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How do you edit/lower volume of picking during guitar solos?
Old 28th December 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

How do you edit/lower volume of picking during guitar solos?

Recording a Gibson SG with EMG pickups. The "humbucker" is a Kirk Hammett model (forgot the number) and the "single coil bluesier" pickup the EMG Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Anyway, the solos were fine, except when notes above the 12th fret. You can hear the guitarist picking, and it's annoying. I took off the compression, tried to drop the volume, lower the distortion, changed the tone, but I can still hear the awful plucking sounds from the guitar pick.

My last resort is to take them out with PT. But are there any "tricks" you guys use to mitigate the attack of the guitar pick on the string. I really don't want to edit it out, because the picking of the guitar is a natural attribute to the solo. I just want the picking to not be as prominent.

I would be grateful for any suggestions.

-A
Old 28th December 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 

That isn't an audio question.
That is a technique question.
It isn't something that should be taken out with ProTools!

I have played GTR for most of my fifty two years of life and a large part of that has been with distortion or overdrive.
In fact, I have a '57 Fender Musicmaster in my lap as I type!

The pick noise should be there unless the player has the worst technique on earth.

Why WOULD you want to remove it?

Because you think you can?

I don't get this quetsion.
Old 28th December 2007
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
That isn't an audio question.
That is a technique question.
It isn't something that should be taken out with ProTools!

I have played GTR for most of my fifty two years of life and a large part of that has been with distortion or overdrive.
In fact, I have a '57 Fender Musicmaster in my lap as I type!

The pick noise should be there unless the player has the worst technique on earth.

Why WOULD you want to remove it?

Because you think you can?

I don't get this quetsion.
No, it's not because I "think" I can. The picking on the solo is annoying because it is too prominent and obvious. The cat is playing a great solo, but the pick "scratch" is too prominent. We both went and listened to the solo for Metallica's "Master of Puppets" and guess what-- the picking is not super prominent in their solo. There is no annoying treble "cut" that I'm getting. The other solo I recorded of said cat, where he played lower on the fretboard is fine.

Have any of you guys experienced this? And no, the cat's technique is awesome, so it's not that. It's a problem the way I'm capturing the solo.

-A
Old 28th December 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 

i'd say try a different guitar with different pickups...

there's only so many variables that this could be...my money would be on technique too...

just because a guy sounds great rocking through the amp doesn't mean that's exactly what you're going to get from a close mic'd cabinet...
Old 28th December 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

I have to agree with Danny. This is a technique thing. When I'm recording myself or another guitarist, I find and fix this before it goes to tape. Possible causes: picking too aggressively, picking at a weird angle, using a pick that's too thick, picking too close to a pickup, having something in the signal chain that's accentuating them.

I suppose if you have must fix it in the mix, transient designer might help. I recently used that on a track I was mixing that had a not-very-convincing synth track playing a guitar sound. I used transient designer to help tame the attacks a bit and make it sit better and sound less fake.
Old 28th December 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Even if the pick sound is too prominent you don't want to try to remove it with audio equipment after the time it is recorded.

The part is either musical or it isn't.
The technique used either works or it doesn't.
It is a player thing.

You are gonna' get upset with me for saying this, but I am going to say it anyways...

You need to re-think your approach.
Did it sound that way at the amp or coming out of the device that created the GTR';s sound?

If so, then THAT is where you need to start.
Work backwards.
I suspect you will find that it is the players picking technique.
He's using lot's of distortion isn't he?
Compression?

Man... I have recorded hundreds of GTR players and some are VERY famous people.
Some (even the very famous) have had some GOD-AWFULL sound going on, but...
I have NEVER wanted to modify their technique with electronics!
I have asked people not to play a certian way when producing, but once it is commited to tape I wouldn't jack with it to the extent you are asking about..
Re-record it maybe.
All you can do it ruin it or make it sound bizaar as hell!

You need to re-think this approach.

This is a strange question in the first place.
Old 28th December 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 
Thrashin Vamp's Avatar
 

Without hearing it, I'd also say technique from what you describe. If it's a "scratch" he's turning the pick too much (possibly to play faster?) and instead of a clean pluck you get the note and a fuzzy "zhung". It would be a note with a tiny pick scrape attached. He could be hitting the pickup with the pick, those EMG's would really make that stand out. Might even be a low gain setting is making his attack stand out more than it would with high gain.

Still all points to bad technique, and there's no shortcut to fixing that. If you want it gone, sounds like you'll need you'll need your favorite caffeine beverage and the zoom tool
Old 28th December 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the input. I really don't want to edit out his playing, trust me.

I really appreciate all your insight-- that's why I love this forum.

If anyone else wishes to chime in, please do so. I'm always learning from you guys.
Old 28th December 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

1st: tape.

2d: api 525.

last, if those two didn't cut it: the dynamics section on the lil freq.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 28th December 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 

Bummer. That should have been caught during the recording. Give him a softer pick.

After the fact, I would try to zero in on the frequency with a good parametric eq.

Good luck.
Old 28th December 2007
  #11
Here for the gear
 

This could be a product of the specific pick he is using as well.

I have this problem when recording a guitarist who uses a Jazz III 2.0mm pick. It's so thick that you get a lot of pick attack. Also those textured Dunlops (ultex and tortex? maybe - don't know the names) will scrape the string more than plucking it. Try using a standard fender smooth, untextured, pick and see if that helps. Anything over 1.0mm (i.e. extra hevy) will probably still have the attack problem, and anything under 0.0mm (i.e. medium) will cause the strings to be brighter.
Old 28th December 2007
  #12
I don't know about you guys but I would not be comfortable playing with a different pick or changing my technique on a session.

