Forums > Personal > HELP! Show lighting causing noise on guitar amp

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Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
Adam Baboolal
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Posted: 16 Aug 07, 18:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've posted this elsewhere as well as I really NEED to figure this one out. Please help if you can. Thanks, Adam.
================
Hi folks.

Well, first, our company is back for a one-night only, We Will Rock You show tomorrow night. It's going well. However, good and bad tonight that calls for some expert advice...

Good = My guitar is IN the show and I'm playing it too!!!! :rollin

Bad = When the lighting is turned on, a noise goes through the amp... nooooooooooo...!


My director said the playing was fine, but if we couldn't get rid of that noise then the playing idea would have to be pulled.


So, I'm desperate for some help with this problem. Here are the facts:

1. It's (the amp) sitting near the front of the stage with a monitor speaker behind and a row of lights nearby.
2. It was plugged into a socket which also had something else plugged in - lights? Dunno.
3. And the noise appears when I turn up the volume on the guitar. It disappears when the volume is turned down.

Now, because of no.3, I think it could be my guitar. Anyone got an idea on what I can do? I just persuaded my director to try out the guitar idea and I was really nervous as we ran the show. It went pretty well, though it was hard to hear myself! And I also didn't have a pick at all!! Doh!


Anyway, does anyone have experience with this kind of problem? I've searched the internet without much useful info found. Please, please, please help if you can. I'd hate to have to take it out of the show... :(

Thanks,
Adam.

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Posted: 17 Aug 07, 10:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It just might be a problem with the earthing of the socket that the amp and the lights are plugged into which might be why you are getting the noise through your amp. This is a problem usually created by older electronics in old sockets. Try using a different socket if you can.

Also it could be that your amp is just too near to the lights and you are getting a static signal running through your set up. Try positioning the amp somewhere else perhaps.

Hope that helps Adam. By the way, I am not an expert in anything electrical, what I said is basically what I encountered when I did play in a band a while back.

Best of luck with the show!!


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But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
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Posted: 17 Aug 07, 12:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

They gotta be pugged into seperate breakers, that's all.

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Posted: 19 Aug 07, 16:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Adam what happened with the show?


"Normally i can't dance to save my life.

But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 19 Aug 07, 17:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey there.

Sorry I never got back about it sooner, but my mate stayed over since then and we've been on the computer games again! Well, since last year!!


Right. I used my guitar visually in the show. Fantastic! But, there was no guitar playing in the show. Shame, but it couldn't be done. The noise was there even after putting it into a set of sockets wired for sound. I had some other ideas, but the tech folk were not being very helpful. Any idea was met with a "no, that wouldn't work". But the director was very kind and said I could still use the guitar on WWRY and the solo bit in the WATC ending (which lasts for over a minute). However, here's what happened:

1. I didn't get to check the guitar's tuning. So I didn't feel confident about plugging it in and then playing it, only to find it's out of tune. *Shudders*

2. I was gonna try it anyway, but when I glanced over at the cables, it was spaghetti junction. All tangled up. So, I chickened out and didn't bother.

3. The cable wasn't set along the front of the stage, so it would've tripped up some chorus members behind me when they tried moving forward.

4. And lastly, I was soooo rushed off my feet getting video cameras set, audio recordings setup and trying to get the backing track put in place, I just didn't feel right about much that day. I didn't even get to warm up my voice (etc.) with everyone else and arrived late. Just in time to watch everyone vacate the stage.

I also forgot to put the tremolo bar onto the guitar, but that would've been no biggie.


Well, there you go. If I could've put my amp somewhere else away from the lighting, it would probably have been noise free! Heck, that's where the band has been placed in previous years and they don't have noise on their amps! But noooooo, the tech guys were pretty useless. Well, the newbie audio guy was.

Now, as I go back in my mind, I'm starting to realise my idea was a sound one. You can probably guess I'm now feeling a little frustrated. It would've worked. God damn it... How depressing cause that show is gone forever now. I'm not a gigging guitarist or singer, so that was my ultimate moment. The show was also altered so that Scaramouche DOESN'T get the guitar. So, yeah, it really isn't happening again. It was a total one-off.

However, at least I got to sample the guitar playing idea the night before the show and myself and the company got to hear it. :)

Adam.

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Posted: 19 Aug 07, 18:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thats a pity that you never got to play live as such, but hey at least you were on stage. Like I said before, I used to sometimes get noise showing up on the guitar and it was usually because of what I said in my earlier post. The tech guys at the show should have realised this from the start.

Anyway, dont let a minor blip like this stop you from doing something like that in the future, ok.

Cheers

Dave


"Normally i can't dance to save my life.

But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 19 Aug 07, 18:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh, I know not to let it stop me. If I'm lucky, I'll be doing something at my friend's wedding in 3 weeks time. We'll see...

It's just annoying that this Queen related show was a complete one-off. And this was the 2nd/last chance to make it better than before. But like I said, apart from the extraordinary things that went wrong, the actual show went pretty well!

Anyway, watch the schools WWRY thread in the general forum (and/or this one I guess) for some hi-def video.

Adam.

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Posted: 19 Aug 07, 19:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok cool I'll look out for the vids then!!


"Normally i can't dance to save my life.

But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
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Posted: 20 Aug 07, 00:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Perhaps your guitar pickups might be picking up 60-cycle mains hum from the lights? Humbucking pickups would therefore likely solve the problem. Also, if you're using single-coil pickups, if the middle pup is reverse-wound and reverse-polarity to the other pickups, you can try using it in tandem with either the neck or bridge pickups to effectively cancel the hum.

Odds are that you've already considered this, but if not, hopefully it will help. Sorry if it's too late.


Creativity can always cover for a lack of knowledge.
Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Aug 07, 06:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, the show was on Friday, but thanks anyway. Btw, we're in the UK so I'm thinking that should be 50 and not 60, yes?

The RS guitar was in it's natural hum-cancelling setting - Bridge and Middle, so that was fine. The problem had been a buzz/crackling sound that came on ONLY with the lights around the front of stage. Not any other set of lights.

But like I said before, had my amp moved to sit beyond the front of stage and away from the lights, I'm very confident it would've been 100% fine. However, the 2 tech guys just didn't give and were too quick to say that this or that wouldn't work. Sometimes, you have to try something, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE OUTCOME. The whole point of doing that is peace of mind and eliminating something from your query list.

Adam.

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Posted: 20 Aug 07, 12:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I figured you checked that already. I really can't see why the lights would directly effect the amp like that, but just like you said: first you try everything that makes sense, then you try everything that doesn't. Perhaps the amplifier has some shielding problems and is picking up the 50 cycle mains hum (sorry, I was thinking in American!).


Creativity can always cover for a lack of knowledge.
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Posted: 21 Aug 07, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

All you need is a power conditioner, plugged into a seperate circuit.




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Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 21 Aug 07, 10:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Haystacks, it was plugged into a socket that was separate from other sources and was specifically wired around the venue for sound.

I want a power conditioner at home, so maybe in the future I'll get to test that theory. But I'm not sure about the difference.

Adam.

EDIT: There was NO HUM!!! It was a higher-pitched noise from the lights. More like a crackle.