#1
Hey guys,

I just recently finished starting my first pedal-board (DIY Gorm board, because I'm cheap), which I'm powering off of a 1 Spot. Predictably, there's enough hiss for it to be disruptive, so I'm looking for a noise gate/suppressor/clamp to reduce or eliminate it.

My first question: Is the MXR-135 Smart Gate is any good? I'd like for the pedal to not be too detrimental to the tone or the sustain, if at all possible.

Secondly, and forgive me if this is an obvious question (I'm fairly new to the realm of pedalboards), where in the chain should the pedal be? My understanding is that as a rule of thumb the chain goes something like this:

Guitar -> Tuner - > Compressors/Filters -> Distortions/Boosts -> Amp
Delay -> Reverb -> Modulation -> FX Loop


I'm not really sure where the noise gate would fall in there.

Thanks in advance for any help!
#2
The Smart Gate doesn't chop off any tone or sustain at all in my experience.

I'd put it before anything else that is affecting your tone; so after the tuner, but before any boosts or compression/filters. My .02 cents.
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#3
I'm all for a noise gate when you need it but just a few questions first.

Have you had all of these pedals hooked up before you built the board? I'm guessing with individual supplies or batteries and NOT had the hiss?

If so, you're better off eliminating the hiss instead of covering it up.

Try to figure out where the hiss is coming from and if it goes away by isolating that pedal.

You can just put a power strip on/under your board and plug in 2 One Spots and have a place to plug in other pedals that need their own/different supplies.

You could also put in an isolated power unit (Pedal Power 2) instead of the chain.

Noise gates are better suited to get rid of noise from the pickups/amp (looking at you 5150) instead of power issues with the pedals IMO.

Regardless the gate turns off while you're playing so all of that hiss will still come through when you're actually making sound.
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Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
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TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#5
^ close to zero guitar pedals that are not noise gates include noise gates.

That message seems like a shameless promotion of whatever in the world that is, which would be against the rules, so you may wanna try and phrase the thing a bit differently next time.

Whatever noise gate would help but you'd be sooo much better off with a good power supply - as metalmingee mentioned, you're better off eliminating the hiss instead of covering it up.

So get whatever power supply with isolated inputs before a noise gate.
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#6
Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it.

It seems like it might be more convenient for me to get an isolated power supply, so I think I'm going to go with that. Now I just need to figure out how to attach it to my board .

If the problem persists for whatever reason, I'll just refer back to this thread. Thanks again to everyone who replied!
#7
Industrial Velcro from a hardware store and zip ties can you you far if the power supply doesn't come with brackets. Or order the pedal train brackets for your supply and screw them to your board.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#8
i liked the isp decimator the most, it took good care of my old 6505+ and VK. i haven't had much experience with the MXR, but i liked the ISP when i had it.
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#9
I have the MXR and is pretty good. I put it usually first.
A buddy put in a Rocktron Hush in the FX loop on a 5150 and that tamed quite a bit of the hiss although not all of it. Used Boss noise gate in the studio on quite a few amps, those work fine as well although seem to be a bit more clinical sounding.
#10
Even though you have two recommendations for it being first, I say that unless your pickups are the noisy bit (highly unlikely in our day and age, where a vast majority of pickups are potted), you want the noise gate as the very last thing in the signal chain before the FX Loop Return. That eliminates at least some (depending on series or parallel FX Loop operation) pre-amp noise, and most noise generated by the rest of the signal path. However, before resorting to a pedal, as has been said, try to manually eliminate the hissing or noise.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

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This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
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#11
I run two gates at quite low settings on a GT-10 in 4 cable moide, so that kinda made my MXR redundant, although I used it for the occasional smaller gig. I discovered that the MXR works better in front, although I used to run rack gates (Rocktrkn) back in the day in fx loop as suggested.
#12
I have a smart gate, it does a fine job at killing hiss/noise.

I run ,mine as the last pedal before the input of my amp
tuner>wah>bad monkey OD>GFS Greenie>MXR smart gate

the results are just fine
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MXR Smart Gate
#13
Hmmm...

Don't you have to divide your equipment into regular effects and time-based effects like delay and reverb and put the time-based stuff after the gate or else the gate will ... well suppress the time-based effects if put after it?

I like the size of the MXR but I heard that Boss pedals are not so bad with the non-effects pedals like noise suppressing or signal splitting (have a LS-2). Judging by the reviews it seems the NS-2 gets a lot of votes.
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#14
I've had the MXR and NS-2 in studio situation for a few years and tracked quite a few bands with both. THe NS-2 has a handy loop option which could be a plus in some cases. In terms of sound, the MXR sounds the best out of the three I've worked with (Hush, NS-2, Smart Gate). Haven't tried the ISP.
#15
Quote by Deermonic
Don't you have to divide your equipment into regular effects and time-based effects like delay and reverb and put the time-based stuff after the gate or else the gate will ... well suppress the time-based effects if put after it?

Not in the SmartGate's or the Decimator's cases, unless you're trying to go for the artificial sustain harmonics that are produced by high settings on the delay and/or reverb. If that's the case, then yes, gate before time/loop effects.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#16
Quote by Deermonic
Hmmm...

Don't you have to divide your equipment into regular effects and time-based effects like delay and reverb and put the time-based stuff after the gate or else the gate will ... well suppress the time-based effects if put after it?


I'd like some feedback on this

Seriously, don't you find your time based effects are rendered mute unless you put the gate BEFORE them?
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III 50. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. EHX Big Muff Pi Tone Wicker. Polytune mini. e906. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
Last edited by Deermonic at May 17, 2015,
#17
Basically the answer is yes according to Boss as I looked at the manual and it said exactly what I thought.

Time-based pedals like delay go AFTER the noise gate and not before it or else it can suppress it.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III 50. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. EHX Big Muff Pi Tone Wicker. Polytune mini. e906. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#18
^ precisely the reason why the MXR and the Decimator are labeled ‘smart'. I've never used an ISP (everyone tells me this about too, though) but unless you're specifically after very long AND very subtle delay/reverb (NOT one OR the other, it does either on its own), or the classic warm feedback squeals only on the delayed signal but not on the main signal, in my experience, the MXR works perfectly fine as the last thing in the loop (albeit, I only ever had both delay and reverb in the chain at once, never one or the other). I can't say the same for the NS-2.

P.S. I hope the above is understandable.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#19
It just depends on how you want things to sound I suppose. Do you want to wah your distortion or distort your wah being one such question. I think the answer to all this stuff is how you want it to sound yourself.

What I understand from looking at my board is that some devices allow looping and others not. So instead of the classic input/output some boxes have more for looping. My Boss Line Selector 2 (LS-2) also has two more loop capabilities and the NS-2 has one. Basically send/returns.

It is my understanding that a noise suppressor should go at the start of the chain though, like the guitar should plug into it first through the input and then you loop through whatever pedals generate noise or whatever sound system it is you want to gate.

If smart NS's can determine the difference between a time-based effect and unwanted noise at the end of a chain without looping, that would be interesting. I think that's what most NS boxes can't do. They will just interfere too much with the time-based effect even muting it.

I think most people would want to go through the NS and put the time-based delay pedals after the NS on the line out but if smart stuff can do better, again that's interesting.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III 50. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. EHX Big Muff Pi Tone Wicker. Polytune mini. e906. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!