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SYfan

Dissonant overtones or ghost notes (or something else) in recording - How can I eliminate them?

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While using some alternate tunings and playing single notes on my new Variax Standard, dissonant sounds can be heard in a recording (direct into USB interface).

 

What are these sounds? Is there a way to eliminate them?

 

I've attached 2 files. The first file is an example of the problem that I've just described. The second file is an example of a single note with a strange artifact. The artifact heard probably just comes with the territory when using a modeled alternate tuning, but I've included it in case it doesn't and it provides any insight into the primary problem. I'm using the modeled baritone tuning.

GhostNotes.mp3

VariaxArtifact.mp3

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1) Dual Tone Effect,... hearing the string in tune, signal from the amp in Alt Tune. 

 

2) Set-Up issue. Set-ups are done at the distribution hub, then shipped across the country.

But not all local retailers do set-ups at that last couple of miles. Action might be set such

that there is a fret buzz on a string at a given fret, or similar set-up issue. 

 

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14 hours ago, psarkissian said:

 

1) Dual Tone Effect,... hearing the string in tune, signal from the amp in Alt Tune. 

 

 

He's hearing it in playback that was recorded direct... so whatever the cause is, this ain't it. 

 

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Yes cruisinon2, on the ball as usual,... and choice #2 would be the next one, since it shows up on a given fret and string.

Action, a smidgeon of fret buzz more than likely, dial it in just a little more spot on. Didn't hear any whistling howls, so I wouldn't

suspect tuning and intonation at this time. 

 

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So what do you think would be the best way to correct it?

 

The action is already fairly high - Should I raise it a bit more?

 

Or is there another adjustment or solution that I should consider?

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Intonation is different from string action. 

Have the entire set-up checked by someone who knows these guitars. 

Piezos in conjunction with pick-ups is not something every guitar tech will know how to deal with it. 

A Line 6 authorized tech will know and have experience with it. And they can get deep dive info from me if needed. 

 

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On 12/27/2018 at 2:10 PM, SYfan said:

So what do you think would be the best way to correct it?

 

The action is already fairly high - Should I raise it a bit more?

 

Or is there another adjustment or solution that I should consider?

 

Continuing to raise the action will just make the guitar unplayable. Lower the mag pickups in small increments and see if the problem goes away. You will probably have to adjust the intonation if you end up moving the pickups enough to change the string-pull significantly. 

 

You don't need a tech for any of this really, as these are not irreversible adjustments. You're not going to destroy anything. That said, I'm not convinced that this is purely a set-up issue anyway. "Just get a good set-up" gets tossed around a lot as a cure-all for various kinds of Variax weirdness, and while it can certainly help with some issues, it ain't magic. It's worth a try, if for no other reason than a guitar that's properly adjusted plays better than one that isn't... and it certainly won't make you're problem any worse. 

 

However, the issue you're describing is grossly abnormal. If you are genuinely hearing 2 distinct, simultaneous pitches in playback that was direct-recorded, there may be something funky going on with the electronics. If the brains of the guitar are malfunctioning somehow, then the best setup money can buy, from the most "Variax certified" guy on earth... whomever that may be... won't help you.

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2 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

Continuing to raise the action will just make the guitar unplayable. Lower the mag pickups in small increments and see if the problem goes away. You will probably have to adjust the intonation if you end up moving the pickups enough to change the string-pull significantly. 

 

You don't need a tech for any of this really, as these are not irreversible adjustments. You're not going to destroy anything. That said, I'm not convinced that this is a set-up issue anyway. Anything is possible, and the "just get a good set-up" advice gets tossed around a lot, and it certainly won't make anything worse. However, what you're describing is grossly abnormal, and a set-up can only do so much. It's worth a try, but if you're genuinely hearing 2 distinct, simultaneous pitches in something that was direct-recorded, I'm not convinced that backing the pickups off a few millimeters and fiddling with the intonation will be a magical cure-all.

 

I'll try lowering the pickups, but I'm also concerned that this may not be a set-up issue.

 

If not a set-up issue, do you have any ideas about what else may be causing the problem?

 

Are you also hearing multiple simultaneous pitches or dissonant overtones in the recordings I posted? I just want to make sure that my written description isn't misleading.

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22 hours ago, SYfan said:

If not a set-up issue, do you have any ideas about what else may be causing the problem?

 

Are you also hearing multiple simultaneous pitches or dissonant overtones in the recordings I posted? I just want to make sure that my written description isn't misleading.

 

These guitars are complicated and can develop all sorts of weird symptoms. I couldn't possibly guess what the cause is... and even if you managed to make the right guess, there's little to nothing that you'll be able to do about it anyway. In all likelihood, it will need to be serviced. 

 

Links didn't work for me, so I couldn't hear anything... try posting them on SoundCloud.

 

 

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On 12/29/2018 at 7:36 PM, hurghanico said:

I wonder if these could be resonances of the parts of the strings beyond the nut, and perhaps even beyond the bridge, picked up by the sensitive piezos together with the normal notes..

just to make a test, try putting a cloth between the guitar headstock and the strings to dampen any unwanted resonances
..

who knows, maybe you discover at least from where those ghost dissonant resonances come from.

 

I hadn't thought of that - Worth a shot!

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On 12/20/2018 at 1:34 AM, SYfan said:

VariaxArtifact.mp3

I had this very same issue on the harmonics (especially with the 12 string acoustics) when my setup wasn't perfect. Especially the intonation.

 

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