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Normal for effects processors to have more noise?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Normal for effects processors to have more noise?
I have 2 effects processors (Lexicon MX400 and Kurzweil Rumour) and it seems that there is more hiss and noise if you crank the gain WAY up. Would you say this is normal for effects to exhibit a hair bit more noise than a standalone synth? Its only when you crank the gain way up and you probably would never hear it with music. Am I just being crazy?
--- Am I just being crazy?

Nope, gain = noise.

Say there is 25mV of noise in your 10 volts of synth. Run that through an effect that has 100X gain. Your 10 volt synth is now very distorted and still 10 volts or what ever happens to be the max output of the effect, your 25mV of noise is now 2500mV or 2.5 votls, that is now 1/4 the volume (technically voltage not volume, we do not hear things in quite so linear of a manor) of the synth, it all adds up.

Everything before that gain has noise and is amplified by that gain, what was never noticed before becomes very apparent. The synth, noise picked up by cables from EM/RF, and even the circuitry in the effect before the gain stage.
So how do you know if this is an issue or not? If it's too noisy maybe I should sell it and get a different unit. The unit I am referring to is the Lexicon MX400.

Also the noise would be drastically reduced if I just send a single synth though it right?
You need to figure out the source of the noise.

Is the noise from the synth or the effect? I am going to bet it is from the synth or something before the effect, I have never found Lexicon to make noisey products.

Here is a quick test, setup the effect so it is good an noisey, unplug the inputs, what happens to the noise? If it stays the same it is the effect. If it gets louder they went cheap on the input jacks and may still be the effect. If it gets quieter it is something from before the effect. As for selling it, that is up to you to decide.
proper gain staging through external effects processors is very important. have you looked at reviews of the lexicon? is it known for being noisy? my pcm 70 is as quite as mouse with the proper gain staging.
No I never read anything about it being noisy or anything. Maybe I just need a hum eliminator.

-- No I never read anything about it being noisy or anything. Maybe I just need a hum eliminator.

You need to identify the source of the noise and what the noise is before you can rid yourself of it. You said it was "hiss and noise," hum eliminators get rid of hum, not hiss and noise. In my experience most noise can either be greatly reduced or eliminated by a change in technique and almost never solved with more equipment.
Nothing is wrong with the unit. I own a MX200 which is about the same except it is non quad. Gain on most effects gear will give some noise. Nothing a little post EQ couldn't fix. I also have a compressor/limiter gate rack afterwords too. Cuts out everything when your not playing.

Edit: I rarely need to do much external noise filtering for my Lexicon. Also check your cables.
It's an issue of the power adapter being too close to another one.
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