beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Noise gate pedals?
Noise gate pedals?
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397 posts
Dec 13, 2016
5:00 PM
I know one day I'll probably fork out for a harp shield or similar, but at £150 or so I can't justify right now.
Has anyone any experience with noise gate pedals for harp, for reducing feedback? They are a hell of a lot cheaper, like £30 or so.

Last Edited by Ian on Dec 13, 2016 5:02 PM
4353 posts
Dec 13, 2016
7:10 PM
Hi Ian,
a noise gate can help, or not. it really depends on the situation.
i'm not sure if you have a problem or if you are anticipating a problem.
ive just written a detailed post and lost it so i'm gonna give it a rest for a while and get back to you

PS: its a bad idea to put a link in your signature block
1996 posts
Dec 13, 2016
9:45 PM
Well infact the harp sheild IS a noise gate. Just a Harp specific nose gate. So i think, if you could find a noise fate pedal that cheap ... it might be worth a shot.

I wonder if you could somehow find the range in which the harp sheild operates. Likely up to 1MegOhm to work with crystal mics. Or 250kOhm for dynamic/Cr/Cm.
1949 posts
Dec 13, 2016
11:27 PM
Superbee, I looked for your lost post but found nothing. This is the 2nd one, I wonder if the spam system has changed. It used to quarantine them. The clue was that the count of posts was different to the actual number on display.

Ian, no I haven't, but I did research the subject a while ago. I concluded that it wasn't likely to be much use in a band situation. Part of this was Superbee's testimony on the subject. At least the noise gate does actually do a known thing; the other anti-feedback devices, which are even more expensive, appear to be mysterious in operation. An objective test with a dB meter on the MF a little while ago showed inconclusive benefits.

But for £30 it may be worth an experiment. Which one are you looking at, we could review the spec. As Killa says, at least the HS is harp specific that's the great thing about the LW kit. A pedal designed for guitar may be wrong in a number of respects.

Last Edited by MindTheGap on Dec 13, 2016 11:27 PM
4355 posts
Dec 14, 2016
2:42 AM
It happened a lot today. I've dumped the link from my signature so hope it stops now.
I've been writing posts, entering the capcha code and you know how it usually gives a second chance if it's expired or you get it wrong? Well, it does that but the text of my post has disappeared and I can't get it back. Very frustrating when you've given careful detail and tried to cover the angles, spent some considerable time and thought.
So much as it seemed a good idea to link the website; bad idea!

Re op. Yes harp shield is a noise gate. Whether a noise gate is gonna be useful for you really depends on your problem. Just adding one as prevention for an anticipated problem may not be good.

When I had a harp shield I found it did not help me and wAs in fact very annoying. But that was my situation. A lone wolf harp octave was more useful for me. And a volume control. These days I don't really have feedback problems but if you have a smallish amp which is struggling so you have it turned as high as possible, verging on feedback threshold, maybe a noise gate could be helpful. It will prevent most 'accidental' feedback, but so will turning your volume fully anticlockwise. If you get feedback when not actively playing, it will likely help but if you want to be able to play louder it won't help. If you need something to get you louder than you can usually get, you're looking at kinder afb, LW harp octave, eq pedals or squeal killer. These all will affect your tone but not necessarily in a bad way.

Not sure about the squeal killer actually. It's maybe more in the next category; some sort of preamp allowing you to reduce the signal into the amp.
This approach is about making your amp more controllable, reducing the peaks and giving more useable volume.

And the practical considerations about where you position yourself relative to amp, whether your going out to PA, and coming back in the monitors.
1951 posts
Dec 14, 2016
3:07 AM
Superbee - ok. Yes I get that too but that's not the spam filter. The captcha code show is only valid for a limited time, so if you write a long post it times-out. Two solutions:

1. Write something brief and post it, then edit it afterwards. You don't have to enter a captcha code for and edit. That's the one I use.

2. Before hitting 'Post Message', select all your text and copy it on the clipboard. ctrl-A ctrl-C for short.

Last Edited by MindTheGap on Dec 14, 2016 3:08 AM
398 posts
Dec 14, 2016
3:22 AM
So I suppose there is an element of a preemptive strike on this one. Playing in a couple of pubs with my brother in law this Christmas and I don't want any problems.

The pedals I've seen are one by joyo primarily and there are a few others if you trawl amazon for a similar price. Some are just for 'noise' reduction by the looks of things (fuzz and hiss).
JOYO JF-31 Noise Gate Guitar Effects Pedal
1997 posts
Dec 14, 2016
4:24 AM
Bee, i tend to copy my good posts before entering the code. Just in case. Nothing more frustrating than a great post getting eaten. I also sometimes accidentally hit the back button on my phone ... mid post .... oh it just about makes me want to throw it across the room.


I have one too. And to be honest, i don't like it. I find that there is no perfect setting for it. If you play dynsmically, you must set it for your normal volume. But if you then play soft, the HS wont open and you ll get intermitten notes. Annoying.

However lone wolf is now modding them so that you can turn them all the way down to zero. Were as before you had a minimum setting. I want to get mine modded and see if that helps.

As far as the other types of antifeedback.

Ones that seem to lower your signal are not appealing to me.

If it just lowers volume (like the harpman) you can use anything for that really. My joyo american works pretty well in this regard. But a real eq pedal would probably be better.

The ones that lower your gain, that use tubez. I say why not just change out your preamp tube(s) and maybe mod some caps in theamp? It ll save you $300+ and actually fix your problem.

Idk that's just my train of thought. The problem is the amp that is not built for your purpose. So rather than an expensive band aid, crack her open and make her a harp amp. ???? No?

I obviously don't have the gigging issue, so i Get by just fine at home. I could be way off base here.
4356 posts
Dec 14, 2016
5:27 AM
I see LW actually talk up the harp octave's feedback fighting qualities on their site now. It's kind of a poor players kinder afb. Kinda. Not really.

I do find I get an extra boost with it.

Yes, same with the harp shield for me and I had to turn it up so it was less sensitive because the band was loud and would trigger it open, but then I had to play loudly to trigger it with the harp.

But you know, Ricci uses it all the time. I dunno how loud his band is though. He wouldn't be as painfully loud as my band was. Then again, I can't imagine feedback is a problem for him with a hg50 if his band is reasonable so I'm just confused about it.
1952 posts
Dec 14, 2016
7:33 AM
I reckon if you were a pro, you'd have a range of these kind of things at the ready, in case they helped in particular situations.

Us hobbyists/amateurs will generally play the same room or rooms over and over, whereas the pros have to play lots of places. Things like feedback, and the sound generally, are highly room-specific. That's no secret.
2001 posts
Dec 14, 2016
3:42 PM
Yea, perhaps jason uses it very low most of the time, but turns it up when needed?

All i know is that even playing at home, the harp sheild didn't do much for me. At its lowest setting it still doesn't cut on if i really play low. I feel it cuts all the dynamics of if your playing.

One way i thought to use it ..

What if you put a compressor ahead of it. That way all of your notes would be the same volume. Just an idea.

I haven't used it in a while and ny skills have improved quote a bit since last i tried it. So ill give it another shot and tell you what i think now.

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