plugging my bass directly into the firebox but the hiss is still there :( I am thinking maybe my bass has bad shielding? :confused:

    Will a BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor help solve this problem? :help:

    Thanks in advance :cool:
  2. How high do you have to turn the gain on the pre-amp of the presonus? My buddy has one of those and I find I get a much better signal with a DI even though they say the preamps are good for instrument or mic I'd say try a DI instead of a noise supressor.
  3. Basstyra

    Basstyra Commercial User

    Apr 3, 2005
    CTO @ Two notes Audio Engineering
    For me, noise suppressor is a bad solution. You should try to find what is hissing and correct it, instead of repairing afterwards the problems.

    Correct the causes, don't arrange the consequences.

    I don't know the Presonus, so I can't help more. Does your bass hiss when plugged directly in the amp ?
  4. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005

    You are right. The more I turn the gain up on the presonus, the louder the hissing gets. If I plug my bass into my ampeg b100r its dead silent.

    Also, I am using a sansamp DI. Even with the line level turned all the way up on the DI I still have to raise the mic gain on the presonus past 12oclock to get the proper input level.

    Could having the presonus plugged into the same outlet as my two computers be part of the problem? I'd try a different outlet but there arent any close by.
  5. make sure that you have whichever out[put you are using set to LINE
    Use the XLR out and you can power the sansamp with the presonus' Phantom power.
  6. sounds like incorrect gain structure. You shouldn't have to max anything out just to get a decent output level. Make sure you've got everything plugged into the right holes, like line or instrument inputs are probably best.

    a boss noise suppressor will only take the noise away when you are NOT playing. It's a gate, not a noise reducer.
  7. May be a stupid question, but is this a background noise type hiss, or could it be interference from one of your PCs? Have you tried playing with both PCs off?
  8. You would if the ouput of your sansamp is set to instrument and not LINE.

    Old tube style PC monitors can cause interference with single coil pick ups, so try turning those off but again his problem is gain structure as he is haing to turn his preamp way up. All preamps hiss when tuned way up!

    Infact, with the samsamp swithced to LINE and the level turned up to about 12:00 you can turn the preamps to 0 on the presonus and the only hiss really you'll hear is from the Sansamps gain.


    There is a -20 db pad (reduction) to the signal when the output is switched to Instrument on the sansamp, thus the reason he has had to turn the presonus' preamp up.
  9. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    What exactly do you mean by line and instrument switches? I have the tech21 sansamp stomp box and the only switch on this box is for phantom. I have it hooked up to the firebox via mic cable to provide phantom power.
  10. Sorry, I assumed you had a tech 21 Sansamp 'Bass driver'.
    Like the one listed on their website.
    It has a 1/4 output along with an XLR output. Each output has a switch to select the output signal between a line and an instrument out.
    Which model is it that you have? Their are several "Sansamp" models.
    Also, do you have this same problem with the guitar plugged directly in, without the sansamp? Or is it even worse?
  11. The older model BDDI does not have the line level/inst level switches.

    What I was getting at was that it's a bad practice to max out any gain pot, unless you're after distortion. Ideally, to prevent excess noise, you would find another way to get the gain structure correct like matching line level signals to line level inputs. We're on the same page, but I just wanted to clarify my point. :)
  12. Exactly, Something is amiss if he has to crank the output of the DI and still boost at the sound cards preamp. The sansamp should do all the boosting and the onboard presonus preamp should be bypassed, it's just extra signal degradation. But I'm stumped now being that he doesnt have the line/instr toggle on it.
  13. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    I have the exact same thing except my box doesnt have the line/instrument switch. Go figure :) I bought mine about 3 years ago.

    Yeah, the same problem... and yes... its worse. Not much worse but definitley worse.
  14. ok, now I know what the Firebox is! Learn something every day around here!

    Hiss is generally not caused by interference. Sheilding your bass won't help, nor will removing sources of interference such as computer monitors. Usually, these issues cause hum, not hiss.

    Hiss is usually an indication of too much gain somewhere in the system or a poor signal to noise ratio.

    Here's what I would do. Remove EVERYTHING from the signal chain and plug your bass directly into the Firebox with the highest quality instrument cable you can lay your hands on. Please note the quote below from the Firebox instruction manual!!! Set all knobs on the Firebox to the 12 o'clock position.

    Turn your basses volume up to full and CENTRE the tone controls (to their detents if they exist.) ESPECIALLY, DO NOT max out the treble control!

    Go into the Firebox Hardware Control panel on your PC and select the Input Level Boost for the channel you are plugged into. This is likely where your problem lies.

    Try it and be sure and let us know how you go!
  15. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    Ok I tried it. Volume on bass all the way up. Treble all the way down (of course for reggae :cool: ). All knobs set to 12 oclock. Using a 6ft cable I bought from bayou cables... 18 gauge cable with gold neutrik connectors going straight into firebox. +12db boost selected.

    :rollno: Still hissing. The bass is quiet plugged into my amp with the same cable. I am starting to think the presonus firebox mic pres suck or the unit is defective... *shrug*
    I even plugged the firebox into a seperate wall outlet from my computers.
  16. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    BTW I really appreciate all your guys help! Thanks :bassist:
  17. ok, so you DIDN'T have the boost selected before and now you do? Strange. And you're definately plugged into line input 3 or 4 and NOT 1 or 2?

    Next is to work from the other end of the chain and check some other stuff like your computers speakers. Do you have powered PC speakers? Is the volume on them cranked or are they at a reasonable level? Have you checked all the other potential volume controls and tone controls in the software and the operating system?

    I would suggest that you record a snippet of bass, make a high quality .wav file and take it to another computer to see if the hiss in pre or post the recording stage. It could be that it's not your bass that is to blame, but the computers sound card output.

    Replaced the battery recently in your bass?

    Then, maybe try a different audio input to the Presonus to check that it's working properly.
  18. oh, and try running into the firebox, then out of one of it's line outputs and into your bass amp. Be careful not to overload the input to your amp though.

    Perhaps this might help you narrow down the problem.
  19. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    Correct, I tried with and without the boost. I did not plug into line input 3 or 4 because my bass is passive not active.

    I am using my Sony 7506 headphones plugged into the firebox. I tried the volume anywhere from 12 oclock to 3 o clock. The firebox uses a software mixer to further control the line level volume. All the way max its at 0db. It just basically another way of tuning the volume.

    I'll try this. I can switch output to my sb live on some recordings I have already done. However I am pretty sure the hissing was recorded on the track. When I have everything muted on the firebox the software output is quiet. When I play back the recorded bass tracks... Hiss.

  20. D'OH. Sorry.

    Hmm.. that's a doozy alright! I would just keep trying to eliminate other causes. Like, reload the software or try the firebox on another machine etc etc.