EMGs Too Hot. Any suggestions On How To Tame Them?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Carl Kolchak, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    Aside from swapping the 85X I have in there now, can someone recommend a way to tame them? I tried lowering them, but the results weren't optimal. The only way I've found to keep them usable sounding is to keep the volume very low, like no higher than 3, tops. Problem there is a thinner sounding tone than I'd like.

    So can someone suggest a method of toning this pups down short of replacing it?
     
  2. jerm

    jerm SS.org Regular

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    What's your setup?

    What are you trying to do exactly? Less gain?
     
  3. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Boosting less than with passive pickups works, set screamer level max 2 o' clock. Interface with adjustable input gain works also, and preamp that handles instrument level signal. And much less gain from amp, actives have plenty of it by themselves. I have Emg 57/66 set in current guitar, and these worked for me.
     
  4. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    There's no reason an 85X should be excessively hot into an amp by itself. It has *less* gain than the normal 85, by about 6dB.

    What other equipment are you running in the signal chain? Needing to run an 85X on a volume of 3 is simply not normal unless you have a significant signal boost elsewhere in the chain.
     
  5. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    When switching from passive to actives, you will have to adjust gain structure, and that will include some slight eq tweaks as they'll have a resonant peak different than that of the passives.

    It's never just a "swap pickups & plug & play" situation.
     
  6. oc616

    oc616 Control Deck Wins

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    I was about to post a similar question. My Jackson with 707's has an annoying harmonic ring when palm muting quickly. At first I thought it was the higher strings, but turns out it's the low B.
     
  7. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    My set-up is simplicity itself. Either it's POD Farm or BIAS/Thermioniks into Reaper.

    I've found running an Ibby TS/Boss SD-1 pedal in front helps a lot.

    As for settings, I scrapped everything after swapping out for the 85X, and began, as suggested, anew building up a tone. Looking them over, I'm not seeing any elements that are being excessively boosted enough to account for the relative hotness I'm currently experiencing with the 85X, but will back and double-check everything just to make sure.
     
  8. stratjacket

    stratjacket Lost in a loop

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    put an EQ first in your chain and adjust to taste.
     
  9. JumpingInFire

    JumpingInFire SS.org Regular

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    You are clearly connecting to an interface but have not mentioned which one.
    Are you using an instrument input or DI box?
    What are your levels peaking at in Reaper without plugins?
     
  10. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    Using an old Line 6 Guitarpaort atm, as my UX1 recently died. But am having the same problem with the EMGs using the Guitarport as I did with the UX1.
     
  11. JumpingInFire

    JumpingInFire SS.org Regular

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    You forgot to answer one of my questions which is probably the most important when concerned with gain staging . . .
     
  12. Drezik27

    Drezik27 SS.org Regular

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  13. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    It's not that I'm having a problem with levels, but the tone that's being produced by the pickup itself. Keeping the volume under 5 max yields usable tones, but any higher and it sounds like there's a tube screamer in there with the tone cranked.
     
  14. Selkoid

    Selkoid SS.org Regular

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    Wow, is this actually pickup related? I've been having a similar issue in drop C (with an emg 81), and a ring like you mentioned has been driving me INSANE. I've checked everywhere for defects, i thought it was something ringing past the nut or something sharp on my bridge, but I can never get it to go away.
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    In my experience, that's just sort of part of the EMG sound. Whenever I use an emg-loaded guitar, I take any boost I might have been using out of the loop, 'cause it already sounds boosted to me.
     
  16. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    The intensity of that ringing phenomenon seems somewhat dependent on pick attack and tone. I've tried picking a little lighter and it helps, as does rolling back on the tone pot.
     
  17. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    The 85X I'm using now is the seven string version.

    I wonder if this ringing phenomenon has something to do with the vibrations generated by heavier string gauges/lower tunings, as I'm playing a 6 string 30" baritone.
     
  18. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Not saying any of you are making this mistake but I occasionally get an annoying sort of "ring" when palm muting, spend quite a while trying to dial it out on my amp and eventually realise it's because of the position of my muting hand.

    You'd think I would only make this mistake once, but here we are...
     
  19. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I have the 89, which is basically a splittable 85. These are Alnico magnetted, shouldn't be so spiky sounding like the ceramic magnetted 81.

    But, having said that, examining technique never hurts either to see if that is the cupltrit.
     
  20. Stijnson

    Stijnson SS.org Regular

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    Ill join the annoying ring club too, happens to me when palm muting heavily and trying to get as much attack (dare i say the d word?) as possible. But i cant get get the attack i need without having that ring by picking softer or muting or picking in different positions. Tried it all. Although i guess that needs a thread of its own.

    To the OP, turning the gain down on the amp or boost should do the trick...
     

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