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Issue with unintentional harmonic when picking

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by Corey Taylor's Opinion, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Corey Taylor's Opinion

    Corey Taylor's Opinion New Metal Member

    Jul 13, 2019
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    Okay so I've been researching things non stop in regards to this issue and I'm about to throw my entire rig out the window. This wasn't really an issue for me before I had the Hx Stomp. Then again, I wasn't recording seriously and editing my jams on a daw back then.

    I'm getting a lot of annoying high pitched squeaks when I pick notes (most prominently on the low E string). What is happening is that when the pick hits the string, the immediate contact creates what appears to sound like a tapped harmonic. I've noticed that the location of where I pick can influence the strength of the harmonic. For example, if I'm playing on the 9th fret, picking at a certain spot will make the harmonic louder and pop out. After discovering this I thought "okay, this is less than desirable that I need to change my picking placement for this particular issue, but fine. I'll just pick somewhere else along the string." If i change the placement of my pick to say, closer to the neck pickup, the harmonic doesn't ring out. Perfect, but... now if i play another fret (say the fifth), I now have this issue with that fret. The only way for me to not get harmonics would be to change the position of the pick in relation of the string for each individual note i play. I'm sorry but this ain't it chief.

    Several things to consider here: My guitar is an Ibanez Prestige (RGR652AHBWK) with dimarzio fusion pickups. I'm using the hx stomp as my amp. prior to the stomp, I'm running through a tubescreamer immediately followed by a noise gate. I'm using Ernie Ball 10-52 cobalt strings for standard tuning. I'm using a 1.5mm Ernie ball Prodigy pick with a beveled edge. The type of tone I'm striving for is similar to Lamb of God, but at lower gain settings it could be passable for System of a Down or Scars on Broadway. I'm using an IR by 3 sigma audio (though I've noticed that this happens with the stock IRs as well). Like I said, this wasn't an issue before I got the helix. Is my technique perfect? Not at all, but that's not the culprit in this particular scenario. Regardless of the angle I pick at, how much of the pick I'm using, what type of pick I use, how lightly or hard I pick, or even how much gain I use, the issue is there.

    I've come across a few forums where people have this is issue and a common response is to just EQ out the harmonic frequency. I can't. I've spent HOURS trying to sweep with a narrow band to find where the frequency is at with no success. There's no peak for this squeak. It's literally everywhere. If I bring a low pass filter down all the way to 500hz, I can still hear it. If I bring the high pass filter to 500hz, I can hear it. If I notch out 500 hz, it's there. I've even fiddled with amp settings just to find the generic range that its at. Scoop the mids to 0? Still there. Scoop the bass to 0? Still there. Scoop the treble to 0? Still there.

    The particular preset I use doesn't matter. This issue persists across all high gain presets I have, and yes before it's suggested, I've tried turning down the gain as well. This happens whether the amp is a Marshall or Mesa boogie type, or any other type that's considered high gain as well.

    I'll attach a clip below to illustrate what I'm talking about. It isn't easy to hear through phone or computer speakers, but if listened through headphones and listening for the right squeak, there's no way you can't miss it.

    One last big thing to consider, it's probably not my guitar. How do I know? I have the same issue on a squire strat. Completely different setup, different pickups, different action, different wood etc. But I still have the same issue.

    Recap of thing's I've tried:

    Pick Placement along strings (works but I would have to place the pick somewhere different for each fret I play)

    Pick angle

    Amount of pick I'm using

    Type of Pick

    Amount of attack I pick with

    Lowering gain

    EQing out frequency with narrow band, broad band, HPF, LPF

    Scooping out each frequency range (treble, mids, bass)

    Turning tubescreamer off before the Helix

    Using different Irs, Different amp models (with and without high cut)

    Using a hair tie as fret wrap behind nut just in case (even though I have a locking nut and nut retainer bar)

    Adjusting volume and tone controls on the guitar itself

    Using a different guitar

    Lowering each setting to 0 or raising to 10 to see if the problem is there (Ripple, Bias, Hum, Etc.)

    I haven't tried adjusting pickup height, but i'm 95% sure that's not the issue as the two guitars I'm using have completely different heights between the strings and pickups.

    Any and all feedback is appreciated. I want to utilize this amp modeler unit to it's fullest potential. I love the tone I'm getting, I just can't stand the squeaks that accompany it.

    Attached Files:

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