Humming noise

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mrgorilla
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:51 am

Re: Humming noise

Postby mrgorilla » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:57 am

But obviously they tested the product prior to releasing it... So they either knew about this in advanced, or there are only certain types of guitars that do this... I.e acoustic guitars... In the demo video they have some dude demoing with an electric. Me personally, I have been using the softstep full throttle without the lights. I just would like to eventually use them (even if I have to get a different guitar)

In addition, Keith emailed me personally saying other people have successfully fixed the issue. When I asked if he could connect me with folks who have done such, I never got a response. The KMI staff has practically blacklisted me. They don't respond to any of my emails or direct messages on this board.

All I ever asked was what kind of guitar works, and who can I speak with that has successfully fixed the problem.

I'm not upset, but just surprised because I am being purposefully ignores.

They have a great product, and I even got a quneo. Just wish there was a little more professionalism on their end. I completely understand they are a small operation, but a simple response isn't much to ask for.
NoFi
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:15 pm

Re: Humming noise

Postby NoFi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:29 am

- i agree the product should never have been released that way or at least with a specific warning about not being able to use the lighting with electric guitars (unless you put a grounded jack in your sock to ground your body -thus successively fixing the issue- i guess, in KMI world).

- i agree about the shady sales tactics/false promisses KMI has been making since day one. I can tell you about the stringport i purchased in 2009 on the written premiss a driver would be released for windows ...

- i agree they have promising products and need to get things right before they make too many angry customers, i can only hope the recent survey announcement will be a "solidstep" in the right direction, but since i don't really trust them anymore, i'll just wait and see.
dantinquist
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:19 pm

Re: Humming noise

Postby dantinquist » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:28 pm

I didn't read all of the posts, but I was having the same issue with my Thinline Tele. A buddy was telling me it's not necessarily the guitar itself but the type of pickups installed. I think he said (and I could be totally off) if it's not a single-coil pickup, the issue should resolve itself. But mine buzzed without the backlights on…cuz I can't figure out how to turn them on. That or they didn't work out of the box…either way I'm with you on wanting some backlights.
Stew
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:12 am

Re: Humming noise

Postby Stew » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:35 pm

Wonder if anyone has tried something like this:
http://www.wickeddigital.com.au/firestone-audio-greenkey-usb-isolator :?:

Have been having some hum issues with a secondary audio interface (cheapy USB one) causing noise to be induced on my DigiTech FX board (also connected by USB).

Have some playing around to do to see if there is a way to isolate them from each other using different ports or hubs or whatever but if not I'm going to spring for one of these things. Probably this one cause it's cheaper and I'm in Aus: http://www.dontronics-shop.com/usb-iso-low-full-speed-usb-isolator.html

If there is noise on the USB line coming from SS and that is what is getting recorded/heard via the soundcard then this SHOULD fix it (in theory). If the noise is getting picked up by your guitar pickups it wont, but I wonder if that is the problem for some people as it sounds like there are plenty of people who are using SS with humbucker guitars and still getting noise problems.

Anyway, for under AUS$50 it might be worth a shot.
Peace,
chumbo
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:50 am

Re: Humming noise

Postby chumbo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:57 am

Very interesting discovery! I hope it will solve the problem for you but I for one don't want to have to pay extra to fix a problem that shouldn't exist to the extent it does currently. Most of theses USB isolators are meant for audiophiles and professional sound engineers and are meant to improve the sound quality by remove jitter and other USB power related problems, and not primarly to address the major hum we get from the Softstep. If everyone with the problem started buying USB isolators, we'd be basically letting Keith McMillen of the hook for solving this problem (boy, he'd be happy if that happened!).

Still, do report back, I'd be really curious to see if it works! And for other non Australians interested in a cheap alternative to the smaller and more elegant Firestone device posted by Stew, I found this on ebay: http://www.befr.ebay.be/itm/3000V-Electrical-USB-Magnetic-Isolator-Computer-Prevent-Power-surges-Damaged-/400440734061?pt=AU_B_I_Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item5d3c20b16d
Steve StLaurent
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Humming noise

Postby Steve StLaurent » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:01 pm

Thank God I found this thread! I've had the softstep for about a year and love it. Last summer I modified a Les Paul copy with a custom wiring harness with Jimmy Page style mods and SD Pearly Gates pickups (Humbuckers). The JP mod to the LP uses four push pull pots to allow you to split either pickup, and to have them be in series or parallel, and out of phase. That adds a LOT of wire in the guitar. Well, when I got it all put together I had a HORRIFIC hum - that I hadn't had with any of my other guitars (a coupe starts, and a tele). I ended up shipping the guitar to the guy who made the harness for me. Got it back recently and I still had the bad hum. I checked online for solutions and checked everything on the guitar that I could and couldn't find any issues - everything is ground (verified with a VOM). So I started messing with my audio rack. Here is a picture of my setup:

