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msmcleod

Technique: Making a DI'd acoustic guitar sound like its mic'd using IR's.

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Yesterday I was looking at ways to calm the harshness of the pizeo pickup on my DI's acoustic guitar.

I'd seen IR's for reverb and cabinets, but I was wondering if anyone had done them for the actual guitar body. Turns out 3Sigma Audio has: 

https://www.3sigmaaudio.com/acoustic-impulses/

So what these claim to do is take my harsh DI'd acoustic guitar and make them sound as if it came out of an expensive guitar body, mic'd with an expensive mic. Whilst it didn't make my guitar sound exactly like a Martin, it did give it that mic'd sound and took away the piezo harshness.

Overloud TH3 (bundled with CbB) comes with an IR Cabinet effect, so this is what I did to get the sound I wanted:

Note: These IR's are QUIET, so you'll have to crank the output considerably.

piezo_guitar_DI_with_IR.gif

Before: http://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/piezo_guitar_DI_with_IR_before.wav
After: http://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/piezo_guitar_DI_with_IR_after.wav
 

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I Like the idea of this and will try it when I get home.....

What about recording with a mic at the same time and blending the two ??

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5 minutes ago, T on Y said:

I Like the idea of this and will try it when I get home.....

What about recording with a mic at the same time and blending the two ??

I guess you could, as long as you keep an eye on the phase.

I'd recorded the guitar parts in the living room while I was doodling, so there wasn't any mics set up and I wanted to get it recorded before I forgot it (I hate getting older). 

As Mr Scheps says, the only thing that matters is what comes out of the speakers... if that works, then great.

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Check out the Fishman Aura system, this is very similar to the concept of that product.  

Result quality is direclty tied to how well you match the source (do you have a pickup and guitar that matches a preset they used to caputre the "image").  If you do, the results are pretty good.  

 

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The IK iRig Acoustic sounds very good, in my opinion,  and does a fantastic job of  rejecting  external room noise while  giving a good miked sound.

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On 1/20/2019 at 5:46 AM, msmcleod said:

Yesterday I was looking at ways to calm the harshness of the pizeo pickup on my DI's acoustic guitar.

I'd seen IR's for reverb and cabinets, but I was wondering if anyone had done them for the actual guitar body. Turns out 3Sigma Audio has: 

https://www.3sigmaaudio.com/acoustic-impulses/

So what these claim to do is take my harsh DI'd acoustic guitar and make them sound as if it came out of an expensive guitar body, mic'd with an expensive mic. Whilst it didn't make my guitar sound exactly like a Martin, it did give it that mic'd sound and took away the piezo harshness.

Overloud TH3 (bundled with CbB) comes with an IR Cabinet effect, so this is what I did to get the sound I wanted:

Note: These IR's are QUIET, so you'll have to crank the output considerably.

piezo_guitar_DI_with_IR.gif

Before: http://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/piezo_guitar_DI_with_IR_before.wav
After: http://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/piezo_guitar_DI_with_IR_after.wav
 

Good post msmcleod!

That technique can help acoustify (is that a real word? can we copyright it if not?) a DI recorded guitar.

There are a number of acoustic guitar IRs out there, where instead of capturing sound of a room they capture sound of a guitar body.

Here's a free Taylor Guitar set that uses a variety of mics
https://drive.google.com/a/t-sciences.com/file/d/0B1XgNa5vH3j1ZkVoTFJLQ241WTg/view
I found this mentioned on a Line6 thread (where there are also links to other kinds of IRs)
https://line6.com/support/topic/26822-free-irs/

You might also try hunting / googling for IRs or checking KVR (they use to have links for posts & links for IRs but I haven't checked in quite a while).
 

 

Edited by TheSteven
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The impulse route sounds like an interesting idea.   I like the iRig Acoustic too, but I find it a bit boxy so I blend it with other sources, depending on the material.  Sometimes it goes well with the DI turned way down.  But, as noted above, blending sources involves dealing with phase issues.

