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Which guitar pick for a CK 12 capsule...?
Old 29th April 2009
  #1
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Which guitar pick for a CK 12 capsule...?

Heres a question for anyone who owns or tracks regularly a mic with an original CK 12 capsule- don't care which mic but mine is a C414eb specifically (Would love to hear from ELAM owners). Specifically strumming.

Ive gotten picky about picks as a player and for recording but having tracked all day purely for fun with my 414 Ive come to a delimma. I always like a nylon dunlop for playing electric and am VERY used to that pick (the light grey almost white) BUT its too tame on acoustic. For tracks to sit underneath great but on top.. nope... I LOVE the sound I get off my acoustic with a fender thin, which I hate to play with but fine. The issue is I don't like the glassy pick attack with that plastic edge... The top end with the nylon is way sweeter but less articulate and open... Anything thick sounds way too clunky with my Martin- its crazy midrange heavy, so I have to use something super thin to get that airy strumming sound.

SO what picks do you guys like to track with? Ive always used the thin but with the added top of the CK 12 I'd like something not so brittle in the high mids. The Fender thin can cut a great track so Im fine but man if I could just take that edge off BEFORE hitting the mic... Im being pretty pick though I admit.

My room is relatively dead and Im not getting crap reflections or phasey top- I actually really like my room! But its dead on top so I don't get much ambience smoothing things out with natural tails and such.

SO- Favorite choice for a pick used on acoustic guitar for a CK 12 capsule. ( I know they vary but the top end on a good cap is pretty universal and impossible to replicate IMHO) Whats bright but smooth? Any new picks from other materials?
Old 29th April 2009
  #2
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sahiaman's Avatar
 

This is a question I'm pondered many times. And I've come up with a few answers, while using a mic with a presence boost, what I do is:

1) Use my fingers to strum. You would be surprised how well the finger nails work for recording acoustic strumming.

2) Change the angle of the pick attack. Or even change the direction of how you hold it. I tend to hold picks 'turned around', so the rounded side is what I'm picking with. This also eliminates many of the issues with pick attacks and guitar noise from hitting the pick guard or sound hole on accident.

3) Use a jazz pick. Those small picks that have less of a surface area.
Old 29th April 2009
  #3
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With thin picks you get the percussiveness of the pick more than the sound of the string. With heavier picks you get less pick sound and more string. That is the essential rule. Now, the way you hold the pick and the angle to which the pick actually attacks the strings makes a huge difference in sound as well. Also, where your pivot is from (fingers, wrist, elbow). All these things are factors.

For electric, I use a small teardrop Clayton 1.00 mm - I am generally a Strat and Telly guy but I also use it with a Les Paul. I believe this is the same pick that Dean Parks uses when playing electric.

For acoustic, I use a large triangle Wegen and at the moment, the mm escapes me. It is either 1.00 mm or 1.2 mm.

Now I also attack the strings on an angle because that is where the tone comes from. I know lots of folks are taught to play parallel to the strings. I am not about to open up an argument on that topic. I only know what works for me and I have been fairly successful playing Flatpick Contests in the past. For me, it's all about TONE.

I get great results recording with these picks. But again, I am used to them. I have no idea how you attack the strings etc so these picks might not work for you at all or may at first seem cumbersome. I have spent a lot of time thru the years playing with various picks including tortoise shell and for me, the above seems to work for me the best.

Hope some of this helps.
Old 29th April 2009
  #4
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- cool thread! From the title, I thought it would be a joke... heh
Old 29th April 2009
  #5
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Blast9's Avatar
(not my regular setup but - I have recorded with a C12A)

the yellow medium heavy tortex - or the slighly lighter orange ones - strum very softly so you get an even balance of mids and highs

also - try the shoulder of the pick, not the point

In your room with your mic that should work (is the EB quite middly?)

ps what about wood picks?

I'm guessing part of the prob is the textured surface of those dunlops?
Old 29th April 2009
  #6
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aidyhall's Avatar
Slightly OT, but how about moving the mic? Radical suggestion, I know ...

Try the classic position pointing at the neck at about 12th fret from 12" or more away (or thereabouts), and change the angle of the mic.

Or come over the players shoulder, looking down at the guitar, so you kinda get what the player hears ...

