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BOSS RC 505 Loop Station - BACKGROUND NOISE/HISS
Old 8th February 2016
  #1
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BOSS RC 505 Loop Station - BACKGROUND NOISE/HISS

Hey guys! I bought the Boss RC 505 Loop Station a while back and absolutely LOVE it but there is one problem : BACKGROUND NOISE/HISS

Anyone know how to solve this problem??? I have already turned down the instrument input and that doesn't help anything. I have also used the CLEAN COMPRESSOR effect on the INPUT as well but that just cuts off the signal like a noise gate does. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT TO DO??? I AM REALLY FRUSTRATED THAT MY LOOPS HAVE NOISE/HISS ON THEM...PLEASE HELP!!!

THANKS!
Old 9th February 2016
  #2
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You either have a defective looper, or it's set up wrong, or the signal being input into the looper is noisy.

To ensure that the RC-505 is set up correctly, read throught the setup procedure in the manual. It tells you how to set the input and output volumes.

It's possible that you could have gain staging problems in your mixer, or a hardware defect in the mixer that's causing the problem. To determine if your input signal is noisy, plug a set of headphones into the jack on your mixer that's feeding the RC-505. Is the sound noisy through the phones?
Old 9th February 2016
  #3
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I have the rc300 and I don't have this problem unless the source itself is noisy. Obviously if you give it noisy signal it's gonna be noisy. Definitely check your gain staging to make sure you are getting the best signal to noise ratio.
Old 9th February 2016
  #4
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NO nothing coming out of my mixer is noisy...

I think it's just the way they must have built the RC-505...the reason i think this is because i have noticed in the past that both the roland juno g and the roland 555 sampler have background noise/hiss on them as well (Not going through the loopers). THE JUPITER 80 does not have any background noise/hiss and neither does the clavia nord lead 2...
Old 9th February 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ckwave View Post
NO nothing coming out of my mixer is noisy...

I think it's just the way they must have built the RC-505...the reason i think this is because i have noticed in the past that both the roland juno g and the roland 555 sampler have background noise/hiss on them as well (Not going through the loopers). THE JUPITER 80 does not have any background noise/hiss and neither does the clavia nord lead 2...
Actually i noticed some background noise out of the analog main outs of the Jupiter 80. But using the Digital out or USB into the Roland MX-1 is absolutely noise free.

I have a Red Panda Particle Delay that puts a hiss at a certain frequency on everything it processes. So i put a steep band reject eq on it´s output.
I suppose your RC505 noise is frequency independent ?
Old 9th February 2016
  #6
TBS
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I'll second Rooftree...it's either a defective unit or you've got some kind of setup problem.
Bad outlet?
Too many cables laying on top of each other?
Perhaps a recording effect engaged that's making it?

I have two RC-505s and have never noticed any noise whatsoever from them.
Old 27th May 2017
  #7
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Hey man did you find a solution to the hiss? I have the same problem ONLY when I use any guitars. The mic input is fine though.
Old 28th May 2017
  #8
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maybe short the mic input to ground? that's probably where the noise is coming from.
Old 24th December 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ckwave View Post
Hey guys! I bought the Boss RC 505 Loop Station a while back and absolutely LOVE it but there is one problem : BACKGROUND NOISE/HISS

Anyone know how to solve this problem??? I have already turned down the instrument input and that doesn't help anything. I have also used the CLEAN COMPRESSOR effect on the INPUT as well but that just cuts off the signal like a noise gate does. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT TO DO??? I AM REALLY FRUSTRATED THAT MY LOOPS HAVE NOISE/HISS ON THEM...PLEASE HELP!!!

THANKS!
Just to jump in largely out of ignorance -- except that I'm also a new RC-505 user and was having some trouble with hiss/noise -- what seemed to be going on was simply an input signal that was too weak, with an SM57 plugged directly into the RC's mic input, to capture a horn with a very quiet mute (necessitated by my apartment, where I can't play loud). I had to crank the input level up high enough that a fair amount of hiss was being generated anytime I played the horn.

