Noise gate/noise suppressor?

Ever since I started playing louder and began stacking more pedals  I have noticed a lot of extra noise on my set up. It was manageable to a point but since I added the tube screamer it's become a big issue. I know, this is a story as old as rock and roll, but considering I spent the better part of my playing years with a guitar straight unto an amp, it wasn't something I had ever faced before.

I have been doing some research on noise gates and noise suppressors, which seem to be as necessary on extreme metal bands as EMG pickups or Mesa amps. But my approach/ interest is basically for Dino rock, with Schenker/Moore as my lead focus for solo playing and Priest/Maiden type of rhythm sounds. Helloween type power metal is the absolute top of gain I use. Ever since I got the Les Paul, I can't stop playing slow mellow melodic leads and the awesome sustain is a big part of that. I read noise gates cut a lot of sustain, which is a definite deal breaker for me.

So how do you guys deal with a noisy set up? do you have excellent muting technique? work wonders on the volume control/pedal? or do you actually use a noise supressor to keep things in control? Any opinion is welcome, of course.

Comments

  • SirionSirion Posts: 2,875
    There are a few things you can do before going for a noise gate. I am not sure if any of this is going to help in your particular case, but it might be worth considering:

    0. You might have to work on your muting technique, but you already seem to be aware of the concept, so I won't go into it in more detail here.
    1. Try to identify where the noise comes from, and speak with people who have experience with that particular piece of gear.
    2. Make sure that you are using high quality, shielded cables. If you should have some weird gear that benefits from balanced cables (my G-System does), that might be something to consider.
    3. Properly shield the guitar's electronic.
    4. If the amp, or any of the pedals you are using are old, they might benefit from having their capacitors replaced.
  • Sirion said:
    There are a few things you can do before going for a noise gate. I am not sure if any of this is going to help in your particular case, but it might be worth considering:

    0. You might have to work on your muting technique, but you already seem to be aware of the concept, so I won't go into it in more detail here.
    1. Try to identify where the noise comes from, and speak with people who have experience with that particular piece of gear.
    2. Make sure that you are using high quality, shielded cables. If you should have some weird gear that benefits from balanced cables (my G-System does), that might be something to consider.
    3. Properly shield the guitar's electronic.
    4. If the amp, or any of the pedals you are using are old, they might benefit from having their capacitors replaced.
    0. I used to have ok muting technique back when I used to play with a guy who only liked Metallica. Palm muting became second nature after that. I am way more loose now, but I never really mastered proper muting technique when soloing. I am gonna have to rework on that.

    1.I am pretty sure the noise is coming from all the pedal stacking, specially the tube screamer. I am using it as a gain boost for soloing, basically.

    2. Might have to look into the cable thing. Never really bothered with that since, as I said, I was mostly a guitar into amp type of guy for the longest time.

    3. All my guitars get the same result. I know my strat isn't shielded because I built it and I never did that, but my very original Gibsons and Charvels should be shielded and they still make noise. I will check anyway and look into shielding my strat.

    4.My amp was built in the 90's, it's one of the early Fender Hot Rod Deluxes, still built in California before they moved production to Mexico, so I am pretty sure the caps are original. Most pedals are newer, except for my crybaby and my boss chorus which look ancient. I will have to look into that.

    Thanks for your comments.
  • i used to use a Boss NS2 with my Flying V/DSL rig, and i didn’t even use that much gain.  it seemed well engineered, and certainly did its job correctly for me.
  • StitselStitsel Posts: 1,724
    Boss pedals can be noisy......but I don't think you'll have to worry too much about losing sustain with a noise gate these days, the companies have heard all those complaints & from what I gather, have greatly improved them.I'm looking at a couple of gates myself: MXR Smart Gate & ISP Decimator.....but I'm sure the Boss NS2 is great too as I've seen it on so many pedalboards......
  • Stitsel said:
    Boss pedals can be noisy......but I don't think you'll have to worry too much about losing sustain with a noise gate these days, the companies have heard all those complaints & from what I gather, have greatly improved them.I'm looking at a couple of gates myself: MXR Smart Gate & ISP Decimator.....but I'm sure the Boss NS2 is great too as I've seen it on so many pedalboards......
    I have heard great things of both the MXR and the ISP. Might go for one of those. I have only two boss pedals on my setup, which are also the only buffered pedals I have as well. The rest are all true bypass and I even had my crybaby modded for that as well. As I said, I think the main offender is the tube screamer. noise skyrockets every time I step on that thing...
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,117
    When I went through my Ibanez JEM X Mesa Mark III period I ended up using an NS2. I'm not a fan of Boss but, in all honesty, any pedal of this type will end up with the same trade off. Noise removal will cause some tone loss. There's nothing you can do about it. I tried most all of them and found price didn't really matter. The Boss NS2 sounded as good as any of the others. I bought the Boss and used it for the next 3 to 4 years.
  • i got my idea to use the NS2 because Yngwie used one at the time.  his tone did not seem to suffer much, if at all.
  • SirionSirion Posts: 2,875
    Another possible thing to look into might be ground loops, which may arise it several pedals use the same power source. In such a case, something like an EbTech Level Shifter might be worth looking into.
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,145
    Less gain. I haven't needed a noise gate in years.

    The only noise gate I've tried that actually works, is the ISP Decimator. I hate the NS2 with a vengeance.
    If your effectsloop plays nice with pedals, try a Decimator there. It'll keep your rig quiet but won't affect played notes at all.
    I ran my Decimator that way for years until I decided a little hiss was worth not having the hassle of running additional power and cables.
  • OskyOsky Posts: 842
    I've never needed one. My old Boss ME-X fx board had one built in which I experimented with but even on the lowest setting it had a negative effect on my sound especially on the quieter more subtle stuff so I never used it. That was mid 90s tech tho so they may have improved by now but if you can make your rig quiet enough without one then all the better. The only time my rig is in need of one is if I have my compressor on whilst using the gain channel, but that's once in a blue moon and I just mute or flip to a quieter setting straight after.
  • Sancho said:
    Less gain. I haven't needed a noise gate in years.

    The only noise gate I've tried that actually works, is the ISP Decimator. I hate the NS2 with a vengeance.
    If your effectsloop plays nice with pedals, try a Decimator there. It'll keep your rig quiet but won't affect played notes at all.
    I ran my Decimator that way for years until I decided a little hiss was worth not having the hassle of running additional power and cables.
    I am leaning this way. I am also considering less gain as well.

    As I said, I have come to realize that the tube screamer is the main offender. I will play with it as well to see if I can figure out a less noisy setting.
    i got my idea to use the NS2 because Yngwie used one at the time.  his tone did not seem to suffer much, if at all.
    I read an interview with Yngwie 20 years ago where he said he only used it live cause even if it affected his tone a little bit, it was worth it to avoid all the noise on stage. In the studio he never bothered with it. I never cared much for his tone after 1988 anyway...
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,406
    MXR Smart Gate works well. Supposedly the Fortin Zuul is great too. 
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