TOPIC: Noise when playing with overdriven settings? S-Gear vs Mercuriall Spark

Noise when playing with overdriven settings? S-Gear vs Mercuriall Spark 1 week 15 hours ago #20045

Hi all,

Long time since my last post in this forum... I've just acquired Mercuriall Spark as it was on sale and did a comparison of the Steeler and the amp models available on Spark (particularly liked the AFD as I could get some nice early EVH tones out of it).

But first of all, let me just say that S-Gear is a much better value overall, and by far! The quality of effects, cabs, not being a computer resource hog, amp models available plus the standalone performance where you can use a MIDI footswitch to change presets... No brainer really!

Anyway, while playing with these programs using a floor wedge monitor speaker, the noise was difficult to manage when you play a chord and let the notes ring for long. The white noise will get progressively louder and very noticeable, much more than through a regular valve amp (either with pedals or not). It happens both with S-Gear and Spark, but I think it's slightly worse on Spark.

For quick notes, palm mutting and stuff it works great, but for sustained chords, not so much. What are your workarounds in situations like these? Again, changing the settings on the noise suppressor to kill the noise will not let the chords ring for long.

I have never tried a hardware unit like Helix, Kemper, Fractal, so don't know if they have the same issue?

Mike, is this something intrinsic to computer modelling?
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Noise when playing with overdriven settings? S-Gear vs Mercuriall Spark 1 week 10 hours ago #20046

I don't have any white noise in my Axe Fx III, tbh, only some noise on high gain presets as expected, since it is doing tube amp modelling, but it is properly handled by the gate.
Last edit: 1 week 8 hours ago by mohi.
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Noise when playing with overdriven settings? S-Gear vs Mercuriall Spark 1 week 7 hours ago #20047

I think there is a tendency to apply more gain to modelled amp presets in order to achieve the desired amount of sustain. With a physical amp in a room the sustain comes more easily and with less gain.

If you record (for example) a mic'd 1959 plexi flat out, there's a lot of white noise. In a mix it disappears and is usually quite soft noise provided that there are no nasty noise source in the environment.

Software algorithms are generally quiet. If you zero the input then you should get zero out. Whereas a physical amp will collect Gaussian noise internally. It is often the case that with the proximity of a computer there can be digital noise in the environment. Picked up by the guitar this tends to sound rough and scratchy through a high gain algorithm.

I think another factor is that the gain staging in a tube amp is designed to work really well with guitar. It isn't always easy to get that directness with a adhoc combination of preamp, poweramp and speaker.

What floor wedge are you using?

I recently picked up a pair of Bose S1 powered wedges. Whilst they are not as loud as a 15w tube amp, they do respond very well to the S-GEAR presets. There is sufficient bass projection to get nice acoustic coupling between the speaker and the guitar giving a very amp-like sustain to both clean and driven sounds. I didn't really find a problem with noise. Also the mid-range and high end is not hard or harsh. I think one of these wedges could be very useful when recording with modelling amps, i.e record direct but use the wedge to help get more sustain from the guitar.

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Noise when playing with overdriven settings? S-Gear vs Mercuriall Spark 1 week 5 hours ago #20048

Thanks Mohi and Mike!

I am using a Behringer VP1220F, which is not the best wedge out there but is decent, and the gain was not high really. I had a Marshall Bluesbreaker (JTM45) back in the day and don't recall having too much white noise.

Interesting Bose unit, but quite pricey for its size and power, although I believe part of the appeal and cost comes from being battery powered.

I never really thought much of Bose as a serious amplification brand other than a posh home system or for very tiny venues, since an anecdote from 2008: I offered live music to a posh fine-dining restaurant in Texas, and they didn't have a PA system then but they liked my idea of a show, so they started renting a Bose L1 system for a while until they got their own PA system.
The guy who was renting the system saw my amp and told me "Geezzz, forget that amp! This system has all the sounds from classic recordings... just plugged your guitar here and thank me later!". I tried it out and it was just OK, and due to the tiny speakers on the stick, the projection was not much, so after a bit of playing I said "I actually prefer my amp" and proceeded to plug it back to my amp (a Gibson Super Goldtone GA30RV which I still own: awesome amp!). The difference in tone and projection was so immense that the guy didn't say a word and just left the building...
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Last edit: 1 week 5 hours ago by asintoras.
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Noise when playing with overdriven settings? S-Gear vs Mercuriall Spark 4 days 1 hour ago #20061

This... pvamps.blogspot.com/2015/05/pvnonoise.html works great for me for high-gain tones.

Used as the first effect in my VST chain, I can for example, run a couple of OD's after it, into the Stealer and my signal is very quiet with "very" little degradation.

Also, it works seamlessly with S-Gear's Noise Gate.

It's 32-bit, PC only, but works fine in my 64-bit PC environment.

ymmv
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