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VT bass plus multicomp = hiss?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Norwoodrules, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. New to the VT world, loaded it up as follows:

    mim p w/ lollar pickups (passive) and chrome flats=> multicomp (9 volt battery)=> VTbass (9 volt battery)=> LMII

    I am getting a relatively loud hiss with this setup regardless of how the VT is set.

    When I took the multicomp out, the hiss was gone.

    This depresses me, because I have come to love my multicomp in a way only a bassist could love a swedish compressor :bassist:

    also, the VT really increases my clipping threshold. pre VT I could set the clip at about 3 or 4 oclock. Post vt is 12 or less.

    Does anyone have experience with this? insights?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    How do you have the two pedals powered?
  3. oops. 9 volt batteries. changed the post too.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Dammit, if you had said anything other than "9V batteries" I was going to put on my smug professor face and roll out my standard lecture about some pedals needing isolated power supplies. Now I got nothin'.

    Well, let's see. Do you get the same hiss with only the EBS, no VT in the chain? Have you tried changing the order to VT --> EBS?
  5. Gotcha!

    no hiss with just EBS, so long as i had its gain no higher than about 3 oclock.
    comp setting didn't seem to impact hiss pre VT.

    with the VT added, comp setting had no impact, but gain had a little, i rolled off the gain and the hiss got quieter.

    But it didn't go away, and I had the gain rolled back to about 9, which is very low.

    I did switch the order between VT and EBS, to no avail.

    I had to put my Morley PWF experiment on hold until this hiss was sorted out. I can't imagine what kind of ungodly noises are going to emanate from my cab after that monster gets plugged in.
  6. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    You should be trying to set the level on your pedals so that they produce the same volume on and off, unless you are specifically trying to use one as a boost.

    And what do you mean about clipping threshold? By 'set the clip' do you mean adjusting the gain on your amp until the clipping light barely registers? If you've got the gain cranked on your pedals going into the amp, then of course having them on would make your amp more likely to clip and hence you'd have to make adjustments.

    As far as I can recall, isn't the Multicomp at around unity gain (i.e. same volume on&off) with the gain knob all the way down, or around 8-9 o'clock? I never took mine up over 9, it's not surprising that you're adding noise if you crank it up to 3.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    +1 That was my experience too.
  8. So, turned down the multicomp gain. it helped, but didn't kill it.

    Also turned the crossover on my speaker to zero. helped, didn't kill it.

    It appears to be the sansamp. adding high makes the hiss louder. adding mid changes the tone of the hiss. drive makes it louder.

    I'm confused, is the sansamp noisy? must i get a gate?
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    So what you're saying is that your pedals are working normally. Adding treble adds hiss. Adding drive adds hiss. Even compression can add hiss. That's how it goes. Even an amp will hiss when you add treble and hum when you add bass. That's why most people take away EQ they don't like rather than add EQ that they like.
  10. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    I am using a Demeter Compulator in front of the VT pedal, and there is a very slight amount of hiss...but not enough to bother me...and I hate hissy pedals...

    I saw where you said you turned down the multicomp gain and it helped...do you use the gain on the compressor for a volume boost, or do you set it for unity?
  11. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    :meh: Hmmm not having the issue myself

    Might try something like these settings


    :smug: ... The power supply is a Voodoo lab PP2 under the board
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Kenny, which Pedaltrain is that? Looks perfect for my needs.
  13. I think you nailed it - it's just the natural compressor noise (the multicomp is a quiet compressor but still), but boosted by the VT to the point of annoyance

    I'm sure you can work it out with these pedals. If you were using the multicomp for a boost (as it would appear) just roll it down to unity, and if you want more output, use the VT for that.
  14. ScottB.


    Sep 14, 2008
    The VT is a relatively noisy pedal as it is, when you put the compressor on, which evens out volume differences it pulls up the volume of the hiss.

    Try turning down the compression, or switching them in the signal chain.

    If all else fails, buy a noise gate
  15. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006

    It's a Pedaltrain Jr.

    :) ... Has the ATA flightcase too.
  16. Hey Kenny, nice pedal train.

    The settings on my comp and VT are essentially identical to your settings.
    So maybe I'm being too sensitive.

    I was using the multicomp gain for a little extra texture before I got the VT.
    That's no longer required.

    I am positive I can make these work, it will just take some time to learn the characteristics of my unique (not all that unique, i guess) set-up.

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
  17. let us know how it turns out!

    I have a feeling this experience will make things easier for you when mixing pedals in the future
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    OK, so I just got my VT Bass today, and my first impression upon switching it on was "whoa, that's a lot of hiss!" :meh:

    My second impression was that the tones are killer, so I am not dissing the pedal.

    There are some settings that are less hissy, but the suggested SVT and Fliptop settings for example are pretty noisy.

    This is with no other pedals in the chain, powered by an isolated PS, into a Countryman DI, into a clean mixer channel. When I switch off the VT, there is complete silence.

    Does this match other peoples' experiences? Are my expectations just unreasonable?
  19. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, that's the nature of the beast. The SansAmp BDDI has it going on too, but it isn't quite as hissy. Then again it doesn't have the range of gain that the VT Bass does.

    While any setting with the gain above say, 9 o'clock (depending on your bass and rig) starts to add noticeable noise, it is enhanced the further to the right the Character knob is.

    I can't be sure, but it seems like the Character knob is some sort of low pass filter. When I was trying the VT Bass after my Moog LPF to try to add a bit of hair to the sound, it seemed that no matter where the Character knob was, when the VT was after the Moog it sounded like it was all the way to the left.

    Here's a clip of clean/Moog LPF/Moog + VT Bass with Character dimed/same, but rocking an expression pedal connected to the LPF's cutoff. You can hear the hiss when the Tech 21 is engaged.

    If the Character knob IS some sort of low pass filter, it explains why the hiss was mitigated somewhat by having that knob further to the left.

    Probably more info than you wanted, but it's late and I'm tired and rambly. The bottom line is it will always add some noise but it can be controlled by judicious use of the gain and character knobs.
  20. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    The VT Bass is indeed a noisy pedal. It's fine through my amp but I really notice it through a Radial JDI & headphones. I can put up with it though, although I'm thinking of getting an ISP Decimator because running a BB and XXL into it is making things much worse!

    The character control isn't a lowpass, it affects the upper mids. See this thread for some frequency response plots showing the range of the character control:


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