I've spent many, many hours trying to solve the harshness problem noted in the OP's post.  My $4000 Koa Taylor's pickup sounds horrendous as a DI (unless I am just gently finger picking). even through a nice Avalon or other DI preamp.  In the end I have found nothing beats the sound of a properly aimed condenser mic, at least with my acoustics.

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You can also use an acoustic body resonance IR to simulate an acoustic (from magnetic pickups) for live use.

Can be done with Axe-FX, Helix, HeadRush, etc.

It's not going to replace a great mic'd acoustic, but for live playing... it sounds close enough.

Being able to switch immediately from acoustic to a distorted/crunch is super convenient.

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17 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

You can also use an acoustic body resonance IR to simulate an acoustic (from magnetic pickups) for live use.

Can be done with Axe-FX, Helix, HeadRush, etc.

It's not going to replace a great mic'd acoustic, but for live playing... it sounds close enough.

Being able to switch immediately from acoustic to a distorted/crunch is super convenient.

I've been looking real hard at the HeadRush. I think you may have just pushed me over the edge.

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I've owned/used all the top modelers.

You can get good/great sounds out of all of them.

HeadRush is really easy to use.

 

No matter which one, I always run a high-pass filter prior to the Amp Block.

This really helps tighten up the bottom end (clean/clear not flabby).

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For live emulation of an acoustic I use a Roland VG88. I've also recorded with it, but it's not quite as convincing. For live though, it's great.

Another good plugin for guitar modelling is Peavey Revalver, although it is limited in how far it'll go.  So electric to acoustic is ok; the other way around, not so much. It works best at using one electric to emulate another.

I'm no guitar virtuoso, so I've used it on guitar solos to mix a live guitar with the crazy fast sections played on Shreddage II. I model both my own guitar and shreddage II, then put them through the same destination model so they sound the same.

 

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On 1/22/2019 at 1:54 AM, TheSteven said:

Good post msmcleod!

That technique can help acoustify (is that a real word? can we copyright it if not?) a DI recorded guitar.

There are a number of acoustic guitar IRs out there, where instead of capturing sound of a room they capture sound of a guitar body.

Here's a free Taylor Guitar set that uses a variety of mics
https://drive.google.com/a/t-sciences.com/file/d/0B1XgNa5vH3j1ZkVoTFJLQ241WTg/view
I found this mentioned on a Line6 thread (where there are also links to other kinds of IRs)
https://line6.com/support/topic/26822-free-irs/

You might also try hunting / googling for IRs or checking KVR (they use to have links for posts & links for IRs but I haven't checked in quite a while).
 

 

 

On 1/20/2019 at 8:46 AM, msmcleod said:

 

Overloud TH3 (bundled with CbB)


 

When I check the TH3 authorization under settings I see that TH3 Cakewalk Edition is a Full featured Demo. Is that what's bundled with CbB? Are you seeing any limitations or functionality issues?

 

Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, Twisted Fingers said:

 

When I check the TH3 authorization under settings I see that TH3 Cakewalk Edition is a Full featured Demo. Is that what's bundled with CbB? Are you seeing any limitations or functionality issues?

 

Thanks.

Yes, that's what is bundled with CbB.

It's locked to Cakewalk, but there's no limitations in time or functionality to what is there.

I upgraded to the full TH3 just before Cakewalk Inc's demise. Apart from extra amp, effect & cabinet models there's no difference between that and the Cakewalk edition.

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5 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

Yes, that's what is bundled with CbB.

It's locked to Cakewalk, but there's no limitations in time or functionality to what is there.

I upgraded to the full TH3 just before Cakewalk Inc's demise. Apart from extra amp, effect & cabinet models there's no difference between that and the Cakewalk edition.

Thanks. Really appreciate the quick response.

