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> Pick Noise, How to be rid of it?
Neurologi
post Nov 21 2009, 01:58 PM
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Ok. Here is the deal. I thought I would take the time to really listen to the superposition of pick noise as I played today. Trying different picks as I go. All the while adjusting the pick angle. My conclusions? Doesn't really matter what I do. The only discernible difference I can tell is if I pick closer to the bridge on the unwound strings. So close to the bridge that I have to be pretty much over the pole-pieces. Not really a position where one can easily use the palm for muting as it now finds itself behind the bridge proper hanging in free space. I have yet to test on other guitars but this holds true at least for the Ibanez S470 in its current setup. Anyone else have experience of this phenomenon? Or is there something else I can do to clean up my pick attack? Don't say pick angle. Tried it. Doesn't help.

[EDIT] >> Think I am gonna experiment with treble settings on amp and EQ tomorrow. The Triaxis Treble parameter acts as an extra gain stage and hence tends to be always up fairly high! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Neurologi: Nov 21 2009, 02:16 PM


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Daniel Realpe
post Nov 21 2009, 02:25 PM
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Whether you have your rist loose or stiffled makes a big difference,

You have to have a certain degree of movement in the rist so that when you pick the hand adjusts itself to the string you are playing, otherwise the angle is always the same and there will be too much pick noise due to that,

that's what I can think of right now, but pick angle influences a great deal!


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Staffy
post Nov 21 2009, 02:57 PM
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Hmm, strange, I experience a huge difference in tone when both angling the pick different and by moving the hand.... and the attck seems to be the hardest near the bridge and with the pick slightly angled. Maybe its the sound ??? If You are using a lot of distorsion the nuances seems to disappear, then must left hand/right hand muting be used in order to get rid of string noise to make every note clear. Also left-right hand synchronisation is very important to get every note clean. I think its just a matter of accuracy...........

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Neurologi
post Nov 21 2009, 03:21 PM
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QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Nov 21 2009, 03:25 PM) *
Whether you have your rist loose or stiffled makes a big difference,

You have to have a certain degree of movement in the rist so that when you pick the hand adjusts itself to the string you are playing, otherwise the angle is always the same and there will be too much pick noise due to that,

that's what I can think of right now, but pick angle influences a great deal!

That is definitely something I haven't considered. I do make quite the effort to keep the angle constant and making a solid contact rather than allowing some "give" in the wrist. I thought that was the idea though? It makes sense that by being too stiff in one's wrist you are forcing the string rather than letting it sound. Cool. Thanks Daniel. I will try to see whether that is what is causing my dilemma.

QUOTE (Staffy @ Nov 21 2009, 03:57 PM) *
Hmm, strange, I experience a huge difference in tone when both angling the pick different and by moving the hand.... and the attck seems to be the hardest near the bridge and with the pick slightly angled. Maybe its the sound ??? If You are using a lot of distorsion the nuances seems to disappear, then must left hand/right hand muting be used in order to get rid of string noise to make every note clear. Also left-right hand synchronisation is very important to get every note clean. I think its just a matter of accuracy...........

//Staffay

These tests I am doing, as far as pick noise is concerned, are in isolation. No fancy stuff. One note. Adjusting right hand only and listening for the difference. That being said, it could very well be something to do the sound too as you say.

I hardly ever play clean on electric as that is what the classical is for ... biggrin.gif There is a lot of nuance with the Triaxis. That is part of the problem. Everything is amplified in the minutest detail. If I am not careful of left/right hand muting it becomes a mess very quickly. As far as hand synchronisation goes that is about the only lessons I have been doing since I joined up at GMC ... biggrin.gif

Cheers, Staffy.


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Neurologi
post Nov 21 2009, 07:24 PM
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Arggghhh! Kill me now! Not getting anywhere on this. I think I will just have to live with it. High Gain. High amount of pick noise.


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Mitch Roberts
post Nov 25 2009, 10:55 PM
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Hey Neurologi, I've found that pick noise, while no one can completely get rid of it, can be combated in a few different ways.

