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Old 06-22-2024, 02:12 PM
tdlwhite tdlwhite is offline
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Default Removing pick chirp with iZotope plugin

I've had a few recordings in the past where pick noise/chirp has really annoyed me -- once I key in on it when listening, I can't un-hear it!

While practicing a Molly Tuttle picking pattern (from White Freightliner), I was hearing a bunch of pick noise, so I did a quick recording to see if I could use iZotope RX 8 De-Click plugin to kill it. (it's an old version of the plugin from a few years ago, but I've been using it on voice stuff and it works well).

Here's the recording with me cutting between full audio, de-clicked, and clicks only:



Funnily enough, the pick noise wasn't bad in this recording -- not one of the annoying ear-catchy pick chirps. the De-Click plugin does remove clicks, and it doesn't mess up the sound BUT - for this track, I wouldn't bother with it.

Future tracks, if they've got a nasty chirp, might get the de-click treatment though...

Tom
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Old 06-22-2024, 06:40 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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It's even easier to run a Chap Stick along the pick edge before hitting the red button!
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Old 06-22-2024, 10:34 PM
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Yes, the Chap Stick works with a pick. Also, if you don't mind changing your strings just a tad sooner, there's Music Nomad String Fuel. It helps my fingers glide on the strings. Not the exact OP situation, but just as much of a noise producer.

When I recently sat with a local mastering engineer who was about to master my song, there was a moment when he asked in passing if I wanted him to take out some string squeaks. But the moment passed, and morphed into another part of the song, and the squeaks were forgotten. They remain in the song. I've grown to like them.

I assume he was going to work some kind of iZotope magic. I wonder how that works?
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Last edited by b1j; 06-22-2024 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 06-23-2024, 10:31 AM
tdlwhite tdlwhite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
It's even easier to run a Chap Stick along the pick edge before hitting the red button!
But I can't do that retroactively! I'm sure I have some recordings where the pick chirp drove me crazy, and I *could* go back and de-click them. (I won't!)

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Originally Posted by b1j View Post
...It helps my fingers glide on the strings. Not the exact OP situation, but just as much of a noise producer.

When I recently sat with a local mastering engineer who ... I've grown to like them.

I assume he was going to work some kind of iZotope magic. I wonder how that works?
Yeah, string squeak is a different annoyance - I find some brands of string easier to stomach (so I just leave it when it happens, although I'll adjust my playing if there's a particularly egregious part with squeaks).

I figure iZotope (and others) just kill frequencies with some adjustment for attack/decay like a compressor. There might be some more mathematical magic going on though!
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Old 06-23-2024, 07:47 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdlwhite View Post

I figure iZotope (and others) just kill frequencies with some adjustment for attack/decay like a compressor. There might be some more mathematical magic going on though!
Spectral editing. A bit like the way you can have photoshop remove an item in a photo and fill in the gaps with stuff it finds in the surrounding area.

Here's a demo I did for Acoustic Guitar quite a few years ago when the plugin first came out. I show the plugin first, which I find to work in simple cases - but sometimes it either isn't enough or does some damage. But then I show the more serious way to remove noises in the spectral editor:



I definitely agree the best solution is to avoid making the noises in the first place, but if needed, iZotope can *usually* clean them up with little or no audible trace.
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Old 06-24-2024, 06:07 AM
Eastbound Eastbound is offline
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I will normally use a fast attack/release compressor to beat that pick transient down some. I tweak the attack setting to minimize the transient

Also use Soothe 2 to help with this, which is also good to smooth out acoustic guitar across the entire frequency band
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Old 06-24-2024, 01:14 PM
tdlwhite tdlwhite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Spectral editing. ...

Here's a demo I did for Acoustic Guitar quite a few years ago when the plugin first came out...
I definitely agree the best solution is to avoid making the noises in the first place, but if needed, iZotope can *usually* clean them up with little or no audible trace.
Thanks for the info and video, Doug! I usually find that 'serious' de-noising comes at the cost of quality (and can add weird artefacts too). I want my process/chain to be as simple as possible, so an easy plugin that can just neaten things up without degrading is a plus.

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Originally Posted by Eastbound View Post
I will normally use a fast attack/release compressor to beat that pick transient down some. I tweak the attack setting to minimize the transient

Also use Soothe 2 to help with this, which is also good to smooth out acoustic guitar across the entire frequency band
I haven't heard of Soothe - thx for the info. I'm always fast attack on the compressor, and there was a really light amount of compression on that recording, so perhaps that helped a little too!
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Old 06-24-2024, 02:25 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdlwhite View Post
Thanks for the info and video, Doug! I usually find that 'serious' de-noising comes at the cost of quality (and can add weird artefacts too). I want my process/chain to be as simple as possible, so an easy plugin that can just neaten things up without degrading is a plus.



I haven't heard of Soothe - thx for the info. I'm always fast attack on the compressor, and there was a really light amount of compression on that recording, so perhaps that helped a little too!
Almost half of my time is spent in audio post & I've done a ton of audio cleanup over the past decades. It seems production sound just gets worse & worse...don't get me started ;-) Luckily the tools keep getting better. Here are some thoughts:

A compressor has the real potential to make it worse unless it's *really* fast...like 1176/525 kind of fast (micro seconds...not milliseconds). But, you'll hear it because it will also change the slope of your note attack, as it is inherently tied to the pick attack.

Soothe might help, but in my experience with these types of things, it's not the right tool. By the time you dial in enough you'll be very aware of the haze it casts on the sound. Soothe tends to work in little doses, but once you push it to even moderate levels it is very noticeable (at least to my ears).

The surefire way to get this with the least damage to the rest of the audio is a spectral editor, like RX or Spectral Layers. Those have the advantage of working on a very limited area of the audio, leaving the majority of what you played untouched.

One other trick I've used on very transient material that needed taming is a Transient Designer/Shaper. You can use one to reduce the initial transient of the attack. It's worth a try if you have Transient Designer type plugin in your arsenal. That said, I think you're going to need a spectral editor if you want to preserve as much of the fidelity as possible.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2024, 02:57 PM
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Full audio sounded best. Some liveness and air lost in the de-clicked audio. I listen online via a high end DA converter and headphones where this is noticeable.
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Old 06-24-2024, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdlwhite View Post
Thanks for the info and video, Doug! I usually find that 'serious' de-noising comes at the cost of quality (and can add weird artefacts too). I want my process/chain to be as simple as possible, so an easy plugin that can just neaten things up without degrading is a plus.
The plugin is definitely easiest. In my experience, the plugin is more likely to be audible in its working, while the manual process, because it's so configurable, with multiple algorithms to choose from is less likely to cause audible artifacts, if you find the right setting - which can take time and experimentation for each individual case. But it all depends. Some noises just can't be cleaned up without leaving traces behind. Always better to avoid them in the 1st place when possible!
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