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How do you take out the piercing sound frequencies of lead guitar melodies?


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I have a problem that I have no clue how to fix. I have been messing with recording guitar licks using a variety of tones that I have tweaked to my liking. Every recording I've noticed that the leads have been piercing my ears and I am guessing there are tricks to lessen the piercing and make the leads sound a lot smoother.

 

I am thinking EQ'ing will help, but I have no clue how to EQ the sound. I have no clue what frequencies to lessen or cut off or whatever.

 

Here is a clip of what I am talking about. The lead has a lot of reverb, the it still pierces my ear. I just want to know how I can get rid of the piercing high frequencies and make the lead sound a lot smoother.

 

Atmospheric lead

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Originally posted by bball_1523



 

 

 

Sounds fine to me man. And I have super bright monitors to boot. I guess if it's bothering you that much, you can take out some of the mids, but man, that's just natural guitar tone. If all else fails I guess you can try a different recording method for it.

 

cheers

 

~Jared

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Sounds okay - all about overall context and getting the sound you want.

 

Personally, first I'd start with guitar+ amp settings to get the sound I want from the amp, then I'd play with mic position to get the sound I want recorded (going back and tweaking controls if necessary). Mic position will do more for you than EQ - distance (further away = more room sound), position on the cone (centre=brighter), and angle off-axis (play with this one - generally you'll cut certain ranges by moving a cardioid mic off-axis).

 

Once you've go the track, the easiest way to eliminate specific nasties you've been left with (because somebody else tracked it ;) ) is in one of two ways: Easiest way to hear is to take a band on the parametric, BOOST it, sweep across the frequency range until you hear the stuff you don't like most prominently and then change your boost to a cut at that frequency (you can play about with Q as well here if you've got it). The other way is just to leave all your tracks up in the mix, and sweep across with a cut on your track until it sits right in the context of everything else.

 

-Daniel

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Originally posted by Daniel Smart

Sounds okay - all about overall context and getting the sound you want.


Personally, first I'd start with guitar+ amp settings to get the sound I want from the amp, then I'd play with mic position to get the sound I want recorded (going back and tweaking controls if necessary). Mic position will do more for you than EQ - distance (further away = more room sound), position on the cone (centre=brighter), and angle off-axis (play with this one - generally you'll cut certain ranges by moving a cardioid mic off-axis).


Once you've go the track, the easiest way to eliminate specific nasties you've been left with (because somebody else tracked it
;)
) is in one of two ways: Easiest way to hear is to take a band on the parametric, BOOST it, sweep across the frequency range until you hear the stuff you don't like most prominently and then change your boost to a cut at that frequency (you can play about with Q as well here if you've got it). The other way is just to leave all your tracks up in the mix, and sweep across with a cut on your track until it sits right in the context of everything else.


-Daniel

 

well I don't understand what you meean by taking a "band" and "sweeping." Will adobe audition's EQ's work?

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I don't hear any problem as such either - so i'm guessing you are saying you want to hear a completely different tone? That might require a different guitar/amp/speaker.

 

By all means learn to experiment with eq with software. Some software reverbs are better than others, but most are generally better than cheap hardware eq. (There are some extremely noisy crap hardware eq out there, until you stand spending serious money).

 

Every room and mic has nasty little nodes that you can find by sweeping with a parametric eq set to a hi-q boost. When you've found a nasty frequency, just turn the postitive gain to negative, and notch it out. But that sort of sweetening isn't going to radically change the tone if you don't like it. Sounds like a good surf guitar tone to me ... what do you want to sound like?

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Originally posted by greendoor

I don't hear any problem as such either - so i'm guessing you are saying you want to hear a completely different tone? That might require a different guitar/amp/speaker.


By all means learn to experiment with eq with software. Some software reverbs are better than others, but most are generally better than cheap hardware eq. (There are some extremely noisy crap hardware eq out there, until you stand spending serious money).


Every room and mic has nasty little nodes that you can find by sweeping with a parametric eq set to a hi-q boost. When you've found a nasty frequency, just turn the postitive gain to negative, and notch it out. But that sort of sweetening isn't going to radically change the tone if you don't like it. Sounds like a good surf guitar tone to me ... what do you want to sound like?

 

 

well I'm still wondering what all these terms are for eq'ing like sweeping, band, etc. I used to know a little, but it's been such a long time since I learned that stuff.

 

I am trying to create an atmospheric mood that is dark and depressing, yet transitions into a nice song. nothing surf related.

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Sweeping won't make any sense if you don't have a parametric eq were you rotate a knob to select the frequency band being cut or boosted ...

 

What is the guitar, amp, speaker and effects that you are using, or have access to?

 

Seems to me that you want something radically different - not just a bit of eq. A clean, bright guitar into a reverb is going to sound happy. If you want dark and disturbed, you might want to try some of these tricks ...

 

Distortion/overdrive/fuzz

Filtering/Wah/roll of the tone knob

Volume pedal/e-bow/ Slow-gear for smooth attacks

Heavy delays

chorus/vibrato/leslie/tremelo for slow deranged warbling

 

Maybe play low down/drop tuning or possibly pitchshifting

 

Plenty of ways to get dark and atmospheric - I think delays are great.

