Author Topic: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs  (Read 285 times)

Offline tomdavids1

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limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« on: August 07, 2018, 10:53:44 PM »
hey guys,

i'm recording my rhodes, and found that when i boost the high frequencies after its been recorded, its brings out the bell like tone of the rhodes, but it also introduces some unwanted hiss.

is there a way i can make the rhodes as quiet as possible without installing an eq/or preamp into the rhodes?

thanks

Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 10:34:09 AM »
anyone?

Offline mvanmanen

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 10:44:29 AM »
Are you taking the signal of the rhodes directly off the RCA jack (harp) using a DI?
Wurlitzer 200a
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Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 10:57:34 AM »
ive tried that, as well as taking it through the bass boost and volume controls. both with the same result when boosting the highs.

Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2018, 11:08:41 AM »
heres the direct box im using. is this the correct kind of di?

Offline pnoboy

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 11:48:31 AM »
The first thing to do is to figure out if the noise is coming from the Rhodes' output, from some kind of ground loop or EMI, or from the circuitry into which you're feeding the Rhodes' signal.  For example, if you take the signal from the  1/4" jack on the Rhodes' front panel, turn the volume control all the way down.  This connects the output of the Rhodes' to its common (ground).  Did the noise go away?  If not, the noise is not pickup noise from the Rhodes.  Next, unplug the cord that connects the Rhodes to your circuitry.  Did the noise go away?  If so, there's probably some kind of EMI in the area.  If not, maybe the noise is your circuitry.

Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 12:03:19 PM »
in turning down the volume pot, the noise goes away. telling me that the noise is coming from the harp.

 the volume of the noise is ok, i just need the volume of the hammers hitting the tines to be louder.

any suggestions?

Offline The Real MC

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 10:39:52 PM »
Had the same problem.  After trying many remedies, the solution that worked was the Countryman Type 10 DI plugged into the harp RCA jack.  It brought out the bell tone and reduced the hiss at the same time.

Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 08:47:52 AM »
wow! thanks for this man. may have to try the countryman :)

Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 09:25:15 PM »
wow! thanks for this man. may have to try the countryman :)

so i've gotta ask, how was the country man different than the other options you tried?

for me it just seems like the signal of the hammers hitting the tines is too weak, so i have to boost every stage of my signal chain resulting in added noise.


Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 09:26:02 PM »
Had the same problem.  After trying many remedies, the solution that worked was the Countryman Type 10 DI plugged into the harp RCA jack.  It brought out the bell tone and reduced the hiss at the same time.


so i've gotta ask, how was the country man different than the other options you tried?

for me it just seems like the signal of the hammers hitting the tines is too weak, so i have to boost every stage of my signal chain resulting in added noise.

Offline pnoboy

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2018, 04:09:36 PM »
Maybe your piano is too quiet.  Are the pickups an appropriate distance from the tines?  Could you possibly have a bad  electrical connection? A Rhodes piano should work well with any ordinary guitar amp in terms of its signal.  To put it another way, a guitar amp should have plenty of gain for a Rhodes.

Offline The Real MC

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2018, 11:58:01 PM »
Had the same problem.  After trying many remedies, the solution that worked was the Countryman Type 10 DI plugged into the harp RCA jack.  It brought out the bell tone and reduced the hiss at the same time.


so i've gotta ask, how was the country man different than the other options you tried?

Very high input impedance, 10M for the Countryman (with the switch at 0dB).

I have others around 1M input impedance that altered the tone and did not lower the noise.  Quality brands too, like Radial.  They didn't perform as well as the Countryman.

Offline pnoboy

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2018, 01:15:50 PM »
I am 99.99% sure that 10Meg input impedance is not the reason for the quietness of the Countryman DI.  All versions of the stage piano have input impedances at least 10X lower than 1Meg.  I have several amp heads, 1 tube and 3 SS, all with 1Meg input impedance, and all are dead quiet

Offline The Real MC

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2018, 08:43:21 PM »
I am 99.99% sure that 10Meg input impedance is not the reason for the quietness of the Countryman DI.

My empirical experiments are pretty strong evidence that is hard to dispute.  I don't know what is inside the Countryman other than ad copy claiming it has FET input stages, and the electronics are encased in epoxy. 

