Pick click on voice mic

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by MC208, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    Recording instruction video where teacher is talking and demonstrating on guitar. Is there any way to eliminate pick click, that is, the sound of the guitar pick plucking on the strings? It is very loud on the voice mic, and makes the sound awful.
     
  2. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    Use the nulls - put the click in the null by careful orientation of the mic, or bring it closer, and adjust the angles.
     
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    What is the distance between the instructor's mouth and the vocal mic?

    Remind us again what you're using as a vocal mic.
     
  4. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    I have a RODE NTG-1. It's placed just out of the frame above the subject.
    The odd thing is that I was looking at recordings made years and years ago (with the same pick and same mic) and the noise isn't there.
    The only difference is the camera being used, and the location.
     
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you're pointing the mic at the talker's head and at the guitar, and there isn't a huge difference in distance between them. I would expect picking noised to get captured by the mic in that situation. The odd thing is the earlier video where it doesn't happen. How is he hearing his guitar? Is it by headphone/IEM? Maybe turn it up in his ears or increase the amp/sim gain so he doesn't pick as hard.
     
  6. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    He doesn't like to wear headphones/IEM, so it's just speakers to hear the guitar; same as the previous recording, same speakers actually too!
     
  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    Maybe turn up the guitar in the speakers and move the mic closer to him. Then he'll probably pick more quietly.
     
  8. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    I don't think it's a matter of picking quietly. He always picks the same, and uses the same pick; it's very thin, and has a snap to it, not a hard one. Maybe I'll post a couple of samples for you to hear the difference.
     
  9. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    I also have a Shure SM58, which doesn't sound as good as the Rode qualitywise, but I suppose being less sensitive, it picks up less of the pick sound.
     
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  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    You can use one mic for voice, one for the guitar amp, and just gate/edit/mute the voice mic when the teacher isn't speaking.
     
  11. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    Well the guitar is recorded direct, it's not mic'd.
    It wouldn't be possible to mute the voice mic when he's playing because he's talking while playing (teaching)
    I guess the only solution is the SM58, as close as possible to his mouth without being in the shot. I can't see any other way ?
     
  12. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine pick noise being that loud unless the mic is simply too far away - when it would sound terrible anyway? We need to hear it to move forward.
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    try changing the angle of the mic slightly or moving it back or forward a few inches. i'm thinking it's positioned directly above the guitar pick position and being a shotgun mic the super hyper cardioid pattern is focused directly at where the pick attacks the string
     
  14. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Although the NTG-1 has a hypercardioid response pattern, it does not help much in your situation, as it is still wide out to at least 45 degrees. The big rejection is at 90 degrees, so it would be worth trying to set up a mic position that could take advantage of that.

    Keep the polar picture in your head when experimenting. For example, it just might be that placing the NTG-1 on a short floor stand out of shot in front of and below (or level with) the guitar but pointing up past it at the performer's mouth would reject enough of the instrument to make it work.
    upload_2020-3-1_18-20-11.png
     
  15. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    I don't fully understand how to view the polar response pattern image. I understand what it's for, but from what perspective is the image supposed to be viewed? Am I looking at the mic itself as if I were talking into it? It's confusing to me.
     
  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Think of it as though the microphone were mounted horizontally on a stand and you were above it looking vertically downwards. The capsule of the mic is at at the centre of the diagram, pointing towards the top of the pattern (0 degrees), and the XLR cable exits at the rear (180 degrees). The nulls are off to the sides, and for this mic are very sharp (in angular terms). The sound source you are wanting to record would normally be positioned following the 0 degree line out from the top of the diagram.
     
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  17. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    I uploaded two files:
    One is what the guitar sounds like being picked up by the Rode
    The other file is the guitar channel being recorded direct



     

    Attached Files:

  18. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    @Boswell thank you for that description, I fully understand the diagram now :)
     
  19. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

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    It's the sound of the pick, but it's also just the thin metallic sound of the strings themselves that is annoying.
     
  20. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    Here's a photo that might help. This pattern is conventional cardioid, but it shows how to relate a polar pattern to the mic. It's a three dimensional pattern so it applies when viewing the mic from the side or top etc. The distance from the center of the grid to the line represents the strength of the response of the mic at that angle. A cardioid pattern has the null at 180° from the axis of the mic. The polar pattern for your mic puts the nulls at about 105° off axis, forming a "cone of silence" as I call it. Then there's a smaller lobe of response centered on 180°. If the mic were placed low and very close to the instructor's mouth angled steeply upward you would be making the most use of that polar pattern.

    polar pattern.jpg
     
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