How to Solve Noise Issues With Your Le-Series Preamp Pedal?
If you experience noise issues with your Le Series Preamp Pedal, this article will help you figure out what is causing it and how to mitigate it.
- If you suspect the noise is coming from the Le Series Preamp Pedal, the first thing to do is to remove any other potential noise sources from your system. Just plug your guitar directly into the Input of the Le Series Preamp Pedal and monitor the result directly through its Phones output. Alternatively, you can use the XLR DI Output or 1/4" Output jack connected to a headphone amplifier, sound interface, mixing console or any other monitoring system. In which case, make sure this monitoring system is as noise-free as possible. If doing this suppresses the noise, then it likely indicates the noise comes from something else in your system.
- Check if the noise originates from your guitar. Cut the volume of your guitar, or unplug the Input jack from the Le Series Preamp Pedal: if the noise disappears, it means the noise originates from your guitar. The Le Series Preamp Pedals offer gain ranging from modest (Le Clean) to significant (Le Lead), meaning it will amplify any noise coming from the guitar, potentially to a point where it becomes disturbing. Single-coil pickups are more susceptible to interference than humbuckers, which are designed to reject them. On a guitar with several single-coil pickups, it is sometimes possible to connect them to get a noise-cancelling effect similar to a humbucker: don't hesitate to try several positions with your pickup selector switch. Noise picked-up by the guitar can sometimes come from light dimmers, refrigerators, computers or other electrical appliances; as such, turning off as many electrical appliances as possible, or moving away from them is a prudent course of action. This won't necessarily be a viable solution in the long term, but will give you an indication if your environment is a contributing factor to the noise issue.
- Note: In this situation, the noise could also come, partially or totally, from your guitar cable. Don't hesitate to check your Le Series Preamp Pedal with other cables to ensure you're not using a bad cable.
- A good quality power supply is vital when configuring a noise-free signal. Nowadays, a lot of pedalboard power supplies are available and most of them work very well; however, we can't guarantee how Le Preamp will react with each and every one of them. If you are using an aftermarket power supply, try removing it and using the power supply that shipped with the Le Series Preamp Pedal. This has been was carefully selected to ensure optimal performance of the unit.
- If you have checked all this and the noise is still present, then it likely stems from the Le Series Preamp Pedal. Like every circuit that generates gain, Le Preamp does produce a small amount of noise. Fortunately, this can usually be dealt with simply and effectively; the key is to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio, by following a simple rule: keep the signal as high as possible without clipping. Here is how to do this:
- The Le Series Preamp Pedal features one or several gain stages (depending on the model), controlled by the Gain potentiometer of each channel. This Gain setting is used to shape your tone: on Channel B this is obvious, however on Channel A this is more subtle but still very important. This is of course linked to the noise ratio (the higher the Gain the higher the noise), but the Gain setting is first and foremost a tonal adjustment, so simply set Gain appropriately to get the tone you're seeking.
- There is also the Volume control which is dedicated to setting the level of the signal and nothing else. In standard situations, Volume won't have much (if any) effect on the tone. This means you can (and should) use it to set the actual level out of the unit. This should set it as high as possible providing you don't overload the output stage of the Le Series Preamp Pedal and/or the input of the product connected after it (or in its FX Loop). When you overload the output, you will usually get a very hard type of saturation or clipping: don't mistake this for tube distortion! If this happens, first try first lowering the input gain of the unit placed after the Le Series Preamp Pedal. If this is not possible, then lower the Volume.
- Note: These signal-to-noise ratio considerations are also true for devices placed before and after the Le Series Preamp Pedal. By adjusting the levels between each link in your whole signal chain, you can usually reduce noise by fair amount.
- In some situations, all the advice above won't be enough, and you'll need something else to help. It's then probably time to use a very useful tool: namely a noise gate. If your noise gate only has an input and output, place it:
- Before the Le Series Preamp Pedal for optimal control. This is suitable if you found - at point 2 - that the noise stems from your guitar.
- After the Le Series Preamp Pedal for optimal noise reduction.
- Note: The best results are obtained with noise gates that feature a loop. If you have one of these: plug your guitar (or clean signal) in the input, and place all your noisy devices in the loop. The gate will be controlled by the clean guitar signal (which delivers optimal control), but the signal will be cut after the noisy devices delivering optimal noise reduction.
- Finally, if you think your Le Preamp is abnormally noisy, it could be a fault of the unit. In which case feel free to contact us for technical support.
Our support team is here to assist you! For any enquiries, please head over to our Help Desk and submit a ticket to speak directly to one of our in-house specialists.