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lorgarforneus

Warbling when palm muting on drop tunings

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I've noticed that when I use a drop tuning on the Alt Tunings if I palm mute on strings higher than the low E it makes an odd warbling sound. I updated the firmware but that seems to make no change.

 

I have seen from other posts this could be a setup issue, but they were having problems with all the alt tunings. When I use a standard tuning so all the strings are dropped evenly it works fine, it's just drop tunings that act weird. 

 

I have debated removing the non-Variax pickup as I never use it anyway (my rig is Shuriken Variax Sr270 into a Helix Floor), but I wanna check to see if I can fix this problem without.

 

I tune the guitar to D standard physically. 

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Tuning has to be spot on, intonation has to be spot on, and the set-up has to be spot on,... including

the distance between the pick-up and the strings.

 

Warbling is a result of the pick-up height adjustment. Alt Tune brings out the pitch difference, and also

brings out the warbling more.

 

Also be aware of "dual tone effect", where one hears both the sound from the guitar (standard tune),

while hearing the amplified sound in Alt Tune,... which can also contribute to a warbling effect. And palm

muting not applied evenly, allowing un-muted strings to ring, can contribute as well.

 

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I have noticed this issue on my Shuriken 250 - but only in Drop D tunings and only on the A string - warbling when palm muting. 

All other alternative tunings do not experience this issue only when palm muting the A sting and engaged the modeling with the Alt Tuning Button.

The guitar is tuned to standard tuning and this warbling doesn't happen when playing it without engaging the modeling. 

This issue doesn't happen with other alternative tunings, only when I'm in Drop D or other similar tunings like DADFAE. 

All my pickups and all other settings are the same between all other alt tunings.

I'm using a string dampener as well if that matters. 

Very strange that it's only the A string and Drop D tunings only...and hoping there's a fix for this.

Any ideas?

 

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Just now, psarkissian said:

What gauge strings are you using?

 

Just standard that came with it, not sure. I can’t see how strings or tuning can be causing this as it it only happens on one type of tuning so I’m guessing it must be the modelling software? This issues doesn’t happen in other tunings or in standard tuning.

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If intonation and standard tuning are not spot on, then the reference point which all the other tuning is reference to, will be off slightly.

Half step and whole step will be more dissonant. And that makes the "dual tone effect" worse.

 

Warbling would be a pick-up height thing. Fret the highest fret, set the pole piece height to the string,... 3mm on the Low-E side,

2mm on the Hi-E side.

 

Also check the wearing on the string nut slots.

 

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1 minute ago, psarkissian said:

If intonation and standard tuning are not spot on, then the reference point which all the other tuning is reference to, will be off slightly.

Half step and whole step will be more dissonant. And that makes the "dual tone effect" worse.

 

Warbling would be a pick-up height thing. Fret the highest fret, set the pole piece height to the string,... 3mm on the Low-E side,

2mm on the Hi-E side.

 

Also check the wearing on the string nut slots.

 

If it’s an intonation issue, shouldn’t this problem appear on all tunings while modelled and also while in standard without modelling…? Which it doesn’t. Why would this happen on Drop D tuning only? And only on the A string? 

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" If it’s an intonation issue, shouldn’t this problem appear on all tunings while modeled and also while in standard without modelling…? " --- Not necessarily.

Since each string has its own adjustment and being tuned in perfect 4th's except for G-B in a major 3rd, slight difference in relations between strings can

be brought out more when going into alternate tuning. As a result, I use a precision tuner when I do intonation on a set-up.

 

As a check, I do strike a open string bar chord harmonic at frets 12, 7 and 5, to check for howling and whistling, using the Acoustic 12-string model,

as having the octaves can exaggerate the beat ones when it's not spot on. 

 

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Guitar tech. Active electronic guitars like this need to have a tighter, more spot on set-up in general.

And with intonation, good to have a precision tuner. Use a Line 6 authorized technician, as pick-up height

has to be tight as well.

 

The field of magnetic pole pieces on the pick-ups don't turn off when you are in model mode, it's why it's

called a permanent magnet. Warbling occurs in model mode when the pick-up height is off and the magnet

pulls on the strings, causing elliptical vibration pattern, instead of a more transverse transition. And that

crosses the field in an uneven manner. That unevenness is the warbling. 

 

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On 9/9/2021 at 3:21 AM, marinescudaniell said:

Should I attempt to fix this intonation issue if that's what it is myself, or do you recommend to take it to a guitar technician?

