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Removing fret squeaks from an acoustic guitar track

Member for

21 years
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.


Member for

9 years 11 months

chavernac Tue, 01/10/2012 - 05:06
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)

Member for

10 years 3 months

Mo Facta Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:22
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 :)

Member for

9 years 8 months

Temple Island Sound Tue, 01/10/2012 - 11:16
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 :)


Member for

17 years 8 months

jonyoung Thu, 01/29/2004 - 13:56
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.

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 01/31/2004 - 16:42
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.


Member for

21 years

audiokid Sun, 01/08/2012 - 14:59
removing finger noise

Until I watched this, I had no idea it was possible. Now I'm even more convinced about Samplitude Pro X Suite. You can remove finger noise without having to redo the track. Check out Samplitude's Visual Spectral Cleaner here:

[GALLERY=media, 283]Samplitude Pro X : The Spectral Cleaning Offline Editor - YouTube by audiokid posted Mar 23, 2015 at 9:10 PM[/GALLERY]


Member for

21 years

audiokid Mon, 01/09/2012 - 17:58
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!