This doesn't fit for every type of music, but the thicker the pick you use, the less noise. Of course if you're strumming with an acoustic, a light pick is ideal. But with heavier picks you'll notice there is less contact with the string, as it doesnt bend on the attack of the string. Play with a light pick and listen to the swooshing sound when you're picking, that's the pick brushing against the string.

Another tip is to try not to pick too hard, this will improve both pick noise and if you attack the string too hard initially, it knocks it a few cents out of tune very shortly until the string starts vibrating in its correct range.

Also the EQ can affect this, one thing people dont realize is that the Low's affect your higher strings also, so to make your higher string more pronounced, and reduce the tendency to pick harder on them, boost the lows. I recommend sitting in the dark with your eyes shut and EQ'ing the amp, keep this in mind and EQ the lows to fit both your high and low strings comfortably, and try not to boost the high's too much, this provokes the squeakey pick noise.

Also, the area in which you pick can affect this, when on the bridge pickup, picking directly over the pickup will cause more noise, so try to play accordingly to which pickup is being used.

Hope this helps!

Mitch


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Neurologi
post Nov 28 2009, 03:26 PM
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Only just noticed your reply what with all the site changes recently and the fact I had given up on this problem for the time being as I seemed not to be making any measurable progress.

I did do a search on the net for advice and the sheer plethora of recommendations was more than a little overwhelming but your explanation rings true to my ears and touches on the EQ side of things in a more analytical manner. I have experienced this issue with the high E string (flabby tone compared to any other string) for what feels like an eternity and had always been rather perplexed by it. Even if I compensated for the disparity in tone by picking harder relative to the others I still thought it sounded woeful. I had never considered the possibility of the imbalance in response due to the bass EQ setting.

Your advice gives me hope that I have pinpointed the real cause of my dilemma which, no doubt, has been compounded by retubing the Triaxis with higher gain spec tubes to what I had previously. First is my picking attack - hard. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, is the amp settings as you pointed out. I tend to favor an EQ curve that has mids and highs boosted with lows cut. This is a peculiarity of the Triaxis in that it has plenty of bass even if you dial it out. The problem area would surely be the highs (perhaps even my mids are too high as I read a post by Muris saying that set too high they can accentuate the perception of pick noise even more) as I pointed out in an earlier post in this thread for it is like an extra boost stage and have favored dialing plenty in. I should tame that somewhat letting my ears be my guide using your excellent "blind eye test" suggestion. I don't really "need" more gain given master output levels for the preamp are quite low and still provide more than enough line level signal strength. So, really, it is about time I looked at this with a mind to being a bit more sparing.

I am confident now that I can deal with the issue head-on thanks to your helpful insights. Thanks Mitch. Much obliged. Funny though. I have been fumbling in the dark the whole time and didn't realise that that was the answer to all my troubles!!! laugh.gif

Cheers.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 28 2009, 03:54 PM
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There are possibly two reasons why you cannot hear any big difference when changing the pick angle:

- you use muddy preset for playing
- your ears are not fine tuned for subtle changes that occur

Possibly there are more reasons, but these would be the most logical ones I can remember. Also, you mentioned that you just started doing variations of the pick angle and picking positions. These things come with time, it is normal that you cannot notice everything straight away.
What I suggest here may sound a bit obvious - practice. Practice, practice practice, and you will gradually start to notice lots of changes in tone.



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Neurologi
post Nov 28 2009, 05:02 PM
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Very true. Thanks Ivan. Appreciate it.

Of course, all factors are important and contribute to a complex mix of variables that interact to form the whole. So really, I can't rule anything out. I just need to target the one's that are affected most by the way I play and the tone that I am ever searching for.

