2

Ive been facing some issues when recording with my Ibanez GRG 170DX. I noticed this recently, as I got a Scarlett Solo interface. When I record my guitar, the input volume from the lower E string is much more than the high E string. If I increase the input volume on the Solo, the parts with the low string starts clipping.

Because of the lower volume on the high strings, tapping and hammer on and pull offs don't sound clear.

I read in some places that it could be because the pickups need to be remagnetized. I haven't changed my strings in a few months, so could that also be a cause?

PS: My guitar is around 6 years old.

Edit: I checked Reaper, and even tried Audacity, this issue persists on both of them. I even plugged in my guitar to my Zoom G3X processor and the issue exists here as well, so the issue is probably with my guitar and not my interface.

Update: I changed my strings to a new set, theres a lesser difference now, but its still there, if Im picking with the same force, the low E string gives a -12dB output but the high E string gives -18dB output.

  • Do you experience anything like this behavior through an amp? – Yorik Feb 14 '18 at 18:38
  • Also, is the instrument gain knob at Unity Gain (probably at around 12 o'clock position)? If not, set it to unity and then try to attenuate using Reaper – Yorik Feb 14 '18 at 18:53
  • @Yorik when my effects like distortion are turned off this, I observe this behaviour. I checked even with my processor, the same issue is there. When I add any effects with compression it isn't very noticeable, but I won't to fix the problem and not do a workaround. – Arjun Balgovind Feb 18 '18 at 9:20
  • Regarding my second comment, this is not a workaround, this is how you chain devices. Unity gain would leave the signal untouched, which is what you want. Regarding the first, again, do you have this problem through a normal amp? – Yorik Feb 20 '18 at 15:32
  • @Yorik yeah the issue was there if set on the clean channel on the amp. On distortion it wasn't noticeable probably because the signal is highly compressed. I solved the issue, I've explained my solution in the accepted answer – Arjun Balgovind Feb 22 '18 at 16:50
5

This is almost certainly not anything to do with pickups needing remagnetising - that is a very rare thing, especially these days.

There are two far more likely causes that you can quickly check and fix:

  1. It is almost certainly something in your recording chain rolling off a lot of your treble response, so check every component carefully. This includes tone pots inside your guitar. When you turn your tone control fully one way then fully the other sites anything change? If not, the tone pot is faulty. Does anything different happen with all pickup selector positions?

  2. Pickup distance to strings - this is far less likely, but easy to check and amend. Is the treble end of your pickup much further away from the strings? Turn the screw to raise it up. This will make a difference, but possibly not as much as you describe.

Even if you can't find a cause, you could add a bit of treble boost to cure the problem.

  • My recording chain is my guitar->Scarlett Solo->Reaper. So I don't think the issue is with that. Ill check the pickup selector positions and the tone pot and see if it changes. – Arjun Balgovind Feb 4 '18 at 14:09
  • Well worth checking all your settings in Reaper as well. It's very easy to drop in an eq rolloff by accident. – Doktor Mayhem Feb 4 '18 at 14:32
  • The volume issue was on the raw input without any track fx – Arjun Balgovind Feb 4 '18 at 17:01
  • The height of the pickup can make a big difference, depending on the type of pickup. A mm or two of height on the treble side can increase the volume quite a bit. I often have to adjust pickup height to get an even volume across the strings on new guitar setups. – Alphonso Balvenie Feb 13 '18 at 20:11
  • I checked Reaper, and even tried Audacity, this issue persists on both of them. I even plugged in my guitar to my Zoom G3X processor and the issue exists here as well, so it is probably with my guitar and not my recording chain. How can I adjust the pickup distance? My guitar has the factory Ibanez Infinity pickups, so Im not sure if its adjustable. As someone suggested in another answer, the issue may be with my strings cause some are from a different set. I'll see if changing them fixes the issue. – Arjun Balgovind Feb 17 '18 at 20:09
3

I fixed my issue, thought I would post my solution here in case anyone faces a similar issue. Thanks everyone for the suggestions, some of them helped. I made two main changes:

  1. I changed my strings to a new set because earlier it was a mix of different string gauges.

  2. I found that my action adjustment on my bridge was a bit higher on the High E string side than the Low E string side. This probably caused the strings to be far away from the pickups, so the volume was less. After lowering this and checking the volume I found it to be back to normal.

Initially I didn't suspect it was a pickup distance issue as my pickup height is not adjustable. Turns out the bridge height was, which is what caused the issue.

Thanks for the help!

  • Your pickup height is adjustable. It is the mounting screws that hold the pickups in the brackets., the middle ones in between the four corner screws. For the single coil, it is just the mounting screws that adjust the height. – Alphonso Balvenie Feb 18 '18 at 20:33
1

To add some potential solutions:

  1. You can try getting a compressor (between guitar and recording device) to even out the levels from different string volumes. Keep in mind that this could change the tone, which might not be a bad thing. Doesn't cure the problem at its source but I'd say this is a common work around.

  2. Could be string gauge. Especially if you have a mixed set of lighter gauge strings with heavier bottom strings. But I would assume that you know what strings you're using. See: How does string gauge affect a guitar's sound and playability? If you do change the gauge of the strings I recommend getting it set up because it would affect the tension on the neck (therefore string height, potentially leading to playability issues).

Hope that helps! Best of luck

  • I have this exact problem due to heavy gauge flat wound strings on the low end. In an amplifier, the signals are compressed and eq'ed to balance the response, but recorded raw the difference in output is revealed. EQ and banded compression are a great solution for recording DI guitar. – Alex Y Feb 16 '18 at 18:13
  • @AlexY I think this may be the problem I'm facing, because some of my strings are from different sets. Ill change to a fresh set soon and see if it fixes the problem. – Arjun Balgovind Feb 17 '18 at 19:54
  • @RogerWang, when I add any FX the problem isn't noticeable, its only prominent in the raw tracks. That does affect the tone in case of tapping cause it sounds like the tapping parts have been boosted and its got a bit too much of distortion. Ill try to change my strings and see if it fixes the problem – Arjun Balgovind Feb 17 '18 at 19:56
  • I changed my strings to a new set, theres a lesser difference now, but its still there, if Im picking with the same force, the low E string gives a -12dB output but the high E string gives -18dB output. Is it natural for this to happen? – Arjun Balgovind Feb 18 '18 at 14:21
0

Highly doubt it's the remagnetized thing. It could be:

(a) The distance between the strings and the pickup is too much/too little, in which case you could try adjusting the pickups.

(b) You're using pedals/software that, for whatever reason, is artificially amplifying the bass (though I'm certain you would've realised this by now if that were the case).

As someone else stated, you could probably get away with countering this by using a Treble Boost, unless the discrepancy in volume is big.

0

Guitar pick-ups do not all sound the same, some are bright, some are not so much. Add to that, the weight of the strings,(heavier strings generate more signal) the distance between the strings and the pick-ups, and even the place where the string is picked, (noticeably brighter close to the nut). All this needs to be balanced out in order to achieve an even response. Another possibility is a defective pick-up which would require replacement. Also might be a good idea to check the capacitor in the tone circuit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.