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"Swishy" noise?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by IAmTheWalrus, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. I honestly didn't know where to put this, or even what to search for. So if this has been asked before please direct me to the thread. Or if this is in the wrong section mods, please move it to where it should belong. Thank you

    Basically all this week I've been messing around with my amp's eq settings because I wasn't enjoying the tone I was getting. Well today I finally found a setting that I really like. The thing is (there always seems to be a catch right?) I can hear my fingers moving up and down the fret board and strings, and it makes this really annoying "swishy" noise

    Now I've heard this noise before I changed my eq, but it was only when I played up higher, maybe fret 13 and up, and I only play that high on maybe one or two songs so I decided not to worry about it just for two songs. But since I found the tone I like I hear the swishing literally any time I have to change position on the neck

    So my question is: does anybody know how to fix this? Is it just a matter of me not picking my fingers up enough? I would think I would have heard this noise the entire time I've been playing then. Or is it that it's been there the whole time, but changing my eq made it more noticeable?

    Sorry if the post is long, I felt like I couldn't ask the question properly without context
  2. Bump?
  3. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Your post should have been longer, not shorter. We need to know:

    1. You changed your EQ. Please detail the frequency ranges you bumped and those you dropped.

    2. Do you use roundwounds or flatwounds (or halfrounds)?
  4. Is the "swishing" when you rub the strings?
  5. Yeah, that probably would have been useful information lol My bad

    1. I have four knobs (low, lo-mid, hi-mid, high) with "flat" being all at the 12 o'clock position. My low knobs is turned almost all the way down, somewhere between 8 and 9 o'clock, high knob is at about 10 o'clock, and both mids are set to 3 o'clock. I also have a "notch" knob that I ended up setting to about 4 o'clock as that seemed to keep higher notes from being ridiculously loud

    2. I use roundwound strings. They're GHS bassics if that also has any effect

    By "rub the strings" do you mean "move up and down the neck while playing"? If so then yes. I thought it might just be from me not picking my fingers up enough, but like I said in my first post I never heard the "swishing" before I changed the eq outside of two songs where I play up higher. So I have no idea
  6. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Classic string noise from rounds with an EQ setting that is boosting the mids. I must say, that's seems to be a fairly uncommon EQ setting (and I dig mids!). You really like the mids and you're going to get string noise from that sort of setting. With rounds especially. Flats reduce string noise substantially, but with those settings, I would think that evens flats will give some small level of noise. Normally, EQ settings compliment each other without large gaps from frequency to frequency. You might benefit from a graphic band EQ (20 bands or so) where you could ID the offending frequencies while bumping those left and right of the most offensive ones for this issue.
  7. Well I wanted an "aggressive" sound that wasn't necessarily "heavy". I found by taking out a lot of my low and boosting the mids I get that sound (to me anyway). I could tolerate a little bit of the finger noise, but as it is now it's pretty ridiculous. If I'm playing something even a little "busy" it's almost all "shwish, shwish, shwing". New strings would be more likely to happen than a new eq/amp so if flats would reduce this problem then I might look into those, but aren't flats more for "thump" and low end?
  8. I mean like, put your finger on your E and move it to the nut. Does it sound like that? And I believe this noise you're getting is from boosting treble too much.
  9. Yes it's like that. So would turning my high knob back a little more make it at least manageable?
  10. I played around for a bit just now: I tried turning my high knob down some, but I honestly didn't hear any difference (in either tone or swishing) so I just turned it to zero and left it. I played a few riffs and stuff, the more I played them the less I noticed the swishing. I dunno if I just started to get used to it and focus more on the notes, or if I was doing something differently that reduced the problem. I guess I'll just make sure I'm really playing my parts as best as I can and not worry about it much. Until someone else points it out anyway. But now I know possible routes to take if the issue needs addressing again down the road. Thanks for the help guys!
  11. Yeah, you could buy an EQ pedal (they're around $100) and that could help your problem, too.
  12. parmezans


    Nov 25, 2011
    It might be annoying solo, but it gets lost in the mix when you play with other people.
    Don't worry, you'll get used to it.
  13. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
  14. Good point. I haven't had practice with my band yet and was kinda worried it would make everything sound weird. Thank you for this :bassist:
  15. Yeah, what he said works. Also, you could boost your low mids and bass. But as I said, if you want more control, buy an EQ pedal or get a new amp (When the time is right) with one built in.
  16. Depending on how noticeable it is in a band setting, I may look into that too

    Thanks everyone on the input!
  17. Turning high mids down will reduce that, turning treble down will reduce its "signature" and make it a little less harsh.

    I've also been working on cleaner playing and more even tone across all strings (previously my B string had been weak). To learn around this, I pushed the volume up as much as I could without clipping the onboard pre amp. Then you just focus on playing quieter with less noise and with even volume across all strings. Once the volume reaches a certain point, the string noise becomes so loud and high pitched that it's physically painful, and your body learns real fast to stop making the associated noises.

    I disagree that it will be lost in the mix. Most of it will be, but if you have the trebles and high mids up high like I'm imaging (like I did for a while to get an aggressive sound) then you could very well still hear the highest, most annoying frequencies in a band setting.
  18. If you have the money, shoot for the Whirlwind 10-band EQ. It's my favorite, I just don't have the money.
    It's $200. But IMO, get more bands. It's easier to get your tone.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bass is a little noisy. So what? No matter what you do, you're always going to have a little. Try to minimize what you can and don't worry about the rest.

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