I have an Apogee Duet audio converter (which I use for other things -- originally to digitize old cassette recordings for a podcast) and thought, hmmm, what if I ran the mic through the Duet and used to amplify the signal, before routing it to the RC?

Sure enough, that fixed the problem -- nice clear signal, little or no hiss, at a lower input setting on the RC.

YMMV. As a trombonist with limited engineering acumen, that's the best I can do for an answer -- I read manuals and how-to articles (like the ones on gain-staging referenced in this thread), watch tutorials, plug things in, try them, and see how they work. But I was having the same problem you describe, and "you must have a defective unit" didn't seem like the most helpful answer....

Urb
Old 25th December 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbie4 View Post
Just to jump in largely out of ignorance -- except that I'm also a new RC-505 user and was having some trouble with hiss/noise -- what seemed to be going on was simply an input signal that was too weak, with an SM57 plugged directly into the RC's mic input, to capture a horn with a very quiet mute (necessitated by my apartment, where I can't play loud). I had to crank the input level up high enough that a fair amount of hiss was being generated anytime I played the horn.

I have an Apogee Duet audio converter (which I use for other things -- originally to digitize old cassette recordings for a podcast) and thought, hmmm, what if I ran the mic through the Duet and used to amplify the signal, before routing it to the RC?

Sure enough, that fixed the problem -- nice clear signal, little or no hiss, at a lower input setting on the RC.

YMMV. As a trombonist with limited engineering acumen, that's the best I can do for an answer -- I read manuals and how-to articles (like the ones on gain-staging referenced in this thread), watch tutorials, plug things in, try them, and see how they work. But I was having the same problem you describe, and "you must have a defective unit" didn't seem like the most helpful answer....

Urb
Hey Urb.... just an FYI for your particular situation: The other way to record a quiet source (like a muted horn) into the 505 is to use a condenser mic that runs on phantom power. (See the 505 manual, p. 6 I think, for how to turn on phantom power to the 505’s mic input.)

It’s certainly possible to mic all kinds of things with a 57 if you have a good preamp (as you found out by using your Duet) but that mic is typically used for close-mic’ing loud sources, like guitar amps and snare drums—in part because a 57 is good but NOT super-sensitive. A condenser mic is a simpler fix for quiet sounds, if you can get your hands on one. (Horns also often get mic’d with ribbon microphones, which can get fried by phantom power—but that’s way off topic.)

Hope this helps.
Old 25th December 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by percussion boy View Post
Hey Urb.... just an FYI for your particular situation: The other way to record a quiet source (like a muted horn) into the 505 is to use a condenser mic that runs on phantom power. (See the 505 manual, p. 6 I think, for how to turn on phantom power to the 505’s mic input.)... It’s certainly possible to mic all kinds of things with a 57... A condenser mic is a simpler fix for quiet sounds, if you can get your hands on one.
Thanks, Perc Boy! I do actually have an old condenser mic (electret, not one that uses phantom power), so I'll try that next. I got the 57 on a recommendation from another trombonist -- who probably didn't realize I was going to stuff a practice mute in the horn, reducing the volume to about that of a speaking voice. This is just for apartment practice -- the 57 might work better when I take it to a space where I can play the horn open. What's going on is that, after a lifetime of playing gigs and finding that my musical career has, on the whole, been a disappointment, I decided screw it, if the cool kids aren't going to ask me to join their band, I'll make my own -- learning how to do live looping in an attempt at making my own thing happen as a solo practitioner. Thanks for the help.

Urb
Old 25th December 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbie4 View Post
Thanks, Perc Boy! I do actually have an old condenser mic (electret, not one that uses phantom power), so I'll try that next. I got the 57 on a recommendation from another trombonist -- who probably didn't realize I was going to stuff a practice mute in the horn, reducing the volume to about that of a speaking voice. This is just for apartment practice -- the 57 might work better when I take it to a space where I can play the horn open. What's going on is that, after a lifetime of playing gigs and finding that my musical career has, on the whole, been a disappointment, I decided screw it, if the cool kids aren't going to ask me to join their band, I'll make my own -- learning how to do live looping in an attempt at making my own thing happen as a solo practitioner. Thanks for the help.