 

 

There's nothing difficult about adjusting intonation... and doing it on a Variax is no different than any other guitar in the known universe. The recipe is always exactly the same... it's a mechanical issue involving bridge saddle position and the vibrating length of each string, and may or may not require adjusting the height of the mag pickups.

 

If you own a decent tuner and are capable of turning a screw driver (or small hex wrench, as the case may be), then you are eminently qualified to adjust your own intonation. Detailed instructions on exactly how to determine what adjustments need to be made, and how to make them, are readily available on line from any number of sources... check youtube.

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I’ve checked out YouTube vids, tested with two tuners, adjusted a little with a screw driver. The A string is perfectly in tune being played open and at the 12th fret including harmonics. Issue is still there…

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Tuning, intonation or pick-up height, in rare cases string gauge set in conjunction with the other three reasons,

would be the things that would contribute to warbling. For Alt Tune to sound right, those three prime adjustments

have to be really spot on.

 

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So is there an actual fix to this issue?

I have had my Shuriken set up correctly, I have the latest software of Workbench HD, I have done a factory reset. 

This issue persists. 

I am 99% convinced there's an issue with the palm muting / bridge / pick up / software. 

How else can you explain that this only happens on one string and only in Drop D tuning and no other tuning or string? Unmodded - in standard tuning, there's no issue. 

 

Can we please have some support for this equipment and this issue?

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If you are in Alt Tune like a Drop D, being a whole down and dissonant interval, then it's not warbling, it's "dual tone effect".

You are hearing the standard tuning from the strings while hearing the Alt Tuning from the amp.

Using headphones or turning up the amp will minimize this.

 

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This is not my issue…I can’t describe it any clearer…

Again, there’s no solution being provided…and the product is not doing what it’s supposed to do. 


Again, I have an issue only on the A string where during distortion playing - every palm muted note sounds out of key / muffled / warbled / muddy and not sounding clear, it sounds like two out of key notes are being played. Only when in alternate modeled Drop D tuning, no other strings or other tunings have this issue.  

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Warbling is is a set-up issue, the pick-up heights have to be set correctly or the magnet pull on the string and 

the piezos will amplify the warbling. If the tuning and intonation is not spot on, then Alt Tune will make the warbling

sound worse. Being the guy at L6 who services these guitars, I see this sort of thing. Set-up has to be dialed-in to as

fine as a gnat's behind.

 

And in Alt Tune, there's dual tone effect. So headphone or turning up amp volume minimizes that. Been servicing

these 10+ years now, so I guess I'm used to it.

 

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How is it possible that this issue only happens in one type of tuning and only one string? And it doesn’t happen in standard tuning? Or any other drop tubing like whole step down, drop C and others? 
 

And how do I fix it? There’s no solutions. 

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Did you swap the piezo connection on the 5th and 6th string piezos? 

That messes with the filters. Have the set-up check  and dialed in. Fret th highest fret, Lo-E

side pick-up to string distance should be 3mm, on the Hi-E side, should be 2mm.

 

Dual tone effect, hearing the strings from the guitar in standard tuning and Alt Tune thru the

amp at the same time can sound bad. You're hearing both at the same time. turn up amp or use

headphones to minimize the effect.

 

If doing any custom patches using Workbench HD, the pitches have to be spot on. Custom stuff

like that, best to check Stevic McKay's You Tube videos on the subject.

 

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Thanks for the replies but I feel we are going in circles.

 

I am aware of the dual tone effect - this is not what is happening here. Like I have said - this is only on one string with Drop D tuning only, I can hear the dual effect if the amp is not at high enough volume across all strings, so I have the amp at a volume where this is not an issue. 

 

I haven't done anything fancy like you suggest, like swap piezo connections, or filters, the pick up to string measurements are all as per your suggestion. All i have done is use Workbench HD to custom tune certain strings, including a drop D tuning which is the only one that is problematic and only one the A string, and only when palm muting the A string. It 's a pretty specific issue that seems to have come up in the original thread post that has not been able to be fixed by anyone. 

 

I have taken it to two guitar places and a Yamaha authorised centre who can identify the issue and acknowledge it is there, but have not been able to provide a fix or solution, hence here I am. Still with no solution. 

 

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On 8/28/2019 at 9:30 AM, lorgarforneus said:

I've noticed that when I use a drop tuning on the Alt Tunings if I palm mute on strings higher than the low E it makes an odd warbling sound. I updated the firmware but that seems to make no change.

 

I have seen from other posts this could be a setup issue, but they were having problems with all the alt tunings. When I use a standard tuning so all the strings are dropped evenly it works fine, it's just drop tunings that act weird. 