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Originally posted by greendoor

Sweeping won't make any sense if you don't have a parametric eq were you rotate a knob to select the frequency band being cut or boosted ...


What is the guitar, amp, speaker and effects that you are using, or have access to?


Seems to me that you want something radically different - not just a bit of eq. A clean, bright guitar into a reverb is going to sound happy. If you want dark and disturbed, you might want to try some of these tricks ...


Distortion/overdrive/fuzz

Filtering/Wah/roll of the tone knob

Volume pedal/e-bow/ Slow-gear for smooth attacks

Heavy delays

chorus/vibrato/leslie/tremelo for slow deranged warbling


Maybe play low down/drop tuning or possibly pitchshifting


Plenty of ways to get dark and atmospheric - I think delays are great.

 

 

well I pretty much have a tone set, I just need to listen to it without hurting my ears with those high frequencies.

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So in other words, you haven't got your tone set yet ...

 

Maybe there is something unusual about your monitor speakers? What are they? Or your room - any acoustic treatment?

 

I'm just hearing a bright surfy sort of guitar sound - nothing really harsh or wrong. But certainly not dark or atmospheric. You could try an extreme low cut to make it muffled if that's what you are after ...

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If no one else is hearing it, then I strongly suggest you get some help with your room acoustics. Sounds to me like you've got some aggressive bumps in your rooms' spectrum.

And I mean, get professional help...don't go sticking foam and egg crates all over the walls.

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Originally posted by greendoor

So in other words, you haven't got your tone set yet ...


Maybe there is something unusual about your monitor speakers? What are they? Or your room - any acoustic treatment?


I'm just hearing a bright surfy sort of guitar sound - nothing really harsh or wrong. But certainly not dark or atmospheric. You could try an extreme low cut to make it muffled if that's what you are after ...

 

 

well since music and sound is always subjective, to me the tone may not sound dark, but everything sounds atmospheric.

 

I am thinking it's just my recording. By the way I am playing direct through m-audio firewire solo, through NI Guitar Rig. So I don't think Room acoustics has anything to do with it. My speakers are boston acoustics, and they sound pretty decent to me, except they don't have a wide range to hear from. I also use panasonic headphones that are good for listening to music, but not that great for recording.

 

I just find that my tone has some high frequency content that kinda hurts my ears. I was looking for a way to EQ it so that the highs won't be so high lol.

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Originally posted by bball_1523


By the way I am playing direct through m-audio firewire solo, through NI Guitar Rig. So I don't think Room acoustics has anything to do with it.

 

I don't think they meant room-acoustics while recording, but room acoustics in your listening room. They highly effect what sounds you'll hear from your speakers.

 

I don't at all like the piercing highs you'll find on some records, but I'm on a modem right now, so I cannot listen to your sound-file. Sorry. :( (I'll be home again on wednesday tho)

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Yes - if your ears are actually hurting, then you are playing too loud, and/or you have a serious acoustics problem.

 

I don't own NI Guitar rig myself, because I prefer real speakers, but I have plenty of other guitar sims and digital guitar toys - so the principles should be the same ...

 

You can get dark/phat sounds out of a strat by choosing your amp and speakers and tone settings.

 

Different amps have different tone stacks, and some are fairly flat when dimed, and others have resonant peaks. It's hard to judge what amp model you picked their, but i'm guessing something like a Fender Twin - which will be fairly peaky. Another amp model could sound a lot darker.

 

Different speakers have different tonallity - that's where most of the high frequencies are ditched in a real guitar rig. A lot of cab simulators are simply a low pass filter to remove the highs. Try some different speaker sims.

 

I can't really tell what you are going for from your description - do you like the Mark Knopfler clean sound? Maybe it's the pick sound you don't like? I find that with clean exposed strat sounds, playing with fingers like Knopfler can sound a lot sweeter than using a pick - a lot less like surf guitar ...

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well I don't know much about matching cab sims, amps, effects yet, but I really want to.

 

Do you know how I can get to know what cabs/amps sound like what? Like how would I know a mesa 2x12 will sound? stuff like that.

 

Guitar Rig has a bunch of amp models and cabs, and I wanna learn about each of them, pros/cons, sounds, etc.

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To be honest, I think the only way to learn how different amps and cabs really sound is to take them home and try them. And bear in mind that the actual room and mics and preamps used to record them can change the sound dramatically.

 

Guitar sims only give you a taste of what a particular guitar cabinet is all about. If you are lucky they will have measured the frequency response of the cabinet, so at best you will get an eq curve that sort of matches the cabinet. But there is a world of detail in various speaker cones and cabinets that I don't think can be emulated properly yet. That's not to say you can't get a good tone anyway, but it's different.

 

Very roughly - big cabinets give a bassier response. Open back cabinets have less bass than closed cabinets. Small cones can recreate higher frequencies better than large cones. Front mounted speakers are clearer and brighter than back mounted ones.

 

Just mix and match until you find something you like. Guitar players often endorse gear for business reasons. often, they can just as easily switch to another company and still get their own tone with different gear. A lot is in their fingers, and often a lot is in their choice of stomp boxes. And very frequently, what they use in the studio is very different to what they use on stage. So just use you ears to make the sounds you want to hear.

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