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buzzing noise

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:10 pm
by andycopeman
Hi again.

No replies from my previous post yet, nor from KMI support on the same question. I guess I must just be patient.

New one ...

I have a loud buzzing noise when using the softstep. It gets louder when I put my foot near or on the unit, although it's there all the time. It's really annoying, and if I'd known about it I would not have bought the unit.

Initially I thought it might just have been an earth loop as this is mentioned in the manual ... but I run the device through a powered USB hub, along with three other midi/usb devices, and they are effectively in a star configuration, so I don't see how there can be an earth loop issue.

Yesterday I turned off my monitors, shut down my computer (Mac Book Pro) and disconnected the hub from the computer, and noticed that I could still hear the buzzing. It is actually physical vibration noise coming from the softstep.

Has anyone else noticed this? is there a solution? Is it still an earth loop? Do I have a faulty softstep?

Any help much appreciated.



Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:59 pm
by mrgorilla
check out the thread I started.


I started wondering if since I have a macbook, and that my softstep and my interface run through usb (interface is powered by external), if this is causing. I think my interface can be bus powered if I use firewire. I am going to try with another computer soon since I don't have firewire.

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:06 am
by wasi

I noticed the same problem and shutting off the backlights stopped it in it's tracks. It's not a classic ground loop (wrong frequency), and the fact that it gets stronger as you bring your foot closer to the softstep (no need to touch it) would indicate so as well. Plugging the interface and the softstep into the same - externally powered and grounded - USB hub stops the buzzing for me it as long as I touch my guitar.

IMHO it's not a classic grounding issue, but rather electromagnetic interference from the LEDs (or whatever it is) that do the backlighting, like standing in front of an old CRT monitor. What we are hearing is the frequency of the light emitted by the backlight and as you bring your foot closer to the softstep, it's inducing electromagnetic interference on your body, creating a field difference between you and the guitar, making the pickups transmit the (180° phase shifted) buzz.

Now, with everything in the same powered hub, if I put my guitar far away, the hum is almost inaudible, but if I keep my foot on over the softstep and reach for my guitar, the closer I get, the louder the buzz gets, until I touch the guitar, at which point it goes away.

Putting my interface and the softstep on the same hub and powering that hub externally aolved it for me. I may have to add though that I'm using the hub on my old Dell monitor, which has a three-prong grounded power chord. I'm a little worried a non-grounded hub power supply may not have that effect? We'll see...

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:46 am
by TomSwirly
Just as a data point, I get a tiny, tiny buzzing in my home studio and I don't have a guitar or any electric instrument or amplifier hooked in.

It's definitely the EL backlighting - in fact, I only notice it when I start turning the EL lighting off and on.

It's waaay down there, at least 60dB down, and it doesn't appear to happen within the computer - my outputs can be putting out digital 0s and I'll still hear this.

The powered USB hub is a great way to go, you should be doing that anyway if you have more than one device on your USB hub and you're playing out...

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:40 am
by DaveDraper
As a guitar player I'm resigned to having the lights OFF at all times, BUT....I'm building myself a new guitar at the moment, & I'm going to make damned sure that it is THOROUGHLY and effectively earthed. We'll see :)

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:43 pm
by mehrdadp
How do you turn off the backlights?

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:18 am
by DaveDraper
open settings -> el on/off, under the main table

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:24 am
by mrgorilla
DaveDraper wrote:open settings -> el on/off, under the main table

Dave, you get your new guitar to work?

Re: buzzing noise

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:09 am
by DaveDraper
Er..belatedly, yes thanks (don't check this forum very often!) - the guitar works, nicely earthed, humbucking etc.
But I've still got the SS buzzing noize ('til I switch the lights off).
The annoying thing is that I've got it to remember to switch off the lights when I plug it in, but that comes at the price of a saved 'scene'. I just want the 'INIT' setting so it sends out raw CC data; you can't save that with 'lights off' it seems.