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Author Topic: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?  (Read 6113 times)

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shawnb

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Major discovery today, thought I'd share...

So I've been playing (er... trying to play...) "Footprints" using a sax sound on my GR55, and having far, far more glitches & "mousie death squeals" than normal.   Frustrating, because I thought my setup has been great for a while.   Getting angry, I started flailing/fretting, trying to force it to happen consistently...   

Then I noticed a pattern, the squeals were dependent on how I picked the string, a very particular way...   Mainly on the high B and E, rarely on the other strings.   Messed around some more & found that if I 'bowed' the top 1/4" of the pick across the strings, I could reproduce the squeal like a madman...   

Inspected the pick, it was slightly old & slightly rough at the tip...   

I got a new pick.   It was like getting a new GR55...   

The state of your PICK makes all the difference in the world...    :o

I went through my bag & tried a few picks, and I could NOT get the squeals with my hard, smooth, V-pick... 
http://v-picks.com/

I used to think they were overpriced & bought a couple just to experiment, but now I'm thinking they may be a perfect match for the GR55...

Having issues?   Try a new pick.   Still having issues - I have DRAMATICALLY different results with a V-Pick.   
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 12:26:45 PM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 04:04:18 PM »

Quote
Inspected the pick, it was slightly old & slightly rough at the tip...   

I got a new pick.   It was like getting a new GR55...   
Having issues?   Try a new pick.   Still having issues - I have DRAMATICALLY different results with a V-Pick. 
Great Post! Totally agree!!

Also String type makes a big difference too
Pure round wound strings (like 90% of typical electric guitar strings) have ridges which will be a constant battle for taming mis triggers on GR-55.


Daddario Chromes Flatwound strings yield lowest left fretting hand noise, thus solving Piano mistriggers.

Polished round wound have the next lowest left fretting hand noise, like GHS GUS series,
Fender Bullet Pure Nickel are also polished round wound.

read GR-55 Top Things to Know thread
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=4006.0
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 07:20:01 AM by Elantric »
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ddlooping

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 04:07:24 PM »

Thanks for the info, Shawn. :)
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aliensporebomb

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 04:16:24 PM »

Not just with a GR-55 but with a VG-99 guitar to midi converter as well:  I found that the the Dunlop Jazz III is my usual go-to pick but the ULTEX Jazz III is stiffer by a good bit and seems to have a more consistent effect when performing guitar-to-midi.  Just a thought for those that might already have these lying around.
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kenact

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mbenigni

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 08:15:34 AM »

I came to the same realization a couple of weeks ago.  It became extremely obvious when I was trying to play drum kit pattens with the GR55.  If I fingerpicked them, they were fairly reliable, but if I used a hybrid picking technique, with pick on the 6th string, completely different drums would be voiced.  It's pretty clear then, that the GR is reading different notes on account of higher-order overtones coming off the string when picked.

I use triangle picks with sharp points that pull a lot of highs off the string, which can't be helping, and after all these years I'm not about to change that for the majority of my playing.  But it's looking like I might need to switch to fingerpicking, or even a different pick suited to specific parts.  Kind of a hassle.  I think all of this indicates that performance could have been improved with a little bit of low-pass filtering on the string signals prior to their being fed into the circuit/logic that converts to MIDI notes.

But yes, if you are going to use a pick, making sure the business end has a clean edge is definitely going to help.  I'm wondering about different materials e.g. felt picks etc that might damp out some of the high-order harmonics.  Not that I'm looking forward to juggling a variety of picks, but... whatever works, right?
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mbenigni

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 08:16:17 AM »

P.S. This thread might do more good in the discussion forum vs. the reference library forum.
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Elantric

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 10:03:30 AM »

I feel if this IMPORTANT thread were left in the GR-55 Discussion area, in three months it would be buried and forgotten among the 460 other existing threads in GR-55 Discussion area.

EDIT: its been moved to the "TUTORIALS" area  -since this impacts any Guitar to MIDI converter.
My philosophy is the "Reference" areas here at VGuitarForums should be the "Go To" Areas to learn important  Essential  / Crucial techniques and operational concepts.
We can continue to discuss ANY Topic in Any thread - Even all threads in the "Reference" areas.

Carry on.   
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 06:55:24 PM by Elantric »
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mbenigni

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 11:08:48 AM »

Sorry, posted that before I noticed you'd intentionally moved it.  I guess I misinterpreted the distinction between the two forums.  No biggie.
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TommyJay

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 11:34:40 AM »

Good to know many thanks shawnb   ;)
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Elantric

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 04:34:00 PM »

Quote
Is your PICK giving you ghost notes?

I find it interesting that other MIDI guitar forums have "banned" this important topic. 