I have been playing guitar for 30 some odd years, the last 25 or so I have been using the same small thick / heavy jazz picks. Moving to a different pick would really mess me up for lead playing. Rhythm / strumming wouldn't be a problem (for me anyway) but it sounds like Arkitecht is talking about single note stuff.

If the pick sound is there in the room with the amp and the player was not comfortable with a new pick or changing his technique I would look for a little different place to put the mic or I might try a different mic all together.

I would also try a little (or A LOT) less gain on the amp. That can make a huge difference and one mistake I see guys make over and over is over the top distortion. If you really listen to the distortion on some of the best "heavy guitar" recordings you will see that they are using MUCH less distortion than you would think. It's the playing and the riffs that are heavy but the distortion is really not as over the top as most less experienced session folks think it is.

Anyway, if I couldn't get rid of it with mic position or by turning the gain down and the player could not change his or her pick or technique I would maybe try some frequency dependant compression after the fact but honestly I would probably just leave it go and chalk it up to the "sound" of that player. There are plenty of heavy pick attack recordings out there that still sound fine.

Good luck man.
Old 28th December 2007
  #13
Oh and if the player needs "his or her sound" to play the part I would get a good ID like the TAB V71 and split the signal.

One going out to the amp just as you would normally do and the other direct to DAW / tape. If I had problems with pick attack I would reamp the solo with much less gain and blend the signal or just use the less gain track completely.

Either way, I think gain on the amp is either all or a good part of your problem here.

Hope that helps.
Old 28th December 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
blackwatch5805's Avatar
 

sounds like you need another guitar or guitat player. i would hand automate each attack point. try a de-esser first though. might do the trick.
Old 28th December 2007
  #15
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manthe's Avatar
 

You might also try a transient designer, like the SPL (or a plugin equivalent). If it is the attack that you are looking to tame, this might definitely help. Just be careful not to let it hose the dynamics!
Old 28th December 2007
  #16
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elambo's Avatar
Most of the time rerecording isn't an option so it might be more useful to post viable solutions for this guy.

As already said, focus on frequency and cut with eq, or try a multi-band compressor with a tight scope on the pick sound alone - don't compress the rest.
Old 28th December 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
CrankyRayHanky's Avatar
 

Tell the player you get what you put in; fixing by boosting/cutting eq, transient attacks, etc is all trying to polish up problems. Get a great sound from the beginning. If it's not right, start from scratch, or you'll be spending more time trying to fix the problem then if you just recorded again.

Make sure presence, eq, and distortion levels are reasonable, as well as mic placement. If the technique is at fault, that's unfortunate but out of your jurisdiction.

What amp is being used? If it's not high quality, you'll get a case of the picksies
Old 28th December 2007
  #18
Gear Addict
 

First of all, I've heard some potentially annoying pick sounds on recordings by fantastic players (most recently I noticed it on an AC/DC recording), so some people here are being way to hard on the guitarist without actually hearing the recording first. In the AC/DC case, it's tracked to nice sounding tape and the high end is more smoothened out than you'd get in a digital recording (especially the brittle high end of cheaper converters), which I assume you're using. Also the gear might be smoother. So, it wasn't the kind of annoying sound I think you're talking about. Is it kind of chalky sounding? Anyway, assuming you aren't being paranoid and it is something most people would find annoying, the high-pitched scraping sound can be removed with spectral cleaning. The attack will still be there, and the pick sound will still be there, but the annoying frequencies will be gone without affecting the rest of the sound.

The cheapest option is Samplitude, which has offline Spectral Cleaning. If you are rich, check out Retouch or Renovator.
Old 28th December 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
Higher up the neck = shorter vibrating string length = harder string = less sustain = stronger picking required = louder picking noise.

Either that, or the string is "fretting out" further up the neck. Might need some (slight) adjustment of neck relief.
Old 29th December 2007
  #20
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Trick for taming excessive pick attack

If re-recording the part is not an option (or is undesirable) the most effective fix when you mix will be frequency-dependent limiting. Find the offensive frequency, give it a narrow boost on an EQ, and send the output of the EQ to the sidechain input on your compressor/limiter. Set both attack and release super fast. You can dial it in so that it only reacts when necessary.

As an alternative, if you have access to a Transient Designer, cut the attack a bit, and leave the sustain at unity. The downside is that it will affect all the transients, so bypass it when you don't need it.
Old 29th December 2007
  #21
Gear Addict
 

[QUOTE=mu6gr8;1724303]If re-recording the part is not an option (or is undesirable) the most effective fix when you mix will be frequency-dependent limiting. Find the offensive frequency, give it a narrow boost on an EQ, and send the output of the EQ to the sidechain input on your compressor/limiter. Set both attack and release super fast. You can dial it in so that it only reacts when necessary.[QUOTE]

Or do the exact same thing inserting a de-esser plugin. People de-ess guitars/picked bass all the time for these kinds of fixes. I still say spectral cleaning is best, if you're willing to remove them one at a time (which really doesn't take that long if it's just a guitar solo).
Old 29th December 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
BLueROom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
You might also try a transient designer, like the SPL (or a plugin equivalent). If it is the attack that you are looking to tame, this might definitely help. Just be careful not to let it hose the dynamics!
you beat me to it! the TD will definitely do the job you're asking.
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