Jump to content


Awful distortion when using high gain and alt tunings. (crosstalk though your hand)


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 cags12

cags12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:46 PM

Hi, I wanted to ask this first to the community before contacting Antares's support. So I'd appreciate your help and apologies for the long post (I could not avoid it).

I am very aware from so many sources that piezo pickups are problematic in high gain scenarios and when palm muting. However, I am not sure if the issue I am experiencing is one of those well known piezo problems or a general problem with the auto-tune/alt tuning features.

Below there is an audio clip showing my issue.

Basically on the audio clip I have very high gain patch (noise gate off so everything can be heard). Initially I am palm muting on Standard E, notice that nothing sounds awfully wrong (well there may something there but not very noticeable). But as soon as I tune down to Drop C in this case (or any other tuning), the decay section of the palm mute strum experiences a very noticeable nasty kind of distortion/static/scratch. Please bear in mind I am not directly touching the piezos but only the strings very close to the saddles.

On the final section of the clip I am not even palm muting but simply touching the strings with my finger. Ohh, I almost forgot if I gently hit the guitar or back of the neck, the distortion also happens.

Please note, I have adapted my palm muting technique but what I am experiencing is something I do not have clue how to avoid. Also, my guitar, even though is piezo equipped, is very cross-talk proof except by one aspect that I will explain below.

When palm muting, independently of the technique employed and saddle isolation, string vibrations are transferred through the palm to neighboring strings causing the piezos to pickup cross-talk and ultimately distortion by the pitch shift algorithm. Strange though, if I palm mute at the nut, the distortion does not occur even though I managed to prove (by disconnecting saddles) vibrations are also transferred through my fingers/palm to neighboring strings. This would suggest that the closer to the pickup, the worse.

My question are the following:
Is there anything that can be done to avoid/eliminate this issue in Piezo based installations?
Is this issue inherent to the algorithm Antares use? It does not seem Variaxes are affected by this. Of course they use another algorithm to change the pitch.

I understand magnetic hex pickups would perform better, in my case, piezo pickups are the only option.


Audio clip:
https://www.dropbox...._noise.wav?dl=0

#2 Henrik

Henrik

    Antares Crew Member

  • Administrators
  • 344 posts
  • LocationThe sprawling Antares megacenter

Posted 01 May 2017 - 06:24 PM

View Postcags12, on 01 May 2017 - 05:46 PM, said:


My question are the following:
Is there anything that can be done to avoid/eliminate this issue in Piezo based installations?
Is this issue inherent to the algorithm Antares use? It does not seem Variaxes are affected by this. Of course they use another algorithm to change the pitch.


Hi cags12,

What you are hearing are the unfortunate results of use piezos in a high-gain situation.  I do assume that you are hearing much less (if any) artifacts when not playing with high-gain settings, yes?  A hex pickup would certainly relieve this issue, however, I do know that piezos are the only solution for you.

Our algorithm is different from the one used by Line 6/Variax.  We have tried to eliminate as much artifacts as possible, but as you well know, piezos under high-gain circumstances will not perform as well as the hex pickup.

#3 cags12

cags12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 01 May 2017 - 07:54 PM

View PostHenrik, on 01 May 2017 - 06:24 PM, said:

Hi cags12,

What you are hearing are the unfortunate results of use piezos in a high-gain situation.  I do assume that you are hearing much less (if any) artifacts when not playing with high-gain settings, yes?  A hex pickup would certainly relieve this issue, however, I do know that piezos are the only solution for you.

Our algorithm is different from the one used by Line 6/Variax.  We have tried to eliminate as much artifacts as possible, but as you well know, piezos under high-gain circumstances will not perform as well as the hex pickup.

Hi Henrik,

With high gain is much more noticeable yes. However, in clean it can also be heard if you pay close attention. After reading tons of papers about pith shifting and even Antares' patent. I believe ATG's algorithm is prone to this as it cannot handle polyphonic wavesforms thus causing the distortion. I guess I would have to learn to leave with it.

Would you know if when using the hex pickup, the transfer of sound through the palm (acting as a bridge) is also picked up? To me, unless I am wrong, is a mechanical issue that should be present in both versions of the pickups, although possibly piezos are much more susceptible.

#4 Henrik

Henrik

    Antares Crew Member

  • Administrators
  • 344 posts
  • LocationThe sprawling Antares megacenter

Posted 01 May 2017 - 08:34 PM

View Postcags12, on 01 May 2017 - 07:54 PM, said:


Would you know if when using the hex pickup, the transfer of sound through the palm (acting as a bridge) is also picked up? To me, unless I am wrong, is a mechanical issue that should be present in both versions of the pickups, although possibly piezos are much more susceptible.

I have not experienced the transfer of sound they way you are describing with a hex pickup.  My guess is that since the hex pickup is completely separate and does not touch anything (strings and bridge), this is the reason these work better under these circumstances.

#5 GuitarBuilder

GuitarBuilder

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:02 PM

Your problem is the use of piezos, not the algorithm.  Out of curiosity, why are piezos your only option? I've never had an issue retrofitting a hex magnetic pickup.

#6 cags12

cags12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:41 PM

View PostGuitarBuilder, on 08 May 2017 - 04:02 PM, said:

Your problem is the use of piezos, not the algorithm.  Out of curiosity, why are piezos your only option? I've never had an issue retrofitting a hex magnetic pickup.

Well, it is a combined issue. Piezos create more crosstalk than Hex magnetic pickups and due this effect, Antares's Auto tune algorithm induces distortion due the fact it is not designed to deal with polyphonic audio waves (that is even mentioned in the documentation). Piezos are my only option at the moment because my PRS custom 24 Floyd does not have enough room between the bridge and the regular pickup for fitting the hex one. I am all ears for suggestions.

Posted Image

#7 GuitarBuilder

GuitarBuilder

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:36 PM

View Postcags12, on 09 May 2017 - 03:41 PM, said:

Well, it is a combined issue. Piezos create more crosstalk than Hex magnetic pickups and due this effect, Antares's Auto tune algorithm induces distortion due the fact it is not designed to deal with polyphonic audio waves (that is even mentioned in the documentation). Piezos are my only option at the moment because my PRS custom 24 Floyd does not have enough room between the bridge and the regular pickup for fitting the hex one. I am all ears for suggestions.

Wow!  They left you no room at all!  Very surprising to see a Humbucker so close to the bridge.  The Cycfi Research Nu-XR Combo pickup may be a good option for you:

Posted Image
More info on the Cycfi Blog page: http://www.cycfi.com...ms-nu-xr-combo/

#8 cags12

cags12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:01 AM

Using Cycfi is on the works already as an alternative. However there are a number of challenges that need solving first:

1) Powering both systems from battery and possibly from DIN cable
2) Interfacing the systems.
3) Mixing Low and High impedance circuitry. ATG was designed to integrate with Regular Passive Hi-Z pickups. Pots are 500K while the XR need 25K.

I am also considering using Roland's hex pickup and substitute pickup ring with an adapter.
Posted Image




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users