Other than telling them "You know, you generally want to record jingle bells from across the room - Not from 6 inches away..." it's a bit of a crapshoot.
When you have 36 almost simultaneous 100+dBSPL transients going off every second (something that analog meters won't even notice and few digital meters react to properly) I think a lot of people don't understand the importance of space and distance anymore with such instruments. Glockenspiel, triangle, slapstick, bells, etc.
You can try knocking down certain "irritants" with a FFT EQ, some of the "grating" noise can be softened with a good de-esser, but it's really program-dependent.
__________________ John Scrip
- Massive Mastering, LLC - www.massivemastering.com Spoon-feed a newb some answer and he'll mix for a day -
Get him to *think* about it and figure it out for himself and he'll mix for a lifetime --- JS