FrequenSteiner Hum

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jonkull
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FrequenSteiner Hum

Post by jonkull » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:27 pm

My FrequenSteiner hums when I turn the frequency knob past the 10 o'clock position (I guess this would be the 4th line). This happens with all other knobs (CVs, resonance, input) zeroed with or without an audio source going into the filter. It's still audible when there is an audio source connected and makes the output sound muddy.

It almost sounds like ground loop hum but I only hear it through the FrequenSteiner. It's not present in any other module, synth, mixer or effect I have in my studio. I had checked with the place I bought it from (still waiting to hear from Livewire) and was told that this may be a normal part of it's character. So I want to know if any other FrequenSteiner owner has a filter that hums.

The following example is the FrequenSteiner being swept from the 10 o'clock position to the 3 o'clock position and back. There is no audio source connected and all knobs are at their zero position.
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consumed
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Post by consumed » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:33 pm

start by playing with any of your other oscillators in your modular to help determine what might be the source of that hum.

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jonkull
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Post by jonkull » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:47 pm

I went through other modules last night plugging them directly into my audio interface one by one. Nothing else hums. I disconnected everything from the busses and only left the Freq and there was still hum. I moved the Freq around different positions on the bus (thought maybe it was too close to power supply/cables) and there is still hum. I swapped out cables...hum.

If a low frequency hum is part of the FrequenSteiner's 'charm' that's fine but if there's something wrong with it I'd like to get it repaired/replaced.

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pristak
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Post by pristak » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:47 pm

My Freq hummed a lot. It was too close to the power supply, even though I didn't think it was that close. I moved it as far from the supply as I could and it stopped.

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pristak
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Post by pristak » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:49 pm

Ok, you posted at the same time I did. Guess you tried that already. I'm out of ideas.

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jonkull
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Post by jonkull » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:11 pm

Yeah, power supply was one of the first things I thought of.

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dougcl
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Post by dougcl » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:27 pm

Jon, does the pitch of the hum ever change? Can you get it to change by fiddling with your other modules? Do you have an O-scope?

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jonkull
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Post by jonkull » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:33 pm

No...the pitch is constant.

That's what had made me originally think it was ground loop hum. Is it possible for one piece of equipment to experience ground loop hum but other equipment using the same power conditioner, power supply and wall sockets to have clean signals?

I have a software o-scope I use in Logic.

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dougcl
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Post by dougcl » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:02 pm

Not sure. It may be that you have some 60Hz noise on the case, but your bus ground is okay. A particular module might (due to a flaw or otherwise) pick up the case noise. Perhaps someone more experienced than I can chime in. Anyway, it would be interesting to know the freq of the hum, and to poke around for evidence of it on the bus or on the case.

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:21 pm

my (frac) Frequensteiner does the same time.

At first I thought it WAS a ground loop issue - which caused tons of exploration and troubleshooting - and resulted in me connecting all my ground busses (which solved other problems, as described here but didn't solve the Frequensteiner one....)

So, I'm convinced it's the way the circuit works, and not a ground issue, because all mine are gone now. The key for me is the fact that you have to lower all the input gain controls, which means you are hearing the 'base noise' of the curcuit. The moment you add an external signal with any gain to it, the noisefloor of the Frequensteiner is pretty so low down you can't tell anyway...

at least that's my experience. I don't think there's anything wrong with it - I stopped worrying about mine and now just enjoy that sweet, sweet HP mode (plus the rest of it sounds great too.....)

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jonkull
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Post by jonkull » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:54 pm

I guess I'll have to play around with this stuff when I get home from work tonight.

noisesource

Post by noisesource » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:11 pm

having worked @ analoguehaven and tested a lot of those filters there was indeed a hum in a majority but not all of them. mine does not have that feature but yet it gets far nastier that most of the other frequensteiners i compared it to.

BUT... mine will never sound as good as the Frac version. those 3 extra volts make ALL the difference. :)

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Post by revmutt » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:46 pm

I just got a used one and although I really only tested in for functionality I did notice it really needs to be mounted into the case, otherwise it does make a bit of noise.

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Post by kidtesla » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:36 pm

The plot thickens...
I have six frequenSteiners (some mounted near the power supply) and I've never noticed the hum....hmmm

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Post by felix » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:44 pm

Yeah same here (already chatted with jon in a PM). I only have one Frequensteiner but it has no hum. It definitely has a higher noise floor, one that I can hear if heavily compressed, but there is definitely no hum.
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Post by dougcl » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:03 am

No hum here either.