Urb
Good luck with the electret. I’m not sure that will serve you better than the solution you’ve already worked out with the 57 through the interface, but try it and see.

The condenser mics that are phantom powered, or that you can put a battery in, tend to do well for recording quiet things. Obviously there are good ones and bad ones, just like anything else.

And way off topic, the trombone is a great and underrated instrument. Big fan here of Jimmy Knepper in Mingus’s band, Barry Rogers in the New York salsa bands, etc..

Sorry for pulling the thread into the weeds...
Old 5th January 2020
  #13
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Hey all,

Thanks for this helpful post.

I’ve just bought an RC 505 and experiencing a similar issue. I’ve checked my gains to ensure my input signal is not too low and everything is going in at the right level; this has helped somewhat.

I’ve checked the input signal and it’s clean. What I’m finding is that when there is any input going into the 505, there is a background hiss as it is engaged/picking it up. When the instruments are silent, there is no hiss; it’s just when it’s receiving an input. It’s most noticeable when I use the electric piano during the sustain after a note is played.

Is this just what happens when the 505 is receiving a signal? Could this be a faulty unit?

My set-up is all instruments / inputs going into a Yamaha MG10XU and then into the RC 505 via Instrument L & R jacks. I have the INST input right down and output level up high. The issue is output on both the headphones and the L&R line outs.

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Old 2nd April 2020
  #14
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Hey hello everyone.
dungermouse, I have exactly the same problem. Have you found a solution?
Is there anyone who has an idea what it could be?
Sorry for my English but I'm Italian and I use Google translator.
Old 17th April 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaioyoca View Post
Hey hello everyone.
dungermouse, I have exactly the same problem. Have you found a solution?
Is there anyone who has an idea what it could be?
Sorry for my English but I'm Italian and I use Google translator.
I just found this thread because I'm having the exact same problem, as are a few other people on the RC-505 Facebook group.

To confirm--the issue is that when ANY input signal is being run through the RC-505, no matter how low-level the signal is, the background white noise/hiss (which is normally almost inaudible at idle) becomes louder to the point of being audible. In other words I can totally confirm dangermouse's observation:

Quote:
I’ve checked the input signal and it’s clean. What I’m finding is that when there is any input going into the 505, there is a background hiss as it is engaged/picking it up. When the instruments are silent, there is no hiss; it’s just when it’s receiving an input. It’s most noticeable when I use the electric piano during the sustain after a note is played.
In some experimentation, one of the folks on the Facebook group seems to have found that when he touches the output jacks or the headphone output jack, it seems to potentially diminish the noise. This makes us wonder if it's some kind of grounding issue. Is it possible that running a grounding wire from the output jacks to a grounded metal object would help? I'm going to do some experiments later tonight to see if there's anything to this.
Old 17th April 2020
  #16
TJT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post
I just found this thread because I'm having the exact same problem, as are a few other people on the RC-505 Facebook group.

To confirm--the issue is that when ANY input signal is being run through the RC-505, no matter how low-level the signal is, the background white noise/hiss (which is normally almost inaudible at idle) becomes louder to the point of being audible. In other words I can totally confirm dangermouse's observation:



In some experimentation, one of the folks on the Facebook group seems to have found that when he touches the output jacks or the headphone output jack, it seems to potentially diminish the noise. This makes us wonder if it's some kind of grounding issue. Is it possible that running a grounding wire from the output jacks to a grounded metal object would help? I'm going to do some experiments later tonight to see if there's anything to this.
My best guess: Go to System and lower your noise threshold. "NS threshold"

It is essentially a gate that closes to not let in any noise beyond a certain db level. Once you pass that threshold, it lets audio signal come through.

