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"ticking" sound injected into guitar output

breakout box midi

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#1 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:46 AM

I picked up an AT-200B this week and was messing around with sending midi SYSEX messages to it.  I discovered that when I connect it to my PC midi interface (Roland UA-25EX), there are "ticking" sounds at about 200 clicks per minute.  Has this been reported by others?  I want to be able to do guitar changes via SYSEX messages, but this makes it totally impractical.  The messages work fine, but the constant ticking makes it a no-go.  Any suggestions?

#2 ATG User

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:12 AM

Try using the AT200B for MIDI and power only - not for the guitar signal.

For the guitar signal, use the guitar's 1/4" inch jack.

That way you separate your guitar sound from any MIDI activity.

#3 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 07:34 PM

Hi Newbie, I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect that if the guitar signal is "polluted" on one connector, the same "clicking" will be present on both since it's presumably the same connection.  If that's true, then the only way to circumvent this would be to cut the guitar signal pin at the guitar end of the cable to prevent it from acting like "an antenna" for picking up the midi stuff.  And then I'm into two cables which I was hoping to avoid.

It's described as being the ONLY cable you need to attach, a "feature" that the guitar signal is fed through the same cable.  It's not a feature if it's not usable.  So my question is, is there a work-around, has anyone else encountered this, or is it specific/peculiar to my hardware/setup?

Can anyone with a breakout box comment/confirm?

#4 leads

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:48 AM

View Postmusic-to-my-ears, on 26 January 2014 - 07:34 PM, said:

Hi Newbie, I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect that if the guitar signal is "polluted" on one connector, the same "clicking" will be present on both since it's presumably the same connection.  If that's true, then the only way to circumvent this would be to cut the guitar signal pin at the guitar end of the cable to prevent it from acting like "an antenna" for picking up the midi stuff.  And then I'm into two cables which I was hoping to avoid.

It's described as being the ONLY cable you need to attach, a "feature" that the guitar signal is fed through the same cable.  It's not a feature if it's not usable.  So my question is, is there a work-around, has anyone else encountered this, or is it specific/peculiar to my hardware/setup?

Can anyone with a breakout box comment/confirm?
maybe clipping, I adjusted it....thanks :)

#5 leads

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:00 AM

maybe clipping...I adjusted

#6 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:05 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue - it lends credibility and says it's not specific to my setup (fx pedal, etc).

I'm curious to see how Antares support responds to this one as from an audio/performance perspective, it's quite a serious issue.

#7 Henrik

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:32 AM

View Postmusic-to-my-ears, on 27 January 2014 - 05:05 PM, said:

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue - it lends credibility and says it's not specific to my setup (fx pedal, etc).

I'm curious to see how Antares support responds to this one as from an audio/performance perspective, it's quite a serious issue.

Hello music-to-my-ears,
There is a problem that we have identified when sending audio out and MIDI In and/or Out from the guitar at the same time.  The ticking/clicking sound that you are experiencing comes from the MIDI data interfering with the audio signal, producing this most annoying sound.

The problem will also happen when using a 1/4" cable directly out of the guitar rather than the audio out on the breakout box.

We are working with Peavey to come up with the best solution to minimize this problem.

One temporary workaround that will minimize the ticking/clicking sound is to make sure that your volume knob is either all the way up or down.  Having the volume pot in the middle or part way up will unfortunately emphasize the ticking/clicking sound tremendously.  

We are assuming that you are trying to control the various functions of the Complete Pack from your computer, OR, are you only experiencing this when transferring software to and from the guitar?

Would also recommend that you contact Peavey's tech support as the problem is to do with hardware and not software:

http://peavey.com/pr.../at200/#support

We do apologize for this and do appreciate your patience until we have come up with the best possible solution.  Thank you!

#8 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:26 PM

Thanks for the update Henrik, it's good to know Antares and Peavey are both aware and working on it.  Hopefully a cable replacement or DIY "shielding kit" will fix it for the units already sold.

You're correct, I'm putting together a midi control pedal to do changes on the fly, mid song.  This happens when sending the CC messages, (using the complete pack).  Turning the volume down isn't an option, there's no time - but I WILL definitely see if having it all the way up makes any difference.

Thanks again and please keep us updated.  I have posted a similar message (to the original, explaining the problem) for Peavey customer support.

