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Percusive pick noise in recordings
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mysteronyx
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#31
21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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No battery in the DI. There's no doubt that a real amp would solve this problem very quickly. I'm playing with the EQ for my recording software, and I think formatting my computer helped with some of my problem. I'm noticing less clicky sound when I reduce the treble than before the format.
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21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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Maybe there are clocking issues?
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21st August 2013
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Between the interfaces and pc?
#34
21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysteronyx View Post
After talking with Presonus, it appears that the problem is with my computer's latency. .

I can't see how any amount of latency will exaggerate your pick noise. It will only allow what pick noise you have to come through with a slight delay. That's just kooky.

troubleshooting is all about being systematic in eliminating variables. You start at one end and you replace ONE THING AT A TIME.

for example, first you try a different guitar, still the same pick noise problem? Put your guitar back and try a different cable. Still a problem? put the cable back and try a different direct box. Still a problem? Go to the next thing in the chain. Don't 'skip around' and don't change two things at the same time.
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mysteronyx
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#35
21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I can't see how any amount of latency will exaggerate your pick noise. It will only allow what pick noise you have to come through with a slight delay. That's just kooky.

troubleshooting is all about being systematic in eliminating variables. You start at one end and you replace ONE THING AT A TIME.

for example, first you try a different guitar, still the same pick noise problem? Put your guitar back and try a different cable. Still a problem? put the cable back and try a different direct box. Still a problem? Go to the next thing in the chain. Don't 'skip around' and don't change two things at the same time.
That's what I've been doing since the beginning. I tested difference picks, picking styles, guitars, recording software, gain settings, effects, and so on. It was when I switched the interface's mixer to inputs and listened to the guitar going into the interface and directly out to the monitors that Presonus and I realized it's an issue with my computer playing back the sound. The sound of the guitar > interface > monitors sounds exactly how I expect it. It sounds great regardless of which pick, guitar, and picking style I choose. As soon as I turn the knob to playback so that it's guitar > interface > computer > interface > monitors, I start to hear the pick noise. Clearly, the computer is not spitting out the same clean sound.

So, I formatted the computer and ran latency tests along with my one-variable-at-a-time experiment all over again. Formatting seemed to help a little, but there's clearly something going on with my computer.

I'm surprised you'd make a post talking about how I should be changing only one variable at a time. Perhaps I didn't do a good job of making it clear that I was doing that.
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#36
21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysteronyx View Post
Clearly, the computer is not spitting out the same clean sound....
But that clean sound is BEFORE the amp sim plug, right? And you are aware that Guitar Rig is supposed to to dirty up your sound all by itself, right?


Quote:
..So, I formatted the computer and ran latency tests along with my one-variable-at-a-time experiment all over again. Formatting seemed to help a little, but there's clearly something going on with my computer...
well I know from past experience that one can never say "it CAN'T be that" about anything, but even so, I don't see how latency can cause something so specific without affecting everything else. When you started talking about latency, I assumed you were jumping around grasping for solutions.

Quote:
It sounds great regardless of which pick, guitar, and picking style I choose. As soon as I turn the knob to playback so that it's guitar > interface > computer > interface > monitors, I start to hear the pick noise.
but you said you are using an Amp Sim in your software! So that's three things that are different when you go through the computer. The computer itself, the DAW and the plug-in. Your second position is really:

guitar > interface > computer > DAW software > Guitar Rig Plug-in Effects > interface > monitors,

Quote:
the guitar going into the interface and directly out to the monitors
so this bypasses your computer, but also your DAW AND the Guitar Rig plug in?

Quote:
I've tried all sorts of gain settings with the guitar, interface, and Guitar Rig volumes;
It was not clear to me from your posts, have you tried removing Guitar Rig altogether? And also, you are sure you are not clipping anywhere in the software? No red lights anywhere on your channels, plugs or masters?

if there is something wrong with your computer itself, then it will also affect things OTHER than just the pick attack of a guitar, because your computer does not "know" what is a guitar and what is something else. Have you tried setting up a microphone and banging on a drum or even a table top? Shouting loudly into the mic?
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#37
21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
But that clean sound is BEFORE the amp sim plug, right? And you are aware that Guitar Rig is supposed to to dirty up your sound all by itself, right?

but you said you are using an Amp Sim in your software! So that's three things that are different when you go through the computer. The computer itself, the DAW and the plug-in. Your second position is really:

guitar > interface > computer > DAW software > Guitar Rig Plug-in Effects > interface > monitors,


so this bypasses your computer, but also your DAW AND the Guitar Rig plug in?

