Low volumes - direct string noise

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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jorri
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Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by jorri » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:57 am

Pretty beginner question although I am not totally a beginner for sure.

A lot of you must record at home, with neighbours and small rooms. So this is my current predicament.

Its got to be pretty loud to mask the clack of unplugged strings. Sometimes even in a space where loudness is not a problem, an ambient reverb section has had this issue in the past,and had to ditch room mics. Having a loud sound is less important, its just the clacking, maybe I am just a very hard player with whatever acetal picks i use!

Any tips on how to minimise it? Not using room mics just close ones. The direction i face seems to make it bounce off the wall somehow. I hung up a duvet or panel with little impact as the sound travels over it - seems like a bad idea to entirely cover the amp in duvet although i used to do it. Turning up loud - well i quite likely receive a knock on the door!

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by GuitarGeorge » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:07 am

Use the guitar's Tone control

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jorri
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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by jorri » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:15 am

^
I mean the noise that comes acoustically from the strings into the mic.
Not what is coming through the pickups.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by mbene085 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:02 am

So, you're trying to record an amp at very low volume while playing in the same room as it?

In that case, it's all about maximizing the amount of amp picked up by your mic while rejecting the acoustic signal.

Ways to do this:
1) Close-mic the amp. Get that mic right up to the speaker, as close in as you can. You may have to use some bass cut due to proximity effect, depending on the mic (and amp).

2) Play as far away from the mic as you can get.

3) Know your polar pattern. You're going to want a cardioid mic for this, and you're going to want to be sitting behind it, where it rejects the maximum amount of signal.

4) Construct some kind of gobo to place between the mic and guitar. Mass equals effectiveness. A heavy blanket is better than nothing, but something solid and heavy works better.

4) Turn up the amp as loud as possible. That's the only thing left that you can do to affect the ratio of these two sound sources hitting the mic.

Alternatively, you can record direct and use amp sim hardware or software to completely bypass this issue, which is what most people would choose in 2019 when recording electric guitar in an environment where they can't turn up an amp.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:54 am

Yeah. Record direct or isolate the amp (a bathroom is always a fun place to try).

If you record direct you could also reamp the guitar once the time/place are better for recording a loud amp.

You could also play with your fingers.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:05 pm

When I was in this situation I would put the amp in a different room than I was playing in. I had a big closet and would put the amp in there If I wanted a dead sound and in the kitchen if I wanted a live sound.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by jorri » Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:08 am

I will give the 'control room' idea a try. Not sure where to set up the amp and mics but could give the bathroom a try.
Yesterday was ok, with driven lead, but it was a problem when clean bassy stuff happenned and it required shaking the house.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by jorri » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:13 am

It has always sounded better miccing up.
Maybe i verge on 'lofi' or 'noise' though..
Also, i get a free autodidactical lesson in production.
Although some sounds like with lots of fx especially stereo full wet things are good DI I can differentiate those. Or the lower frequency of bass. Did that too, although i can always reamp later. I dont even have any amp simulators, just tape saturator or tube eq or convolution reverb plugins.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by mbene085 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:57 pm

What platform and DAW are you using? There are a number of decent free amp sims out there.

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Re: Low volumes - direct string noise

Post by jorri » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:39 am

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:57 pm
What platform and DAW are you using? There are a number of decent free amp sims out there.
Its always a possibility. Certainly some sounds may even be better that way.
I reserve amps for 'weird stuff fuzz does to amps or natural reverb does' and 'learning production'. That is not essential for every overdub and some are very synthetic sounding ambient loops.
Particularly for bass i guess.
What would you recommend?.
I've mainly avoided what is available since c. 2008 just to set limitations of what i am doing, not having too much to think about in the box etc.

Use Reaper and a zoom L-12 atm. The latter excellent for drums, bands etc and can be used as an interface. Use to mainly record on location (hall, large room, anywhere available) but just felt there'd be more immediate energy not hauling and setting things up.

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