Rethinking my noise gates

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Mike, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    I currently run 2 Decimator II's (one in front, one in the loop) on the board of my main rig. Overall I've been happy with it over the few years or so I've had the setup. I also link them, though I don't notice much of a difference in doing so.

    Prior to ISP, like most people, I used an NS-2. The reason I made the change (again like most people) was the promise of less tone suck and better noise reduction performance. I was playing around with my old NS-2 the other day and it really made me think, aside from some high end loss, this is still a really good pedal.

    I actually do prefer the separation of the threshold and decay controls and really wish isp had something like that. With the decimator, I find that to get close to the same tight gate effect as the NS-2 with the decay at 0, I have to set the threshold somewhere around 1-2 o'clock. Upon setting the threshold that high though, I start to notice it affecting the tone, sustain, etc. and then I'll try to make adjustments elsewhere in the chain to balance things out.

    TL;DR: Has anyone tried something like a modified NS-2 or a decimator + something else and had good luck clamping down on noise, achieving staccato precision, and maintaining sustain?

    This interesting fellow has a cool vid on an NS-2 mod. His tone and playing aren't too pretty but I like what's going on with the gate performance.
     
  2. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I heard the Fortin Zuul has some clever tech at work inside where it knows the difference between a guitar signal, and the hum from an amp and has the 2 inputs meaning despite only have 1 knob, it can gate guitar and amp hum at the same time, in a different sort of way without ruining any high end or "tone".

    If I were going down this route again, I would probably just buy 1 Zuul and hook up my guitar, and my amp to the 2 separate inputs and call it a day.
     
  3. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    I have seen the zuul and it looks pretty cool, but idk that i want to invest too much into this tinkering idea lol. I've also tried the G string and the 4cm with the ns-2 and found that I prefer to have separate controls for the noise thresholds via 2 pedals. I've found that the gating requirements of the loop and the front end are pretty different. The loop only needing a subtle amount of reduction and the front end needing much more. Using only one pedal caused either too much reduction or not enough from one or the other.

    Maybe the zuul is different or better in this regard, but if I can stick with what I've got and get away with a cheap $5 mod, I'd prefer that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  4. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    FWIW-- I've never understood what people were smoking when they heard "tone suck" out of their NS-2s. I've run mine on both my 6505 and 6505+ (noisy amps) with the 4 cable method and if anything, I get a slight boost to brightness. Certainly, nothing is "sucked" away in any case. However, I don't run it with extreme settings either. I turn threshold to 3 o clock and decay to 9 o clock and it kills all the preamp noise and seems to go quiet the instant I mute the strings. And this is at insane volumes.
     
  5. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    I think it's partially your insane volumes paired with not really cranking the threshold that makes any minor tone suck inaudible for you. At much quieter practice volumes and with the threshold closer to 11 or noon, I've always been able to hear the tonal difference of when the ns-2 is on or off.
     
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  6. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    long long ago I was using the NS-2 with pedals. I prefered the "X" pattern to be completely in front of the amp at the guitar and then after any gain FX, and I just kinda lived with amp hum. Whenever I would try to get that tight "clamp" on the amp hum thats where I started losing sustain and high end. The best "noise gate" I used though was a cheap digitech RP pedal (80 maybe) with nothing on but the gate. That gate was tight without me noticing any issues in sustain/tone.
     
  7. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King Contributor

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    I've been so giddy with the performance of my two Decimator II's linked that I've never even considered another solution. I went from one Decimator II, to two Decimator II's linked and noticed quite a difference. I wonder why you didn't? Placement in the chain is very important when running linked. Preferably your guitar should plug directly into the first Decimator II so it can track the guitar directly. (I do have a WAH and a tuner between my guitar and first Decimator II with no issue.) The second Decimator II should be the very first pedal in your FX loop.
     
  8. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    I notice a difference in one decimator vs 2 of them. What's not a huge difference is using the 1/8 TRS cable to link them vs not using a link cable. I don't really hear or feel a dramatic difference in whatever improvement it's supposed to provide in the tracking (Which isp literature is somewhat vague about).

