Ask Abbie: How Do I Get Rid of Guitar Rattle In My Speakers When I Record?

Certain Parts Make My Speakers Rattle, Mainly On Parts Where A Guitar Chord Rings Out. I’ve Tried Adding EQ, Reducing Gain, Hi & Low Pass Filters, Nothing I Do Is Getting Rid Of It, Help!

Abbie’s Reply,

I apologize in advance for some presumptions. However, not knowing your skill level or studio, I will start with my initial thoughts. It sounds to me like you’re either over-driving your monitors, or you have cheap or blown monitors. There are spectrum analyzer plugins which will display all your frequency levels during the playback of a song… Some are free. Look to see if your low end frequencies are too hot. Additionally, consider a multi-band compressor on the Master and narrow the peaking frequencies. Furthermore, try a limiter on the guitar tracks playing the chords.

If you don’t hear it with the guitar tracks soloed, you could be experiencing a frequency overlap. Meaning a frequency from another instrument could be in the same frequency range as the troubled guitar track, combined together, you have an over-driving frequency peak. Once you narrow it down to the frequencies causing the problem, notch the frequencies with automation on other instruments when the dominating guitar chords are present. If the distortion is on the recorded guitar track, re-record it. Notching it out may cause the guitar track to suffer.

Good monitors are very expensive. I use three sets of monitors when recording and mixing. One very expensive, one medium priced set and one very cheap set. Why, because that’s what your audience uses. Additionally, I always include ear buds in my final mix. Again, that’s your audience.

Here are some questions…

Are you hearing the rattle on low volume?
Are you hearing the rattle with the ear buds?

These should help to narrow your problem to either your speakers, original recording EQ, or distortion on the guitar tracks.

Good luck and Keep Rocking God’s House.