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Noise from Bass :(

VittorioAngelo

Inspired
Hello Folks;

I'm hoping someone here might be able to help me with a noise problem, I believe is coming from my bass.

When my bass in up-close an personal to the AxeFX III, there's an electronic hiss. The only way to reduce this hiss is:
  1. Turn the volume to its minimum on the bass. No hiss, but no signal.
  2. Turn down the treble pot to its minimum. The hiss is greatly ameliorated.
So, I think the noise source is my instrument. Might anyone have any insight that might help me eliminate the noise?

Thank you again,
Vittorio
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Have you tried the usual things?

-Different cable(s)
-Looking for things close to your rig that would cause it (lights, computers, etc.)
-If you move far away from your rig, does it go away?
-Do you get it on other instruments (if not, it's your bass.)

Bottom line is...it's probably your bass.
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi victorious,
What you describe may be the electronics in your bass if it’s active. Have you tried changing the battery if it is?
Thanks
Pauly
 

mistermikev

Inspired
if it's only this instrument... and others don't have the issue, then it is in fact your bass. Since single coils are common on bass it might be you are hearing it more due to that. Perhaps your shielding on the bass isn't that great? Perhaps the noise is there in your power and you are just hearing it more due to single coils. I recently had some noise issues and a combination of things eventually solved it: A) I was going out via xlr to a focusrite... the default for out1 is -10 and xlr should be + 4 so changed that in the axe setup. B) I had swapped two power conditioners prior to getting the axe and on a whim i swapped them back... they aren't created equal (furman for the win... not impressed with expensive live wire!) hope that helps.
 

VittorioAngelo

Inspired
Thank you all for your comments.

To your questions:
  1. Different cables don't help
  2. The AxeFx is in the basement away from any other electronics
  3. If I move away from the rig the noise disappears
  4. I've only the one bass
  5. The bass is active, and the batteries are new
So, given the wonderful information you folks provided, it seems the source of the noise is the bass.

As I am no electrician, may I ask if you know how such a thing would be fixed? MisterMikeV mentioned shielding, but I'm not completely clear on what that is. Might you folks recommend a book or website where I can study up to become familiar with all of this?

Thank you again folks,
Vittorio
 

mistermikev

Inspired
being active pickups... they don't really benefit from shielding. other guitars don't have the issue? You might want to try a power conditioner. afa shielding... conductive pain or copper shielding tape... you cover the elec cavity and pickup cavities, back of any pickguard. again, if we are sure we have active pickups and not just an active eq... I would say shielding isn't going to help. either way... here's a video I know to fairly vetted:
 

Pettymusic

Inspired
Have you tried moving the Axe Fx to another location? There may be just be a lot of interference in that area in your basement. Try another outlet.
 

haffner1

Inspired
Here are a couple examples of cavity shielding. I still get noise from a single coil though, especially if I am too close to a computer monitor.
IMG_5943.jpgIMG_20130806_213226_907.jpg
 

OldSnail

Inspired
Cables on the floor picking electric ground noise ?
I’ve just played one hour with a bass with active PUs just in front of the Axe-Fx tonight without any noise ...so I tend to believe that the Axe-Fx is not the problem.
Probably a more « general » electric-picking noise. (But I’m not electrician too).
 

Tommy Tempest

Power User
If you move close to the AXE and the hiss is louder, it is interference from the bass.
My bass player has a vintage active Steinberger bass that hisses. We solve it with a DI box before his amp.
For me, If I sit too close to my AXE III, with my guitar, I get a mild 60 cycle hum. It's never a problem for live applications. But to solve it, I set the input gate between -40 to -45 (adjust until the hiss disappears), ratio 2:1, attack 2ms, release 20ms to 100ms. I have sustain forever and no noise when playing stops and/or hands are off guitar.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
If you move close to the AXE and the hiss is louder, it is interference from the bass.
My bass player has a vintage active Steinberger bass that hisses. We solve it with a DI box before his amp.
For me, If I sit too close to my AXE III, with my guitar, I get a mild 60 cycle hum. It's never a problem for live applications. But to solve it, I set the input gate between -40 to -45 (adjust until the hiss disappears), ratio 2:1, attack 2ms, release 20ms to 100ms. I have sustain forever and no noise when playing stops and/or hands are off guitar.
If I sit at my PC - playing bass or guitar, active or passive pickups - with the Axe about 6 feet away in a rack, I get RF "noise" from the monitors radiating into my audio chain.

