I've been doing a lot of work on this recently in my rhythm playing, looking at my angle of attack, where on the string I am striking, the strength with which I'm picking and the pressure that I'm applying to the pick. My personal conclusions of how to improve how I sound are:
- Flat angle of attack reduces rasp but also increases initial transient (The 'Djent' of a palm muted note)
- For faster picked stuff, aim for just behind where a neck humbucker would be, for open stuff move back central between the pickups
- Lighter picking increases clarity and reduces tuning variance (Not very old school approach but, it seems to work)
- Allowing the pick some give between the fingers seems to help with note production too
Obviously this has all come in conjunction with pick as well. For a few years I've been using Sharpies but from hearing back live recording I think they were contributing to my sound being a bit thin, currently experimenting with the new Dunlop flows in various thicknesses.
Good stuff. I was actually surprised, doing this, how much "purer" the note sounded through my clean channel with little/no angle on the pick. It definitely causes some complications with faster playing, but maybe this is something I need to spend some time on for cleaner/bluesier stuff.
"They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace