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DBX 268S removes background noise but creates new clicking noise as I speak
Old 13th September 2019
Here for the gear

DBX 268S removes background noise but creates new clicking noise as I speak

I've been messing with my recording gadgets for months but to no avail. There is always persistent 'simultaneous noise' that come with my speaking. It cannot be removed software-wise, as I cannot get a sample of it--when I don't talk, there is no noise, or like dead silence.

First off, my hardware configurationd the chain:

Shure SM7b--DBX 286S Preamp---Steinberg UR22 Interface ----USB---laptop

For output to my Denon AH-D7100 headphone, I connect the TS output ports on the back of Steinberg to the RCA Input ports of my Centrance DACmini. On the front of the DACmini I get a balanced 6.35mm TRS port in which I plug in my headphone.

Everything is good except the 'simultaneous noise' that always comes with my voice. The software program I am improvising at the moment is Audacity 2.3.2. I should use Pro Tools, or Cubase, but I've not found a free version. I may need to give it a try at Adobe audition, but I figure the noise issue has nothing to do with what DAW program I use.

I wish to use this system to make crystal clear voice recording only, for podcasts. As of now there is always this annoying, persistent noise issue that is getting on my nerves.

Let me explain why I use the DBX 286s preamp. It not only adds more juice to my system (and it is a must to go with the Shure sm7b which demands lots of gain), it has a magic 'audio processing feature' powered by four groups of functionalities, including compressor, DE-esser, Enhancer and Expander/Gate. This preamp is capable of removing all the background noise in my room. When I monitor what I talking using the headphone, I hear no background noise if I don't talk. It is supposed to do this job perfectly and conintue to filter noise while I am talking, but, unfortunately, it creates new noise as I talk. This new type of noise is not too strong. But it is always there, and can sneak into my recordings.

I've tried many times to configure the 8 knobs at the four groups of processing zone on its front panel, but there is no luck. I've also searched across forums where professional recorders discuss technical issues, but nobody has even mentioned my weird issue.

Most people would not use DBX 286s. They would use a cloud lifter or a Fethead, each of which can add 20-24 db of gain. I've tried one of them but was not satisfied--there was great background noise that could not be filtered. This 286s device can filter all the noise.

To add more information:

I can take the DBX 286s off the chain, and use steinberg UR22 interface only. That way there would be no 'simultaneous noise', but the background noise is unbearable. And my podcast sounds awful even with a Cloud Lifter or Fethead because the voice is not processed at all. I wish to hear my own voice that is already processed in my monitoring headphone so that it sounds better. Common audio processing methods are compressor, normalize, DE-Esser, Expanding/Gate, etc. The amazing DBX 286s does it all. It gives me great voice, except for that side-effect of 'simultaneous noise', or "the accompanying noise" that always goes with my talking.

Old 13th September 2019
Lets hear the noise. Post a clip of it. There are different noises that are caused by different things.

You can also troubleshoot it by removing and/or replacing everything in your signal and gain stage. if its still there, then you need to look at your electrical grid and prob call an electrician
Old 13th September 2019
Lives for gear

The only thing I can imagine is causing you a problem is the DBX's - De-esser, Enhancer, Expander or Gate
I'd guess its most likely the Gate which is doing what its supposed to, clamping down and silencing the sound when there is no input and opening when there is sound. gates come in all kinds and flavors, some can chop the tails off like an axe and others can have a completely unnoticeable soft gate open/close.

What makes most gates noticeable is the background noise levels when the gate is open. If the sound is being chopped from a noticeably hissy background to dead silence its obvious you're going to hear the choppiness when that gate triggers. That's what a gate is designed for and its supposed to do. If its something that's overly annoying then your options are limited. Get a new preamp or dump using it all together. There are plenty of people who use a Cloudlifter instead of an external preamp and do fine podcasting.

Better yet dump using that SM7 and the DBX. Get a condenser mic that has more then enough signal gain for that interface and use the Steinberg's Preamp. I guarantee you it will be dead quiet so there wont be any need for band aids to fix things that shouldn't be there in the first place. (so long as your room is quiet)

This isn't a unique problem either. I see people all the time , especially people who podcast, buying bad setups. They see someone else using that same poor match who had to fix it using numerous band aids, and figure that's the best option so they repeat the same bad choices and face the same problems and therefore needing the same band aids to fix the problems. Its one thing to use the kind of high quality preamps originally used when the SM7's were first released. Most of those were high end recording consoles run by professionals who could extract strong signals with low noise. Today? Its not going to happen using most of the budget junk out there.

My advice, you want to run an SM7 you need to spend a grand or more on a high quality, high gain, low noise preamp only, no compressor gate or any of that crap. Compression, expanders, gates guarantee you'll raise the noise floor and make it a problem. Trying to get a clan signal using those items is an oxymoron. Best cost solution, get a large diaphragm, condenser mic and pop filter. The only noise you'll hear comes from within the room and if you set the gain and mic angle right even those wont be an issue.
Old 13th September 2019
Lives for snowflakes
12ax7's Avatar

Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
The only thing I can imagine is causing you a problem is the DBX's - De-esser, Enhancer, Expander or Gate [...]
Its probably the sound of the gate opening.

If you can't adjust the gate to get rid of the problem, turn it off.

Then you will only have whatever noise problem you may have in that room.

...But at least then you'll know what's causing it.
Old 16th September 2019
The dbx 286 is a perfectly adequate preamp, just go easy on the expander/gate, move closer to the mic to reduce your room noise.
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