It was not clear to me from your posts, have you tried removing Guitar Rig altogether? And also, you are sure you are not clipping anywhere in the software? No red lights anywhere on your channels, plugs or masters?
I apologize for not making that clearer. I haven't been using Guitar Rig at all when testing over the last day or so. I've been testing on clean in various programs like Mixcraft, Audacity, and Studio One. I hear the same pick noise on clean in every program with no effects.

That said, you're correct that it's not simply guitar > interface > computer > interface > monitors. It is guitar > interface > computer > recording software with no effects > interface > monitors. Since I've tested in several recording environments, it must have something to do with the computer itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
if there is something wrong with your computer itself, then it will also affect things OTHER than just the pick attack of a guitar, because your computer does not "know" what is a guitar and what is something else. Have you tried setting up a microphone and banging on a drum or even a table top? Shouting loudly into the mic?
Yesterday I recorded my acoustic guitar with a dynamic microphone, and I still get the pick noise. Haven't tried with anything else.

I too was shocked when they said that latency could be the problem. However, regardless of what word we use, there's definitely something going on with how the computer is processing the sound and returning it to the interface. I haven't tested on another computer since I don't have one available. Presonus had me run some more system analyses, which they're reviewing as we speak.
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21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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The clean sample sounds like poor clocking noise to me. It's less obvious with the driven sound, just because the wave tops are squared.

Do you have a friend who has a better interface?
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#39
21st August 2013
Old 21st August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
The clean sample sounds like poor clocking noise to me. It's less obvious with the driven sound, just because the wave tops are squared.

Do you have a friend who has a better interface?
Not that I'm aware of. What is clocking noise? Is it related to the interface or is it something to do with the computer? I found this article regarding clocking: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul0...onotes0703.asp

The other thought -and one that joeq might agree with - is that of all the variables I've isolated, I still haven't tried a different interface. While the issue seems to be with the computer, perhaps there is an issue with the interface sending the signal to the computer? Unfortunately, Sam Ash wouldn't let me buy a different interface with a return policy due to the software.
#40
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysteronyx View Post
The other thought -and one that joeq might agree with - is that of all the variables I've isolated, I still haven't tried a different interface. While the issue seems to be with the computer, perhaps there is an issue with the interface sending the signal to the computer?
it's possible - on some interfaces the audio might actually go "through" it, but on a lot of them the 'bypass' is really bypass. It is just folding back the input signal for zero-latency monitoring. Except for a simple volume knob, the interface doesn't really handle or process the signal at that level.

maybe someone you know has an interface (anything at all) that you could borrow

or maybe someone you know has a different computer you could plug your interface into, though that would require installing the software on that machine, I guess

If it is a fault with your unit, many times these types of issues are not isolated to one person. Try googling your specific model number and general words like "problems" and "issues" and see if others are also complaining about that model.

I would not bother with "pick sound" as that is too specific.
#41
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Sounds from poor clocking in my experience is something like a samples is skipped or dropped every 10-20 or sometimes 40-50 sample, and causes some 'grainy' sound and odd transient. That happened when I was using M-Audio octane as clocking source, going into Benchmark DAC. When I switched to internal clock of Benchmark DAC, the 'grainy'-ness disappeared so I realized that was due to the clocking.

Well, I used Presonus Audiobox USB before, and the driver was actually terrible. I couldn't tolerate with the usable latency setups, because 128 samples and under was useless even my machine is very well tweaked for audio.
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22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
it's possible - on some interfaces the audio might actually go "through" it, but on a lot of them the 'bypass' is really bypass. It is just folding back the input signal for zero-latency monitoring. Except for a simple volume knob, the interface doesn't really handle or process the signal at that level.
That's actually very good point. Do you actually hear the same 'percussive' sound when you monitor direct sound? You can do that by turning the mix knob all the way.
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#43
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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The guitar sounds great with no percussive sound when the interface goes directly to the monitors. I'm going to try the Audiobox on another computer and will post an update shortly.
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#44
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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After testing on another computer, it seems like I'm still getting the percussive sound. Here is a comparison. Computer 1 is the one I'd been using this whole time; computer 2 is the one I just tried.

