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Old 02-19-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
Born Headless
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Confusion about which ISP Decimator to get?

Okay, so its been a while since I've owned a proper guitar rig but I've come into some money and I'll be getting one again soon. I plan on buying an ISP Decimator for a noise gate but I'm a bit confused as to which version to get. So let me tell you what I'm after and you tell me.

Basically I'd like to eliminate the amp hum/buzz along with any uncontrollable feedback. Here's the catch. I'd like to be able to switch over to my clean channel without turning off the noise gate or adjusting the threshold (normally its set to high and cuts the sound completely). Simple enough, I just don't know what to get.

I thought that's what the G string did but I'm not so sure any more. I'm not sure if I need two Decimators (one in the FX and one in the input). And I don't know if the rack mounted version can handle what I'm talking about. I'm just lost. So anyone want to tell me what I need and explain why? Someone who knows what they're talking about please. Thanks in advance. Sorry if this question has been asked a million times.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:22 AM   #2
ChrisBW
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So.. you already have a noise gate? You may have it set too high if you aren't getting sound from your clean channel. I have the ISP Stereo rack and I've never had that problem on any of my amps...actually I can't even play my 5150 without it anymore.

What you want is either the G string or the rack version (if you want a rack set up).

For the standard rack (pedal is essentially the same):
Guitar > ch1 in >ch1 out > amp in
FX send > ch2 in > ch2 out > FX return

You probably don't need the stereo version, and while not quite obvious at first glance both rack versions do the same thing. The stereo version just has extra input for the front of the amp, leaving both gate channels open for FX loops.
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Last edited by ChrisBW : 02-19-2013 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:29 AM   #3
Born Headless
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No, I don't have one currently but I have. And I didn't mean it literally muted the clean channel, it just chokes it because it's set so high for the gain channel.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:34 AM   #4
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I would go the the ISP Decimator G string.

Also, I want to touch on something here that a lot of people don't seem to understand about running noise gates:

No matter what you do, you are never going to get rid of all the noise. Running a gate will definitely help, but at some point you are just going to have to deal with some noise. Shielding your guitar properly and grounding your equipment will do a hell of a lot more for you than running a gate ever will.

The idea here isn't just to setup a noise gate and crank it up 100% until there is nothing - you are supposed to use it minimally. Edge it up just enough so that any of the really loud hiss/squeal/feedback is at a low (manageable) level and then leave it alone. Running the gate any higher than that is only going to kill your tone and sustain.
There is really delicate balance between acceptable noise and too much noise. You just need to mess around with it a little bit and find the perfect mix.

On the bright side, nobody is going to really notice it that much anyway while you're playing. Don't worry about it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:17 AM   #5
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^ Correction: you can get rid of all audible noise, you just can't do it with one unit alone. You need one unit after the guitar, one after your pedals and one after the preamp. Sticking one after the power amp would be handy, too, but it's dodgy ground. Set each gate/suppressor to only effect what they need to.

Using things like the ISP Decimator G sort of gives you two in one, but you're then applying the same settings to both areas, which is far from ideal.

Personally, the way I ran to keep my very noisy, half-broken Marshall quiet, was to run two pedals; a Boss NS-2 after the guitar and a plain ISP Decimator in the amp's effects loop. The flexible controls of the NS-2 allowed me to tailor it to the guitar's signal much better than a straight gate like the ISP can. Other pedals went into the NS-2's own loop, and though the guitar-quietening settings didn't silence them completely, it had a small effect, plus of course the signal coming in to them already had the gate on. The ISP has way less control and a heftier, more obvious effect, so that went in the loop to kill the hum generated by the preamp. Since the signal coming in to the amp was fairly clean, the only noise was what was inherent in the amp; the ISP, set quite low, handled this without issue.

By using two pedals (one with a loop) with different styles of gate and different settings, I got a mostly noiseless rig. Plug in a Strat, kick on an OD and crank the gain and there would still be noise, of course, but for most situations, this did the trick. Replacing the NS-2's loop with a third dedicated pedal would allow you to run totally silent, but obviously, having three pedals to do one job isn't very practical. Still, two is what I think the minimum is, if you really care about cutting out excess noise. There simply aren't any single unit gates/suppressors that can deal with all the noise generated at every part of your rig by themselves.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born Headless
Basically I'd like to eliminate the amp hum/buzz along with any uncontrollable feedback. Here's the catch. I'd like to be able to switch over to my clean channel without turning off the noise gate or adjusting the threshold (normally its set to high and cuts the sound completely). Simple enough, I just don't know what to get.


the most versatile solution, the one that will do exactly what you want, is to get a multi effects pedal or a programmable and midi-controllable noise gate.

this solution is good because you can literally customize your settings for the noise gate for every tone you want. it makes the need for a 'versatile' noise gate into a non-issue by just changing the settings of the noise gate to suit the patch you program.

