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Help me figure out what's wrong with my heavy tone
Old 7th August 2020
  #1
Gear Head
 
Hunter123's Avatar
 

Help me figure out what's wrong with my heavy tone

I've been having a problem with my guitar tone for as long as I can remember that I could never quite figure out.

First let me explain what I'm using and a bit of backstory. My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio with the 590R/598T pickup combination. In the past I've played through Marshall JCM2000 and Mesa Dual Rects and if my memory serves me right this problem persisted even back then but I have now sold my amps and just record my guitars with amp sims.

The main problem is (especially when I'm playing heavier stuff with palm muting) that I get this sound like something is on top of my tone rubbing and making a noise. I'm very conscious of my hand technique so I know it's not neglect for keeping the other strings from making noise, it always just sounds this way no matter how clean and tight I play. It sounds sorta like a plastic crinkling on top of my playing or something or a static dirty messy topping maybe.

Edit: After looking into this more I believe this is noise/or hum that seems to be loud enough to come through especially during pal muting.

So I came across this video of someone demonstrating some nicely recorded heavy guitars and as a test I learned it and recorded my own version to show you what I mean about the weird plastic crinkling effect.

Here's the video with the tone that I'm using as a reference @6:48
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76YV9MUKcPE&t=643s

Here is me playing just for demonstration purposes (ignore wrong notes especially towards the end, just want to focus on issue at hand) Also don't mind the difference is EQ or Frequency Response, just the weird plastic gritty crinkling sound.

The amp sim is the friedman be100 but this is not any amp sim or any amp or at least I don't think (I have s-gear, overloud too and I have this problem across the board). I believe it might be something to do with my guitar or possibly the pickups but I can't tell.
Attached Files

Plastic Static Topping Guitar.wav (4.26 MB, 510 views)

Old 8th August 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter123 View Post
I've been having a problem with my guitar tone for as long as I can remember that I could never quite figure out.

First let me explain what I'm using and a bit of backstory. My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio with the 590R/598T pickup combination. In the past I've played through Marshall JCM2000 and Mesa Dual Rects and if my memory serves me right this problem persisted even back then but I have now sold my amps and just record my guitars with amp sims.

The main problem is (especially when I'm playing heavier stuff with palm muting) that I get this sound like something is on top of my tone rubbing and making a noise. I'm very conscious of my hand technique so I know it's not neglect for keeping the other strings from making noise, it always just sounds this way no matter how clean and tight I play. It sounds sorta like a plastic crinkling on top of my playing or something or a static dirty messy topping maybe.

Edit: After looking into this more I believe this is noise/or hum that seems to be loud enough to come through especially during pal muting.

So I came across this video of someone demonstrating some nicely recorded heavy guitars and as a test I learned it and recorded my own version to show you what I mean about the weird plastic crinkling effect.

Here's the video with the tone that I'm using as a reference @6:48
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76YV9MUKcPE&t=643s

Here is me playing just for demonstration purposes (ignore wrong notes especially towards the end, just want to focus on issue at hand) Also don't mind the difference is EQ or Frequency Response, just the weird plastic gritty crinkling sound.

The amp sim is the friedman be100 but this is not any amp sim or any amp or at least I don't think (I have s-gear, overloud too and I have this problem across the board). I believe it might be something to do with my guitar or possibly the pickups but I can't tell.
Quick listen.
Sounded like some there was some room reverb in your clip.
Might be IR you are using.
Mixed guitars will sound different too, cutting the bottom end.
Old 8th August 2020
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter123 View Post
I've been having a problem with my guitar tone for as long as I can remember that I could never quite figure out.

First let me explain what I'm using and a bit of backstory. My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio with the 590R/598T pickup combination. In the past I've played through Marshall JCM2000 and Mesa Dual Rects and if my memory serves me right this problem persisted even back then but I have now sold my amps and just record my guitars with amp sims.

