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Noise / Whine / Hiss

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  • Noise / Whine / Hiss

    Trying to diagnose noise in my new setup and finally realized, it's the voiceprint alone. With no guitar hooked up, even in bypass, with its own power supply or with an isolated supply brick, it makes a high pitched whine & noise. When you turn the volume all the way down the noise part of it goes away but the electronic whine remains.

    I thought this was a grounding issue with my amp, or something else, but I have now tried it straight into a DAW and there is no doubt, this is a sound the pedal makes on its own. Both the DI and 1/4" outs are the same.

    Just to eliminate some questions - yes I have tried it without the laptop power supply, I have tried other pedals into the interface without this sound, etc. It seems other people here have heard the same thing and attributed it to other things, but mine definitely is making noise on its own.

    VPDI > Focusrite Scarlett > Macbook Pro.

    I have another interface and other things to try it with, but this method means the only thing plugged into the wall at all is the VPDI, so there is no chance of it being anything else.

    Has anyone experiences this / found a solution? Thanks!

  • #2
    Have you tried the same setup in another room, or in another house? Just to eliminate house power etc.


    • #3
      I've used it live a couple times, and the engineer told me there was some noise but I thought it could be many things. If this pedal alone though is sensitive to house power in a way that produces a high pitched hiss/whine - I won't be able to control the power situation everywhere I go, so switching buildings isn't really an easy workaround ha.

      The capabilities of this thing are just awesome, I just hope there's a way to get rid of the internal noise I'm getting.


      • #4
        see other posts of the same. Bluetooth I think.


        Last edited by ammaclean; 07-24-2021, 09:04 AM. Reason: Added previous threads


        • #5
          Yeah I wouldn't doubt that might be it, as there are some digital interruptions to the noise, and when you do certain things with the app, you can hear it in the noise.


          • #6
            Check the audio file in the link. Are these the notes/whine you get from your pedal?

            I've turned down the output on the VPDI, as that is regular hiss.

            To get this level of whine I had to gain 50 dB (!) more than i do when playing through it. Meaning, I do not hear it when gain staging is correct on my end.

            [URL=""]VPDI with +65 dB gain[/URL]

            Hmm...the link breaks when posting..?
            Last edited by Guitarune; 07-25-2021, 07:18 AM.


            • #7
              Yep - that's the sound. I do find it to be audible when I use it. Maybe I can try boosting all my presets way up to help S/N ratio a bit.

              Side note - I have trouble figuring out what is unity on this pedal. I try and match the VP with the direct signal, and then from there I adjust presets up or down to match, but my volume knob is always maxed out. It seems to me that volume on max is like unity gain, though I wouldn't expect that to be the case.

              I'll try to put my presets at near max and see if that helps.


              • #8
                Do you have a passive pickup? When using XLR out on the VPDI, what's the gain set to on your Scarlett input?
                +15 dB seems to be a reasonable setting here (with VPDI Output at 1:30). I have an active pickup with plenty of output though.


                • #9

                  I have an Anthem SL on a Taylor. A couple resonators with magnetic pickups too, but they are actually as hot or hotter than the SL. It's less about getting it right for one setup, and more just trying to figure out how to have it ready for wherever I take it. I did plug the pedal into a true-bypass looper and it seemed like vol had to be maxed to match the loop bypass level, but I'll have to try that again.


                  • #10
                    Just to toss in my two cents, I've run into a few situations in my home studio where I've had noise issues, and adding an extra path to ground made all the difference.

                    If I record with my Scarlett 2i2 and my Macbook pro, I often get varying levels of noise in my guitar signal. What I've done to get rid of it is to add another cable that plugs into an amp (turned off) that is plugged into the wall. The added path to ground has cut down on shielding noise and interference significantly. For example, if I run the XLR from my VPDI into my interface, I'll run a 1/4" cable into my amp as well.

                    This may not make a difference here given that you've had the same issue with your amp and another PA, but it might be worth a quick test.


                    • #11
                      Hey Caleb - No luck with that. I tried it just as you mentioned, and with the (turned off) amp plugged into a different outlet, there was actually a new grounding buzz, but with it plugged into the same power strip it made no difference.

                      I put a spectrum analyzer on the track in the DAW that is receiving the direct input from the VPDI. When you click things on the Acousticlive app on the iphone you can visually see it momentarily dip/alter the profile of the noise. So I think it is likely something to do with the bluetooth.


                      • #12
                        Here is a recording of some guitar through the VPDI where you can hear the noise. At about 0:25 I turn the Vol on the VPDI all the way down, and you can see that the noise remains. Note that the guitar is about at the same level as it would be not going through the VPDI. The file has been normalized, but that's all.


                        I'm sure there are some who might say "no one will notice that in a live setting" but when it comes to unpleasant electronic sounds, I think you'd be surprised. I've had my lady hear a sound coming from a wall wart adapter that I didn't even know was making a sound. So anything that is consciously or subconsciously unpleasant like that, I don't like to underestimate.
                        Last edited by ej504; 07-26-2021, 02:43 PM. Reason: edited link


                        • #13
                          Yeah, I hear it's the same F# that's the dominant whine in yours too :-D

                          However, I'm curious about what the gain is set to on your Scarlett.
                          As I said, for a good signal I have to set gain to +15 dB on my interface (using XLR, and VP volume knob at 1:30). I can not hear this whine at that setting, as it's too weak.

                          I could easily hear the wine in you recording though, and it's way beyond "no one will notice"! However true that may be in a live setting :-D


                          • #14
                            I listened to it once through at a normal volume and didn't really hear it. So I turned up my headphones and it was much more noticeable.

                            I'm trying to loop our engineers into this so we can figure out what's going on.


                            • #15
                              It was suggested to me to run the presets at 80-90% max gain to allow the post-pedal gain on a soundboard or the like to be lower. So I have my presets on the VPDI now at +10db rather than around 0db.. This does help a lot with the level of the noise. It would still be great if there is a fix to get rid of it altogether of course, but in the meantime this has helped.