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Profile picture for user Brother Junk

Here is something I recorded yesterday with my Bluebird, the Mbox Pro and PT. Mic was about 12" from sound port. I know the BB is usually a vocal mic, it's just the only one I have atm.

Someone is coming over today with an SM57 to see if I can get it any better, but I wanted people's thoughts on this... (see attachment)

I turned down the fret noises and added a delay just for giggles....I know the quality is terrible, I'm working on it. There is no eq or anything, just turned down some of the string noise and added a delay.

Do you think that's the mic is what's catching all that? They are really loud before I messed with them (I should have bounced that version...it didn't occur to me till just now). Or are my skills just not good enough? When you guys are recording stuff like this, how do you mitigate fret/string noises? If I lift my fingers totally, I end up getting a small hammer off type effect.

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.org/attachments/sha-folk-idea-2-mp3.16476/[/MEDIA]

Attached files

Sha Folk Idea 2.mp3 (3.4 MB) 

Comments

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Sun, 01/08/2017 - 09:07

First and foremost, practicing to avoid extreme finger noise is best. Some finger noise is nice as well but in your example, it is pretty loud.
Have your tried finger ease, a solution you can put on your fingers or frets.
Possible a different mic position and choice of mics could help too.

Being said, once its in the mix, look at de-essers and spectral cleaning software.

If your DAW has noise removal tools, fret noise, squeaks etc can be reduced and in some cases, edited out of a track even without notice.

See this link for more fun on this subject! https://recording.org/threads/removing-fret-squeaks-from-an-acoustic-guitar-track.6703/

Lyle Kristeen, post: 56746 wrote: 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.

audiokid, post: 382273, member: 1 wrote: 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]

Cheers!

See Tags on Spectral Cleaning

Profile picture for user Brother Junk

Brother Junk Sun, 01/08/2017 - 09:40

thatjeffguy, post: 446425, member: 38103 wrote: In most cases I leave these sounds in unless they are extreme. Yours fit the extreme category!

I think that's my question....how do I make them, "less extreme" when recording into a mic? It's not as extreme when I play it....the mic is giving it a little extra. I'm in no way saying that I'm not terrible, I'm just saying it's not 100% me...probably 90% me. Part of it is this particular song....it's not like this when I do other songs.

So, I'm curious from the people who record this way, or have recorded people this way, how they mitigate those string noises? The answer is almost definitely that I need to improve my playing, I'm prepared to hear that...I just don't know what the fix is? I know that I'm not a good guitar player, so don't worry about hurting my feelings.

If it matters, I play heavy strings. Well, I'm not positive if they are really "heavy," but when I play any other acoustic guitar that is not mine, I notice my strings are much heavier...I believe they are 11's? And everyone who plays mine, asks why I have these "chain-link fence strings" on it?

I just like the way they play....but I don't know if maybe I should back down a bit and play jelly bean strings 'till I can get those noises under control? I'm just not sure what mistake I'm making...

**Edit, I wrote this before I saw all the other responses.

Profile picture for user Brother Junk

Brother Junk Sun, 01/08/2017 - 09:49

audiokid, post: 446426, member: 1 wrote: First and foremost, practicing to avoid extreme finger noise is best. Some finger noise is nice as well but in your example, it is pretty loud.
Have your tried finger ease, a solution you can put on your fingers or frets.
Possible a different mic position and choice of mics could help too.

Being said, once its in the mix, look at de-essers and spectral cleaning software.

If your DAW has noise removal tools, fret noise, squeaks etc can be reduced and in some cases, edited out of a track even without notice.

See this link for more fun on this subject! https://recording.org/threads/removing-fret-squeaks-from-an-acoustic-guitar-track.6703/

See Tags on Spectral Cleaning

That spectral cleaner is the nuts! Is that part of Samplitude? Or an extra $ plugin?

I use PT, there is probably something in there. But I also have a bunch of Izotope's stuff....I'll look into if spectral cleaner is in there.

It's probably my inexperience with actual recording vs. VST's, but that de-clipping thing...I didn't even know that was possible.

Also, I just grabbed the guitar to practice like @audiokid said and I notice the noise is almost exclusively on the travel up the fretboard. When going down, I can get very little noise. But the original two chords being finger picked are Esus2 and Csus2. Traveling from the Es2 to the Cs2, I can get almost no noise if I try. But on the way back up, it's different.

I've never noticed that before lol. I think I'm one step closer to figuring it out.

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Sun, 01/08/2017 - 09:55

Brother Junk, post: 446428, member: 49944 wrote: I think that's my question....how do I make them, "less extreme" when recording into a mic? It's not as extreme when I play it....the mic is giving it a little extra. I'm in no way saying that I'm not terrible, I'm just saying it's not 100% me...probably 90% me. Part of it is this particular song....it's not like this when I do other songs.

