Background noise problem

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  dotnet555 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #2994

    dotnet555
    Participant

    Hi, I bought an Owl Pedal in June 2017.
    I have tried it for several weeks and wanted to ask for clarification about a constant background noise that occurs when the pedal is working. In fact, it produces a background noise that makes very annoying to use the pedal, and happens either when used alone or in a pedal chain.
    This happens with any preset, but it is emphasized with distortion/overdrive effects.
    It occurs either when it is powered by PC (USB), by DC (9v, 300 mA isolated), and even when powered via USB (plug to USB, 2000 mA).
    I would like to know if maybe it can be a problem of my pedal, or if this is an expected behaviour.

    Thanks.

    #2995

    dotnet555
    Participant

    I can send you video/audio of the pedal, if it can be useful.

    #2996

    Martin Klang
    Keymaster

    Hi there!

    The noise floor of the OWL relative to the signal level should be very low. I recently measured the Signal to Noise ratio on a Rohde & Schwarz Audio Analyzer to be -97dB on an OWL pedal.
    What sensitivity setting do you use, High, Medium or Low? What does your signal chain look like?

    The main things that can cause bad hum or noise are
    1) signal levels: too hot, causing clipping, or too low, needing more gain later in the chain which brings up the noise floor
    2) noisy power supply, but is sounds like you’ve tried a few different options already
    3) ground loops: is the amp plugged in to the same power socket, or could there be a long earth loop? Sometimes when using an audio i/f, doing a round trip (e.g. computer to pedals to computer) can cause lots of hummm.

    Things to try are: use the OwlControl app to experiment with different gain/sensitivity settings, turn the levels going into the pedal/s up/down, try connecting everything to the same power socket, or try a ‘ground lift’ on the amp/output if it has it.

    hth,

    Martin

    #3011

    dotnet555
    Participant

    Ok, thanks for the answer.
    I did several attempts, trying to configure through the program via USB. I managed to get a sound more than usable on some effects, but not on others. For example, the background sound in effect like FreeVerb is much less than the noise under the Jot Reverb.

    Regarding signal levels, I’m using a custom configuration with about output on -11, that seems to reduce background noise (and +10.5 on input, but I hear no difference even if I put it to +0).
    Using the USB powe, instead of the 300mA power makes a little more noise reduction, but not a meaningful one.

    Unfortunately, the amplifier does not have any ground lift input / output, and I confirm that the background sound is present, whether I connect it to the same power socket or connect the amplifier and the pedal to two separate power sockets.

    So, I managed to get a good sound, but only with some effects, but I wasn’t able to completely elimiate the background noise, but only to attenuate it.
    (Note: the Owl noise is still higher than the background noise of my whole pedal chain without the Owl.)

    Tell me if I you need any more information.
    Thanks.

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