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Excessive finger noise, how to minimise it


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#1 Rocker

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:57 AM

Apologies if this subject has been covered many times before but it is a problem for me. My practice setup is a Blackstar Fly Bass amp, bass strings are circa six months old (round wounds). My bass is an active Aria STB, not the last word in basses but good enough for my requirements. Finger noise can be excessive, clicks and buzzes that type of noise. I don't gig but I do play with friends every fortnight. On these outings I use my MB Minimark, this noise is less of a problem at volume but can rear its head now and then. Would flat wound strings help? I like a traditional bass sound, no FX or pyrotechnics. Straight down the middle bass playing, Root, Fifth & Seventh plus linking runs. I am working on string damping but still these annoying buzzes happen. Would flats be the answer and what gauge is best for the sound I am looking for. Flats (Chromes) in Ireland are around 40 a set so it could get expensive if I were to get this critical element wrong. Thanks

#2 charic

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:05 AM

Try raising your action/lowering your pickups

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#3 charic

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:06 AM

Does any buzzing go away when you touch the bridge? If so, then you have an earthing issue :)

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#4 Lozz196

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:28 AM

I found when using flats that I had to change my left-hand fretting technique as I`m a bit heavy handed, so leaned to place the strings onto the frets rather than my usual forcing them down. Essentially there was bit of a "clack" every time I was fretting until I changed this.
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#5 morgano

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:33 AM

Yes, flatwound strings will definitely help to reduce finger noise. You could also try reducing the top end response of your amp by reducing treble or turning off the tweeter if your cab has one.

Another alternative worth trying is a low-pass filter such as the one in the Hotone GATE pedal. However, when you are using the Markbass Minimark, trying turning up the VLE control, as this is just a variable low-pass filter so should have the same effect.

#6 chris_b

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:05 PM

You don't need to spend any money, just adjust and improve your technique.

If your sound is good with the Markbass then changing the strings to suite the Blackstar might adversely affect your Markbass sound. Really the solution is in you. Lift your fretting fingers off the strings when you're moving your hand and hit the strings with less force with your plucking fingers. Raise the bridge until the buzzing/clicking noises stop. If that makes the strings too high, go back and work on your technique.

Or. . . . as this "problem" mostly goes away when you play the Markbass. . . . Sell the Blackstar and use the Markbass at home, or ignore the "noises" and carry on improving your technique until the extraneous noises go away.
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#7 rmorris

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:48 PM

Seem to be two issues here ?
Finger noise from finger on string and 'Metal on Metal' noise/clank/buzz from fretting etc.
Flats will reduce the finger noise but may be worth looking at half round / groundwound / pressure wound types to keep the sound more like a roundwound ?
btw Is it my imagination or are these types of strings not so widely discussed / promoted now compared to a few years ago ?

And of course turning down the top end will reduce all the noises talked about here.

You might be surprised at the amount of 'noises' in a solo bass track. Of course if there's any significant 'grit' in use it'll probably be inaudible in any case.
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#8 Sibob

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:26 PM

Perhaps you could provide a short recording so we can hear what the issue is?

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#9 ChunkyMunky

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 03:55 PM

One of these helped massively considering I play a huge 5'er. If you've got anything ringing or open, it can help.

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For your right handed technique, I'd definitely recommend doing a bit of research on this.

Edited by ChunkyMunky, 18 February 2017 - 03:55 PM.

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#10 Meddle

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:31 PM

It might be that your Blackstar amp is just too wee, and is only really reproducing the high-end of your signal accurately. A lot of the bass and low-mids will be missing from your tone, so you are only getting half the picture.





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