I re-posted ShawnB's important observation about  Pick  / Plectrum type  / Fingernail rough edges  giving you ghost notes on Guitar to MIDI Conversion on the Yahoo MIDI Guitar Page, and the mod over there deleted my posts.

I guess they prefer trolling the You Rock Guitar over there
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 06:58:46 PM by Elantric »
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shawnb

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 10:09:14 PM »

I can't get over how big a difference it made. 

I'm also further appreciating how much picking TECHNIQUE affects this as well, notably:
  • Playing closer to the bridge reduces squeals, where playing closer to/over the fretboard makes MANY more squeals.
  • Pick angle makes a big difference.  Parallel to the string is best, because an angled pick 'scrapes' the string a bit increasing the likelihood of ghost notes (even with a new pick).
  • No pinch harmonics!  Keep that thumb well away from the picked string so there is NO incidental contact.
After watching a great video on YouTube, I spent a lot of time over the last year learning to angle my pick to get a good growl when I pick notes.  It's my normal manner of playing now...   I have to unlearn that on the GR55 & try to play as plainly as possible. 

Our pick & picking technique both do many nifty things to our strings & our sounds that make perfect sense to our ears when heard through an amp.  It's easy to forget how much of that character is actually the pick interacting with the string, as opposed to the string vibrating freely & cleanly.   All that character we painstakingly learned over the years is probably driving the GR-55's note conversion logic nuts.   

If you're doing something that consistently gets squeals & squawks from your GR-55, I suggest trying that EXACT same technique straight to a clean amp with no distortion or processing & listen & you'll see what I mean.  If you can "hear" your pick or special picking technique through your clean amp, that will turn into squeals for many voices on your GR-55.  What you want to hear through your clean amp is very, very dull simple clean notes. 

Picking techniques that add character to our playing is second nature to most of us now; we don't even realize we're doing it.   

After all the serious negative reviews I've read, where folks said it was unusable & returned the GR-55, I wonder how many were actually due to 25-cent picks or an angular 'metal' picking technique... 

Shawn
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Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

audiotrax

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 01:51:51 PM »

I use heavy flatwound strings on my GK Strat.  I tried a ton of different picks and found out each kind really gives a different response for pitch to MIDI playing.  Here's what I landed on as my favorite:  A copper Ice Pick.  My GI-10 loves these!  It evens out the dullness from the the flat wounds, but gives the attack that little extra bite that the detection circuit is hungry for.  Perfect balance between thick, low noise strings and a clean attack.  Doesn't create false harmonics from normal picking, unless you want to deliberatley pinch-pick. Ice Picks sound really good too. I love them on my acoustics.  They don't sound or feel the way you think they would.  Musicians Freind has them for cheap, and they never get rough edges or split.  THIS IS NOT A SALES AD FROM A MANUFACTURER  ::)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 01:56:49 PM by audiotrax »
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ajgr

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2012, 02:15:56 PM »

Just came back from the store where I bought a year's supply of picks when I saw this post, so here's my 2├žs :) The picks are thin .5mm hard plastic with a little rubber grip in the middle. The tip wears off after a couple of weeks, so they need replacing. Generally I came to find that thin picks produce a sharper attack and more reliable triggering. This is especially true on nylon strings where they mimic fingernails better, but also on regular steel .9s. For myself I find that most squealing is caused by inadvertently triggered open strings (mostly B and G). Different patches reflect this differently - squeals on sax and practically nothing on piano. It also drives Ableton's MIDI buffer into the red ; ) I found that Lead 02-2 Flute patch (gr-55) is great for actually hearing which strings ring out. That makes it easier to practice dampening unwanted strings and legato phrasing.
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steve15366

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 01:22:35 PM »

very interesting i shall try these idea's out ;)
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BasV

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2012, 05:42:31 AM »

I don't use a pick, cause I play Stick (haha, that ryhms)
I wonder what impact tapping style has. I mostly use cosm on the gr55. Playing through clean amp when having squeels is a very good tip to figure out what's causing them, thanks :-)


Cheers,
Bas
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myksara

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2012, 10:06:46 AM »

great to know that V-Picks are worth something!! :) I had also purchase a few v picks to try them..thought they were just a hype..especially bcoz I am so used to the dunlop 2mm small stubbys(jazz 3 size)..Will try and find those and give it a try

Has anyone tried DAVA picks? ANy worth or just a hype?
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OldShepster

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2012, 01:46:31 PM »

Never occured to me!!!  Great information to have.

