Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
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houstonmusic
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:04 pm

Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Post by houstonmusic » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:53 pm

The #1-3 inputs on the GXC are used for switching the preamp (Engl E530 preamp). Then #4 has a noise gate in the front of the preamp, and 5-7 are time effects (chorus, delay1, delay2) that are fed in the FX send, last one #7 goes to FX return of the E530, output of E530 goes to a tube power amp.

I have an issue where it appears that I need to use a noise gate that has fx loop to clamp down on noise before and after the preamp. Due to bad wiring in the studio, which is a rented ancient building (so no fix to el. power), we have to go that route. This unfortunately kills my lead sustain. On rhythm it works quite well and the EH Silencer I tested outside of this rig (link below) is doing a very good job.
https://www.ehx.com/products/silencer

However on leads I need more sustain or tail so I need ot be able to switch the noise gate off. No idea how to wire in my current configuration.

Attached is a diagram on how I am using it currently with another noise gate which is not enough.
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nyteowl
Posts: 1375
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Post by nyteowl » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:42 am


Am I missing something?

Your illustration shows your Noise Gate is in Loop 4, so if you need to turn it off during leads why can't you just use your Ground Control to turn Loop 4 off?

You could also try moving your Noise Gate to Loop 8, and again, turning Loop 8 off during solos to see how that works for you. It's just my personal preference, but if I only have one noise gate available, I'll put it at the end of my signal chain. In your illustration, you have your Noise Gate located right after your guitar directly ahead of your preamp, and if your guitar is generating that much noise at the head of your signal chain, you might want to have your guitar tech look into what's causing that.

However, if you find you still need a noise gate at both the top and bottom of your signal chain, you could always add a second one in Loop 8, turning it on and off as needed via your Ground Control.

Last but not least, you mention bad wiring in your studio as a possible cause for your noises issues, so you might also consider looking into one of EbTech's Hum Eliminator products.

Hope this helps.

I am not affiliated with Voodoo Lab in any way, but enjoy sharing what little MIDI and signal routing knowledge I've picked up over the years. If you find my assistance helpful, please pay it forward.

houstonmusic
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:04 pm

Re: Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Post by houstonmusic » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:51 am

Good suggestion for the Ebtech. The studio wiring is basically a mess with all kinds of solid state or tube amps, as soon as you turn on distortion/overdrive and it picks up Mexican radio and this permanent hum.

I think I'll be fine going at venues even without the noise gate. Right now I have a MXR in there in position #4 which I want to replace with the EH Silencer that I already bought.

I probably worded this badly - looking to switch to a different noise gate EH Silencer which when it wraps around a preamp/distortion pedal in fx loop option is perfect and works amazing but can't seem to think of a way that I can control this via the GXC as the E530 preamp has to be in its loop.

So in essence just the noise gate and E530 will look like this:

input->EH gate input -> EH gate fx send -> E530 input -> E530 (either fx send or output) -> EH gate fx return ->EH gate output->rest of effect chain->power amp

On tests the MXR after the preamp still doesn't seem to cut enough. The EH Silencer in fx loop setup does, so maybe I shouldn't use the fx loop of the E530 for my post effects and stick them after the preamp somehow.

JohnClark
Posts: 7318
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Post by JohnClark » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:54 am

If you want to bypass the Silencer you would connect it to a GCX Loop using the Silencer's Return and Output jacks.

1. Guitar to Silencer Input.
2. Silencer Send to Engl Instrument Input.
3. Engl FX Send (Or Engl Output) to GCX Loop 4 IN.
4. GCX Loop 4 Send to Silencer Return.
5. Silencer Output to GCX Loop 4 Return.
6. GCX Loop 4 Out to GCX Loop 5 IN.
7. GCX Loops 5, 6, and 7 just like your diagram.
8. GCX Loop 7 to Engl FX Return (Or to Power amp Input).

The Silencer Input/Send path is not a gate itself but senses if your guitar is being played or not so it can be left in the signal path at all times. The Return/Output path is the actual gate and is triggered by the Input/Send path. (This is how the Decimator G-String pedals work too.)

Now for the somewhat disappointing news... Even the best noise gate in the world isn't really the right fix for bad power or grounding problems. Sure, you won't have noise when you are not playing so it seems good, but as you have already noticed, your sound while playing is still corrupted by the underlying problems.

When you do hear something like the radio thru your rig, does the problem go away when you turn the volume down on your guitar or does it go away? If it goes away you may want to look into getting the guitar pickup/control cavities shielded better.

As far as one of the EbTech products, since you don't seem to have a ground loop in your audio path I would think the HumX would be the thing to look to first here. But, I cannot say for certain what the correct fix would be. Could be as easy as a lifted Earth Ground, or ax extensive as a Power Conditioner/Regulator... or a different "studio" ;)


I hope that helps!

nyteowl
Posts: 1375
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Post by nyteowl » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:11 am

houstonmusic wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:51 am
Good suggestion for the Ebtech. The studio wiring is basically a mess with all kinds of solid state or tube amps, as soon as you turn on distortion/overdrive and it picks up Mexican radio and this permanent hum.

I've had mixed results with the EbTech stuff. Worked great in some venues, but not at all in others. Go figure...

houstonmusic wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:51 am
I probably worded this badly - looking to switch to a different noise gate EH Silencer which when it wraps around a preamp/distortion pedal in fx loop option is perfect and works amazing but can't seem to think of a way that I can control this via the GXC as the E530 preamp has to be in its loop.

For what it's worth, if you want to try a different noise gate up front, I've had a Boss NS-2 on my board for years. I don't run it in a GCX loop, but you could easily do so following the connection instructions John provided.

I am not affiliated with Voodoo Lab in any way, but enjoy sharing what little MIDI and signal routing knowledge I've picked up over the years. If you find my assistance helpful, please pay it forward.

houstonmusic
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:04 pm

Re: Ground Control + GXC + Engl e530 - how to wire noise gate?

Post by houstonmusic » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:54 am

Guys the studio is * so there's no workaround for that. I guess I could have one heavy gate for rehearsals and one lite for live stuff. All other places I've tried this rig, 2 in general (not too many as it is 120lbs), I have had no problem with the noise, actually it's so quiet that I won't need noise gate most of the time, unless for some light feedback control.

@JohnClark - thanks, looks like your suggestion will fix the problem. Then I can just program the gate on for rehearsals and another set of patches for live, or if it isn't too bad keep it the same. I like the control of it for rhythm and the EH Silencer is fancy enough that you can tweak it that it's almost without artifacts. Then the lead patch will be all free of noise gates so I can feedback if needed as well.

Thank you all for the help!

I'll take this rig apart again as I need to retube the power amp but will report once that is finished.

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