Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
OrangeBlackstar

Issue with Hx Stomp amplifying contact between pick and string

Recommended Posts

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.

 

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 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. 

 

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 and 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.)

 

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

 

Vermillion Practice_1#01guitar frequency_1.aif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw you tried lowering the gain, have you tried using the input pad?  Maybe the input signal coming in from the guitar is too hot. Are you using "Line" or "Instrument" level? You mention that you swapped out the guitar, have you tried swapping your cables as well, both from the guitar and to the amp. Also, does this happen on factory presets as well as your own? If it only happens on your own presets maybe there is a parameter in one of your blocks that is not interacting well with your gear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried removing the real Tube Screamer from your signal chain and using the modeled one in Stomp? Also remove the noise gate and set the input pad to ON. A high cut in the cab block at ~6kHz might take the pick attack down a notch.

 

When you set your patch up, try to keep it close to unity gain within the Stomp - an empty patch is the baseline and should be nearly as loud as the patch with amp, cab, fx.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The input gate has been on this whole time in addition to the regular noise gate. The input level is set to instrument, i changed it to line just to double check and it came out the same but quieter. The output level is set at line since theres an amp in the preset, I changed it to instrument to double check and it came out, again, the same but quieter. I've tried a high cut on the cabinet and also before the cabinet as part of an EQ block, the sound is still there. As stated in the original post I've lowered the gain considerably and it's still there. This happens on every preset, whether it's mine or factory based. The only thing I haven't tried yet is swapping out cables, so i'll give that a try and see if that makes a difference. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wanted to also second BBD_123's suggestion to get your signal chain as direct as possible with no external pedals for the duration of the testing just to isolate where the issue is coming from.  Probably not the issue but if this is going to a tube amp I might also check for a microphonic tube. Lots of videos on Youtube on how to do this. Essentially just involves lightly tapping your tubes with a pencil or chopstick.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, OrangeBlackstar said:

The input gate has been on this whole time in addition to the regular noise gate.

 

Just to be clear, the guitar pad and input noise gate are different things... sorry if we are already on the same page, but it pays to be sure :-)

 

For the test, I'd suggest setting input to guitar and turning the guitar pad on. It's (I think) a 5dB cut prior to the DA conversion. Might help deal with excessive peaks. But do take all the pedals out of your chain and just test the Stomp on its own. You *might* be having problems because the TS is doing something the Stomp doesn't really like.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

 

Just to be clear, the guitar pad and input noise gate are different things... sorry if we are already on the same page, but it pays to be sure :-)

 

For the test, I'd suggest setting input to guitar and turning the guitar pad on. It's (I think) a 5dB cut prior to the DA conversion. Might help deal with excessive peaks. But do take all the pedals out of your chain and just test the Stomp on its own. You *might* be having problems because the TS is doing something the Stomp doesn't really like.

 

 

 

Does the Stomp have the pad? I didn't think it did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kilrahi said:

Does the Stomp have the pad? I didn't think it did.

 

Possibly my bad  - I have Floor, so I could well be mistaken. Apologies to the OP if I've caused any confusion, and of course ignore references to the nonexistent guitar pad...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

 

Possibly my bad  - I have Floor, so I could well be mistaken. Apologies to the OP if I've caused any confusion, and of course ignore references to the nonexistent guitar pad...

 

Same with me, I have the floor only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I just tested the cables and signal path. I took all other pedals out of the equation, going directly from my guitar to the Stomp. The click/squeak was still there. The cables I used originally were as follows: Ernie ball instrument from guitar to first pedal, Three Monkeys solderless as patch cables (plus one additional generic amazon brand patch cable), hosa instrument from last pedal to stomp. I eliminated all three (technically 4) during the test and used a fender instrument cable directly to the stomp, and the noise was still there. 

 

Two things that I've considered and haven't tried/wondered about yet. How do you guys connect to your helix/and or stomp? I'm going in from my pedalboard (aside from the test above) and using the stomp as my amp, so naturally I connect to the left mono input jack. As described in my above paragraph, the cable I'm using for this connection is a guitar instrument ts cable. I shouldn't be using anything else, right? Like a TRS cable?

 

Real quick I know the issue hasn't been fixed but I seriously appreciate all the help from you guys, it's nice to have advice pouring in like this. 

 

In addition, since encountering this issue I've listened to a lot of my favorite riffs and have noticed that the squeak is prominent in commercialized music, just to a much lesser degree in my ears. 

 

Before I keep troubleshooting, this appears to be an issue to you all as well, correct? I understand some pick attack and chirp noise is desirable, but in the clip I've posted it seems way too excessive. Am I right to be worried about this in the first place? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, OrangeBlackstar said:

So I just tested the cables and signal path. I took all other pedals out of the equation, going directly from my guitar to the Stomp. The click/squeak was still there. The cables I used originally were as follows: Ernie ball instrument from guitar to first pedal, Three Monkeys solderless as patch cables (plus one additional generic amazon brand patch cable), hosa instrument from last pedal to stomp. I eliminated all three (technically 4) during the test and used a fender instrument cable directly to the stomp, and the noise was still there. 

 

Two things that I've considered and haven't tried/wondered about yet. How do you guys connect to your helix/and or stomp? I'm going in from my pedalboard (aside from the test above) and using the stomp as my amp, so naturally I connect to the left mono input jack. As described in my above paragraph, the cable I'm using for this connection is a guitar instrument ts cable. I shouldn't be using anything else, right? Like a TRS cable?

 

Real quick I know the issue hasn't been fixed but I seriously appreciate all the help from you guys, it's nice to have advice pouring in like this. 

 

In addition, since encountering this issue I've listened to a lot of my favorite riffs and have noticed that the squeak is prominent in commercialized music, just to a much lesser degree in my ears. 

 

Before I keep troubleshooting, this appears to be an issue to you all as well, correct? I understand some pick attack and chirp noise is desirable, but in the clip I've posted it seems way too excessive. Am I right to be worried about this in the first place? 

 

TS cables are fine. 

 

I'm just going to come out and admit that when I first heard your clip I couldn't hear any problems that would get me worried. Since I don't consider myself a huge genius I figured there must be something I was missing and I'd stay out of this one. The more this thread goes on though the more I'm thinking my first impressions might be correct. 

 

Can I ask, what did you use BEFORE the HX Stomp? I assumed you had a very similar real world setup before and that you didn't run into what it was that was bothering you in that clip - so I guessed there must be something you were noticing that I was somehow missing. However, if this is your first scenario with this type of setup that might be what's happening here. In my opinion, what you get when the Stomp models what you're doing would also happen if you used the real world counterparts. What you're hearing isn't unique to the Stomp. 

 

Especially the higher the gain you use, the more likely you are to run into squeals, squeaks, and harmonics - that's part of the appeal of that territory. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't personally hear anything "wrong" in your clip. That pick noise is pretty common hitting the strings "flat" and is audible in decades of commercial recordings and I hear it all the time seeing bands live. You could try recording the DI into a DAW and analyzing it to see where it is and try to reduce it, try a compressor ahead of any overdrive/distortion pedals to bring up the note after the attack to make it stand out less, try a different pick thickness/material, or work on how you hold the pick for riffs where its troublesome. That "clink" noise is one of the reasons I ended up with the picks I use now (Winspear Amber Battleaxe) because the attack is more percussive and less "pingy". But really, I don't hear anything out of the ordinary. If you're used to playing through something thats louder, or a tube amp that saturates, the pop of that sound is probably less noticeable, but ultimately still there. You could try turning up the amp master or sag parameters and see if that smooths it out a little bit.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...