 

Yup... and it's not likely to change. I had the same problem early on and did a great deal of troubleshooting to figure out what was going on... there's still a thread around here describing it in gory detail, but it's years old and you'll hafta dig to find it.

 

The problem is crosstalk between the piezo saddles. When you palm mute, even if you're not playing anything on the low E string, your hand is still in contact with it, as well as the one (or more) other strings. That "bridge" for lack of a better term, results in the low E piezo saddle picking up some of the vibrations of the strings that are being played. In a drop tuning, that note(s) is then down tuned accordingly... along with the signal from the string that is actually being played which of course is not being altered. So for example if you're using drop D alt tuning  and mute on the open A string,  you'll hear the A as well as a G, because the low E piezo can "hear" the A string's vibrations, (albeit at a lower volume). The result is mud. High gain makes it worse. The drop tunings are of very limited utility.

 

The reason that other alt tunings work ok is that when all the strings are being detuned by the same interval, then crosstalk is irrelevant... but when some strings are being detuned and others aren't, you've got a problem. The tech simply isn't perfect. The only real fix is to alter your playing technique so that you're not touching the low E string at all when palm muting on other strings... obviously this is easier said than done. Personally, I find it next to impossible in real world playing scenarios. As such I gave up on the drop tunings early on.

 

You can prove this to yourself if you go into Workbench and turn the A string piezo volume to zero... then do some palm muting on the A string while using the drop D alt tuning.  Common sense tells you that you'd hear nothing at all coming through the amp with the volume of that string compete off... but you will hear it, and what you're hearing is the signal coming through adjacent low E piezo... and it'll be detuned.

 

 

Quote

 

I have debated removing the non-Variax pickup as I never use it anyway (my rig is Shuriken Variax Sr270 into a Helix Floor), but I wanna check to see if I can fix this problem without.

 

The mag pickup has nothing to do with this issue. Removing it won't help.

 

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9 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

Yup... and it's not likely to change. I had the same problem early on and did a great deal of troubleshooting to figure out what was going on... there's still a thread around here describing it in gory detail, but it's years old and you'll hafta dig to find it.

 

The problem is crosstalk between the piezo saddles. When you palm mute, even if you're not playing anything on the low E string, your hand is still in contact with it, as well as the one (or more) other strings. That "bridge" for lack of a better term, results in the low E piezo saddle picking up some of the vibrations of the strings that are being played. In a drop tuning, that note(s) is then down tuned accordingly... along with the signal from the string that is actually being played which of course is not being altered. So for example if you're using drop D alt tuning  and mute on the open A string,  you'll hear the A as well as a G, because the low E piezo can "hear" the A string's vibrations, (albeit at a lower volume). The result is mud. High gain makes it worse. The drop tunings are of very limited utility.

 

The reason that other alt tunings work ok is that when all the strings are being detuned by the same interval, then crosstalk is irrelevant... but when some strings are being detuned and others aren't, you've got a problem. The tech simply isn't perfect. 

 

You can prove this to yourself if you go into Workbench and turn the A string piezo volume to zero... then do some palm muting in a drop tuning on the A string. Common sense tells you that you'd hear nothing at all coming through the amp with the volume of that string off... but you will hear it, and what you're hearing is the signal coming through adjacent low E piezo... and it'll be detuned.

 

 

 

The mag pickup has nothing to do with this issue. Removing it won't help.

 

This is the most sensible answer here.

 

And yes, palm muting the A string sounds like mud and out of key, which is what we’re both describing. Thank you.
 

Although it doesn’t seem that there is a solution. Pretty average since I purchased this guitar to play metal songs from bands that all use different tunings. And I can’t play on the most common tuning there is - Drop D.

 

if I had purchased this brand new, I would have returned it. Nonetheless I still purchased a product that doesn’t do what it says and there’s no support…

 

Pretty disappointing to say the least…

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33 minutes ago, marinescudaniell said:

This is the most sensible answer here.

 

And yes, palm muting the A string sounds like mud and out of key, which is what we’re both describing. Thank you.

 

Yup... because you're hearing two pitches, a whole step apart. Makes it pretty much useless.

 

I will say though, that for tuning the whole guitar a half step down, the alt tunings work quite well. Just as good as my Digitech Drop pedal, and without the slight latency that pedal has. But for the drop tunings, it's a no-go... unless you're playing crystal clean arpeggiated stuff with no palm muting... then they're usable.

 

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