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  #1  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:38 PM
gmel555 gmel555 is offline
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Default "Rustling" Noise from Satin Finishes When Recording?

I had a mini acoustic e-bass that I tried to use for recording using both a microphone and DI with the installed under-saddle pickup. This guitar had a satin finish and I found that every arm movement rubbing over the satin finish produced a "rustling" noise prominently recorded through the pickup channel. I have used this same recording technique on other 6-string acoustic guitars with gloss finishes and have no issue with noise produced by arm movement over the guitar surface. Was this an isolated instance or will most satin finished acoustic guitars produce a similar noise when recording using an under-saddle or other internal-type pickup? Thx
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:52 PM
3notes 3notes is offline
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They all will do that. They're noisey. I know. Been there. But, there's hope....

Now that you know, you can work on being silent with your guitar. I'm an amateur and I overcame the issue by being aware of the issue.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:19 PM
semolinapilcher semolinapilcher is offline
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Yes, it’s a thing. Not the end of the world but I can corroborate first-hand.

That said, a gloss top and satin back/sides is a fantastic combination. The ovangkol on my 415 looks fantastic 18 years later after steady gigging and churching.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:28 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Not to be a contrarian, but the trouble Iíve had with satin finishes creating noise hasnít been with the finish itself, but with the clear satin pickguards that both Larrivee and the Tacoma Guitar Company used with their satin finish guitars back in the 1990ís.

I owned several satin finish examples of both brands back then, and still have one of each.

I dislike clear pickguards anyway, because they remind me of the clear vinyl furniture covers I sometimes had to sit on and absolutely loathed as a child. So whenever I acquire any guitar with a clear pickguard, itís the very first thing I change, even before I put fresh strings on the instrument.

So those pickguards were going to go away, regardless. No court of appeal: Iím unflinching in my adamant hatred of clear pickguards (I donít hate them on other peopleís guitars, but itís pointless trying to convince me to keep one on any of my instruments.). With the six or seven satin finish guitars that passed through my hands, as soon as I replaced those factory stock pebble grain clear pickguards with Martin-style black or tortoise pickguards, the noise problem went away.

But while the original satin pickguards remained on there, the noise they generated when I played was both audible and annoying.

So I would recommend that you consider that aspect before jettisoning your satin finish guitar; the problem might not stem from the finish itself, but from the pickguard.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:51 AM
jaycal jaycal is offline
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Sold a satin guitar partially because of this
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:04 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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I'm a recording engineer/producer. The guitar I keep around the studio is a seventeen-year-old Taylor 300 series with satin back and sides. I mic it with some pretty sensitive mics and a really quiet atmosphere. I've found that the big deal is choosing and adjusting my clothing. I don't have as much problem with skin-to-guitar as I do with clothing.

Of course, your mileage may vary state to state.

Bob
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:15 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
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I bought a Larrivee 40 model a couple years ago.. All satin. First thing I noticed was the noise.. The finish was like sand paper with little tiny "pebbles".. Nearly impossible to record with headphones..

I researched the subject (on several different forums) and figured out how to de-satin-ize the back and sides. Using light wet sand and then Virtuoso guitar polish. It worked amazing.. took me like 8 hours!

I ended up selling the guitar (for other reasons).. But will not buy satin bodied anymore. I'll pay extra for properly finished guitars.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:16 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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You might want to try a little more wrist bend in your right (non-neck) wrist - so the fingers hang almost straight down toward the floor. This is a pretty small instrument and I'll bet you can play it most of the time without moving your right arm at all.

Unless you're using a pick, then definitely don't try this.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:20 AM
robj144 robj144 is offline
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Why not just lose the under saddle pickup for this guitar?
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:07 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robj144 View Post
Why not just lose the under saddle pickup for this guitar?
That's far too sensible
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:05 AM
gmel555 gmel555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robj144 View Post
Why not just lose the under saddle pickup for this guitar?
Using the combination of mic and DI gives me the particular tone/effect Iím looking for. So no.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:09 AM
gmel555 gmel555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
That's far too sensible
Using the combination of mic and DI gives me the particular tone/effect Iím looking for. So no, and I need the pickup at other times. Is that sensible?
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:10 AM
muscmp muscmp is offline
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i lift my arm so that it doesn't brush against the body of the guitar.

play music!
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:13 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Rolling up the sleeve on my right arm works for me.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:18 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I've had noise when recording my satin finished Taylor 414, no matter how soft the clothing I was wearing (well worn cotton t-shirt) or how still I tried to remain What worked for me was to drape a clean chamois over the top of the lower bout and back, between me and the guitar. No noise then.
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