The main problem is (especially when I'm playing heavier stuff with palm muting) that I get this sound like something is on top of my tone rubbing and making a noise. I'm very conscious of my hand technique so I know it's not neglect for keeping the other strings from making noise, it always just sounds this way no matter how clean and tight I play. It sounds sorta like a plastic crinkling on top of my playing or something or a static dirty messy topping maybe.

Edit: After looking into this more I believe this is noise/or hum that seems to be loud enough to come through especially during pal muting.

So I came across this video of someone demonstrating some nicely recorded heavy guitars and as a test I learned it and recorded my own version to show you what I mean about the weird plastic crinkling effect.

Here's the video with the tone that I'm using as a reference @6:48
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76YV9MUKcPE&t=643s

Here is me playing just for demonstration purposes (ignore wrong notes especially towards the end, just want to focus on issue at hand) Also don't mind the difference is EQ or Frequency Response, just the weird plastic gritty crinkling sound.

The amp sim is the friedman be100 but this is not any amp sim or any amp or at least I don't think (I have s-gear, overloud too and I have this problem across the board). I believe it might be something to do with my guitar or possibly the pickups but I can't tell.
Buy a real amp.
Old 8th August 2020
  #4
Gear Head
 
Hunter123's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Buy a real amp.
Can't crank a real amp where I am.
Old 8th August 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter123 View Post
Can't crank a real amp where I am.
You can crank a real amp where you are IF you use a Reactive Load Box, and use cab IR's in the box. Not a panacea, but personally I've found it much easier to tweak a real tube amp and fake the speaker cab ITB, than to fake both the amp and speaker cab ITB. Then again buying different amp sims are far cheaper than buying different guitar amps.

Some people are really good with amp sims, I don't know how they do it, I can't seem to get into it.

Your example clip sounds great to me, I wouldn't know it's an amp sim.

I had to listen on my "good stuff" to hear what you are describing. I could only really hear it on the right channel, what is the stereo situation, did you double-track it, use stereo effects, etc.?

It's super subtle on your example, I wouldn't notice it in a mix, or even if you hadn't directly pointed it out.

No clue what's causing it. If your guitar makes the sound on real tube amps, different amps, amp sims ITB, etc... then I guess it's the guitar.

Consider... are there any burs on the pick? Maybe try a different pick, like smoother or harder, I dunno just change it up. Someone on here recommended "Clayton Acetal" picks for less "clicky" sound when recording, and wow that has helped me out a LOT! Especially on acoustic, but really everything.

Strings? Maybe try different strings? I have found some strings to be very inconsistent in their winding, and not "smooth" all the way down.

Pickups? Seems unlikely to me honestly, but hey I dunno. Interesting problem, report back if you narrow it down.


EDIT: Mmmm maybe something was going on with the streaming, I downloaded the Wav file and now I can't even hear it, earlier it sounded like more obvious clicking, now I'm wondering if you're just describing the overall timbre/tone.

I know you said ignore the eq, but possibly a dynamic EQ, de-esser, Soothe2... that kind of thing.
Old 9th August 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Ok listened again, I guess you're just talking about the buzz-saw 4-5kHz region? Pull that down, maybe with a dynamic EQ or something like Soothe2. It's a problem most amp sims have, in my opinion, is the distortion seems... inharmonic, like it's not attached to the notes you're playing, it's just this 4.7kHz static. Is what it is. The YouTube vid has a lot more room sound, the sound of an amp resolving in the air has a lot of information bouncing around. An amp sim is usually super in-your-face and needs some room or plate or spring reverb or something to soften it up and spread it out a bit. I played around with the files in the DAW a little bit and was sorta able to dial it out and still keep the definition and voicing, but it takes more than just a simple clean or stock EQ. PM me and I'll send you the files if you're interested.
Old 9th August 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter123 View Post
Can't crank a real amp where I am.
Then rent a rehearsal space. You ain't gonna get what you want otherwise.
Old 9th August 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Ok listened again, I guess you're just talking about the buzz-saw 4-5kHz region? Pull that down, maybe with a dynamic EQ or something like Soothe2. It's a problem most amp sims have, in my opinion, is the distortion seems... inharmonic, like it's not attached to the notes you're playing, it's just this 4.7kHz static. Is what it is. The YouTube vid has a lot more room sound, the sound of an amp resolving in the air has a lot of information bouncing around. An amp sim is usually super in-your-face and needs some room or plate or spring reverb or something to soften it up and spread it out a bit. I played around with the files in the DAW a little bit and was sorta able to dial it out and still keep the definition and voicing, but it takes more than just a simple clean or stock EQ. PM me and I'll send you the files if you're interested.
Might help a bit but it will never get him what he wants.

