MM6 noisey output normal?

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MM6 noisey output normal?

Unread post by wwjd » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:59 pm

did the search, didn't find anything similar. Something about USB and laptop, but I dont use those.

My MM6 has what I consdier a noisey output. On the lovely piano sound [all sounds really] I hear a something similar to digital time code noise buzzing away. I've tried different power sources, plugs, cords etc no good. Does this on output and phones. Is this typical and expected of Yamahas "cheapo" line? The sounds are GREAT and I want to record it, but the noise is horrific and I will have to GATE it, but the noise will still be there in the soft passages.

Feed bacK? Thanks!
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Unread post by Fozzer » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:51 pm

I doubt the problem exists within the MM6 internal audio circuit.

Possible causes...

Poor quality external Amplifier and Speaker system...

Close proximity to electrical interference....Mains borne, Electric Motors, Radio and/or Television Receiver, Fluorescent lights, etc?... :? ...!

Try using the MM6 in completely different location, see what happens?

Paul.... 8) ...!

Any audio noise with my MM6 is due to incorrectly set external devices, Mixer, Amp, Speakers...faulty cables/connections and audio plug/sockets.
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Unread post by wwjd » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:00 pm

hey thanks for the quick response! :) I'm in a small apartment but there is not much nearby interference. tried in 3 different rooms, always the same. it's the same through outputs and high quality studio headphones. X50, Mircron, A6 boards in the same rooms don't suffer this issue, just MM6. Too be fair, it's only noticable when things are very quiet. MOST of the time no one might hear it. But for recording, it's extra noise

I tried shutting off midi, clocks, pc and everything, makes no difference. I figured out how to stereo gate the noise away on soft piano, but it is still there when the notes are played lightly. Not a huge deal, I'm just picky on recording tracks. :D I've email Yamaha tech since I'm still under warrenty, but I bet it is just normal. My cheap Korg X50 is way cleaner but too bad it's Piano sound sucks!!! So I'm taking my phones to music store to see if it's typical. Thanks again for the suggestions, Paul.
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Unread post by Saul » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:04 pm

Like Fozzer said I would doubt under normal circumstances it would be the MM6 itself. It's entirely possible you have a faulty board there. What I would do is get myself down to a store that has an MM6 and test it to see if the same noise is present.

Could also be of course that the MM6 is not as well shielded as your other equipment and so if picking up noise from an external source that your other gear is shielded from ?
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Unread post by Fozzer » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:07 pm

Take the MM6 to your Mate's, Mums/Dads, Ex-Girlfriend/Mistress place, and see if the problem still exists there...

(...the MM6...not the Ex-Girlfriend/Mistress, etc...;)...)...!

Paul....:lol: ...!
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Unread post by Clyde » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:53 pm

What you are describing is usually due to something in your electrical system or faulty grounds on one or more pieces of gear, it is not likely that it is your MM6. I suspect you have a USB cable plugged to the MM6 and your computer and that if you unplug the USB cable that the "noise" may go away. Always make sure that all interconnected gear is accessing voltage from the same mains, even two different outlets on the same wall can be from different sources and can create issues. I keep all of my gear plugged in to two 6 outlet surge protectors coming from the same mains outlet. Cables can also create noise issues from either not being shielded enough or running parallel with each other. Audio and electrical cables should cross each other at right angles rather than run parallel.
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Unread post by wwjd » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:12 pm

Thanks again for the ideas. I'm not using any USB anything on the MM6 yet and all computers in the house are turned off for recording - fans too noisey :). I run my wires properly and no other kybd equipment is having this issue. doubt it's wires since it happens on headphones equally. it's volume related: it goes down with the volume knob. I'm taking it across town today to test. Didn't make it to the music store yesterday, hope to soon. I've emailed yamaha and will keep you posted as to the results

So, when you guys TOTALLY crank your volume, you don't hear a digital clock noise? There would be some hiss of course, that's normal, but a GOOD MM6 does not have that "GZZZZZ" sound in there too?

I did discover I can counter act the S/N ratio by editing the volume of the patch and cranking it up. Many seem set around 90-100, so I up to 127 as long as the voices are not distorting internally. That's handy at least
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Unread post by Clyde » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:56 pm

Where are you running your volume levels?? Many people don't seem to understand that no amplifying device was made to be run wide open! Ever!! Power amps should never be run more than the 60%-75% range, any more than that does not allow for signal level headroom to handle transient peaks. The same goes for volume sliders on synths (mine are usually around 60%), channel levels and output levels on a mixing board, gain levels on a power amp, etc. I'll repeat what I said in an earlier post but state it more completely, most noise in a system is due to grounding or cable issues and/or improper gain staging or impedence matching, or people not paying attention to good sound reinforcement practices on a system wide basis. If you consistently need to crank your synth volume sliders, mixer channels, or amplifier to the 90%-100% level, then you either have a woefully inadequate power amp or very poor gain/impedence matching. Don't take my word for it, go read some professional advice somewhere like the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook.
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Unread post by wwjd » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:09 pm

I'm normally a 75%'er on kybd volumes. higher or lower depending on the units electronics and signal to noise ratio. if I turn the volume down, I gotta turn up the recorder inputs anyway. I don't have anything to ground with the two prong adapter, and not hooked to anything - through headphones. when I do hook up audio cables it sounds the same either way. It is WAY DOWN THERE... granted most people probably won't even notice it or care... I just wish it were gone because the piano sounds SO GOOD! but for recording soft parts, the digital clock sound is too much.