this solution's drawback is that it is a multi-effects unit. it may not be what you are looking for and it is best utilized with it's native/internal effects which you may not like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born Headless
I thought that's what the G string did but I'm not so sure any more. I'm not sure if I need two Decimators (one in the FX and one in the input). And I don't know if the rack mounted version can handle what I'm talking about.


the g string claims that it is 'totally transparent', but i don't chomp on BS marketing crap (a truly transparent pedal would not change your signal at all... which is what an effects pedal is supposed to do, so i see 'transparent' as a meaningless marketing ploy to move units). i'd try that before i purchased to see if it does what you want.

products like the boss NS-2 have two inputs and outputs, it allows you to run it in both the effects loop and in front of the amp. you may not need to run a noise gate in both signal paths, so buying only one decimator may be necessary. once again, i'd take my amp and guitar to the shop and try it out to see if it does what you want.

rackmount effects are generally associated with higher quality and versatility (with an increased price tag). anything the pedal could do then so should the rack version.

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Originally Posted by MrFlibble
^ Correction:....

what a surprise. you start off EVERY post with correcting someone on pedantic shit.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Because lots of people search these forums for info and will often make (expensive) purchases based on what they read; not correcting misinformation is as irresponsible as writing it in the first place.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
Born Headless
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Okay, so the G string version is "transparent" and detects the guitar signal and adjusts as necessary, right? So I definitely need the G string after my guitar. What about the effects loop? Is the G string necessary or could I do a regular Decimator there since its just for amp hum? I'm just trying to avoid choking my cleans when I switch channels.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #9
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Regular ISP has one in and one out. You can put in between your guitar and amp OR in your effects loop.

ISP G String has and in for your guitar, and an out to your amp. Additionally, it has an extra set of in and outs to go in your effects loop.

The Boss is similar to the G string.

MXR Smart Gate was garbage when I tried one.

The rack ISP decimator will do the same thing as the Boss/G string.

The Boss is pretty damn good, and the ISPs are awesome. Don't worry about what the ISP is technically doing with your guitar signal, it does it's job damn well. My ISP rack is amazing, no problems with it at all. One of my bands songs had a part with some really quick notes/pauses and I was surprised to see the gate engaging in between them. The tone difference (if any) is so small is doesn't matter. If you set it up right, you won't 'choke' your cleans.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBW
ISP G String has and in for your guitar, and an out to your amp. Additionally, it has an extra set of in and outs to go in your effects loop.

There's nothing "extra" or "additional" about it. One does not work without the other.

The G String has the inherent flexibility to track the signal at a different chain position than it actually gates. What this means is that you can run your guitar straight into it and the gating section doesn't have to try to "hear" your signal through everything you have plugged in before it.

It can be more sensitive because there is less hum, hiss, and whatever other artifacts present in the signal earlier in the chain to track, and more effective because it can silence said artifacts that accumulate later in the chain by gating.

This can be seen elsewhere, but for the hell of it:

Guitar > some pedals (maybe a tuner) > Decimator Tracking Section > more pedals > preamp > more pedals > Decimator Gating Section > more pedals (maybe delay or reverb) > power amp

Note that you do not have to have pedals at every (or any) position, and that you can put the Gating Section before the preamp if you do not wish to gate it or have not an effects loop. If you don't put anything between the tracking section and the gating section it will
- be pointless to have
- not work very well. I tried.

I have it set moderately high for the metal and have never had any problem with my clean channel being gated or anything else.

Hope this helps
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #11
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You have to consider the source of the noise. Is it noisy pickups? Electronics? Cables? The preamp tubes? Any one of those is a source and it tends to be cumulative as well. Generally speaking with a high-gain amp, most noise won't come from the pickups (especially if you have actives) but from the amp itself. That's just how they are - if you are amplifying a signal to the point of clipping, you are going to amplify the miniscule amount of noise to audible levels as well.

You only need the G-String if you want to run your pedals and other stuff separately through the gate and reduce pedal noise. Some people also use it to "double up" by gating both the preamp and guitar at the same time but I don't have any experience with this. More realistically, you will want 2 separate noise gates to stop noise at the guitar and the amp.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:10 PM   #12
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NS-2.

ISP gates are lame. I'm supposed to be satisfied with one knob? Come on now...
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:14 PM   #13
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NS-2.

Two words: tone suck.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:24 PM   #14
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Two words: tone suck.


lolwut. No.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:35 PM   #15
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lolwut. No.


x2. I have one and no tone suck. Urban legend
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:46 PM   #16
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Yeah, I don't understand the whole stigma with the NS-2. Mine is awesome.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:47 PM   #17
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I have no hate against ISP as its a great pedal as well, I just didn't want to spend more than the NS-2 for less features.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:53 PM   #18
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I guess I'm buying the NS-2!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:55 PM   #19
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Do eet.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:11 AM   #20
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Because lots of people search these forums for info and will often make (expensive) purchases based on what they read; not correcting misinformation is as irresponsible as writing it in the first place.


thank god your here then. i didn't realize you were such an agent for good, i just thought you were an ass.
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