Amp sims are good for two things - pros who are very good at using the sims for what they do and beginners who can't afford amps or use them at home due to family/neighbor issues.

If you're trying to work out heavy guitar you almost certainly need an amp. The few times in my life I lived in a place I couldn't play at a reasonable level I was miserable and ended up not playing. I do no recommend that for ANYBODY.

Either you're a musician or you're not. If you're a musician you will make any sacrifice for your art. If not, go sell insurance and strum your wall ornament occasionally.
Old 9th August 2020
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Janne19691's Avatar
I am not a metal specialist by any means but to me your tone would benefit from some warmth. I think there's plenty of warmth in the Youtube video. I couldn't get much info about the pickups you have in your guitar. If you think you have had this issue earlier with your amps, I would start changing the pickups for known good ones for metal or even the guitar.

Last edited by Janne19691; 9th August 2020 at 09:37 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 9th August 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter123 View Post
Can't crank a real amp where I am.
I’ve used every amp sim, hardware boxes (Kemper, axe FX) and they are all missing something. Most of them are pretty plugins that sound muddy and terrible. They clearly don’t want you to hear that nasty aliasing!!

Distortion is the hardest thing to emulate. It’s always a battle between aliasing and trying to keep the latency low. Also, nonlinear distortion is very hard to nail properly. It’s ok for plugins like compressors and preamp emulators where the total harmonic distortion is much lower than a high gain amp. With an amp simulator the distortion is right up in your face. The weaknesses are more obvious. We just aren’t there yet.

The best solution I have found is the Universal Audio OX. If you want authentic tone, a real amp is the only way to go. The OX is a load box and speaker simulator. I connect mine straight to my Pro Tools rig with optical spdif and away you go. I can dial up tones instantly. It’s not the cheapest solution but it’s the next best thing to actually mixing up a cab. I actually prefer the OX over real cabs to be honest. Being able to switch cans on the fly and save presets is amazing. It sounds incredible!!!
Old 9th August 2020
  #11
Here for the gear
 

If it’s only happening during palm mutes, it might be pickup height or strings hitting the pickup surround? Just guess,I’d check the height anyway and observe what’s go8ng on during palm mutes. I listened to the clip and can’t hear it, I’m on an iPad though, not the best monitoring source.
Old 11th August 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
Who cares what it sounds like soloed - how does it work in a mix? A lot of times guitarists are trying to go for the rig of doom sound, only to have to EQ it to fit into the track.

Would be good to hear the track you're putting it in, as it may work great as is, or depending on other instruments or vocals, you may need to tweak from there. I'm assuming this is for recording a song vs. just playing at home.
Old 14th August 2020
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
Who cares what it sounds like soloed - how does it work in a mix? A lot of times guitarists are trying to go for the rig of doom sound, only to have to EQ it to fit into the track.

Would be good to hear the track you're putting it in, as it may work great as is, or depending on other instruments or vocals, you may need to tweak from there. I'm assuming this is for recording a song vs. just playing at home.
This is a point that cannot be made strongly enough. I can't count the number of times I've heard a guitar line that sounded more or less like horrible junk when soloed in the control room - Even the playing didn't sound great - but in context was absolutely brilliant. And "heavy" as hell.

The ONLY thing that really matters is how it sounds in the mix.
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