I can rule out possibility #2 for I find the pick noise annoying. I can hear it even with the high gain settings I tend to favour while playing faster passages. So much so that it is unbearable to my ears. Doesn't matter that the rest of the frequency spectrum sounds pretty cool. I am so attuned to whatever bandwidth it occupies that on a clean patch I can hear it plain as day only less annoying. I have been endeavouring to tame this beast of a Triaxis ever since I bought it - many years ago now. Pretty sensitive to even the smallest changes in parameters.

As far as possibility #1 goes the problem is not so much muddy tone as much as a very "full" tone. Every nuance is amplified in the highest fidelity. Heavy picks. Heavy gauge strings. I need to pick with a lighter touch which is something I am definitely not used to. I like to dig into notes and make them bite. So I am in need of a change of pick dynamics reserving the "hard" notes for when I really need it. More importantly, the biggest factor is the amp EQ/Gain stages are set up in a way that "accentuates" in every possible way exactly what I don't want to hear namely pick noise. Gonna have to experiment there as per Mitch's "blind eye" test. I have tried everything else but the amp itself. Nothing I change before or after the amp makes an appreciable difference so it is a process of elimination. I don't have a simple signal path by any stretch of the imagination. That doesn't make the job of troubleshooting any easier either.


I almost have the courage to tackle this again soon ...


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audiopaal
post Nov 28 2009, 07:29 PM
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I have to agree with Ivan here smile.gif
The more you play, the better you will get.
And when you get better, your playing/recordings will sound better smile.gif

I used to have more pick noise before, and less now.
And that's because I have gotten better and found my way of playing different styles of music in different ways smile.gif

You'll notice it too I'm sure!
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Neurologi
post Nov 28 2009, 07:43 PM
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Ok. I give up! tongue.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 28 2009, 10:11 PM
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Possibly there are other reasons, but in my experience, when the player can't hear the nuances in sound when varying pick attack and angle, it is either the preset or not being able to control the tone well with the pick. Both things thing lot of time developing, so I suggest just focusing more on that area in the future, I'm sure the results will come soon.
Getting a good tone out of the amp so that it amplifies every subtle nuance well is not so easy, and if you achieved that kind of tone, then now it's time to try to control it to your liking. If you don't like current result, then there is time for some experimenting to do. I suggest that you take your well know preset and just record and compare various different pick angles and attacks. This way you will learn to use what you want.
In addition to that, some pick noise is always present, so there is no way to remove it completely. When playing is good, there is no reason to say that pick noise is any kind of issue. It is integral part of everyone's tone, and being able to control it is one of the important components in achieving your signature sound.


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nowshido
post Nov 30 2009, 02:57 AM
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I might be the only one but when I listen to the pros play amazing solos I can still hear the pick noise but I LIKE it! Whether its MAB, Alexi, Romeo, Luca, Rustey, and the list goes on and on. When they are playing AP runs the pick noise is there! I like that noise! It makes the solo have a different flavor when they change techniques from sweep to AP to tapping to legato. Am I alone on this? An example is Alexi's solo in Angels Don't Kill, he has a super fast AP run and the pick noise really makes the solo! I suppose you might just be referring to excess pick noise though.
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Neurologi
post Nov 30 2009, 04:56 PM
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I will say more later as I need some sleep but I just had to share this with all the good folk here at GMC.

Here I was checking out video lessons at random hoping to find a good candidate for something for me to work on next. I happened upon Muris's most excellent "Timing Exercise" lesson linked to in a forum post I had just read today. I watch the main vid. I then watch the mini-vids which are, of course, the slowed down versions of what is in the main one. The backing track is non-existent in these so I can hear the guitar on its own. Honest to goodness I heard the "exact" same pick noise I have been raving on about in this thread. As if it had been played through my own rig. If anything maybe even more pronounced since it is a rendered version interleaved with the video track and will therefore be quite compressed. I had to laugh. It is more noticeable at the slower tempo but I can still hear it as plain as day at tempo.

What did I learn? I must have done something right all along. I just have to accept and get used to this "whoosh" sound. Heck! I may even get to like it at much as you, Nowshido??!! laugh.gif


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