Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

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wing
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Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by wing » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:30 am

Hi there, I have vintage Korg Polysix which I absolutely love, though it's a bit noisy. I know this is expected for a 30+ year old synth, and the Polysix is known to be a noisy little bugger, but I'm wondering if I can do improvements to my signal path at the very least? Currently running a guitar 1/4" cable from its mono out, on the "high" output setting, into the hi-z DI input on my UA Apollo interface about 10 feet away. Obviously an unbalanced line. Should I try instead to run a short 1/4 into a DI box to convert it to balanced XLR and then run that into my interface? Thanks!

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markjazzbassist
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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:33 am

i would try the "low" setting first, see if that helps. if not try the DI on both Hi and Low setting and see which is best. I'm going to guess turning off the Chorus will lower some noise as well, i have a chorus on a synth that is also noisy, but when off it lowers the noise floor considerably.

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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by kslight » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:47 am

Yes that’s vintage synths for ya, especially the Polysix...never gonna be perfectly quiet.

The obvious steps would be to turn off the chorus/ensemble effects (at least for testing), and then find the cleanest signal path (low vs high output setting, master volume l, vca gain) and optimize any outboard gain (is it a noisier signal when you turn up the synth or is it quieter when you turn up the gain on the interface, etc).

If it still bothers you, it would probably be cake to reduce the noise further with RX.

It’s also likely that the whole unit is out of calibration if it’s never been adjusted. This goes especially true if this unit had the battery spill issue and needed it’s voice chips replaced. If you search online you will find the procedure.

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wing
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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by wing » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:09 am

Thankfully I've actually had it serviced and the battery was replaced prior to any spill. Whew. I've heard horror stories about that... I'll definitely try turning down on synth and gaining up on the preamp and see how that works out. Thanks

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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by Magnetic Services » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:16 am

I had some noise issues with a Baldwin Fun Machine organ, and I just tried every combination of cable/DI/pad/phase/level until I found what worked best (I also had to disconnect the front panel lights which were adding some noise!).

It still has a base level of noise that will not go away, but you can always record a bit of silence/noise first, which will help noise reduction plugins learn and remove the noise signal.

Also, use the shortest unbalanced cable possible! Good luck :D

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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm

The poly six has a chorus, right? Is the noise worse with chorus on than off? Sometimes the bbd chips get noisy with age. Replacing with an NOS chip from a reputable dealer (bootlegs abound) can solve that problem. Other than that, I’m clueless.

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wing
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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by wing » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:20 am

winky dinglehoffer wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm
The poly six has a chorus, right? Is the noise worse with chorus on than off? Sometimes the bbd chips get noisy with age. Replacing with an NOS chip from a reputable dealer (bootlegs abound) can solve that problem. Other than that, I’m clueless.
It does, and indeed it's a touch quieter when I turn it off. Thanks for the tip on the chip thing. I'll look into that!

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wing
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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by wing » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:20 am

winky dinglehoffer wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm
The poly six has a chorus, right? Is the noise worse with chorus on than off? Sometimes the bbd chips get noisy with age. Replacing with an NOS chip from a reputable dealer (bootlegs abound) can solve that problem. Other than that, I’m clueless.
It does, and indeed it's a touch quieter when I turn it off. Thanks for the tip on the chip thing. I'll look into that!

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wing
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Re: Reducing noise from a vintage synth?

Post by wing » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:02 pm

I swapped out the cable for a Mogami Gold instrument cable, turned output to Low and then turned up the gain in the preamp. Seems to be much better.

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