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Removing fret squeaks from an acoustic guitar track

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Lyle Kristeen, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Is it actually possible to remove fretboard squeaks from an acoustic guitar track after it's been recorded? If so, what kind of technique is employed? Thanks.
  2. I would have to say try the EQ. Sweep the bands but you are going to sacrifice some of the acoustic sound. I personally like some fret slids but too much can be annoying. Something else you might try is using a fast delay to make it blend better. Good Luck
  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Since they typically only occur when there are no notes sounding, you may be a ble to conquer the dulling effect by automating your EQ or de-esser (if you're using a DAW) to only process these sections.
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Sidechain a compressor to parametric EQ, locate squeak frequency with a narrow Q, and try "ducking" it. What's the context of the track in the big scheme? Is it solo, guitar/vocal, or in an arrangement with several other tracks? Since there may be pumping or holes apparent in the track with this method, how you set your threshold, attack & release is critical to minimize these. If the acoustic is mixed with many other tracks, merely reducing the level of the squeak may be enough of a solution.
  5. Fruition2k

    Fruition2k Active Member

    If you're using a DAW, find the offending squeak, zoom in and highlight, then normalize..and decrease the amplitiude. Next time tracking acoustic, give the coated Elixr's "polyweb" strings a try...best results for me so far.
    Good luck,
  6. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    I like a few squeeks here and there. They are a part of the instrument. There is nothing worse, however, than someone who puts on brand new strings at the session and there is a major squeek between every single chord change.

  7. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Guest

    elixir guitar strings really minimize squeeks and sound nice too. only on acoustics though, not crazy about the electric strings.........
  8. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    A _GREAT_ alternative to the Elixirs are the new Dean Markely Alchemy strings. We used them exclusively on our last project and are really pleased with the results.
  9. Ron.G

    Ron.G Active Member

    Volume envelopes work really well if you are using a DAW. They won't go completely away but it tames them a bit.
  10. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Guest

    good to know :) thanks a bunch
  11. doctorfish

    doctorfish Guest

    The last project I recorded had a lot of acoustic guitar and some really annoying squeeks. Like Uncle Bob, I actually like some, seems more natural to me. But sometimes these monster squeeks come out that just have to go. I mainly used volume envelopes in the DAW to tame them but in places where there was a lot happening in the song I cut them out completely without it being noticeable. And still in other places I cut and pasted a different section of the same chord change where the noise was less.

    The client was happy with the results so I'll probably try the same stuff again next time.

    I wasn't aware of the Elixir or Alchemy strings. They may cut fret noise but how do they sound? I'll have to look into them.

  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  13. Beat Poet

    Beat Poet Active Member

    I quite like them really, they add character, when they're involuntary.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Agree, I actually use slides and squeaks per-say as an effect and part of my guitar style. However, you are missing the big point here. This is an example of how easy it is/was to remove click track bleed or other unwanted noises the same way without effecting the other sonic parts in the timeline. Amazing life saver and restoration tool.
    The guitar squeak removal was relevant to the OP.

    Yes, it can be done!
  15. chavernac

    chavernac Active Member

    Whenever I came across this problem... I found that using an eq was just not the optimal solution. Yes it will remove the peaking frequencies... but It will remove much more... like air, definition, etc...
    The ultimate weapon I found is the Supresser from Sonnox, or any multiband compressor (or de-esser)
  16. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    If it's just a couple of annoying, un-musical squeaks, then just manually edit them out in your DAW's clip editor.

    However, and no offense to the OP, I find the whole notion of wanting to remove each and every squeak from an acoustic guitar recording as a definitive display of the expression, "missing the forest for the trees".

    Fret noises are part of the acoustic guitar sound and when someone is clearly bothered by them I can't help but chuckle silently to myself that they're obsessing too much, often because they're just not listening to the song. It also sometimes stems, imo, from being insecure about their playing or equating no fret noise with a "clearer" or "better" performance. The truth of the matter is that studio trickery does not always improve these types of situations and more often than not, makes them worse and unnatural sounding.

    Music is about the bigger picture and that is why I like fret noise.

    Cheers :)
  17. Temple Island Sound

    Temple Island Sound Temple Island Sound Active Member

    What I find that is awesome for that type of thing is using Izotope RX2. you can use a selection tool in the spectrograph of the wave form and delete just that noise and you set the interpolation to fill in the gap... pretty intense tool but once you get the hang of it you might not use anything else... just my opinion :)


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