#9 BobF

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:23 PM

I'm glad I looked here.  I've been thinking of picking up an FCB1010.  The idea is even better if it can be used with the AT200 also.  I'll be following this to see what they come up with.
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#10 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:08 PM

No acknowledgement or response whatsoever from Peavey yet.  That's disappointing.

#11 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:19 PM

Antares Folks, can you please post a link to a pinout assignment of the 8-pin DIN connector?  I'm going to try a short "intercept" cable to break the audio off the main cable to the AT-200B, but I need to know which pin the audio is assigned to.

#12 BobF

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:47 PM

Maybe this is something you could use or adapt and use:
http://www.sweetwate...tail/AT200Cable

It has 8 pins at the guitar end, but only 5 for MIDI on the other end(s).  At the very least you could use this cable with a meter to figure out which pins are which.
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#13 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:00 PM

Update: doing some email diagnostic stuff done with Peavey now.  Will post results here.

#14 goatghost

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:40 PM

I have a Casio MG-510 MIDI guitar and, back in the day, and I tried creating a custom cable to send both MIDI and audio over the same MIDI cable (audio utilized the unused pins and was split off at both ends). The result was as you described...a ticking noise...plus, digital artifacts when turning the MIDI volume knob (needless to say, my custom cable project was scrapped).

I am guessing that the ticking sound is due to "active sensing" messages, which are being sent out by the AT-200. These messages alert a receiving MIDI device to stop playing notes when a sending device is unplugged.

I would imagine possible fixes would include:

1. Additional shielding separating the signals within the 8-pin cable
2. A Y-cable for the AT-200 8-pin jack end, separating the MIDI and audio signals (as you suggested)
3. A firmware update to, optionally, disable sending active sensing messages
4. Using a wireless on the audio jack end (assuming the digital "noise" is not present on the 1/4" jack)

I'm looking forward to getting my AT-200, though (actually, it is a replacement, since one of the piezo pickup pieces died after adjusting the compensation on the bridge - it seems they are very fragile).

If you find out the pinouts that would be cool, since I'm sure there are people out there who would like to go totally wireless (via separate MIDI and guitar wireless transmitters). :D

#15 Henrik

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 09:39 PM

View Postmusic-to-my-ears, on 03 February 2014 - 02:19 PM, said:

Antares Folks, can you please post a link to a pinout assignment of the 8-pin DIN connector?  I'm going to try a short "intercept" cable to break the audio off the main cable to the AT-200B, but I need to know which pin the audio is assigned to.

Hello Music-to-my-Ears,

One solution is of course to cut the audio going to the 8-Pin connector, which will result in no audio coming out of the breakout box.  This is obviously not ideal, however it will solve the ticking/clicking problem.  Here is a picture of the 8-Pin connector in the recently released Auto-Tune for Guitar Luthier kit:
The Audio Out is not utilized on the ATG Luthier kit. On the Peavey AT-200 Audio Out is sent out on pin 8 (See above).
You don't need to remove the shrink tubing where all the wires come out of the 8-Pin connector on the AT-200.
If you look at the wires coming from the 8-Pin connector inside of the control cavity on the AT-200, please see the attached screen shot:


3 pairs of black and red twisted wires which go to the connector on the DSP board.  Pins 1-6.
1 single red wire which goes to the connector on the DSP board. Pin 7.

1 thicker shielded wire going to the volume pot. THIS IS AUDIO OUT!
If you wish to short the audio going to the 8-Pin, you would cut this wire.  ***PLEASE NOTE*** Should you like to do this, PLEASE, make sure that you cut the correct wire.

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#16 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:55 AM

Ok, so I just tested this with a normal MIDI cable directly to the guitar, with audio out via the 1/4" plug (no breakout box).  The ticking is STILL THERE but to a much lesser degree.  As with the breakout box, the ticking goes away entirely at full volume on the guitar.  I can work around this by programming my expression pedal as volume for MOST guitar patches instead of using the volume knob on the guitar itself, it'll just take some getting used to.

The conclusion is that although this may be worsened by the cable or the breakout box, it STILL HAPPENS without both, so part of the problem is within the guitar electronics/shielding.

Hence the aforementioned solution will not work, although it will likely lessen the problem.  However, it's still quite noticeable.