I always try to let the player use a pick/style that he is comfortable with, and then pick the mic and position accordingly ...
Old 29th April 2009
  #7
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digitalM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Now, the way you hold the pick and the angle to which the pick actually attacks the strings makes a huge difference in sound as well. Also, where your pivot is from (fingers, wrist, elbow)
No doubt the OP is already well familiar with this but still thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

Pictured below my absolute favorite. It's made of a special material replicating the fingernail.
Attached Thumbnails
Which guitar pick for a CK 12 capsule...?-dunlop-ultex.jpg  
Old 29th April 2009
  #8
Led
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Led's Avatar
My EB has the other capsule, but I record my Martin D28 with it and I usually end up with a lighter nylon, I think it may even be the .38 for strumming parts. I track it through an 1176 usually on the Dr Pepper setting but it still needs hpfing if the track's fullish.
If I want a little less edge I use the red nylon, I think it's a .54?
I have a box of stacks of different weights and materials for electric. It's a good question, I think it's something that's often overlooked. The range of different tones you can get just from changinig picks is pretty wide.
Old 29th April 2009
  #9
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swafford's Avatar
 

I use the pick that makes my guitar sound the best for the way I play and usually recommend other guitar players do the same. If the engineer can't work with that, I find one who can.
Old 29th April 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalM View Post
No doubt the OP is already well familiar with this but still thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

Pictured below my absolute favorite. It's made of a special material replicating the fingernail.

+1 on the Ultex, a really warm and full sounding pick. Also my absolute favourite.
Old 29th April 2009
  #11
fender type picks 'warm up' and get a little softer after you play for a while.

You may want to get it warmed up. Myself I keep a stack of them there so I can get a fresh one with the snap on it every few takes.

I use a thin myself for acoustic strumming, a medium for picking parts and my fingers whenever I can cause it sounds the best.
Old 29th April 2009
  #12
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Fletcher's Avatar
While picks are an important part of the guitar player's sound... does anyone else find it a bit odd talking about the possibility of changing picks in order to suit a microphone?

Maybe I'm just old... but I think it should be the other way around. You get the sound you want from the instrument and then pick the appropriate transduction device to capture the sound produced by the instrument/player/pick combination.

I dunno... just a thought. Not necessarily a good one.

Peace.
Old 29th April 2009
  #13
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Clicking on this thread, I thought it was a joke and I would get some laughs... How disappointing...
Old 29th April 2009
  #14
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
While picks are an important part of the guitar player's sound... does anyone else find it a bit odd talking about the possibility of changing picks in order to suit a microphone?

Maybe I'm just old... but I think it should be the other way around.
Yes Fletcher you are old and apparently NOT a guitar player. Its not just the cap its obviously more a reference to the top end.

Ive been playing guitar for well over 20 years. The ENTIRE REASON I bought a CK 12 cap based mic was for my acoustic guitar (and clients too obviously but more for my acoustic). It represents the emotion better than any other mic Ive tried- period. Switch mics to account for a tiny issue with pick attack??? Please Fletch, go have a shot on me and relax!

Im actually surprised at your confusion... Every SINGLE session player I know chooses his pick to fit the situation- not the other way around. I though you had worked with some session guys before... You seem to be confused that the mic is the only tool... maybe ask some serious players first...


But thanks everyone for all the replies! Especially the guitar players who actually understand the question....
Old 29th April 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Clicking on this thread, I thought it was a joke and I would get some laughs... How disappointing...
Which is awesome! Cause those who play guitars know EXACTLY what Im asking.

But gear pimps should stick with what they know- selling GTQs!
Old 29th April 2009
  #16
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

OK back to the topic now that the pimps got that off their chest cause they can't sell anything in this thread...

I still remember when I tried my first dunlop with electric guitar- it was right for 90%- which to me is a lot for a pick. I just need something thicker for leads and metal.

Im hoping to find the same for my acoustic! Something that fits the WEAKNESS of my Martin which is specifically lack of top end- mids yup, high mids yup but the minute you roll off some bottom it loses umph... Its such a damn mid heavy acoustic!

I AM in the process of trying to find the right 50s Martin 0-15 which after playing and hearing a couple is EXACTLY what I want to compliment the one I have. All top and high mids- really soft(relative volume) tight bottom.

Of everything I tried the thin pick and practicing technique have been the most helpful. This wouldn't be as much an issue but with my room being dry, I loose the space/natural verb that usually smooths out the pick attacks enough where I don't care!

Though I admit this entire thread was based off spending 6+ hours running the mic through all my pres and in different spots in the room and out of all that tracking the ONLY issue I had was a slight one with pick attack!

So just some relativity so the pimps don't get their panties in a twist again!

