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Acoustic Guitar String Squeak suppresion

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by jazzbass12, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. jazzbass12

    jazzbass12 Active Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Taunton MA
    Home Page:
    I just recorded a great Acoustic Guitar track that has string squeaks that I want to try and calm down. Maybe thru a deEsser or EQ..Any helpful suggestions rather than re recording?
  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    You can't fix that in the mix without ^#$%ing up the natural EQ of the track (which you don't want to do, right?). I'd recommend either keeping it the way it is and hope that if it's too excessive the other instruments will mask it a bit or just re-track; taking care to improve your fretting technique.
  3. huub

    huub Guest

    A de-squeeker plug in..

    If the squeeks are just from sliding from chord to chord, you could try some volume automation in between chords i suppose..
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Try some WD-40!

    MSSSSSSSSSS Remy Ann David oooopssssss!

    Just remember, it's part of an acoustic guitars character. To tone them down, and they're too loud, try some limiting? But yes, the answer is no, you cannot eliminate them.
  5. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Jan 10, 2005
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    Being a guitar player of, at best, dubious talent, I am becoming a bit of a master at crossfading, editing and fixing my botched guitar tracks. :oops:

    I have found that since one doesn't want to affect the EQ on the rest of the track, the best tack for me has been to locate the offending parts and automate the EQ to take a huge dip in the right frequency(s) at the right time.

    I know that that's essentially what a de-esser does, but you have more control if you isolate the frequency and do it as an automation. Sometimes the bulk of a squeak happens at a higher or lower frequency than other times, and it can help to look at each one individually instead of just setting a de-esser and walking away.

    By the way, I have found that with me, the squeak often happens at a much lower frequency than I would have thought, often centred around 2500Hz or so.

    If it's important, you might be best to give it another shot.

    (The preceding opinion is only that of the poster, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of anyone else, living or dead... )
  6. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I like de-esser. Some come with presets for string noise.
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Kudos red-pill !

    I was actually trying to deal with this specific problem earlier tonight.

    I tried a couple of de-essers and none of them... get this, went low enough to hit the right frequency! (around 2kHz) :shock:

    To Greg: Can you offer up any that have those presets? Do they go down in the 1.5-2.5 kHz range? Thanks if you can point me in the right direction.

    All said, I've learned my lesson and will take preventative measures in the future - though it never hurts to have a workable fix in the bag.
  8. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Instead of a de-esser you might try a compressor with a side chain. That way you can use what ever EQ you want for the squeak noise. If you use Pro Tools the one built in has this function. Here are a couple of free ones that should do the trick:

    ReaComp from Cockos (makers of Reaper)
    Vanilla Compressor from ChunkWare
  9. corydeshane

    corydeshane Active Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    +1 on this. This is (after all) what a de-esser is anyway.
  10. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Let the guitarist listen back to the track. Tell him you think there may be too much squeakiness. If he's happy with it, then you're ok. If he isn't, then he may want to do another take...or you should ask him to do another take. A lot of the squeakyness is due to technique (or lack thereof) and if the artist feels that it's too much, he should be able to alter his playing a bit to minimize the squeakiness.
  11. There is so much in recording the acoustic thats not just about the gear you have. Check these videos out

  12. runamuck

    runamuck Guest

    Try recording with the mic a little further away. And don't point a mic at the fretboard.

    Jim M
  13. IainDearg

    IainDearg Guest

    I don't mind a modicum of natural string squeek - in fact I don't even notice it.

    Ocassionally, though there is that awkward chord change... I use the spectrum editor in Wavelab 6 to smooth it out.

  14. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Of course flat wound strings will quell squeak completely. Admittedly, some players do not like flatwounds, claiming they have not the same edge or brightness as roundwound. This is partially true, but for recording, a very fresh set would probably be as lively as a settled in set of round wound.

    Not all flatwounds are the same. In fact, the brighter sounding flatwounds are actually round wound then ground semi-flat. True flatwounds, as in winding a ribbon onto a core, are indeed quite dull to the uninitiated, but ground semi-flats are acceptably bright. D'addario Flat tops would be the go to string if one absolutely needed a string with no squeak.

    I used roundwound for many years, then switched to flatwound (ground) on acoustic and electric for a decade, and recently switched back to round on acoustic for a bit brighter sound. Still, flatwound might eliminate your sqeaks without manipulating the tracks by some other more invasive means.
  15. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Hand washing can help by reducing the oils on the hand. Clean hands slide better.
  16. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Hand washing can help by reducing the oils on the hand. Clean hands slide better.

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