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What frequency range is the "pick sound" in?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Hello TBers,

    Just curious. I've started playing with my fingernails, which gives a very pick-like sound. Although the sound is great for a lot of things, sometimes I'll be playing a classic bassline that was played with fingers and it just doesn't capture the same tone/mood. I can angle my fingers differently and play with the flesh, but I'm also just curious as to what frequency range that unique sound comes in so that I can EQ it out of certain songs.

    I'm guessing the upper-mid range, but would boosting the low-mids or something help out as well?



    Edit to add: I've tried rolling down my tone knob, and it helps but not fully, so I'm looking for something else. Thanks.
  2. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'm betting the bright attack that to me defines the pick sound is in the same range as the kick drum impact, so it would be in the 2KHz - 4KHz range, fairly high up, actually.

  3. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    An engineer I know and respect puts it in the 5kHz range.... "string click" he calls it.
  4. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I personally think pick sound has more to do with the attack of the note instead of the EQ. If you want a pick sound with your fingers try playing with the very tip of you finger (you can also try growing your fingernails to use as makeshift picks) and put a little more power into your plucks.
  5. its eq and an altered timbre altogether. just like drums with mallets, brushes or sticks
  6. Thanks everyone for posting. I do agree that using a pick changes the attack, the timbre, the sustain, and the delay of the note, but I did mean the "string click" as Avvie puts it... the initial high-pitched click sound associated with the attack.

    I did suspect it was in the upper mid range, but I guess it's a little higher than that. I will experiment a bit. Thanks again
  7. Thinner picks produce higher frequency clicks, thicker picks and hollow body basses are more all across the frequency spectrum. A multiband compressor with a very, very short attack and short release could help, but probably not. If you use heavier picks, then a standard compressor may help, but again, the attack has to be very very fast, and have a very short release. It'll probably sound OK in the mix, but it'll sound weird if you have a breakdown or when you solo the track.
  8. Demon_Hunter


    Jun 8, 2008
    What do you do when you break a fingernail?
  9. LOL, I'm just hoping that day never comes, that's my only worry regarding this technique, but other than that it is the best technique I've found for me. I keep my nails at 3/32" which I hope is short enough to keep that from happening.

    If it does, then it's back to the drawing board I guess. I'd first try finger picks, then maybe try it with flesh only, though I had little success with that before.

    I have been considering applying superglue to them to help stiffen them up.

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