I love royer ribbon mics on acoustic instrument because they are smooth and track like our ears hear but they are costly and not the only choice for beautiful captures.

I am a performer/ mixing guy so when it comes to tracking and microphones, there are a lot more experienced member on mics and techniques than I, so on that note... this is when I sit back and read the rest.

thatjeffguy, post: 446425, member: 38103 wrote: In most cases I leave these sounds in unless they are extreme. Yours fit the extreme category! When I need to eliminate them I use Izotope Spectral Repair.
Hope this helps!
~Jeff

Right on +1 on Izotope
My DAW (Sequoia or Prox 3 Suite), comes stock with its version of spectral cleaning with is in the video I posted above. Isn't it cool!

Nice to see one of our much respected resident acoustic engineers on this thread ( @thatjeffguy ) whom has done many beautiful "acoustic recordings!

As this thread progresses I anticipate more tips or possible microphones or mic placement suggestions will be added to this thread. :)

Cheers!

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Sun, 01/08/2017 - 11:38

Brother Junk, post: 446428, member: 49944 wrote: I think that's my question....how do I make them, "less extreme" when recording into a mic? It's not as extreme when I play it....the mic is giving it a little extra. I'm in no way saying that I'm not terrible, I'm just saying it's not 100% me...probably 90% me. Part of it is this particular song....it's not like this when I do other songs.

I love royer ribbon mics on acoustic instrument because they are smooth and track like our ears hear but they are costly and not the only choice for beautiful captures.

I am a performer/ mixing guy so when it comes to tracking and microphones, there are a lot more experienced member on mics and techniques than I, so on that note... this is when I sit back and read the rest.

thatjeffguy, post: 446425, member: 38103 wrote: In most cases I leave these sounds in unless they are extreme. Yours fit the extreme category! When I need to eliminate them I use Izotope Spectral Repair.
Hope this helps!
~Jeff

Right on +1 on Izotope
+1 on leaving most things in. Little squeaks add a beauty of real to a song that is unique and part of the performance.
My DAW of choice (Sequoia or Prox 3 Suite), comes stock with its version of spectral cleaning (video I posted above).

Nice to see one of our much respected resident acoustic engineers on this thread ( @thatjeffguy ) whom has done many beautiful "acoustic recordings!

As this thread progresses I anticipate more tips or possible microphones or mic placement suggestions will be added to this thread. :)

Cheers!

Profile picture for user DogsoverLava

DogsoverLava Sun, 01/08/2017 - 18:48

Technique can help too -- you can develop your playing technique to specifically minimize this kind of noise. You can also look to different kinds of strings - not just things like round wound vs flat round, but Nickel vs steel vs Phosphor bronze.... You get less noise too with lighter strings than heavy. You can also sand down the ridges in your finger pads (essentially sanding down your finger prints) or you can use lubrication (natural or artificial) to give your fingers less friction,

Profile picture for user pcrecord

pcrecord Mon, 01/09/2017 - 02:52

Like others, I think it is first in the playing. Then in the mic choice and placement.
Of course the instrument and string choice can make a difference too.
Coated strings like elixir and of course using new strings will help as well. (old strings tend to dry out and oxydate, so they make more noises)

It's always better to address things before hitting record, but if you have no other choices, a multiband compressor or deesser is a good start ;)

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Mon, 01/09/2017 - 04:32

Better microphone choice and positioning is what's needed here. Try using either pencil condenser microphones that have a very tight pattern or dynamic microphones. I have heard of engineers resorting to shotgun mics for recording un-tameable finger squeakers, but I feel you would be compromising the musical sound quality of the instrument if you went that way.

audiokid, post: 446427, member: 1 wrote: @bouldersound I've never thought about this until now, I wonder if would Remy's null trick work for fret noise?

I can't see how it would work in this case, as it relies on the component to be nulled being pre-recorded (such as a backing track) and hence identical each time. The track is replayed during the actual recording and then recorded a second time with the performer in the same position but silent. The second case is subtracted from the first at mixdown.

Profile picture for user Brother Junk

Brother Junk Mon, 01/09/2017 - 05:58

DogsoverLava, post: 446437, member: 48175 wrote: You get less noise too with lighter strings than heavy.

I figured this was probably a part of it. I'd rather practice more and get better with the heavier strings. Like Marco suggested the elixer strings (whatever those coated ones are called) I bought them one time, took off my beloved (and no longer available) D'aquisto's...and I took them off within a day. You would think that people who can't feel their fingertips wouldn't care so much about the feel of a string....but that slimy feel, ugh...my fingers literally have string dents permanently embedded, and I still can't stand the feel of those strings. Maybe you just need to force it for a while?

