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Channel strip making noise help? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 25th December 2010
Gear Head
Channel strip making noise help?

I picked up a focusrite voicemaster pro off a guy from craigslist and it's been giving me lots of problems. If I stop talking into it the mic will cut out and then when it comes back in it's sometimes completely distortion, when I bypass the unit and bring it back sometimes it does it as well. When I initiate different modules like the desser, as soon as I esss it starts cutting out and distorting. Is there anything I can do to fix this? the guy who sold it said it worked fine for him and that it probably needs the pots cleaned. Will this fix the problem? I have a clip I'll post later, I'm currently at a Christmas party and I'm determined to make this thing work. Thanks for any suggestions. Also it doesn't seem like a super serious problem how much would focusrite or a repair shop charge to fix this.
Old 25th December 2010
Lives for gear
tampa's Avatar

Time will tell....Dirty pots? maybe.
Old 25th December 2010
Lives for gear
Jimsi's Avatar

could be a dirty pot if the unit is older, dont know, hope all is well with yur unit...but it works bypassed ok? all signls go from point a to b?...time will tell what happened...
Old 25th December 2010
Gear Head
Bypassed works, but I don't need a Pre I wanted a comp and eq. What do you mean time will tell, it's almost unusable at this point.
Old 25th December 2010
Lives for gear
Jimsi's Avatar

Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
Bypassed works, but I don't need a Pre I wanted a comp and eq. What do you mean time will tell, it's almost unusable at this point.
Please dont take this the wrong way, the chances are pretty high the one who sold this to you had the problems too, I would clean the pots and if the problem persists contatct the seller and try getting your money back, i dont like seeing aanyone being ripped off and i think we all have in our past, but to be positive think that the pots are the problem, which it may be...
Old 25th December 2010
Gear Head
That may be true but I don't get that kind of vibe from him he seems cool and I know what studio he works for. I've been txting him and he said he used it the day he sold it and I sent him the clip and he said dirty pots, but would dirty pots continue to make noise even after I finished touching them? It did take a minor fall out of my car since the box fell apart but it was separated by some monitor auralex mounts. I doubt that small 1 foot slide drop would do this.
Old 25th December 2010
Lives for gear

Did you get a manual with the unit? If not, you should be able to find it on line. My first guess is the noise gate is not set correctly and the gain structure is not set right between the internal modules. I have a Focusrite channel strip, and it is a bugger to set up unless you have the manual (or you are already an audio engineer of much experience). You have to treat each section of the unit as a separate unit, just like if it was a pre-amp, a noise gate, a compressor, an equalizer, and a de-esser in separate boxes. If you don't gain stage correctly from one section to the next, it will behave erratically. When set properly, it will sound very nice indeed. That is unless it's broken, but I would certainly take a good hard look at set up before I tore it apart to clean the pots and what not. It's not a simple box, more like a rack IN a box.
Old 25th December 2010
Gear Head
Thanks, i'll download it and give it a good read, here's the clip, let me know if you have experienced this, it's 5 minutes, the bad stuff starts around halfway if you want to skip around.

tester.mp3 - 9.6 Mb
Old 25th December 2010
Gear Head
Ok i dont know if this helps, but when the circuit isn't bypassed, sometimes (40% of the time) if i stop talking into the mic, it'll cut out, and when it comes back its either fine, or super distorted. It honestly feels like it's being gated, but the gate is off i tried turning it on and messing with the settings but it did the same thing.
Old 26th December 2010
Lives for gear

Try setting the gate threshold all the way down (-40 or what ever it goes down to... I don't recall) If the problem goes away, then the gate is not turning off with the switch and is still active. One of the chief concerns I have seen in online reviews of Focusrite gear is the switches are on the weak side, and prone to failures. I haven't lost any (yet), but I can see where it is a legitimate concern. The gate threshold is pretty iffy on my unit when it is set to very near the background noise level of the room (ie computer fan noise etc,). When the gate is set that way it sometimes makes a farting sound as it tries to open and close rapidly. Setting the threshold level a bit higher or lower solves the problem. I usually go a little higher so it can do it's job with a little cushion to prevent flatulence. If your input gain is too low, and you are making up with gain in the other sections of the unit I can see where you might be having a lot of problems with the gate. Start at the input gain, and then set the rest of the modules from left to right. That is their order in the signal chain.
Old 27th December 2010
Lives for gear
changeng's Avatar
It's a long shot, but have you left the unit on for long periods of time? With used stuff, it's not a bad idea to run a signal though it overnight, like an mp3 player loaded with hours of music and occasionally turn the pots all the way in either direction, then leave it wide open again. Sometimes older units do need to warm up and this has helped some of my ebay purchases.

and most definitely clean the pots anyway.
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