To the OP: Other than moving away from the noise, you are stuck with it. It's electrical and not a fault of either your bass or the Axe. High gain amps may increase the noise level. YMMV
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi Vittorio,

I'd suggest approaching the issue as a limitation of the bass, and simply move a bit further away from the unit when recording. To 'fix' hiss from an active circuit (well.. reduce it) usually means changing the circuit so, in effect, you'll need to install new, higher quality electronics and maybe pickups to resolve the issue.
Maybe there are 'mods' available for this particular brand of bass electronics, but again, you are heading into uncharted ground.
The puzzling thing with this is that it's worse when you are close to the axe fx... Is it tolerable when moved away from the axe fx?

Thanks
Pauly




Thank you all for your comments.

To your questions:
  1. Different cables don't help
  2. The AxeFx is in the basement away from any other electronics
  3. If I move away from the rig the noise disappears
  4. I've only the one bass
  5. The bass is active, and the batteries are new
So, given the wonderful information you folks provided, it seems the source of the noise is the bass.

As I am no electrician, may I ask if you know how such a thing would be fixed? MisterMikeV mentioned shielding, but I'm not completely clear on what that is. Might you folks recommend a book or website where I can study up to become familiar with all of this?

Thank you again folks,
Vittorio
 

plyall

Power User
I don't know if you characterized the noise, but if it's more like hiss it's very likely the active preamp in your bass, specifically the treble control. I have a bass that's like this, and I need to either run it passive, or really watch the treble control.

Your problem may be helped my some gating at the input stage (block).
 

skunc

Experienced
To me, this sounds very normal. If I stand in very close range of the Axe (or any guitar amp) the field of the unit is interrupted and there is extra noise until I back away about 2’.
 

VittorioAngelo

Inspired
Hello Folks;

My apologies for disappearing.

Thank you all, very much, for your knowledge I very much appreciated it.

I've spent a good deal of time hunting down noise, re-arranging gear, and moving my rig around the house. My conclusion is: I've got noise, and there's not a lot I can do about it. The best solution I've found is to keep the bass as far away from my Fractal and Macbook Pro as I can.

Knowing that sometimes I gotta belly up to my gear, here's how I'm addressing the problem:
  1. I bought a speaker stand to place the Fractal unit on. I lowered the Fractal unit so that the electronics on my bass don't get too close to the screen.
  2. Put my laptop on a laptop stand on top of the Fractal, to prevent the electronics on my bass from getting too close to my laptop.
Here are some more details, in the hopes that y'all will find it useful.

I've three sources of noise:
  1. My laptop screen
  2. The Fractal screen
  3. An annoying grounding buzz that mostly goes away when I touch the strings or the electronics on the bass
So, as long as I'm touching my bass and the bass' electronics don't get too close to the Fractal screen or the the laptop screen, I'm good.

I also find that the more activity on either the Fractal screen or the laptop screen, the more noise my bass electronics pick up and re-broadcast into the signal chain.