About sanding the fingers....I only play acoustic (only bc it's my only guitar) and they are 11's (strings). My finger pads never come into it. I've been told it's good form for acoustic, that my last knuckle bends so far and my finger tip is almost perpendicular on the string. So, the parts of my fingers that contact the strings is smooth anyway (probably because I'm sanding them off with the strings lol!!!!)

Boswell, post: 446439, member: 29034 wrote: Try using either pencil condenser microphones that have a very tight pattern or dynamic microphones.

Does an RTA mic qualify if it's a condenser mic? I have one of these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HT4RSA/?tag=r06fa-20

I'll also try moving the mic around.

My family got together yesterday and my father brought his guitar. I showed him and he said, "you only need to lift off the E or A (sometimes D) string during the slides, you can keep the B and E fingers so you don't lose orientation, just lift off the A in this case." I've dropped the fret noise by at last 1 db now : ) Seriously though, that seemed to be a lot of it.

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Mon, 01/09/2017 - 07:38

Brother Junk, post: 446443, member: 49944 wrote: Does an RTA mic qualify if it's a condenser mic? I have one of these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HT4RSA/?tag=r06fa-20

RTA microphones are omnidirectional. If you follow your link you will see that the Amazon page has the words "true omnidirectional pattern" for the ECM8000. This is the opposite of what you want in this application.

When I need accurate cardioid directional control, I often use my pair of MBHO MBNM440 pencil condensers. Although the spec sheet for them does not give major prominence to the pattern characteristics, they are exceptional for their control in this regard.

Profile picture for user pcrecord

pcrecord Mon, 01/09/2017 - 07:45

Brother Junk, post: 446443, member: 49944 wrote: my fingers literally have string dents permanently embedded, and I still can't stand the feel of those strings.

This makes me think you might be pushing too hard on the strings.
This produce 2 problems :

  1. the noises are more pronounced
  2. by pushing hard on the fret board, you may change the pitch of the notes slightly.
    class="xf-ul"> In theory, if you are able to lift your fingers completly like you say in the OP, it won't be more complicated to lift you fingers to a point where you just barely touch them when moving.
    I bet the squeeks would be quieter ?
Profile picture for user Brother Junk

Brother Junk Mon, 01/09/2017 - 09:06

Boswell, post: 446447, member: 29034 wrote: RTA microphones are omnidirectional.

Yeah, I suspected the fact that it's a condenser mic, purpose built for RTA, it wouldn't be ideal.

pcrecord, post: 446448, member: 46460 wrote: This makes me think you might be pushing too hard on the strings.
This produce 2 problems :

  1. the noises are more pronounced
  2. by pushing hard on the fret board, you may change the pitch of the notes slightly.
    class="xf-ul">

You have it exactly right on #1. This thread has helped me figure it out and I've already mitigated it to almost a non issue. I just need to practice playing like this all the time now. Make some adjustments.

#2, every guitar player has to deal with. But because of the heavier strings, I find it easier to keep the pitch. With my action and strings, you have to apply substantial force...more than I possess atm to shift the pitch. I can't bend notes on this guitar. My father and I have the exact same year, make, model, guitar. I find it amazing that he can bend the notes like he does. And like I said, some other people's guitars, I play them and rip the strings off the fret board! So much for my "good form!" Mine is not like playing a chain saw, but it's not soft. A real guitarist, can really make it sing. It tends to expose my flaws. But I'd rather start on a "hard to play" instrument. Plus, when I finally get my own electric, I've developed plenty of finger strength by now. I'll just need to work on the finger speed and accuracy.

pcrecord, post: 446448, member: 46460 wrote: In theory, if you are able to lift your fingers completly like you say in the OP, it won't be more complicated to lift you fingers to a point where you just barely touch them when moving.
I bet the squeeks would be quieter ?

Yep, that's the solution Marco...and I'm already significantly better. Lifting completely just doesn't sound right, it's also harder to be accurate (for me) with fast passes like that. But my dad pointed out, the only strings I really need to finesse are the E and A. I can keep the B and the E as the guide bc they don't cause the fret noise.

Issue resolution achieved! Thank you all

Profile picture for user pcrecord

pcrecord Mon, 01/09/2017 - 10:11

Brother Junk, post: 446449, member: 49944 wrote: With my action and strings, you have to apply substantial force...

I'm a drummer first but do a bit of guitar as well. I have a few pro guitarist friends and what often surprises me is how light they push on the strings. The only thing needed is the string to touch the fret in order to change pitch any extra force is futile and counter-effective. You get to this very fast when you have 40 songs to play in an evening and get 3 nights in a row booked up ;)
Of course, I'm not talking about bendings, just strait playing. Most hard to bend notes need a bit of force and the use of more than one finger