Eliminating Picking sound

  • hello guys

    I would like to ask you what you do to eliminate picking sound? I know it is also related type and material of pick and playing style but what i am doing i see this bullshit clicks of picking from kemper..especially for clean and low sound more hearable..what do you suggest me ? I use noise gate 2 with threshold woth almost on 7...but this picking sound it is really disturbing..

    Thank you

  • hakanogu

    Changed the title of the thread from “Mutinf Picking sound” to “Eliminating Picking sound”.
  • Wear closed backed if you are using headphones or turn up your monitoring solution louder than the acoustic loudness of your guitar and look into adjusting the "pick" setting in the amplifier section.

    From the manual p.155

    "The “Pick” parameter allows you to control the level and sharpness of the pick attack independently from the

    sustained portion of the sound. The result is also independent from the amount of distortion. You can use this
    parameter to make clean sounds even more percussive without having to use a compressor. With fully distorted
    sounds, you can revive the attack phase of any notes that get drowned in the natural compression caused by
    distortion. If you set “Pick” to a negative value, it will soften the attack, resulting in a more fluid sound."

  • The angle of attack on the string makes a big difference. Not to mention pick thickness. Also, a nylon pick will produce less attack than the other synthetic plastic picks. Turning down the tone control lessens pick attack. ETC.

    If all else fails then you EQ it out in a DAW mix.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.


    I think your Noise Gate setting is a hint at a problem. Setting it at 7 is WAY TOO HIGH. If you have to set it this high that means you have the gate in the wrong place or something else is a real problem.

    The noise gate should be your 1st stomp. You want as much signal and dynamic range you can get to be at the gate. If you run your signal thru any other stomp you are adding more noise that the gate has to fight against. And if you have any compression (compressor, overdrive, distortion) before the gate, you are making the gates job very very hard.

    The only time you dont have the gate as stomp #1 is if you are using an EQ. You can put an EQ before the gate if you are doing any high frequency cuts. High freq cuts actually reduce noise so it makes it easier to set the gate if the EQ is before the gate.


    As for picking sounds, the pick attack is a high freq spike that happens very fast when you pick. It can be removed or enhanced by compression. The AMP PICK setting tries to do this in an intelligent way.


    If you are running a stomp compressor, this may be set in a way that makes the pick sound louder. If you are hearing too much pick, you need to set the ATTACK setting as low as possible. If your attack setting is high you are making the pick sound louder. Attack of 2.3 is close to a normal attack sound. The squash setting may also help dial the click in or out. But get the attack set first.


    You can run an EQ before the AMP section and reduce the highs before they are manipulated by the amp. If you are not doing pinch harmonics above the 12th fret you can run a high cut as low as 2kHz.

    A lot of pros here run the global output EQ with a high frequency cut around 7 kHz. Since this will affect ALL of your profiles I would not use it unless I have tried all other options. You can always run an EQ after the amp and cut the hi there on a per profile basis. Start around 8k and move down to start. A 12" speaker starts to naturally roll off around 5kHz.

    If the AMP profile itself is pushing the pick attack frequencies, I sometimes run a studio EQ after the amp/cab. You will want a filter with a high Q. A setting like -6 dB, freq 3kHz, Q 1.5. Then fine tune the 3 kHz until you hear where the pick attack frequency is.


    If your action is set too low or your pick angle is not perfectly side to side, your strings will bounce off the frets nearby and enhance the picking click sound. As the humidity changes, your neck will change shape and your action will go up/down. Since we are in a time of humidity change right now, maybe you action is too low.

    You want to get the strings as far away from the neck as possible to stop the fretting out sounds. But low enough that it is easy to play so you dont get carpal tunnel.


    This is an overall frequency adjust the Kemper does to your guitars basic tone. This is designed to get the frequencies coming in from your pickups to match the frequencies used when profiling an amp. Settings below 5 make the sound bassy and reduce the pick frequencies. Above 5 adds mids and highs and reduces bass. For clean tones on a tele or strat you want the def at or below 5. For high gain profiles with humbuckers you want it above 5.


    The clarity and tube settings can enhance the pick sound a little. Adding a little clarity or reducing the Tube Shape can slightly reduce pick attack/high frequencies.


    Speakers are not perfect. Guitar speakers are designed with a big loud hump at around 2k-3k. This is right where the pick attack is. Tweeters in studio monitors can also color sound and enhance the pick sound. Trying headphones or other good speakers may help you nail down where the pick sound is coming from. Is it the Kemper or your speakers?

    If you are monitoring thru a guitar amp, the amplifier itself may be pushing the high freqs. My Marshall DSL40 has the most annoying high freq resonance that cant be removed no matter what I do for example.

  • Snap back to basics - why should you hear more picking noise from the KPA vs any other amp? So it's either:

    1) Technique

    2) Too much of a particular frequency highlighting what is always there - noise gate I cannot believe is the right solution in any shape or form

    3) You are really focussed on it and it's not that bad - which can happen once you notice something

    4) Some picking sound is part of the sound...so depends on what you are hearing.

    Post a clip and that will help...

  • There is no way to truly diagnose where the problem comes from without hearing an example.

    It could be your rig setup, it could be your guitar and it could be your technique. If you're monitoring your sound differently than you did with a traditional amp (headphones vs cab vs studio monitors etc), you may be hearing something that's always been there.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • How is the good one then? :) whatever i am doing i hear all..thickness of pick? I use 1 mm , even with slow picking i hear all

    You've may tried everything below already, but in case you haven't,

    Regarding pick technique, the less time pick has to pass a string, the less noticeable attack will be. With that in mind you can try:

    1. strike string, as opposed to pushing string with a pick to the point when string slips off the pick
    2. play with a tip of a pick
    3. lower attack angle (definitely less than 45º), so it will be more of a strike with a pick, as opposed to scratching it with ridge of a pick

    General advice about striking the string, is to try to do that from a distance of 1.5 of in-between string distance, i.e if you're hitting 4th string, start pick motion between 6th and 5th string. distance greater that 1.5 will lower your accuracy and distance lower than 1.5 likely will not be enough to strike the string. But this is a general rationalization and YMMV.

    Playing with tip generally means not to dig deeper with a pick. But in terms of numbers I would say, put pick behind 6th string and push it in until you see tip of a pick peeks out of the string for no more than 1mm. That's depth you could try to play.

    Lowering attack might be the hardest one, as it might require you to change how you hold the pick. For example, while holding pick with first digits of thumb and index fingers, lowering attack generally will require you to straighten your thumb finger, which might feel less precise, as this lengthens the "lever" your wrist and pick create.

    I would also suggest, while trying different techniques, do that without actually playing music, just strike single string and listen for the attack. This will give you more control on various movements that might be unfamiliar for your muscles.

    You could also try even thinner pick. Try 0.73mm just to check if just pick solves your problem.