16 Nov How To Stop Guitar Feedback
How to Stop Guitar Feedback
- An acoustic guitar caught in a feedback loop creates an unpleasant noise that can ruin just about anything.
- Troubleshoot the problem by moving the amplifier, guitar, or yourself away from the signal.
- You can also try reducing the volume controls and adjusting the EQ to reduce troublesome feedback frequencies. Other tips include swapping the guitar strings, using a noise gate pedal, or a noise suppressor pedal.
If you are new to the world of musical instruments, you may wonder how to stop guitar feedback. Many of the best guitars, after all, are acoustics, and you don’t want to hear feedback when one is mic’d or being recorded. So what causes feedback with the best acoustic guitars, and how do you stop it? Keep reading to find out.
What Causes Guitar Feedback?
Whenever you are recording acoustic guitar, you may experience unpleasant feedback. This includes when learning how to record guitar on GarageBand, as it is the microphone or amplifier that causes the feedback. Learning how to properly amplify an acoustic guitar is key here to reducing feedback. Making sure you have the best PA system for acoustic guitar and vocals is also key. In short, guitar feedback is caused by, well, feedback within your signal chain somewhere.
How to Eliminate Feedback on Acoustic Guitar
Feedback comes from a variety of sources, so there is no single step to eliminate all unwanted guitar noise. Here are the common troubleshooting steps, however, to get started.
Reposition Yourself or the Amp
If you have an electro-acoustic that is plugged into a guitar amp, or even if you are using a microphone that runs to a nearby amplifier, a good first step is to reposition yourself and the amp. Electrical equipment is finicky, and sometimes all you need to do is move it around a few inches to clear up any unwanted noise or feedback. A general rule of thumb here is to move further away from the amp or place the amp further away from you. Max out the length of that guitar cable or XLR cable.
Reduce the Volume
Lowering the volume and output gain is an easy way to stop feedback in its tracks. Ride the faders to find a volume level that is suitable for your needs while still addressing that feedback problem. Keep a note of this “sweet spot” volume for later sessions.
Adjust the EQ
Another way to get rid of guitar feedback is to adjust the equalizer to reduce the emphasis on the problematic frequencies. Each guitar, amplifier, and microphone are different, but in most cases, the culprit here is treble. So simply lower the treble on the EQ and raise the bass up a bit. Go slowly until the feedback reduces. Don’t over-adjust, or you will end up with a sound you do not care for.
Stop Feedback Guitar FAQs
How do you stop semi-hollow guitar feedback?
Semi-hollows are prone to acoustic feedback. Just follow the steps above. Reduce the volume on your guitar amp, change the EQ to impact the guitar sound and guitar tones, and move the guitar player away from the amp.
How do you reduce distortion without losing aggression?
Simply adjust the distortion pedals slowly until you find a nice balance. You can also change up the guitar pickup to reduce or increase microphonic feedback.
Why are acoustic guitars more prone to feedback?
Acoustics are magnets for unwanted feedback, thanks to the acoustic nature of the instrument. They attract unwanted feedback frequencies as part of the design.
“Feedback is the effect that sound waves make when the output is being recorded by the input. It creates an infinite sound loop, and produces a loud, high pitched noise.” (source)
TIP: Switching to a pure electric guitar is another way to eliminate feedback.