Image

I found that the problem was coming from the SoftStep. If I picked up the softstep and got it near the guitar the noise greatly increased. I have a number of USB devices (Line6 Pod HD500, Zoom B9.1ut, Behringer X1204USB mixer, SoftStep) - they were all plugged into a powered USB hub. I tried hooking up the Softstep in a number of different ways - with a shielded USB with ferrite chokes (along with all the other USB cables I have on hand), running it through the powered hub, connecting it direct to the Macbook Pro, having it be the only device plugged into the MacBook, running the Macbook on battery (not plugged into AC), etc. No matter what I did as soon as the SoftStep was powered up I had the hum.

So I went to the McMillen site to contact support and found the forum here and searched on it and found this thread. So I went in and turned off the EL lighting - and instantly the hum was gone. So then I plugged in some of my other guitars and discovered that I had the hum with those as well if the lighting was on - it was just much less so I didn't really notice it. I was surprised because those guitars have single coils versus the dual hum buckers on the LP. The difference being the Pearly Gates are higher output coils and the LP has a LOT more wiring in it due to the Jimmy Page mods.

So the lighting will be staying off on my SoftStep. I would prefer to have the lighting on because it definitely makes it easier to use and looks great - but I can't live with the hum. Thanks for the solution to my problem - this has been a 6 month ordeal thinking it was a problem with this guitar and I was at my wits end with it.
gunboatdiplomacy
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:26 am

Re: Humming noise

Postby gunboatdiplomacy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:32 am

i'll add my experience: i had a very high pitch ground hum the other day (practicing for the first time in my new studio with SoftStep and gigging setup. at first i thought i'd screwed the the wiring for my wall sockets). but i removed my Radial Engineering J48 DI Box from the setup and the noise went away. i had already tried the ground lift on the DI box to no avail.

Guitar (Casino with Lollar p-90s) > J48 > Focusrite 8i6 (two prong plug) > Laptop (with three prong plug) > Power strip

was my original setup and the hum was their whether using my cans or my monitors. removing the DI killed the sound. It might be because the J48 requires phantom power, but for now, i'll just go without it.
adamqlw
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:11 am

Re: Humming noise

Postby adamqlw » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:10 am

gunboatdiplomacy wrote:i'll add my experience: i had a very high pitch ground hum the other day (practicing for the first time in my new studio with SoftStep and gigging setup. at first i thought i'd screwed the the wiring for my wall sockets). but i removed my Radial Engineering J48 DI Box from the setup and the noise went away. i had already tried the ground lift on the DI box to no avail.

Guitar (Casino with Lollar p-90s) > J48 > Focusrite 8i6 (two prong plug) > Laptop (with three prong plug) > Power strip

was my original setup and the hum was their whether using my cans or my monitors. removing the DI killed the sound. It might be because the J48 requires phantom power, but for now, i'll just go without it.


I'm not so sure that fixed the problem as much as it created a new one that masked it. Removing the DI box means your are sending your high impedence guitar output into a low impedence input. This has the effect of loading down the highs, which could well be masking the hum. It's also what killed the sound.

My gut feel is there is solid evidence that the backlight on the SoftStep 1 universally creates a hum that will feed into the signal chain when magnetic pickups are used. There is no isolation/earthing/anything else at play here.... Simply the interaction between the light and the pickups. My research (google-fu) into the problem suggests that the body acts as a giant antenna, which explains why the intensifies when my foot goes near the pedal and goes away when I back off. Still looking forward on a clarity on the root cause of the problem and details about trade-in/discounts on a SoftStep 2...

"If the input has too low an impedance, the most noticeable effect will be a loss of high end — in fact, even using guitar cables with too high a capacitance can audibly reduce high frequencies (see 'Impedance & Frequency Response' box for details of this effect). The sustain is also affected, giving a 'dead' sound."
crsmarker
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:38 am

Re: Humming noise

Postby crsmarker » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:23 am

I was wondering where the noise was coming from. I have a motu pre8 firewire or an m-audio ozonic into macbook pro mavricks ableton live 9.1. Even with nothing is plugged in I get noise. The quneo makes noise too. Not the Push though. I am working on Windows 8 now for experimental reasons so I have this on a back burner at the moment.
Steve StLaurent
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Humming noise

Postby Steve StLaurent » Sun May 18, 2014 12:55 pm

FWIW - I took advantage of the SS1-SS2 upgrade program and have had the SS2 for about 2 weeks now. Works perfectly - solved the humming issue 100% even with the backlighting on.

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