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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » PAIA Equipment
PAiA Stringz'n'Thingz Noise Reduction
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stefanv



Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Moorefield, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: PAiA Stringz'n'Thingz Noise Reduction Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just under two years ago, I posted about my project to rejuvenate and expand an old PAiA Stringz'n'Thingz string synthesizer. The project went well, but in recent times the various unintended noises that it made started to annoy me, so I spent a few weeks tracking down some gremlins, and improving the circuitry to eliminate the BBD noise.

If anyone's interested, I've written it all up here:

Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! – Stringz’n'Thingz Revisited

Lessons learned?

- Everything can be improved, even old PAiA gear. Very Happy
- Never underestimate the capabilities of a wiring error.

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Stefan Vorkoetter
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Dan Lavin



Joined: Nov 09, 2006
Posts: 612
Location: Spring Lake, Mi, USA
Audio files: 21

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Stefan, nice read. I would recommend it to anyone doing heavy modding just for the lessons learned.

I don't remember my old Stringz being that noisy (at least not enough to bug me), but I do remember hearing weird little "artifacts" at the end of notes. I attributed them to the chorus board but I was probably getting a little LFO bleed-thru somehow. Since I sold it to an old friend back in '83-'84(?), I can only trust my memory of the thing. I do remember if I pressed the keys slowly enough, I could activate a VCA or noise gate and let those artifact sounds through without sounding the notes.

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stefanv



Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Moorefield, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Dan.

Yeah, the original Stringz didn't have an "all strings off" mode, so they noise was nicely masked by the strings. But it did have dual-bus keyboard, one bus being used to key the particular notes, and the other to trigger the noise gate. If you carefully pressed a key where the noise gate contact closed first, you'd get the effect you describe (just like slowly pressing a key on a Hammond organ and hearing all nine harmonics start up separately).

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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1212
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very good article about your mods to the String'n'Thingz to make it work better-than-spec.

To intelligently mod something to make it work better-than-new is tremendously rewarding. Enjoyed reading about it.

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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1212
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just a follow up now that I've had a chance to listen to the "before" and "after" recordings.

The quality improvement is dramatic -- clearly audible on the recordings even through my laptop's built-in speakers.

You've transformed the instrument into something quite useable.

cheers

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