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Excessive popping when recording

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by whocares2021, May 13, 2010.


  1. whocares2021

    whocares2021

    Dec 3, 2009
    So, my band has recently begun recording our songs for use in a demo. However, I've noticed that my tracks have a lot of popping sounds. I'm trying to figure out exactly why this is so I can fix it. I'm not sure if it's an equipment or technique problem.

    Some facts: I use my fingers to play. I don't feel like I'm hitting the string too hard, but it's hard to say for certain, as I've been playing this way for 6 years or so. I'm the only one using direct output, everyone else is using room mics for their tracks. I'm using a Hartke vx3500, and a fender precision bass.

    My settings for the amp are: Tube around 6.5, Solid around 3.5, compression around 3. EQ starts off maxed for the highs and slowly sloping down to the minimum on the lows. Low pass around 1, high pass maxed. volume around 5. I use Ernie Ball super slinky strings, and I tune down 3 steps on every string. All of these settings have been found through trial and error, trying to dial it in for maximum cut (my band has 2 guitarists, and I can get lost in the mix).

    Sorry for the huge amount of probably useless info, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible to get this problem fixed.
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    are you plucking the strings up towards the ceiling or sideways towards the body of the bass and pickup? the latter can cause a pop sound as can plucking "pop" style sideways away from the bass.

    if it's not technique, then i would look into the recording forums for a possible culprit (of which there can be many)
     
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    oh yeah, lose the EQ. rather than use the hartke use a good direct box or plug into one of the mike preamps at the studio. trust me.
     
  4. strozey

    strozey

    Jul 16, 2008
    California
    Endorsing Artist: John Jameson & Sons
    how low is the action on your bass? I had the same problem when I was in the studio, and rather than adjust the action on my bass, I got lucky that the guy let me use a pretty sweet 77 Gibson RD artist which had real high action but no pops
     
  5. whocares2021

    whocares2021

    Dec 3, 2009
    Thanks for the replies.

    Technique wise I think I'm ok. I have a fairly light touch and I tend to pull upwards towards the ceilings. However, during faster/more complicated bits I can't be certain that is still the case, and that is admittedly where the problem tends to crop up the most. The action on my bass is medium to high. However, I recently had my bass looked at, and I noticed when I got it back the pickups were a bit higher than before. I'm thinking that the high pickups, combined with the fact that I use really light strings at such a low tuning, might be the culprit. I'll try some adjustments the next time I'm down there.
     
  6. donut

    donut

    Jan 27, 2004
    UK
    The strings might be hitting the poles of the pickup. I've had that before. Combination of lowering the pickup a touch and not digging in so much fixed it for me.
     
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    that could be it. you may not have to lower the pickup if you go with tighter strings and soften your attack somewhat (unless that is part of your sound)
     
  8. What you describe is the sound of string to magnet contact. Try a bit of tape on top of your pickups, masking tape works fine, I keep a roll in my recording kit just in case.
     
  9. mpm32

    mpm32

    Jan 23, 2009
    Or, do you anchor your thumb on a pickup? I do sometimes and when I play my thumb moves the pickup sometimes and you can hear it moving.
     
  10. DeluxeRed

    DeluxeRed

    Jun 2, 2009
    If you are recording to a DAW, a lack of CPU power can cause popping during recording and playback. Kill off any plugins or other programs and free-up as much processing headroom as possible, or limit the number of simultaneous tracks
     
  11. Calebmundy

    Calebmundy

    Apr 5, 2007
    Nashville
    Look into your diet and consult your doctor man. That sounds very unpleasant.
     
  12. Tricia

    Tricia

    May 13, 2010
    NH-USA
    I've been getting pops and clicks while recording lately too. I think it might be some kind of electrical interference.

    I moved my interface away from my preamp a little, and switched to a better cable. That seems to have helped.
     
  13. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    What type of recording device are you using?

    In some cases, clicks or pops will be recorded if recording to a digital device that is being used in combination with another digital device and the two devices are out of sync. In cases like this, you can solve the problem by slaving one digital device to the other device's digital clock.

    Other causes of pops or clicks can often have a characteristic sound and it may be possible to identify the culprit by posting a clip to the forum and have others listen to the noise.
     

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