Electrical noise and hum is one of the worst issues to plague a guitarist’s rig. There is nothing worse than when you are trying to play clean and tight, and in between notes you are hearing buzzing. Whether it be ground loop issues, a noisy pedal, a noisy tube amp (read: ALL tube amps), radio interference, dirty power, 60 cycle hum, or feedback; it all sucks.
Thankfully several companies have invented products to help us in our quest for a quieter rig. This invention is called the noise suppressor and has helped countless guitarists obtain a tighter, cleaner, more professional sound. Pro audio guys are fully aware of noise gates, which are used on everything from drums to vocals, to cut out cymbal bleed or vocal breathing. But this pedal is like a noise gate for guitar.
The most famous noise suppressors are the Boss NS-2 and the ISP Decimator. Both of these pedals have earned their respective place at the top of the Quiet Hall of Fame. If you are still unsure as to how these things work in principal, check out this classic video:
Sweet. Personally, the ISP is my current favorite due to its more natural suppression style and only one knob. Simplicity really is beautiful. Well, the folks over at Electro-Harmonix have stepped into the noise-gate game by creating their version of these pedals, which they have dubbed the “Silencer”.
What makes this pedal unique is that it features a time-release
suppression rather than a voltage controlled one. Most suppressors turn themselves on and off
with a voltage control, which reacts quickly to input signal, and engages when
a threshold reaches a certain mark. This
gate, however can be set to a time-setting from 8 milliseconds after the note,
to up to 4 seconds after the note. This
gives players a different approach to gating, which supposedly helps with
sustain. Three knobs help you dial in the amount of clamp, the threshold in which it activates, and the timed release. It's a bit more complex than the ISP, but hey, it might get the job done better!
Let’s face it, we’ve probably all tried noise gates that have ruined a good clean tone or taken all the balls out of a dirty tone, because it was not gating properly. You never want to gate the note, just the noise; and this pedal very well may be the key to that!
EHX describes their new pedal, which debuted at SNAMM 15 as follows:
A sophisticated noise gate that can tame a single pedal or an entire effects loop! The Silencer’s three-control layout provides precise fine-tuning to fit your system, axe and playing style. Threshold adjusts how much level is required to open the noise gate and allow a signal to pass thru. Reduction regulated the degree to which the gated signal is reduced and is variable between -70dB and +4dB. Release controls how long the gate remains open after the signal drops below the Threshold. Release time is variable between 8ms and 4 seconds.
I/O includes ¼ inch Input, Output, Send and Return jacks. The footswitch selects whether The Silencer is engaged or in bypass mode; buffered bypass allows the effects loop to remain in your signal path when the gate is bypassed. A built-in AC jack accepts a standard power supply like the EHX 9.6DC unit (optional) and the pedal comes with a 9V battery.
Conquer noise with The Silencer!
Check out this brief product demo at SNAMM right here:
Here is quick rundown on specs:
- Three controls for precise fine-tuning
- Use it as an inline noise gate or to gate an entire effects loop
- Delivers up to -70dB of noise reduction
- Features 8ms to 4 seconds of release time
- Buffered bypass
- Compact design, rugged chassis
- Equipped with a 9V battery and accepts a standard EHX 9.6DC/200 AC Adaptor (optional)
Want more? Get your noisy rig over to http://www.ehx.com/products/silencer right now!