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I am an amateur attempting to play my Samick electric guitar (Strat imitation with all 3 single coil pickups).

On my Windows 10 Desktop PC, I have an Amp Sim called Guitar-Rig 5. I also tried another sim called MLC Subzero 100.

I notice that in rock/metal presets in MLC when I play a chord and leave it to eventually fade out, just at the end there’s unwanted sound or noise which appears for about 1 second and goes away. It’s bit difficult to explain it in words.

For comparison between Guitar Rig 5 and MLC 100 I played a simple AM Chord and recorded it to eventually fade out. On GR5 I used 80s Solo preset with low gain and on MLC I used Great-Rock with feed Lo preset.

I have uploaded both recordings. Both are hardly 5 - 6 seconds each.

GR5 http://sndup.net/rdhv & MLC http://sndup.net/nszx

I am unable to understand source of that last moment noise. It does not come in GR5. In MLC it is present in most rock/metal presets but when I reset presets and play just clean there’s no such noise.

Can someone help me sort out how to eliminate that noise. In MLC my noise gate is at -46. More to left and unwanted noise is introduced and more to right it sounds feeble.


Edit 1 -

The trial period ended and I could not precisely figure out why it was coming. Though at one point after changing something like amplifier channel or so, it was reduced but then the output was quite feeble.

At the moment I will stick with GR5.

As such I am just a hobbyist!

Thanks all.

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    Found the same noise gate buzz in Subzero 100. Too bad, because it was otherwise a pretty nice amp sim. Sadly could not find any settings to properly mitigate it. It's strange because Bogren's AmpKnobs have gates and don't have this buzz in them, or at least the Rev C doesn't. Haven't tried the others.
    – Zedski
    Nov 18, 2023 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

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I think that the noise gate is the actual source of the artifacts in the recording. As the sound amplitude decreases close to the threshold of the gate, it starts to turn on and off quickly, producing unwanted sounds.

In general, noise gates don't work well with long, decaying notes. You probably want to avoid situations when the gate ends your notes – you should mute them yourself, when they are supposed to end. However you can also tweak the setting to make it less audible

  • decrease the threshold – this will make the noise gate activate at lower volumes
  • increase 'hold' time – this will prevent the noise gate to cut signal too quickly
  • tweak 'decay' time – longer decay will make the gate turn off more smoothly. On the other hand, shorter decay will shorten the possibly undesired intermediate state of the noise gate.

Note, that lower thresholds and longer times result in less aggressive sound. Many guitarist choose the opposite settings, and adjust the playing technique accordingly.

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  • I'd considered it might be the gate, but it would be an odd setup for it to default to that fast it could itself buzz. I don't know the MLC & it's been a long time since I used Guitar Rig, but I can't make my Line6 do it even on the shortest decay & very aggressive threshold setting.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 24, 2023 at 11:06
  • @Tetsujin of course, I can't be sure. However, this is a known effect (or artifact), and as far as I know, this is the main reason there is 'hold' adjustment in some noise gates (and compressors too). Moreover, the artifact occurs just before the volume reduction begins, which is another hint. Aug 24, 2023 at 18:58
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Switch off the gate, turn your volume up but don't play, then move around the room waving the guitar around at different angles to find the noisiest place & the quietest place in the room.

Use that research to decide what is the predominant interference object in the room. It may be lighting, the computer or monitor, or even the fridge in the kitchen.

BTW, your two amp models have significantly different characteristics & may be responding to the same interference in different ways.
Strictly, it's likely not the amp's 'fault', it's what happens when you get interference at the guitar.

There is the possibility that the specific sound characteristic in the MLC sample is modelling of 'sag' in the amp's electronics. I don't know MLC at all, but I do know in Guitar Rig if you flip the amp round, you can directly effect the amount of sag… & that's what it can sound like.
I'm no electronics expert, just a sound engineer, but 'sag' seems to be something that happens when valves get tired & old.

I found a hugely detailed explanation of sag, from an amp manufacturer [that I've never heard of] but seems unlikely to suffer from 'interwebz opinionz' - https://www.aikenamps.com/index.php/what-is-sag

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