http://mysteronyx.com/computer1.mp3

http://mysteronyx.com/computer2.mp3

Those two used the Audiobox ASIO driver. Below is a clip of the second computer using the Windows WaveRT driver:

http://mysteronyx.com/computer2-wavert.mp3

Both computers are running Windows 7 home, so it still could be an issue with the computer. However, there doesn't seem to be a difference between the ASIO and WaveRT drivers, so what's left? Only thing I haven't swapped out is the interface.
#45
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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that's usually what you hear with incorrect impedance. I can't see a HiZ system on the Presonus Audiobox USB. even then, they aren't always that good. best front end control I've found is probably from the Nobels ODR-1 and I use a camel bone pick to get rid of those plastic on metal frequencies. some Nobels have two of the pots wired the wrong way round though. probably crops up in the silver colored models more. mine had it the wrong way round. anyhow, they load a guitar really well an are very transparent with the drive down. then they output a 2K ohm load to any interface. + you get a great OD when you want it. if you have any kind of pedal which is non true bypass, that might be ok as well.
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22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Check the interface if you can and check the clocking settings normally under preferences or read your manual. or maybe the DI is broken? You are using an external DI right? Where are you plugging this into on the interface?
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#47
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
Check the interface if you can and check the clocking settings normally under preferences or read your manual. or maybe the DI is broken? You are using an external DI right? Where are you plugging this into on the interface?
No clocking options for the interface. The DI is Whirlwind EDB1 brand new. Guitar goes into the DI, then the DI goes out to the interface. It's definitely working in terms of reducing the dB, but maybe it's not adjusting the impedance correctly.
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22nd August 2013
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What part of the interface are you going into? The Mic input?
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22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Sorry, cannot remember if you had tried leaving the DI box out of the equation as yet?
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22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Try recording at a lower level. Sounds like the pick transients may be clipping slightly and creating the problem. Also try a fast compressor for mix processing. Fast attack, fast release, and adjust the threshold to just catch the transient. I would try high pass eq after the comp too. Taking some bottom out of the pick noise may make it less noticeable.
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22nd August 2013
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Yeah might be gain staging
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22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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I have similar stuff in my rig (EMGs on guitar, Presonus pre) and to me this mostly sounds like something EMG's will do with the right sound combination. They have this high frequency sound that can come through in a nasty way. That's why I actually prefer using passive pickups while recording (and noise can be dealt with) and leaving the EMG guitar for live situations, where it works. This doesn't sound like a battery issue, but YMMV. I might also try to play a passage like this with fingers to dampen the attack get that smooth feel. Gainstaging as stated above is also crucial.
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#53
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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He has tried in passive mode already
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22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysteronyx View Post
No clocking options for the interface. The DI is Whirlwind EDB1 brand new. Guitar goes into the DI, then the DI goes out to the interface. It's definitely working in terms of reducing the dB, but maybe it's not adjusting the impedance correctly.
Guitar Impedance ?

///////////////////////////////////////////////
Ohms

Mega ohm / Mohm = 1
Kilo ohm /Kohm = 1000
Ohm / = 1000000

///////////////////////////////////////////////

Whirlwind EDB1 Direct Box

Input Impedance: 20 Kohms or 20,000 ohms or (0.02 MOhms ? // I think).
Output Impedance: 150 ohms

///////////////////////////////////////////////

PreSonus AudioBox USB:

Instrument Input
Type ¼"
TS Female Unbalanced Input Impedance 0.5 Mohm or 500,000 ohm

Microphone Preamp
Type XLR Female Balanced
Input Impedance (Balanced) 1200 ohm or 1.2 Kohm
Frequency Response (±3.0 dB) 14 Hz to 70 kHz

//////////////////////////////////////////////

if the PreSonus has a combo jack input, the jack on those is unbalanced.
try either, putting your guitar straight in there
OR
using a balanced microphone cable from the Whirlwind to the balanced in on the PreSonus.

you should find out the ohm rating on your guitars output, in whatever active or passive modes it can produce.

typically you need to be within 10 X the ohm rating for source and destination connections.

Read this.
Prepare to DI!

one reason the Nobels pedals are handy is because they have a 1 Mohm in to a 2 Kohms out and,
I think it's constantly buffered to that, so it acts like an impedance changer as well as a pedal.
so their pre amp or AB switchers are handy for pre loading your guitar. I prefer the way the ODR-1 loads guitars though, to the others. so that's always my 1st connection. then I can generally forget subsequent nonsense.
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#55
22nd August 2013
Old 22nd August 2013
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Thats exactly what I thought...
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22nd August 2013
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Thats exactly what I thought...
yeah it's usually to do with that kind of thing.
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22nd August 2013
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I got it once with my bass going DI into MIC input on Pre, slapping sounded weird..
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#58
23rd August 2013
Old 23rd August 2013
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Muser, I'll have to read that DI article and get some info about my guitar. Thanks for the post.

I tried another interface today (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2), and I get the same percussive sound. So, we can rule out the Audiobox as the cause. Given that I've tried different guitars, interfaces, computers, drivers, picks, and picking styles, I guess this is something I'll have to live with. Thanks for the help.
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23rd August 2013
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Did you try leaving the DI out of the equation/
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#60
23rd August 2013
Old 23rd August 2013
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Birdland101, I only bought the DI a few days ago after Presonus tech support suggested it to fix this problem.
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