Thanks for all the great replies!
Old 29th April 2009
  #17
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
But gear pimps should stick with what they know- selling GTQs!
well, your consistent.i'll give you that!

i play geetar and while i know what you're saying, i'll go with fletch on this one. how you pick, strum your guitar, where you strum,pick your guitar has more emphasis than which pick. i use different picks for different needs, like for mostly picked or strummed parts, but find just adjusting how i hold the pick, how much of it i expose and partly incorporate with some fleshy dampening from my thumb and finger has more effect than what pick i use.

just pick a pick and adjust to taste to record with your c12. this isn't that big a deal.

eric johnson worked for years developing a 'technique' to nearly make his pick attack inaudible. technique > equipment,everytime.stop sweating the small stuff, and go bust your piggie bank on 20 different picks and have a free for all.
Old 29th April 2009
  #18
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sahiaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
While picks are an important part of the guitar player's sound... does anyone else find it a bit odd talking about the possibility of changing picks in order to suit a microphone?
While this is true and I would rather use a darker mic for the acoustic guitar, I still won't ever rule out the pick choice. It's all a balancing act, especially with the acoustic guitar.

Not only do I think about the best mic, or the best pick for the sound, but also my strumming location(either closer or further from the bridge) and vary that from chord to chord in a progression. An acoustic guitar is all about controlling everything you can with two hands and your body.
Old 29th April 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Hombre View Post
just pick a pick and adjust to taste to record with your c12. this isn't that big a deal.

You guys must understand this is CRAZY from my perspective... Literally all I work with is session players (movies, TV, Grammys, etc..)...

And ALL of the players bring multiple picks... So this is why I find it hard to buy the internet responses when Ive seen and played the difference... The guys actually doing the work- mimicing Johnson or Hendrix or Clapton for a session do AMAZING things with guitars and picks and old recording tricks...

Man this just shows the ignorance out there! The cool guys in the spotlight may LIE and say they don't care which pick but the minute these guys are in the studio, they are selecting picks... As in stop the session, I want to switch picks for this... The one thing Fletcher always says thats right is these are TOOLS. Funny people don't want to include picks in the "tool" dept.

So its interesting to hear people say the pick doesn't matter when the platinum artists and session players disagree... Ill go with them to be honest! But Im sure some great music has been made with complete abandon in regards to pick selection- Im not arguing that whatsoever!

Im off to studio A where the rooms tail and top end remove any care I had for the "pick attack"... But don't worry Ill be back to mix it up with some more ridiculously ignorant responses tomorrow!
Old 29th April 2009
  #20
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This thread is a joke right?

If not, it should be.

If not, what color cable twist-tie imparts the best sound on cables? I have some red ones, purple ones, and black ones. I'm thinking the black and purple ones add extra THD to the cables when stored.

Any thoughts?
Old 29th April 2009
  #21
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
You guys must understand this is CRAZY from my perspective... Literally all I work with is session players (movies, TV, Grammys, etc..)...

And ALL of the players bring multiple picks... So this is why I find it hard to buy the internet responses when Ive seen and played the difference...
so this begs the question. why the fvck are you asking around here? you've 'been on all these high caliber sessions'. you've seen what they use.you've heard what they use, first hand. wtf are you asking around here when you've had the answer in front of you the whole time? are you just a fly on the wall runner ****ting his pants to afraid to ask? this did turn out to be a joke afterall. heh
Old 29th April 2009
  #22
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paterno's Avatar
 

Since you are going there, what strings are you using? Do you track with a fresh set each time, or do you like them a little more played in?

What kind of mic cable? Direct patch into the recorder, or through a patch bay?

'Stock' power cable or a fancy 2" thick one on the converter?

You can see where this is headed.

Sounds like the best thing for you to do is to get out and buy every pick you can, and see what works best for you.

Personally, as a guitar player myself, I think the choices are completely determined by the context of the situation. Sometimes changing the pick is the right thing to do, sometimes changing the mic. Or, keep the pick and the mic, but change the guitar. Or keep everything, and get someone else to play it...

It can be endless...

JP
Old 29th April 2009
  #23
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Since picks are so cheap, I'd go down to your local guitar shop and buy about 30 random picks and try 'em all out. The left over picks can be saved for the next shootout.
Old 29th April 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno View Post

Sounds like the best thing for you to do is to get out and buy every pick you can, and see what works best for you.
I guess I should have read John's post before I wrote my response.
Old 29th April 2009
  #25
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the idea of using different picks is not crazy, nor is it new. I keep bags of different gauge picks for this reason, particularly for acoustic.

That being said, WPG, I never thought of you as one who would do the typical GS thread of "what's the best X to use with Y." There's are too many variables. We haven't heard the guitar, the player, the types of strings, where you're miking it, etc.

