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Zak Tozer

Noise gate...

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I get some humming and buzzing from my neck pickup, and I'm also getting some new pedals soon which might create more buzz so have been thinking about getting a noise gate.

A guitarist friend of mine recently got a Joyo JF-31 and I just loved the simplicity of it and they are real cheap too, but I don't know how well it'd work on bass so have been trying to find out and can't find anything really about them being used on bass...

I've read that some bassists strongly dislike noise gates and have noticed that they aren't on many bassists pedal boards so was just wondering what you people think about them. Will I lose some clarity or low end? Are there better ones for bass or do they all work the same? Does anyone else use one? If so what one do you use?

Please let me know!

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You get a buzz from the neck pickup but not the bridge? Something is wrong there, I'd get your bass looked at before you buy any pedals

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Yeah, don't know why but I do... Ideally I want to get new pickups fitted but looked into that and it is pretty costly so a noise gate seems like a pretty cheap fix, although obviously it doesn't fix the problem, just hides it...

Fyi, the neck pickup is an active jazz bass neck pickup (although my bass is not a J), so if you know of any nice ones for a decent price that I could replace it with, please let me know, I would appreciate it.

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Noise gates main application on bass (other than indirectly fixing a problem with buzzing/hum from power supplies/dodgy wiring) is really to stop fuzz/distortion from buzzing away whilst you arent playing, but still letting you crank up the gain for some nice woolly warmness when you are. Whilst i dont see a lot of stand alone noise gates on boards, i do often see gated fuzz's and the like (a fuzz with a noise gate built afterwards).

The only other application i could really think of for a gate is to put it after a 'verb, like used on the snare in collins "in the air tonight".

edit: tonyquipment beat me too it by seconds with the fuzz explanation.

Edited by elephantgrey

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"noise gate" is a bit misleading really. A gate is the opposite of a limiter. Once your signal falls below a given threshold it will cut to silence. Great for stopping feedback from very high gain pedals, and likewise will get rid of the hiss from high gain pedals in between notes. However, if your pickup hums, it will hum while you play, and a gate won't solve it.

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Thanks guys. I have an EBS multicomp compressor which with the gain and compression up really high makes a small amount of noise, my other pedals don't make much but I am getting a few more soon which may... but I don't know yet.


In regards to my neck pickup it is only a small amount of hum, it's not a major issue just mainly annoys me when I'm practicing in my room...

Does anyone have any suggestions on active jazz neck pickups?


And does anyone have any experience with JOYO JF-31 noise gate or know of/use any other cheap alternatives?

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A noise gate is NOT a magical cure for noise in your rig. It will only stop the noise when you STOP playing.

"Noise gate" is actually quite an appropriate name for this device, it's just that lots of people assume it does more than it actually does.

When the signal coming into the noise gate rises above a preset level (the "threshold") then the gate opens and the device lets all the signal through so that it is effectively transparent (i.e. doing nothing).

When the signal coming into the noise gate drops below the preset level then the gate closes and no sound is allowed through.

You place the noise gate at the END of your signal chain AFTER all the noise generating components. You generally only notice low level noise, hums and buzzes when you stop playing so you set the noise gate threshold at the point where your bass signal dies away to nothing.... and at that point the gate closes and you have silence. As soon as you play a note, the signal rises above the threshold and the sound comes through.

All the noise is still present when you are playing, but hopefully you won't hear it above your playing.

If you set the threshold too high then when you play a long, sustained note it will suddenly cutoff as the signal drops below the threshold. If you set it too low then the noise takes over as your long sustained notes die away.

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Have you checked the neck p'up shielding? Might help. As far as effects pedal solutions go would the EHX HumDebugger not be a better option than a noise gate?

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Thanks cheddatom.

BOD2 - I don't notice the hum when I'm playing it's just between playing. Thank you for the explanation :)

d-basser - What's the neck p'up shielding? and that Hum DeBugger looks great, not seen those before. Only thing is, they're a little pricey compared to the simple JOYO noise gate I've been looking at. Does the Hum DeBugger stop the hum even when you're playing as well? (unlike a noise gate would?)

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never heard of the hum debugger before!

If you're not sure about sheilding it might be worth taking it in to a guitar shop to get them to check the electrics. It's probably something simple and they'll fix it for 10-20 quid, then you won't need any pedals!

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I've never really been convinced of the merits of a noise gate... surely once a signal loud enough to open the gate passes through all the hiss comes through as well? so it's only really getting rid of hiss when your not playing any notes?

Or have I got that wrong?

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1397032274' post='2419831']
so it's only really getting rid of hiss when your not playing any notes?
[/quote]

Exactly this. When your not playing is when noise is more noticeable though. As said above though, your probably better off fixing hum if its a power/technical fault, and using a gate for things like noisy fuzz's and after a 'verb.

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My guitarist uses a Decimetre pedal, kills everything (background hum and hiss) and doesn't really have much effect of your sound. I use a Boss (cause I'm poor) and it cuts out any unwanted noise for me but I don't use really noisy pedals and I use a really good power noiseless power supply, Diago.

Edited by Reversebird

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