Beads noise. Input signal not appropriate?

I have been using beads for a while now and I am having major issues with noise/hiss. This mostly happens when I send intermittent signals with variable shapes and volume levels into Beads and have the manual gain attenuation down (which is the only way I can use this module). I get a hiss that comes and goes with the grains. This issue is also noticeable when I run a consistent and loud (modular level) signal into Beads while continuously seeding and the density set to a low value, this is very apparent when turned to full wet. Any amount of reverb makes this hiss grow exponentially.
I have contacted Emilie and she has assured me it is not a hardware issue, and noted it might be due to the internal compressor settings. I have yet to find a workable solution with my current creative process.
My main take away from talking with Émilie was that the input signal I am running into beads is inappropriate. Too quiet to run into beads. The problem is compounded by the auto gain not working for my process, which is sending slow, dynamic pulses from Rings that have variable shapes and amplitudes, between long silences. When I turn my system on beads might wait a minute or two before it gets a signal at all, depending on the composition of the piece I’m preforming. When it does get a signal it may be loud, may be quiet and the next input which may arrive some time later will certainly be a different amplitude. This forces me to abandon the auto gain and set it manually. Thats fine, but even when I do the quiet signal seems to be getting upward compression anyway(?) and this creates a horrible hissing noise that pulls in and out with each grain, very noticeable when set to a low density. This seems to be a product of my creative process, however no module except beads has had an issue with sending it silence. I would like to remedy this….
Is anyone else using beads in this way? Variable input of different amplitudes with silence in between and the module set to low density? Has anyone found this situation to create noise that comes and goes with the grains? It has been consistent for me and any amount of reverb makes this immediately apparent.

Here is a link to the system I am running with Beads.

Is it consistent across qualities? I’ve not noticed the problem, but I can’t say my input has been too similar.

Hello. Also, how is the feedback knob set ? I suppose that if Beads gets silence most of the time and that feedback is high (say, past noon) maybe the noise floor gets amplified over time.

Yes. It happens in all audio quality modes.

I’m not sure that I have isolated the feedback and listened to see if the hiss builds over time. I will try this. It sure does pull up the noise floor (or at least that’s what it sounds like) with ANY amount of reverb.

After a few tests I found it happens with the feedback turn all the way down.

I tried this and I get background noise too in the 3 lower quality settings when Beads triggers grains but the high quality is not affected in my case which is why I always use it in this setting. But adding reverb definitely doesn’t add more noise in any quality so I cannot reproduce your problem.
You wrote that Émilie has already thought about it and had an idea of what is causing trouble, maybe she will be able to help you when she will be back full time.

Interesting that you don’t get it in all modes and don’t see a difference with the reverb.
I am on the second module now and it has been the same on both. I have put the modules in 3 different cases and it makes no difference. And though I normally send it audio from rings I have used many different sources and have sent Émilie multiple recordings and pictures yet she is also not able to reproduce these results.
Thanks for your insight, this has been very frusterating. Hoping to find some answers so I can finally use this module.

Have you considered a kind of “gain staging” before working with Beads: have it “listen” to the loudest signal you plan to use for that session. I think I’ve actually had to do this before when it must have read a quieter signal at first and proceeded to clip everything processing the louder signals…

Off Topic

How do you like that Triple Cap? Is it appropriate as a straight noise source (for drums and/or sample and hold)? Seems like it would be much more interesting as a noise source than your typical white noise module…

In the beginning I was doing something like that, but I’m just not going to spend that kind of effort every time I turn on my system. I started to have to re-patch every time to send beads an unattenuated signal when I started up, then run it through the real signal path and get started, what a horrible idea that was! so now I always manually set the gain, normally I set it to no digital attenuation boost to avoid the noise I get when I turn the gain up much at all. I really don’t like the amplifier in beads I find it to be very noisy in general. And the fact that the auto-gain is set up as the default input setting… I really think it should be the other way around. It makes so much more sense that one would have to do a long press or button combo to enable auto gain, not to disable… Just another part of beads that doesn’t speak to me. Same with the fact the wave table synth turns on automatically…. I hate that! Why couldn’t that be a combo or something instead of just turning on surprisingly. Feature creep at its worst. Much more of a fan of modules that do what they do and don’t try to be everything. With Beads it’s as if I installed a software plug-in into my rack.
I’m really trying to make it work until Émilie can work on some new firmware but I can’t trust Beads at all. By the time I get a good sound out of it I’m also getting unusable amounts of noise. It’s truly the most troublesome module I’ve ever owned. It took me about 5 months to finally receive the thing though and I think I’d have to go through the same thing to get a Mimeophone right now, which looks like the best alternative for me besides having to free up an extra 2hp to get it in the skiff. Anybody out there have a mimeophone they want to trade for a Beads? Or I might get the Noise Engineering granular processor that was just announced. Émilie has assured me there is nothing wrong with my beads that isn’t the case with all other modules, and I can verify that because I’ve gone through 2 separate modules now and they were both noisy as hell.
Obviously I’m using it wrong… just didn’t think that was a thing in modular synthesis. Directions from other manufactures have been like, “go for it” “get creative” “experiment, then read the Manuel”. That has always worked and been really fun, that’s why I love modular synthesis…. until Beads. Maybe I should just get Beads it’s own 14hp skiff and call it a hardware synth; just leave it in a drawer somewhere.

The triple cap is soooo rad! Sounds great through rings. Sound like a banshee on its own. It does produce tones(intermittently) as well as noise and you can adjust it to your liking. You can get “pure” noise from it but it’s never clean. Sounds sorta like a downsampled noise source but it’s different for sure, hard to say how exactly, I’ve never heard anything like it. I can blend it into other noise sources for some pretty interesting percussion sounds. I’ll blend things together in moddemix quite often and use the morphing noise signal for hats, really cool. Didn’t buy it for that but now I can’t stop doing it. Or use it as the carrier for a ring mod and get some really dynamic timbral experiments. Tends to give rings strumming or grating sound depending on the mode. Way more textural than standard noise sources. It was a gamble but worked out great in my opinion.

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