bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

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Giacomo17
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:07 pm

bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by Giacomo17 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:49 pm

Hi again errbody.

So I'm working on sending my bass guitar through ableton, so I can loop it along with everything else in ableton. But with how I've got it connected right now, it makes a fairly ridiculously loud buzzing sound out of the PA. not humming, like you get from guitar amps when they're turned on. but the kind of annoying buzzing you get when a cord isn't connected right. Here's my setup for it:

Bass guitar (passive pickups for now. Has active, but no battery for it right now) > passive DI > preamp input on Motu ultralite audio interface > Ableton Live > audio interface > PA

I've also got a mic hooked up to the audio interface's other preamp input. and I've got a banjo going through as well, using a fishman preamp to go into one of the audio interface's line level inputs.

*I know the buzzing sound is from the bass signal though, because it stops when I deactivate/mute the bass track in ableton*

maybe I need to stick a battery in the bass guitar, to use its active pickups instead? is the signal somehow being read as having a disconnect when I use a passive pickup system with the preamp? because there's no buzz with banjo, which has a battery running its pickup.

any help, Loved, appreciated, admired. :) thanks folks! be well!

H20nly
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Location: The Wild West

Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by H20nly » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:25 pm

i struggled with this a lot some years ago... i eventually just accepted a certain amount of it as... just the way it is.

one thing that could be interfering is the wiring in your house/apartment/warehouse or wherever you are using Live. i actually run my wires through a UPS battery backup unit because it doesn't just protect from surges and provide enough juice to turn things off in an electrical outage. it also cleans the electricity going into it... so the juice your computer, soundcard, etc. get has now been conditioned and is being fed to those devices at a constant rate. it cleans up a lot of the noise and it makes your equipment last longer.

just a thought.

i realize that you said that the banjo works well, but that could be due to the wiring in the bass vs. that of the banjo too.

anyway, good luck fixing it... i even bought a new bass for our bass player and eventually one for myself plus cables, a Presonus pre-amp, a new soundcard, and DI box all in the quest to shut it the hell up. this all started in Cubase SX3 and diminished through Live 6 and 7. their seemed to be no one complete solution but it helped me find lots of little things that also help to clean up my rig.

on a happier note... you could never tell when the bass was being played :| :x :wink:

peace,
H

fishmonkey
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Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:15 am

is the buzz louder when you aren't touching the strings?

Giacomo17
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:07 pm

Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by Giacomo17 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:06 pm

Hey fish monkey. Yes, the buzz is slightly louder when I touch the strings.


But today I woke up, to find this signal chain now has perhaps the most bizarre issue I've ever come across. Its picking up a smooth jazz radio station and sending it out my PA. What in the gadzooks? The laptop has nothing else besides DAW stuff running, and it's not connected to the Internet. When I mute the track, the station turns off with it. So I know it's coming from the bass guitars track. Also, when I remove my bass guitars external fx board from the chain, the station AND the a lot of the buzz go away. I guess that's a half decent fix on my original issue. But I'm just curious now how it picked up a radio station!

Any ideas folks??? Again most bizarre issue ever for me.

H20nly
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Location: The Wild West

Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by H20nly » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:46 am

Wild.

Is the plug grounded?

fishmonkey
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Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:55 am

so the bass is pretty quiet without the effects board?

how is the effects board powered? batteries or from mains adaptors? if it's mains do you have all the connected equipment on the same mains outlet?

actually picking up radio stations isn't that unusual, it just means that the circuits are susceptible to radio frequency interference...

Giacomo17
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:07 pm

Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by Giacomo17 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:26 pm

Thanks for the insight fishmonkey. Yes, everything is connected to a single surge protector/power strip. Think the power strip is bad?

fishmonkey
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Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:58 pm

it's probably not the power board. is the buzz and radio still there if the guitar is unplugged from the effects board?

Z3NO
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Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by Z3NO » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:48 am

Just use an Active DI, preferably with an 'earth lift' switch. That should get rid of your buzz (and radio interference too).

Dragonbreath
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Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by Dragonbreath » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:16 pm

Hi,

Did you try putting a battery in your bass?
Because a Bass with active pickup with no battert does not make it passive. If you have active pick ups in your bass you NEED to have a bettery or you WILL have loads of buzz!

Giacomo17
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:07 pm

Re: bass guitar signal chain making making buzz?

Post by Giacomo17 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:16 pm

Dragon Breath, my bass guitar has BOTH active and passive pickups, so when the active's battery dies, you hit a switch and it becomes passive.

Fishmonkey, the buzz would most likely still be there with the bass unplugged. The kind of buzz I'm talking about is the buzz you get when you have your PA on and your guitar's signal chain hooked up to it, but don't have the guitar plugged into it yet.

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