Here are some of the experiments I've run to deal with the noise:
  1. Routed audio as such: Fractal -> Ableton running a noise filter plugin -> Fractal
    I tried every noise filter plugin I could trial. Some worked better than others, but all took the meat out of my tone.
    I could find no good way to bolster my tone once it returned to the Fractal.
  2. In the Fractal, used a Crossover block to split the noisy signal out to the right channel. I then ran the right channel through Ableton to filter out the noise.
    In this case, whilst the left channel with the lower frequencies was good, the upper frequencies again were badly abused by the noise filter plugins
  3. In the Fractal, used a Crossover block to split the noise signal out the the right channel and try used a Parametric EQ to lessen the noise presence.
    This was a better solution sonically. However, the removal of the high end was not to my taste. This approach may work for you
  4. Used a multi-band compressor to filter out the noise in the higher end of the spectrum.
    This didn't work as well as using a Parametric EQ and a Crossover block, but could work for light amounts of noise
  5. Used two filter blocks in parallel to separate the low frequencies, and the noisy upper frequencies
    This didn't work very well at all. I could not fashion a sharp enough slope between the lower and upper frequencies to provide a decent tone
  6. Using the Tone Matching block, I created an IR of the noise sound and then loaded that IR into the Cab block.
    This was the "mad scientist" approach. I was hoping by swapping the phase of the IR I might be able to affect some "subtractive convolution" - if such a thing exists. It didn't work at all.
So, again, my best solution is to keep the electronics of my bass as far away from the Fractal screen and the laptop screen as possible.

It's not perfect, but at least it's the cheapest solution.

Vittorio
 
Last edited:

Rex

Legend!
Hello Folks;

My apologies for disappearing.

Thank you all, very much, for your knowledge I very much appreciated it.

I've spent a good deal of time hunting down noise, re-arranging gear, and moving my rig around the house. My conclusion is: I've got noise, and there's not a lot I can do about it. The best solution I've found is to keep the bass as far away from my Fractal and Macbook Pro as I can.

Knowing that sometimes I gotta belly up to my gear, here's how I'm addressing the problem:
  1. I bought a speaker stand to place the Fractal unit on. I lowered the Fractal unit so that the electronics on my bass don't get too close to the screen.
  2. Put my laptop on a laptop stand on top of the Fractal, to prevent the electronics on my bass from getting too close to my laptop.
Here are some more details, in the hopes that y'all will find it useful.

I've three sources of noise:
  1. My laptop screen
  2. The Fractal screen
  3. An annoying grounding buzz that mostly goes away when I touch the strings or the electronics on the bass
So, as long as I'm touching my bass and the bass' electronics don't get too close to the Fractal screen or the the laptop screen, I'm good.

I also find that the more activity on either the Fractal screen or the laptop screen, the more noise my bass electronics pick up and re-broadcast into the signal chain.

Here are some of the experiments I've run to deal with the noise:
  1. Routed audio as such: Fractal -> Ableton running a noise filter plugin -> Fractal
    I tried every noise filter plugin I could trial. Some worked better than others, but all took the meat out of my tone.
    I could find no good way to bolster my tone once it returned to the Fractal.
  2. In the Fractal, used a Crossover block to split the noisy signal out to the right channel. I then ran the right channel through Ableton to filter out the noise.
    In this case, whilst the left channel with the lower frequencies was good, the upper frequencies again were badly abused by the noise filter plugins
  3. In the Fractal, used a Crossover block to split the noise signal out the the right channel and try used a Parametric EQ to lessen the noise presence.
    This was a better solution sonically. However, the removal of the high end was not to my taste. This approach may work for you
  4. Used a multi-band compressor to filter out the noise in the higher end of the spectrum.
    This didn't work as well as using a Parametric EQ and a Crossover block, but could work for light amounts of noise
  5. Used two filter blocks in parallel to separate the low frequencies, and the noisy upper frequencies
    This didn't work very well at all. I could not fashion a sharp enough slope between the lower and upper frequencies to provide a decent tone
  6. Using the Tone Matching block, I created an IR of the noise sound and then loaded that IR into the Cab block.
    This was the "mad scientist" approach. I was hoping by swapping the phase of the IR I might be able to affect some "subtractive convolution" - if such a thing exists. It didn't work at all.
So, again, my best solution is to keep the electronics of my bass as far away from the Fractal screen and the laptop screen as possible.

It's not perfect, but at least it's the cheapest solution.

Vittorio
If touching your strings makes the noise go away, you may have a disconnected ground wire in your bass, probably at the bridge.
 
Last edited:
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