    Maybe I am stupiding up the placement though. I run the one in front of my amp last because I need it to cut the noise of my boost and eq. My loop one is first though since all I have after it is reverb. Running it first will still cut the noise of stuff after it with the link feature?
     
  9. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King Contributor

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    Yes. If you were running just one Decimator II you would want it after your OD, Distortion, Boost, etc, in front of the amp, but when running two the first one needs to track the guitar directly, and the second one in the loop will do most of the gating.
     
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  10. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    I'll mess with this setup and see if it makes a noticeable difference.
     
  11. Moltar

    Moltar SS.org Regular

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    I have used an original G-string for years now and it works pretty well although I also wish it was a bit quicker. I bought the G-string II a couple years ago hoping it would be a bit quicker but found that to get the same level of gating in my setup, it would cut off notes too much. I honestly preferred the first version and have still been using it since. The other guitarist in my band uses the my newer version and it seems to work well with his setup.

    I have been using them both the same fairly standard way which is in front of the amp, and then the 'loop' of the g-string has the effects loop amp signal running through it.
     
  12. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    TBH, if you listen closely to the videos the Zuul sounds like shit.

    What I mean is the release. If you are doing some chugs and rests at the end you can hear this god awful release noise when you stop playing. It is in all of the videos I have watched and ehh..No thank you.

    I use a G string 2. I do hook it up slightly different than the manual suggests however it takes care of my feedback AND the amp hiss. I do not care what anyone says, i have argued this enough and will not participate in any replies saying that the pedal will not do this because with my setup it absolutely does :)

    Anyway that is the pedal I suggest. Legato is not the best while using it but so far it is the best pedal I have tried and does not have an awful release, nice and smooth.
     
  13. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    Well after messing with it for a couple of days, I think I actually do not like putting the decimator 1st in the chain and the 2nd decimator 1st in the loop. Using it that way, the first decimator becomes pretty much useless for anything other than passing along the guitars direct signal to the second pedal. I can tell it's tracking differently that way, but I don't like how all control is now given to only the 2nd pedal. It does seem to cause the gate to close quicker, but at the cost of me having a near impossible time finding balance between tight gate, and a natural release where notes can bloom and/or fade out naturally.
     
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  14. maggotspawn

    maggotspawn SS.org Regular

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    I'm using a Joyo Noise Gate. I though I'd try out an NS-2 to check it out. Ended up liking the Joyo better. Works great and sounds good, but it's not the fastest gate.
     
  15. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied FUZZ & CHAINSAW

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    Zuul is awesome. I've run 8 fuzz / distortion pedals at once and had the zuul gating them no problem.
     
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  16. wedge_destroyer

    wedge_destroyer SS.org Regular

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    I went a different route, but have gates in three slots which is easy due to running a rack rig, NS-2 up front, then one channel of my drawmer comp/gate in the distortion channel loop set quicker for a nice noise clamp and one in the common loop after my verbs and what not set for a slower clamp. Works great only get the suck from NS-2, but not enough to really care.
     
  17. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King Contributor

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    I'm glad you gave it a try at least even though it didn't work out for you. I always like to take a second look at what I got first before making a change.
     
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  18. stratjacket

    stratjacket Lost in a loop

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    I used an ISP Decimator for years and about a month ago I swapped it out for the Zuul. Works fine, forget it’s there.
     
  19. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    I have tried so many noise gates, and I keep coming back to the NS2. It works exactly like I expect and want a noise gate to work.

    Went on a quest around 8 years ago...noise gate after noise gate after noise gate. Bought the Rocktron Hush, Decimator, Decimator II, G-string, MXR smart gate, and a couple of others that I don't remember. Did a side by side comparison of all of these, and the NS2 still came out on top for me.

    Years later, I tried the TC Sentry, and sent it back twice because it didn't work as advertised.

    I love the NS2 because I can run it 4 CM, and have complete silence in my rig unless I am making noise come out of it. No preamp hiss, no unwanted squealing. Works perfectly. I never found it to affect my tone other than the buffer, which I never thought was a bad thing.
     
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  20. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    Exactly my thoughts. Never found any "tone suck", and the buffer adds a touch of brightness that sounds pretty good.
     

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