got back from across town and it sounded the same on their power. waiting for email from Yamaha monday and trials at the local store. Worst case, I live with it and use the X50 for soft piano since it's loud piano is too noisey! ahhahhaa I can't win :) ah well.

thanks again for all the valued input!!
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Unread post by Clyde » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:18 pm

If you hear it when recording soft piano parts, it is one of two things. Either your unit is truly faulty (which is unlikely) or your impedence levels/gain staging on your recording setup is not good. The input impedence on your mixer or recording device needs to match the output impedence of your synth, as long as there is a mismatch you have to compensate with incorrect level settings. Just like you record a microphone at microphone levels and not line levels, it is simply matching output/input impedence levels. Just like any other part of the signal chain, internal headphone amps were not made to be run near "full open", they require headroom for transients just like every other part of the signal chain. I usually run my headphones from my mixing board headphone jack as it has a much better headphone amp that is more powerful (read louder) than any of my synths headphone jacks. You may also find that a different set of headphones that gives higher output with the same volume setting would work better for you, most headphone in the $100.00 US and under range in my opinion don't do an adequate job, you usually find much more effecient and better sounding headphones in the $150-$250 range. The best education I ever gave myself was studying and learning proper sound reinforcement technique which allows you to apply proper level matching and gain staging in any situation, be it home recording on a two track stereo system or recording in a multi-track/multi-channel semi pro situation, or recording in a full on pro studio situation. The venues and equipment may changes, the same principles apply in all of them.
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Unread post by wwjd » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:25 am

I get ok levels on the console, and the Fostex T20 phones are clean studio quality... $200 when I got them - WAY less now! hahahaha
If the noise ends up being standard, I'll just work the gate more :) Monday I'll test one at a store, and see if Tech Support sends me anything. i would LOVE to hear that piano sound clean! It's one of the better ones I've heard from a basic snyth. I held a note down and HEARD right to left piano hardware resonance in the sample! Musically pointless, but way cool to me :)

Thanks for all your input Clyde. Do you work for Yamaha? Is it a big deal to get something serviced?
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Unread post by Saul » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:17 pm

wwjd, just to point out that you will get a better response from Yamaha if you phone them. Their email support has always been slow to say the least. I can never understand why such a large company like Yamaha pay so little attention to their on line customers, it's like we don't exist sometimes. Phone them however and they will be very quick to deal with your concerns.
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Unread post by Clyde » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:08 pm

wwjd wrote:I get ok levels on the console, and the Fostex T20 phones are clean studio quality... $200 when I got them - WAY less now! hahahaha
If the noise ends up being standard, I'll just work the gate more :) Monday I'll test one at a store, and see if Tech Support sends me anything. i would LOVE to hear that piano sound clean! It's one of the better ones I've heard from a basic snyth. I held a note down and HEARD right to left piano hardware resonance in the sample! Musically pointless, but way cool to me :)

Thanks for all your input Clyde. Do you work for Yamaha? Is it a big deal to get something serviced?
I do not work for Yamaha, my participation here is just an outgrowth of my interest in Yamaha synths dating back to 1985. I have alwas gotten excellent support and service from Yamaha over the years in the few rare instances that I needed it. I've used their support several times and service was 2-3 times, very little need for it considering that 85% of my home studio gear is Yamaha, I have found their equipment to be very reliable (in addition to sounding great!). The same cannot be said for my experiences with Roland over the years, total lack of support for me and a complete disregard for correcting things that were obviously faulty when manufactured (we're talking initial defects in a brand new synth), my experiences with Roland led me to sell all of my Roland gear and I can't imagine that I'll ever purchase from them again. You sound like you've got good gear in your setup, just be sure to pay attention to the details in getting all your signal levels matched up. I never email Yamaha (or most any manufacturer), I firmly believe in phoning them and talking to live people that can either answer my questions or can research it and call me back, I usually get good results from phone calls, emails can go unanswered for days or even weeks. Hope you get your issues solved, let us know what happens as your experience may help another user.
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Unread post by Saul » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:17 pm

Clyde should definitely be paid by Yamaha for the amount of work he has put in over the years supporting their equipment. I know he's helped an enormous amount of people on this forum and all I can say is I'm eternally grateful he came along :) Many thanks Clyde.
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Unread post by Clyde » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:52 pm

Aw shucks Saul, don't embarass me like that! I just try to share any knowledge I have been fortunate enough to pick up over the years, there have been some super nice people that have helped me over the years, so I try to give back to the community when I can. Just a few that have been a big help over the years and helped point me in the right direction when I was troubled: Bruce Gober, my former Yamaha dealer's resident midi guru (my dealer unfortunately closed their doors), Yamaha Product Specialist Phil Clendennin (aka Bad Mister on the Keyfax Motiforums) who never ceases to amaze me with his talent and knowledge, former Yamaha Product Specialist Kevin Stratton who helped my outlook on FM programming, several local musicians in my home town that have been inspirations (like Butch Taylor, former keyboardist with Dave Matthews Band), and of course the wonderful people on these very forums that help me to stay up to date, with a special thanks to Saul for all of his effort in keeping these forums up and running and providing us all with a place to share. I thank each and every one of you!! Now that I've hijacked this thread, let us please return to our regularly scheduled forum chatter.
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