Thanks,
Shep
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jwhitcomb3

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2012, 05:56:32 AM »

Has anyone tried DAVA picks? ANy worth or just a hype?
I've been using Dava picks almost exclusively for at least 10 years. I've tried the various types, but generally just use the original blue nylon ones, as they seem most responsive to my grip and technique. Certainly worth trying out!
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jwhitcomb3

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2014, 01:56:21 PM »

Funny, since my last post here two years ago, I have tried dozens of different picks, mostly in context of acoustic guitars. I eventually tried the very expensive and somewhat controversial BlueChip picks, and liked them alot on both acoustic and electric guitars.

However, it never occurred to me that they would be excellent for synth guitar tracking. But I have found that ghost notes and glitches are significantly reduced with my BlueChip picks. It makes sense in the context of this thread, as the picks produce little noise and don't wear appreciably, so the edges are always dressed and generate minimal spurious noise to confuse the pitch-to-MIDI engines.

The picks are available here:http://www.bluechippick.net

I should note that any mention of BlueChip picks generates huge controversy on other guitar boards, mostly because some folks are offended at the audacity of a pick for costing so much. I make no claims about whether they are worth what they cost. I will say they are made from a VERY expensive material used for electronics and medical devices that has exceptional lubrication and wear characteristics (and simultaneously feels glassy smooth but is very grippy). I will also say that I have better VGuitar tracking results using my BlueChip pick than any other.

These are not a panacea. If you don't play cleanly already, these picks won't help. But if you play clean, these may help reduce the tracking errors caused by the pick itself. I have been very pleased with the results.

As an aside, I isolated a flaw in my technique on my GR55 by playing with my BlueChip. The glitches were so reduced, that when I heard one I was able to isolate the cause: turns out I sometimes slide the nail of my pick holding finger across the string. I'd noticed a little notch in my fingernail, but never realized when I was doing it. With the BlueChip, since it is so clean otherwise, the GR55 would glitch regularly when my nail slide over the string, but not otherwise. Now that I can hear it, I can correct it.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 07:00:28 PM by Elantric »
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Toby Krebs

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2014, 11:29:17 PM »

Yeah you cant use a Fender medium or a thin for synth guitar lol!

Pick choice is critical and we don't discuss it enough with new synth players here.

I am guilty of it as well when discussing synth with other players here in my area.

It's funny when someone asks about advice re: straight guitar the first thing I do is ask about the pick they are using lol!
If they ask about synth guitar I start talking about the synth hardware lol!
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Elantric

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2017, 12:32:04 PM »

http://www.v-picks.com/

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Quote
Major discovery today, thought I'd share...

So I've been playing (er... trying to play...) "Footprints" using a sax sound on my GR55, and having far, far more glitches & "mousie death squeals" than normal.   Frustrating, because I thought my setup has been great for a while.   Getting angry, I started flailing/fretting, trying to force it to happen consistently...   

Then I noticed a pattern, the squeals were dependent on how I picked the string, a very particular way...   Mainly on the high B and E, rarely on the other strings.   Messed around some more & found that if I 'bowed' the top 1/4" of the pick across the strings, I could reproduce the squeal like a madman...   

Inspected the pick, it was slightly old & slightly rough at the tip...   

I got a new pick.   It was like getting a new GR55...   

The state of your PICK makes all the difference in the world...    :o

I went through my bag & tried a few picks, and I could NOT get the squeals with my hard, smooth, V-pick... 
http://v-picks.com/

I used to think they were overpriced & bought a couple just to experiment, but now I'm thinking they may be a perfect match for the GR55...

Have Guitar Synth Tracking issues?   Try a new pick.   Still having issues - I have DRAMATICALLY better results with a V-Pick.
 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 12:34:31 PM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2017, 12:29:07 PM »

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=20309.msg146737#msg146737
PeterPan8 wrote>
Quote
Popping sounds
I may have found the culprit, and it's not hardware related, since my system seems to work fine (and fast) with every software installed. So the culprit could be... guess what, my fingernails!  As a classical guitar player, I mostly play with my fingernails, but about a month ago, I decided to trim them all, and they are now growing back again, but there are not long enough yet. When I pluck a string, I noticed that part of the flesh and nail hit the string almost at the same time. On a regular acoustic guitar, it's barely noticeable. But with a guitar synth, it makes quite a difference! I found that yesterday by chance while playing very, very close to the last pick-up, and I noticed the popping sounds were almost non-existent. Weird, isn't it!  I guess I'll have to clean-up my play... grow my fingernails, or learn how to use a pick!

chrish

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2017, 04:51:30 PM »

When i just now read this i thought today was april 1st. :-) that's something that i've never considered to be a factor in glitch problems.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 04:55:57 PM by chrish »
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Hurricane

Re: Is your Pick / Plectrum type / Fingernails giving you ghost notes?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2017, 05:30:12 PM »

I stopped using picks a year before I got my Godin LGXSA and really never had this issue .
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