This is helpful in situations with a mic where you are recording a lot of loops and you don't want a ton of noise from the unused portions of the recordings to affect your overdubs.

If you lower it to something like 30 db or even just 0db, it will let all the background noise pass through to your recording.
Old 17th April 2020
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJT View Post
My best guess: Go to System and lower your noise threshold. "NS threshold"

It is essentially a gate that closes to not let in any noise beyond a certain db level. Once you pass that threshold, it lets audio signal come through.

This is helpful in situations with a mic where you are recording a lot of loops and you don't want a ton of noise from the unused portions of the recordings to affect your overdubs.

If you lower it to something like 30 db or even just 0db, it will let all the background noise pass through to your recording.
Yep, I thought of that--there's also a compressor setting as well. Changing the parameters of the compressor and the noise threshold setting did nothing to alleviate the issue (obviously raising the threshold did, in the sense that if the gate is high enough, no noise at all gets through--but lowering it did not fix the problem, even to zero.)

A video I made of the problem can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eB-Bpg3c3o
Old 17th April 2020
  #18
TJT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post
Yep, I thought of that--there's also a compressor setting as well. Changing the parameters of the compressor and the noise threshold setting did nothing to alleviate the issue (obviously raising the threshold did, in the sense that if the gate is high enough, no noise at all gets through--but lowering it did not fix the problem, even to zero.)

A video I made of the problem can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eB-Bpg3c3o
Are you sending it through the mic pre of your interface and then out to the RC-505?

For troubleshooting purposes, it would be better to go directly into the RC-505 so you can make sure that your problem is isolated to the RC-505 and not your signal chain before that.

So, if you have an instrument or line instrument to test with and send directly, or if you want to send a mic directly into the RC-505, that's the way you should test. With the NS threshold at 0.

Unless I'm totally misinterpreting your setup on your Youtube.

Just re-read your post on Youtube. You're pressing synth keys to play a guitar sound? So, it's a sample? Does the sample have noise? Can you try it with a synth, non-sampled sound instead?
Old 21st May 2020
  #19
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[QUOTE=canadave;14668040]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaioyoca View Post
In some experimentation, one of the folks on the Facebook group seems to have found that when he touches the output jacks or the headphone output jack, it seems to potentially diminish the noise. This makes us wonder if it's some kind of grounding issue. Is it possible that running a grounding wire from the output jacks to a grounded metal object would help? I'm going to do some experiments later tonight to see if there's anything to this.
Any luck with the testing?
Old 21st May 2020
  #20
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[QUOTE=JimJamGibson;14750131]
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post

Any luck with the testing?
Never got around to it, to be honest. Wound up just living with it.
Old 21st May 2020
  #21
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[QUOTE=canadave;14750300]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimJamGibson View Post

Never got around to it, to be honest. Wound up just living with it.
After thinking about it some more last night, I ordered a cloudlifter preamp for $150. My hope is that this will get me ~20 decibels further away from the noise floor.
Old 21st May 2020
  #22
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[QUOTE=JimJamGibson;14750860]
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post

After thinking about it some more last night, I ordered a cloudlifter preamp for $150. My hope is that this will get me ~20 decibels further away from the noise floor.
Interesting concept--you mean to impact the audio signal after it leaves the RC-505 outputs? Please let us know how it works (or if it works)
Old 21st May 2020
  #23
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[QUOTE=canadave;14750963][QUOTE=JimJamGibson;14750860]

Interesting concept--you mean to impact the audio signal after it leaves the RC-505 outputs? Please let us know how it works (or if it works) [/QUOTE

So it seems like these are just noisy units. Based on a couple comments here in this thread, it sounds like it's due to a lack of grounding - which makes sense.

I believe the reason why I'm getting so much noise is because my dynamic Sennheiser e935 is so low output that, when I crank up the input volume to a good level, I'm also cranking up the noise floor as well.