In fact I learned of the trick on Gearslutz from Mr. Jim Williams, an audio engineer with a long history of improving audio equipment for a few decades including some major name recording artists from the 1970s.

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All versions of the stage piano have input impedances at least 10X lower than 1Meg.

No, you're confusing input impedance with output impedance.  Stage piano outputs have an output impedance.

Quote
I have several amp heads, 1 tube and 3 SS, all with 1Meg input impedance, and all are dead quiet.

As do I.  But guitar amps cut off at about 5K because guitars don't do any higher, so that 5K upper limit is filtering off the noise.

The big difference is the OP wants to record his Rhodes without a guitar amp and direct into a recorder, which is full bandwidth out to 20K where the noise will now be clearly heard.

In my experiments with various DIs and amps, the pickups on the Rhodes are very sensitive to loading from input impedances.  Another member here on EP forum graphed the frequency response of the pickups with varying input impedances and it is very revealing, pretty much mirrors my results.  Their tone changes, and the noise varies.  The pickups seem to be happy with an optimal input impedance.

Offline tomdavids1

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 07:16:08 PM »
I am 99.99% sure that 10Meg input impedance is not the reason for the quietness of the Countryman DI.  All versions of the stage piano have input impedances at least 10X lower than 1Meg.  I have several amp heads, 1 tube and 3 SS, all with 1Meg input impedance, and all are dead quiet

hey there! would you mind sharing a clip of your rhodes with the highs boosted. Ive already thrown money at several boxes with no improvement. and before i spend money on the countryman it would be nice to hear yours! thanks

Offline pnoboy

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Re: limiting noise in rhodes when boosting highs
« Reply #16 on: Today at 11:29:41 AM »
I am 99.99% sure that 10Meg input impedance is not the reason for the quietness of the Countryman DI.

My empirical experiments are pretty strong evidence that is hard to dispute.  I don't know what is inside the Countryman other than ad copy claiming it has FET input stages, and the electronics are encased in epoxy. 

In fact I learned of the trick on Gearslutz from Mr. Jim Williams, an audio engineer with a long history of improving audio equipment for a few decades including some major name recording artists from the 1970s.

Quote
All versions of the stage piano have input impedances at least 10X lower than 1Meg.

No, you're confusing input impedance with output impedance.  Stage piano outputs have an output impedance.

Quote
I have several amp heads, 1 tube and 3 SS, all with 1Meg input impedance, and all are dead quiet.

As do I.  But guitar amps cut off at about 5K because guitars don't do any higher, so that 5K upper limit is filtering off the noise.

The big difference is the OP wants to record his Rhodes without a guitar amp and direct into a recorder, which is full bandwidth out to 20K where the noise will now be clearly heard.

In my experiments with various DIs and amps, the pickups on the Rhodes are very sensitive to loading from input impedances.  Another member here on EP forum graphed the frequency response of the pickups with varying input impedances and it is very revealing, pretty much mirrors my results.  Their tone changes, and the noise varies.  The pickups seem to be happy with an optimal input impedance.

Actually, I'm not confusing input and output impedances.  The impedances of the suitcase pianos I referred to are the input impedances of the preamp circuitry they used, not the output impedance of the harp.  Sorry if my writing wasn't clear.  As for amp frequency response, all my amps are flat out to beyond 10 kHz, and not more than 2 or 3 dB down at 20 kHz.  A Rhodes piano doesn't put out much signal beyond 5 kHz or so, anyway.

In a double-blind test, properly set up, I claim that no one would be able to distinguish any tonal or noise difference between a preamp having an input impedance of 1 meg ohm and 10 meg ohm.  Also consider that the capacitance of the cable that connects the harp to the preamp of choice filters out some highs.  If we assume a cable capacitance of 200 pF, which would account for the cable from the harp to the front panel, and the front panel to the preamp, the impedance of that capacitance at 10 kHz is about 79 k.  That impedance, along with with the fairly low output impedance of the harp, makes it's just a bit hard for me to accept the idea that anyone could hear a difference between 1 and 10 meg ohm preamp input impedance.  I simply don't believe it.  There could be any number of reasons why the Countryman sounds better.
« Last Edit: Today at 11:31:13 AM by pnoboy »