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Getting noise when using effects loop


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So let me preface this by saying I have my setup somewhat jerry rigged, so my problem probably lies somewhere along the way, however I thought It couldn't hurt to get some other opinions. I have a HX stomp, I am running my guitar through some pedals (volume, compressor, dirt) then into the left (mono) input on my helix. I am then running my left and right outputs to a vintage yamaha mixer, left going into one channel, right going into another. For each of the channels I am running a speaker cable with a 1/4 inch on one side (that plugs into the mixer) and exposed wire on the other side (to connect to the terminals on my vintage EV monitors). It sounds heavenly and I have had little to no issues thus far. Now is where things get tricky. I wanted to be able to get audio out to my audio interface so I can record on my computer, but the mixer doesn't like instrument cables, and I am forced to use a speaker cable with the fat 1/4 inch jack on it. I dont have 2 of these cables so I figured until I can grab some, I will just use the stereo send on the helix with a Tip Ring y cable. When I run the cable to my interface from the helix after adding the stereo send block, I can get sound out to my interface and it sounds good but I also get this constant high pitch filtery hum. I don't know what is causing it and would like to try to get rid of it, or at least understand why I am getting this sound. I'll do my best to answer any questions that could help solve the issue. Thanks!

(The mixer is a Yamaha 150 II)
(The EV monitors are TL series)
(The Interface is a Scarlett 2i2)
(The Computer is a Mac Pro)

Below is a not so great recording of what the sound is, I turned my volume way up so it can be heard better, but it is always noticable.

Odd Helix Noise.m4a

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First question: Why are you using the 2i2 instead of the Stomp as Audio Interface?

Second question: What do you mean when you say that the mixer doesn't like instrument cables, so you're using a speaker cable "with the fat 1/4" jack"? Instrument cables and speaker cables have 1/4" jacks. All 1/4" jacks are 1/4". HUH? Anyhow, odds are there's SOME noise entering the signal from the un-shielded speaker cable, but that's probably not the high pitched noise you're talking about.


Troubleshooting the noise: I assume that you have both the Stomp and 2i2 connected to the computer via USB. Unplug the stomp USB. Does the noise go away?

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@rd2rk, what I mean is while using the outputs on the mixer, they only work via speaker cable, which is 2 wires running parallel to each other, an instrument cable is 1 wire wrapped with a ground. The difference in this case is (im guessing) that the mixer prefers power and impedance that a speaker cable can support. Also i am not using the helix as my interface as I have other things that i like to use through my interface (mics keyboards etc) and I also use the computer for other things. I also was told that you cant have it both ways where you use it as an interface AND use the mixer/monitors. I will try the USB suggestion. Thanks!


EDIT: Your theory about the USB cable is correct and solved my problem. This still means that whenever I have the helix AND the interface plugged into the computer I will get this noise and have to unplug the helix's USB, so it doesn't matter if i buy the Stereo cables to use my mixer, however buying said cables will give me back the extra block that is being used by the effect loop. Thanks again!

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10 minutes ago, lorenzweissel said:

what I mean is while using the outputs on the mixer, they only work via speaker cable,


Your mixer has three types of outputs, the SPEAKER outs which, because it's a powered mixer, need to be SPEAKER cable, not INSTRUMENT or PATCH cable.

The MONITOR outs, which carry a LINE level signal to a separate MONITOR power amp or powered monitor speaker and should probably be shielded to prevent noise being amplified by the monitor amp.

RECORD OUT which carry a LINE level signal and can be simple un-shielded patch cables.These are the outs you should use to send to the 2i2. However, this is an ancient mixer, designed for the Inputs of a Tape Deck. If you get noise in the 2i2 Inputs, switch to shielded cables.


You should be certain that all of your devices that connect to each other in any way are plugged into the same wall outlet via a quality surge suppressor/emi/rmi filtered power strip.

That means computer, mixer, 2i2 and anything else you've got hooked up. This will often eliminate the USB noise. Also, if you can identify which audio connectors the noise is entering the signal chain through, a basic "Hum Destroyer" like this:*Version*=1&*entries*=0&ie=UTF8


can eliminate the noise. I have that same noise caused by sending the computer sound card into my 18i20. The PHE300 above ($15.69) eliminates the hum.


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