#17 Henrik

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 05:49 PM

View PostHenrik, on 04 February 2014 - 09:39 PM, said:

Hello Music-to-my-Ears,

One solution is of course to cut the audio going to the 8-Pin connector, which will result in no audio coming out of the breakout box.  This is obviously not ideal, however it will solve the ticking/clicking problem.  Here is a picture of the 8-Pin connector in the recently released Auto-Tune for Guitar Luthier kit:
The Audio Out is not utilized on the ATG Luthier kit. On the Peavey AT-200 Audio Out is sent out on pin 8 (See above).
You don't need to remove the shrink tubing where all the wires come out of the 8-Pin connector on the AT-200.
If you look at the wires coming from the 8-Pin connector inside of the control cavity on the AT-200, please see the attached screen shot:


3 pairs of black and red twisted wires which go to the connector on the DSP board.  Pins 1-6.
1 single red wire which goes to the connector on the DSP board. Pin 7.

1 thicker shielded wire going to the volume pot. THIS IS AUDIO OUT!
If you wish to short the audio going to the 8-Pin, you would cut this wire.  ***PLEASE NOTE*** Should you like to do this, PLEASE, make sure that you cut the correct wire.

View Postmusic-to-my-ears, on 05 February 2014 - 12:55 AM, said:

Ok, so I just tested this with a normal MIDI cable directly to the guitar, with audio out via the 1/4" plug (no breakout box).  The ticking is STILL THERE but to a much lesser degree.  As with the breakout box, the ticking goes away entirely at full volume on the guitar.  I can work around this by programming my expression pedal as volume for MOST guitar patches instead of using the volume knob on the guitar itself, it'll just take some getting used to.

The conclusion is that although this may be worsened by the cable or the breakout box, it STILL HAPPENS without both, so part of the problem is within the guitar electronics/shielding.

Hence the aforementioned solution will not work, although it will likely lessen the problem.  However, it's still quite noticeable.

The aforementioned solution by cutting the audio wire going from the volume pot to the 8-Pin MIDI jack will solve the problem completely, however, will obviously make the audio out on the 8-Pin MIDI Jack and AT-200B non-functioning.  Once the cable is cut, which certainly is NOT ideal and NOT recommended, the interferance does go away as there is no audio signal passing through the 8-Pin MIDI Jack.

#18 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:00 PM

View PostHenrik, on 05 February 2014 - 05:49 PM, said:

The aforementioned solution by cutting the audio wire going from the volume pot to the 8-Pin MIDI jack will solve the problem completely, however, will obviously make the audio out on the 8-Pin MIDI Jack and AT-200B non-functioning.  Once the cable is cut, which certainly is NOT ideal and NOT recommended, the interferance does go away as there is no audio signal passing through the 8-Pin MIDI Jack.

So if I understand correctly, you're saying that any remaining interference that I experienced with a standard 5-pin MIDI cable and the separate 1/4" plug was introduced between the POT and the MIDI plug in the guitar?  Hence eliminating that connection would nix whatever was left?  To clarify, even with no audio signal passing "through" the MIDI jack (the 8th pin wasn't present in the 5-pin cable), I DID have interference.

#19 Henrik

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:09 PM

View Postmusic-to-my-ears, on 05 February 2014 - 06:00 PM, said:

So if I understand correctly, you're saying that any remaining interference that I experienced with a standard 5-pin MIDI cable and the separate 1/4" plug was introduced between the POT and the MIDI plug in the guitar?  Hence eliminating that connection would nix whatever was left?  To clarify, even with no audio signal passing "through" the MIDI jack (the 8th pin wasn't present in the 5-pin cable), I DID have interference.

Yes, the interferance will still be there when using a 5-Pin MIDI cable and a regular 1/4" cable.  Yes, the interferance is present as the MIDI signal is sent to the 8-Pin jack since the audio cable (between the POT and the MIDI plug in the guitar) still picks up the MIDI interferance.  Hopefully, this answers your question.

#20 music-to-my-ears

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:25 PM

Ok dumb question/hypothesis, as I'm not much of an analog aficionado:  The noise disappears entirely when at full volume.  If it were merely inductively coupled noise, I wouldn't expect this to be the case, I'd think it would be there regardless, just louder as you increased volume if it's coming from the guitar end. However, if it's piggybacking on the power supply and the signal voltage differential on the POT somehow allows the noise to "float" on the differential, then could that explain the behavior?  What about adding a capacitor directly across the DIN power pins at the guitar end to decouple?





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