#1
I'm having trouble getting a clean picking sound when using distortion. When I play above 90bpm there is a lot of pick noise and it sounds terrible. I have the mids boosted around 800hz to get a Slayer-ish tone which seems to accentuate it, but i dont want to cover up bad technique with EQ.

How do modern bands (eg Trivium on Shogun) get such a clean high gain sound?

Tips please?
A metal band?
Gear:
A Guitar with an LFR > Korg Pitchblack > Behringer EQ > Hardwire CM-2 Overdrive Boss SD-1 > Hardwire CR-7 Chorus>
Orange Tiny Terror >
LzR Engineering 212 cab

My other amp can run Crysis
#2
with clean picking, you are probably picking too hard or just sloppily, I'll leave it to one of the forum boffs to sort you out though.
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#3
Switch to heavier pics.

I use Jazz III pics and they have great attack on high speed picking.
#4
Quote by jsantos
Switch to heavier pics.

I use Jazz III pics and they have great attack on high speed picking.

Yep, Jazz III picks are the best for high speed picking.
#5
What's your amp like? That may be part of the problem.
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#6
Ok, this is when it gets frustrating being on the internet and not being able to sit down with you and see you play. But anyway, here come a bunch of (semi)intelligent guesses:
1) If the picking sounds too scratchy, two things to look at:
a) as the others mentioned, make sure you're pick isn't too light. I haven't used the Jazz III's though they are highly recommended. I use the green Dunlop's 0.088 gauge and love them. Basically, any pick which is heavy enough to not deform noticeably when it strikes the strings, will work.
b) examine your picking angle. If you are angling too much, things can get a bit scratchy.
2) Look at your picking technique in general. Make sure you are making small precise consistent movements. In particularly, look out for anything that is changing in your picking technique between 80 and 90 bpm where you start having the probs.
3) People sometimes over-estimate how much distortion is needed to get a heavy sound. Slayer, for one, on all their recent material, don't use a ridiculous amount at all.

Just a general note for playing clean - I found it really helpful to spend some of my practice time not plugged in at all. I found that if I can get all my notes sounding flowly and clean, and sounding like I'm playing with some authority unplugged, then it sounds that much better when I'm plugged in. You don't want to do too much of this because it can also hide some muting probs, but like I said, a certain amount helps.
#8
Quote by se012101

Just a general note for playing clean - I found it really helpful to spend some of my practice time not plugged in at all. I found that if I can get all my notes sounding flowly and clean, and sounding like I'm playing with some authority unplugged, then it sounds that much better when I'm plugged in. You don't want to do too much of this because it can also hide some muting probs, but like I said, a certain amount helps.



^^ awesome advice

be sure to practice alternate picking with a metronome.
#9
straighten your pick and use the first mm of the pick. Also I'd suggest maybe finding a copy of Troy Stetina's "Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar".
What he discusses in there is the amount of time you use to actually hit the string and the distance... etc etc.

What causes the noise is mostly the side of the pick and it staying too long on the string before you pluck it. Even though you may be in time and all the good things, the problem with that noise drove me nuts until i straightened my pick and used less of it.

The "Stylus Pick" also sheds a good light on how much pick to use.

Your sound gets tighter with a compressor.

The Dunlop picks are great, think the .88 is a green one, until i changed to Jazz 3's, at which point my speed doubled and my playing cleaned up immensely.

Hope this helps, enjoy and good luck.
#10
Thanks for the help everyone. I'm currently using the yellow Dunlop (.73) picks, which are fairly rigid and slippery, but after reading the replies in this thread I think I'll try and obtain some Jazz 3's.
A metal band?
Gear:
A Guitar with an LFR > Korg Pitchblack > Behringer EQ > Hardwire CM-2 Overdrive Boss SD-1 > Hardwire CR-7 Chorus>
Orange Tiny Terror >
LzR Engineering 212 cab

My other amp can run Crysis
#11
Hi gain pickup is essential. My new EMG81 active have unbelievable attack and clarity...it blew my mind compared to the stock pickups. Also much better harmonics and sustain.
#12
^Hmm, that's another thing I may have to consider then.
A metal band?
Gear:
A Guitar with an LFR > Korg Pitchblack > Behringer EQ > Hardwire CM-2 Overdrive Boss SD-1 > Hardwire CR-7 Chorus>
Orange Tiny Terror >
LzR Engineering 212 cab

My other amp can run Crysis
#13
yea, most of the great guitar sounds you discribe are using great pickups, people don't think they are as important as the amp, but they are SO important. It is like a bad mike through a good PA...bad! You will not regret it and it is simple to do.
#14
I think picking hard is a large part of it (seeing as se012101 has posted everything else) - so many people have weedy, undefined picking - which will obviously sound muddy and weak through distortion.
#15
Like Eric Johnson once said, the smallest stuff make the biggest difference.

Although he said this about his strat model, I believe he really meant much more about this. On one hand if you are a shredder and are aiming to shred with 0.13 gauge strings, then you are out of your mind. Small things like the right picks and the right strings might affect a lot of your playing. For example, I prefer really soft picks and 0.10 gauge for reggae style things where rhythmical playing is almost everything, but when I switch to play hard rock stuff or even some shred, I prefer 0.9 gauge strings and really thick picks (the Paul Gilbert model).
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#16
Quote by Pepefloydean
Like Eric Johnson once said, the smallest stuff make the biggest difference.

Although he said this about his strat model, I believe he really meant much more about this. On one hand if you are a shredder and are aiming to shred with 0.13 gauge strings, then you are out of your mind. Small things like the right picks and the right strings might affect a lot of your playing. For example, I prefer really soft picks and 0.10 gauge for reggae style things where rhythmical playing is almost everything, but when I switch to play hard rock stuff or even some shred, I prefer 0.9 gauge strings and really thick picks (the Paul Gilbert model).



U sure about that shredding with heavy strinngs? i play a lot of fast stuff with .12's and thats fine for me. though i am using D standard. and i also use the yellow dunlop picks.
Most jazz guitarists can shred and they use .13s.
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#17
i'm using 1.14 picks and still getting a lot of pick nose. ice pick as some call it.

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