Wanna know which one to use? Start strumming. If it's too tubby, and you want more pick attack, use the 73. If it's too clicky, and you want more bottom end, use the 88. If you really want it thin and brushy, use the 66. That's the general principle I go by, regardless of the guitar or mic. I think what Tony and Fletcher are responding to is the idea that a certain pick is better for a certain capsule, which is the typical GS misunderstanding: "I need the specific product for this specific style / instrument / combination with other crap I already own, and the advice of the people on GS will tell me what I need." No. You need your ears.

You already have the right idea with using different picks. You're ahead of most people knowing that. Just trust what you are hearing, and trust your own instincts. If it sounds good, it's right. If it doesn't sound good, try something else until it sounds good.

I didn't have an internet forum when I started out, and my mentor was not always available to give me a tip, when something sounded bad. I had to figure it out by trying. I know all the people in here can do that to. Stop using GS as a crutch. Just freaking do it. You'll figure it out!
Old 29th April 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
I guess I should have read John's post before I wrote my response.
I beat you by a minute, that's all...
Old 29th April 2009
  #27
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I think what Tony and Fletcher are responding to is the idea that a certain pick is better for a certain capsule, which is the typical GS misunderstanding: "I need the specific product for this specific style / instrument / combination with other crap I already own, and the advice of the people on GS will tell me what I need." No. You need your ears.
I can't speak for Fletcher, but that was my point exactly...

Plus, I couldn't imagine telling a guitar player to use a different pick... You're there to capture the moment. I let the musician create his sound, and then it's my job to make his sound the best it can be. Not vice versa.
Old 29th April 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

In almost every session I have seen (as player, engineer, or hanger) the guitarist(s) show up with a BAG of different picks. Different shapes, different materials, different thicknesses. They grab the one that'll give them their desired tone for the track (not unlike grabbing a different guitar).

Coming from the bluegrass world, I have the best luck with heavier picks.... that's my 300lb gorrilla. When I need a more sparkly sound I can usually lighten my grip or change the pick angle to achieve the desired effect.

My everyday, go-to pick is made by RED BEAR TRADING company (Style C I believe). It is made to simulate the tone and feel of the well polished tortoise shell picks of yester-year. I also have an affinity for WEGEN picks (esp. for mandolin) and have had great success with the Clayton line (though I wear them out too quickly).

My point in all of this cumbersome drivel...

Go to your local store and by 2 of each pick they sell... then try them out. Rinse and repeat... When you've decided on a favorite (or 2) make sure you buy a gross. The next time you're at your local guitar-world-mega-lo-fi-mart, they'll explain to you that your new holy-grail-of-tone pick has been discontinued.... permanently....

Best of luck and happy strummin!
Old 29th April 2009
  #29
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
ALL of the players bring multiple picks... So this is why I find it hard to buy the internet responses when Ive seen and played the difference... The guys actually doing the work- mimicing Johnson or Hendrix or Clapton for a session do AMAZING things with guitars and picks and old recording tricks...
Right!!

However... I've always worked from the perspective that it's the player's job to make the sound and the recording engineer's job to capture the sound in a manner that is complimentary to the music.

In my 30+ years of recording work I've never had a player ask me "hey, what mic are you planning on using on this so I can grab the right pick". I won't argue with you that a CK-12 is often lovely for recording acoustic guitars... BUT I have also found a plethora of other microphones that work just as well [and sometimes better] than an original C-12, C-24, C-12A, C-12B, C-412, C-414, C-414EB, ELA M 250, ELA M 250E, ELA M 251, ELA M 251E [which are all the microphones I can think of that employ CK-12 capsules... I mean "real" CK-12 capsules there are others that employ the Josephson version of a CK-12 capsule and then there are the capsules AKG has been making since 1979 that have similar properties to CK-12 capsules minus the opulent tone part].

My point is, again, that I would choose the microphone for the sound of the instrument and not the instrument [pick, string gauge, where you strum the instrument... closer to the bridge or closer to the 12th fret] based on what microphone was being employed.

This seems like putting the cart before the horse to me... but again, I'm old and could very well be out of touch with how things are done these days.

Peace.
Old 29th April 2009
  #30
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digitalM's Avatar
 

Dear Lord, how people interpret a question...
While I did have the same first thought as Fletcher I did not find it a reason to not contribute constructively to the thread because as a guitar player I know what the OP wants to know.
The way I want my guitar to sound for a given piece of music determines my choice of pick. After that, the sound of guitar+pick+technique+room determines the type of mic I like to use. However, if the selection of mics available is limited you adjust and maybe choose a different pick to end up with the sound you want on the recording using the mic available. Not all that complicated imho.
All opinions above are valid, but why does it often have to be so hard to interpret a simple question..
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