Reduce guitar picking sound

Hi. While recording electric Guitar, i wish to reduce the sound of the picking. It’s sounds as if I’m hitting the strings hard, but that’s not the case. How do I reduce this sound?

Hi and welcome to the forum,

You can use the EnvelopeShaper plug-in to reduce the Attack.

Hi. Thnx for the response. I’m already using a boss CS3 analog pedal and zoom G5n usb interface. Are you suggesting that i use the plug-in in addition to these? This issue is only when one listens to the recording, else the attack is fine in general

That CS3 pedal will most likely accentuate the picking sound.

Hi Anup_Nair

The sound of the guitar pick is unavoidable when recording. You are using a compressor while recording, so try adjusting the attack and tone of the compressor to get a less aggressive attack. Another alternative is to experiment with different picks to find the most satisfying attack pick. For example, I like to use the Clayton USA 1.26mm Pick, it is rigid and gives me a round and not very aggressive attack. If this is not enough, the solution proposed by Martin with the EnvelopeShaper plugin would also soften the attack. Good luck!

If you want a better alternative there is RX Guitar De-noise which is specifically meant for this task.

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Thnx for the suggestion. Rx De noise, is this option available in Cubase?

This is a third-party plug-in, it isn’t included in Cubase.

The envelope shaper or multi band envelope shaper are great but it’s better if you avoid the problem to start with.


This is a good topic for discussion as we all encounter unwanted transients like pick noise at some time. Here are some ideas:

  1. Try a different pick, some materials make more “noise” than others. I find that the smoother and harder the less noise.
  2. Try picking at a different place on the strings. I like to pick just next to the neck pickup. It is probably one of the best for avoiding pick noise while still getting a good sound.
  3. Try using the edge of the pick like George Benson does. Experiment with other positions like with pick angled up or down.
  4. Avoid compression if you can and keep it to a minimum. I find this can really accentuate initial transients like pick or finger noises. If you are pegging the meter bring the input down. Digital recording is much more flexible than the old tape recording systems. Compression used for effect might be put on after recording. If it is being used to make up for uneven playing then remember the three most important things: Practice, Practice Practice (lol)
  5. I try to avoid recording with a piezo on my acoustic or classical guitars. They really accentuate the transients. I mic these guitars instead.
  6. I occasionally use Split EQ to lower the initial transients. It is a third party plugin. I’m guessing the plugins suggested by others do a similar job.
  7. Picking softly can actually increase “pick noise” effect. While this may seem counter-intuitive soft picking increases the ratio of pick noise to good sounds.
  8. Some string types and gauges can reduce this issue. I’ve read that many of the greats use 12 or 13 gauge strings and play really hard.

Good Luck,

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Raises the questions in my mind:

How does Cubase’s Transient Designer compare to Melda MTransient?

Or simply to a comp with very fast attack/release?