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pedal routing...PLEASE HELP

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by colind1986, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. colind1986

    colind1986 Guest

    ok, after looking around on here to see if any one else is having the same problems as me, i reliese my problems seems very amature, but then who else to ask then the people who's knowledge is on the professional level.
    my problem is fx related, in that i use a number of small fx boxes and i seemed to have gained a very annoying hum/buzz thro my amp.
    the ex/amp im using are as follows....
    boss noise suppresor ns2
    boss tuner tu2
    boss chorus ch5
    boss compressor sustainer cs3
    boss digital delay dd6
    dunlop jimi hendrix wah
    digitech whammy
    and im going into ibanez tbh 100 watt head, which i use the distortion and clean channel on. im using a simple power supply picked up from a electrical goods store (one of these simple ones that u choose the voltage and you have lil head you can change to suit the size of the power inlet) with a little power splitter from ebay to feed all pedals with one power supply and cheap connector leads also brought from ebay, i have been looking around for advice on routing them and so far im going...
    ns 2, tu2, wah, ch5, cs3, whammy, then from my nsr2 im going into dd6 as told by instructions. now i have an fx loop on my amp, but i dont know if its better to run all fx thro or just a few n keep some between the guitar and amp, if thats the case what do i keep where, like i said its a very amature question but its been driving me mad. every gig i do i have to hit the ns2 to kill any annoying buzz/hum battering the crowed between songs, can some one please help me????
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    "....i use a number of small fx boxes...." 7 boxes is not a small number. They all suck signal, and are all capable of generating noise. Do you really NEED all those? Everything that gets plugged in is another potential point of noise and tone-suck. First...unplug the tuner. It's easy enough to reach down and unplug from the effects input to plug into a tuner. Get that outta there. If you need it often, figure out why your guitar needs to be tuned so often.

    General placement for guitar effects: Wha, distortion, compressor (or swapped...see below), noise reduction, reverbs and other time-delay pedals.

    First three:
    Wha, distortion and compressor.
    Actually, you can get different sounds depending on the order on these. For instance, as listed, the wha will affect the distortion differently than if the distortion was first.
    If you put the compressor first, it'll even out your immediate guitar sound, but may cause your distortion and wha to be less affected.
    If you put the compressor between the wha and distortion, it'll create an even different playability factor.
    Of course, the compressor last in this chain may bring up noise along with signal...it's job is to bring up low-levels and bring down higher levels...so you may be boosting everything before it.
    Try it different ways, and you'll see what I mean.

    Personally, I use wha, distortion, then compressor only on slide. Others may do different.

    You don't want a noise suppressor going after time-delayed effects such as reverb or delay. It'll cut off the ends. So noise suppressor would go next.

    Chorus, delays and reverbs can go next.

    As far as effects loops, you may want to go Wha and Digitech Whammy (if not using delay...), and any distortion/overdrive into amp input. Run chorus and delays through effects loop. You may not need the noise supressor now, but if so, it's probably at the input of the amp.

    You need to check your power supply to see that it's beefy enough for all those pedals. What's the output amperage rating on that thing? Also, a cheap supply may introduce noise of its own. How noisy is your rig with ALL pedals running off fresh batteries, and not plugged into a power supply? Are you using decent cables? Bad cables can add noise. Which effect is so noisy? Pull each out, one at a time, to see where the most noisy pedal is.

    Do some of these experiments, and see what happens.

  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    ""....i use a number of small fx boxes...." 7 boxes is not a small number."

    Just to point out, (I made this mistake too) it says a number of small boxes. Not a box of small numbers, or a small box of numbers, or anything like that. A number of small boxes.
  4. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    KK gives you good advice.

    I would try this at first:

    guitar ->
    noise suppresor ->

    into front of the amp

    amp send:


    to amp return.

    Also, sufficient and ground loop free power + good cables.
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    The important part is testing to see what's making the noise.

    It's only possible by a process of elimination. It could be one thing or a combo.

    Test test test test test test test.

    Find out what what works for you, try these suggestions then try _everything_ else you can possibly do.
  6. colind1986

    colind1986 Guest

    cheers 4 the advice guys, been a big help, but im using the distortion pre built on the amp, so only using a footswitch to change between clean n distortion, but would this make things more easier where i dont actually use a distortion pedal or could a distortion pedal ie sd1 work 2 my advantage?
  7. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    I mentioned the (distortion) as optional (for more gain/drive).

    The noise suppressor should be placed after the noisiest pedal/stage, that is usually after OD/distortion/booster/preamp.

    If the amp's loop is SERIAL, place the NS there as first in the loop chain.
  8. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Yes, and maybe. If the preamp section is generating a lot of that noise itself in hi-gain, then yes. (Serial effects loop goes from OUT of preamp to IN of power amp, usually). If, however, something at the input of the amp is generating that noise, then the preamp amplifies it. If the preamp itself is relatively noise-free, then you may try putting the NS last in the chain before the amp input. The noise will still get through when the gate is opened, but may be masked by the signal while playing, and not having a sustained distortion may allow it to open and close more gently, instead of stuttering at the end of held notes/chords. If a pedal at the input is adding noise to a noisy preamp, and the NS is after the preamp, then the NS is going to have to work even harder, and likely not work as smoothly.

    Still, the best thing is to find out exactly what is so noisy, and fix it, eliminate it, or try something different.

  9. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Well said KK.

    I would add that I don't think his pedals are problematic. It's more related to:

    1. pick ups
    2. preamp itself
    3. power/cables
  10. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    The article in Premier Guitar this month in the stomp box column sez:
    " If the pedal(s) is passing signal and works properly, but seems unusually noisy, there are a number of things that could be causing the problem. First, check the power supply. Using the wrong power supply can cause noise and hum, and can damage your pedal. A generic power supply like you would find at Radio Shack should never be used with pedals. You need one designed for effects, one that is both regulated (voltage does not drift) and filtered (no noise from the AC line.)"
    Another tip for checking pedal noise I thought was interesting in the article was to set the pedals to unity gain (where the pedal is not boosting any gain when on or off) as this can boost noise that is generated prior to the pedal and turn the guitar volume all the way down, so as to not introduce pick up noise.
    If you are experiencing hum (low frequency) it is most likely the power supply or the pick ups.

    But this is the advice you have already recieved, checking with fresh batteries as KK suggested is the place to start.
  11. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Moderator Resource Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    I would agree 100% with KK. The thing that caught my eye was the cheapo power supply. If you add up the power requirements ( expressed in watts or milliamps ) your total might be more than the power supply can handle. If the power supply can't keep up it will basically 'brown out' all the devices and bring them all down - like running them on a 9-volt battery that's down to 7 volts.

    Cables, and physical location of the power supply can induce hum too. I think you've gotten excellent advice from the Kap'n. and Groff.
  12. colind1986

    colind1986 Guest

    cheers 4 all ur help n advice on this guys, been asking round with fellow muscian's, producers n people to claim to have knowledge on this subject but they all seem 2 b clueless, so yeah cheers guys
  13. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    KK hit the nail on the head with your signal flow. Check into the Pedal Power by Voodoo Labs for your power needs, it works quite well.

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