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jonkull
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Post by jonkull » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:36 am

noisesource wrote:having worked @ analoguehaven and tested a lot of those filters there was indeed a hum in a majority but not all of them. mine does not have that feature but yet it gets far nastier that most of the other frequensteiners i compared it to.
Interesting. I guess I just got a noisy filter.

So was this considered 'analog charm' or a QC issue?

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Post by jonkull » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:47 am

Muff Wiggler wrote:my (frac) Frequensteiner does the same time.

At first I thought it WAS a ground loop issue - which caused tons of exploration and troubleshooting - and resulted in me connecting all my ground busses (which solved other problems, as described here but didn't solve the Frequensteiner one....)

So, I'm convinced it's the way the circuit works, and not a ground issue, because all mine are gone now. The key for me is the fact that you have to lower all the input gain controls, which means you are hearing the 'base noise' of the curcuit. The moment you add an external signal with any gain to it, the noisefloor of the Frequensteiner is pretty so low down you can't tell anyway...

at least that's my experience. I don't think there's anything wrong with it - I stopped worrying about mine and now just enjoy that sweet, sweet HP mode (plus the rest of it sounds great too.....)
Yeah, I've been going nuts trying to figure this out. I've disconnected, reconnected, rearranged and removed modules several times now but the hum is always there. I guess at this point I'll just live with it. Livewire hasn't responded to me yet but I imagine they'll just tell me it's normal.

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Post by BananaPlug » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:01 am

jonkul:
So was this considered 'analog charm' or a QC issue?
Classic! :hihi:

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Post by Montag » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:13 pm

BananaPlug wrote:jonkul:
So was this considered 'analog charm' or a QC issue?
Classic! :hihi:
Quoted (again) for truth. Seems to me like both.

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Post by dkcg » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:31 pm

I've got 2 frequensteiners, they both have a resonant hum noise similar to yours, but not until after high noon on the frequency dial and when I really crank the levels, probably loud enough to blow my ears off if I passed a signal through them.

I don't mind...that's what VCAs are for. I say it's charm since they both sound about the same. :D

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:47 pm

Just out of curiosity, is it any single component that makes each Frequensteiner unit sound unique?
Like the deviation in vactrol response in the M13 LPGs?
Perhaps the mere deviation of resistor values is enough to push that particular circuit into slightly different sonic characters...
:hmm:

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Post by felix » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:21 pm

I don't recall seeing any vactrols, nor do I recall seeing big vintage-looking capacitors like on the Dual Cyclotron. I do remember see a lot of diodes.

So this hum has something to do with input volume? I usually have mine around 2 o'clock. But jon's clip is without any input source, it's just the filter humming. That seems incredible to me that there is that much of a deviation from unit to unit like that. His hums like crazy and mine has a very acceptable (more than acceptable for me) noise floor for such a piece of equipment.
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Post by dkcg » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:47 pm

felix wrote:I don't recall seeing any vactrols, nor do I recall seeing big vintage-looking capacitors like on the Dual Cyclotron. I do remember see a lot of diodes.

So this hum has something to do with input volume? I usually have mine around 2 o'clock. But jon's clip is without any input source, it's just the filter humming. That seems incredible to me that there is that much of a deviation from unit to unit like that. His hums like crazy and mine has a very acceptable (more than acceptable for me) noise floor for such a piece of equipment.
I could get a similar "hum" sound, but I'd have to push my levels all the way up, add some compression to get the level up even higher, I figure by then, any audio that would be going through the filter would have blown out my ears. If this were a computer program, I'd say something's not right, but being a resonant colorful filter, I don't mind...

But I like imperfect sine waves too. :razz:

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Post by felix » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:41 am

dkcg wrote:I could get a similar "hum" sound, but I'd have to push my levels all the way up, add some compression to get the level up even higher, I figure by then, any audio that would be going through the filter would have blown out my ears.
Yeah that's pretty much exactly what I get. It's only if I really crank up the output (or use heavy compression / distortion / gain) that I can even hear the noise floor, and even there it isn't really a hum, but, well, noise.
dress yourself for the public. you now must exit your home and acquire a dental mirror and lubrication!
i recommend a hat, or a helmet. if a helmet, ensure that it is both convincing and unbiased. -citizen mori
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https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/225002
https://jimdrones.bandcamp.com

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