It’s been quite annoying these last few months. When I’m playing, it’s not too bad because I can’t hear the hum and buzz because of the volume, but as soon as I stop playing it sounds as though I’m in the middle of a lightsaber duel!
Well, last night I discovered for sure what the problem was. And it wasn’t my cables, which is what I’d previously thought. I tried three different cables (one own-brand from SoundControl, two Whirlwinds — which are my cables of choice) and it didn’t make one iota of a difference: I still buzzed.
Until the stage lights went off.
Where I am standing on stage is next to a wall, behind which is a huge electrical something that powers the stage lighting. When the lights went off my non-playing sound was remarkably quiet. I mentioned this to Richard, our extraordinary sound desk guy, and said that I was going to build a giant wall of ton foil. “That’s no make any difference,” he said, “you need a noise gate.” A noise gate! Fantastic! Now I know.
I also knew that my Vox AD50VT amp has a built-in noise gate, but embarrasingly at the time I didn’t know how to activate it, because it’s still quite new. (I’ve since read reviews at Harmony Central that don’t really rate the built-in noise gate.
The BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor, however, are glowing. But can I find one for sale in Edinburgh?
So, I’m going to see if I can convince my Digitech GNX2 multi-effects pedal board to be a mono-effects pedal board for this evening. Off to change three sets of strings now, over lunch.