I'm going to plug the e935 into the cloudlifter and then run that into the RC-505 input. When the cloudlifter receives phantom power, it will boost the mic signal (cleanly) up to 23 decibels.

This should make it so I don't have to crank the RC-505's input volume in order to get a good level from the e935, meaning that I don't have to crank up the noise floor as well.

So the static and his will still be there, but hopefully it will just be significantly quieter.
Old 21st May 2020
  #24
TJT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimJamGibson View Post

So it seems like these are just noisy units. Based on a couple comments here in this thread, it sounds like it's due to a lack of grounding - which makes sense.

I believe the reason why I'm getting so much noise is because my dynamic Sennheiser e935 is so low output that, when I crank up the input volume to a good level, I'm also cranking up the noise floor as well.

I'm going to plug the e935 into the cloudlifter and then run that into the RC-505 input. When the cloudlifter receives phantom power, it will boost the mic signal (cleanly) up to 23 decibels.

This should make it so I don't have to crank the RC-505's input volume in order to get a good level from the e935, meaning that I don't have to crank up the noise floor as well.

So the static and his will still be there, but hopefully it will just be significantly quieter.
If it's a grounding issue, you will hear hum, not just white noise.

Don't really know about the Cloud Lifter, but getting a separate mic pre is a good idea. The Rc-505's built in mic pre is probably not the best. I use a separate mic pre, then I just bring the signal in at line level, and have no issues with noise.
Old 21st May 2020
  #25
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Originally Posted by TJT View Post
If it's a grounding issue, you will hear hum, not just white noise.

Don't really know about the Cloud Lifter, but getting a separate mic pre is a good idea. The Rc-505's built in mic pre is probably not the best. I use a separate mic pre, then I just bring the signal in at line level, and have no issues with noise.
I'm looking forward to joining you in the kingdom of separate mic pres. I'll be able to let y'all know how it goes whenever it shows up.
Old 21st May 2020
  #26
TJT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimJamGibson View Post
I'm looking forward to joining you in the kingdom of separate mic pres. I'll be able to let y'all know how it goes whenever it shows up.
You can also explore getting a good condenser if you don't already have one. Less gain, less noise. I have a Rode NT-2a which is a good, versatile one.
Old 14th June 2020
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJT View Post
You can also explore getting a good condenser if you don't already have one. Less gain, less noise. I have a Rode NT-2a which is a good, versatile one.
Just to jump back into this thread, as the relatively-n00b trombone player using an RC-505 and various other gear (I did recently add a Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC100, which helps when using a mic into the INPUT INST jack)...

I did start using a condenser mic (Audio Technica Pro 35) clipped onto the bell of my horn (still muted, because I still live in an apartment where I can't make a lot of noise). As someone previously noted in this thread, it's *much* more sensitive than the SM57 I was trying before. But that's the problem -- it's so sensitive that it picks up small noises from stuff like accidentally brushing against the mic cable itself while playing, or valve noise from the rotors on my bass trumpet or trombone... or pretty much anything -- that mic will record a sleeping cat breathing in the next room while I'm playing! Still trying to figure out the best combination of gain setting, preamp or no, and position of mic (clipped onto bell vs. separated from horn on mic stand -- the disadvantage of that is that it's easy to bang my horn into the mic, with obvious negative consequences for whatever I'm looping! Obviously this is my problem, not y'all's to figure out).

I don't think there is an inherent noise issue with the RC-505, now that I've been experimenting with it for six months or so. It's probably not the most high-end, noise-free, million-dollar-recording-studio piece of gear on the market -- but with the right setup, it's pretty quiet -- and overall, a lot more capable than I am, at this point. And that noise threshold -- which is in the supplementary manual but not the regular manual! -- is important; cranking up the value a little seems to reduce background noise a lot; no more sleeping cat breath. I'm finding that with low brass, it's easy to get into making too much of a wall of sound -- finer textures are harder to achieve. I'll keep practicing!
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