Bill

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Nothing beats a good mic for recording acoustic guitar but I have to say the Fishman Aura Pro is very good. You can download tons of image files modeled after almost every guitar you can think of all recorded in Fishman's studio. Pretty neat. That said I also like the shadow pickup system in my Epiphone Masterbilt acoustic. they've certainly come a long way...

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Why can't Taylor figure out how to make a better pickup - or install a third-party pickup that sounds better?  I've tried several of their versions and they all suck to my ears.  Very harsh.  And I have some of the best ears.  The very best ears.

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@BRainbow Taylor doesn't make pickups, and if you buy a low end Taylor you're going to get a low end pickup.

I'm a huge fan of the Fishman PREsys.  It has both Piazo pickup and a  adjustable condenser mic built in "preamp" with gain, EQ, notch filter, phase switch, tuner, and blend knob. It is extremely adjustable and tweak-able. and works greater for performing live plugged into my Line 6 Spider V120 which also has 5 very usable presets for acoustic guitar that didn't require much tweaking to get what I want out of my Alvarez to sound very authentic and VERY LOUD.

 Works surprisingly well for recording and getting very close the the authentic sound of natural beauty the Alvarez acoustic, and of course a touch reverb for "room sound" is always needed for direct in recording if you don't want your recording to sound like you have your ears pressed up to the sound board of you guitar.

  And dialed in properly the PREsys is close enough to sit pretty well in a mix with comparing it to micing the Alvarez with a matched pair of Rode NT 5 small diaphragm condenser mics (a.k.a. Pencil Mics) placed in a stereo X/Y position approx 2 feet to 4 feet away with one pointed towards the 12th fret and the other pointed at the bridge is doable, and certainly close enough for rock & roll, but a pretty hard to improbable act to replicate for serious natural sounding audiophile results of the air between the mics and the guitar itself. Mic placement it critical. The "Nicer" 'softer' and 'flatter' your room sounds, the farther away you can place your mics. But if you have a lot of untreated hard surfaces like bare walls, hardwood floors, you will want to keep your mics closer, and small diaphragm condenser mics are great for taking advantage of proximity effects for this. At close distances their proximity effect is naturally  narrowed down (super cardioid) a few feet away for natural sound acoustic guitar and the cardioid pickup pattern naturally and smoothly increases by distance, 6'-10' away great for recording a natural sound of a group of background singers, 10' and beyond they will capture the natural sound of an entire band.

By be careful with that, because they will also capture the natural sound of the room, and that includes room sounds us humans are naturally inclined to ignore without even thinking about it. Until we hear it being played back in another room environment, like you car, or just another room, you will hear all the faults of the room in your FACE that you naturally originally ignored.

 But using "pencil mics" to record acoustic guitar is one of my favorite ways to capture a very natural acoustic guitar sound in almost any room environment quiet enough to hear the acoustic guitar properly.

 And the Behringer C2 matched pair of pencil mics are mind boggling GOOD and selling for a retail price of $60 (us) had earned the solid 1st  place for my ""!!! WTF?? !!!"" AWARD of 2016.

Do I think they are as good as my $300 Rode NT 5's for recording acoustic guitar? YES! But not for all recording applications.

Do I think they are as good as my $700 Shure SM81's? No, but either are $1600 Neumann KM 184's, and I'm talking about ALL recording applications. Now we're just comparing peaches to nectarines. 

I have half a mind to think it should be illegal for Behringer to sell the C2's for only $60. 😲

If you can't get a natural acoustic guitar sound you won't be happy with with Behringer C2's then I'm sorry, but I'll have to assume you won't ever admit to being happy with anything

However if you are the type who loves the sound and likes to jam with a large diaphragm condenser inches from the sound hole of an acoustic guitar, you will LOVE the Fishman PREsys plugged direct in, and before you know it you'll be using the Lg Condenser for something else..

And the best and most amazing part about the Fishman PREsys? You can find very capable great sounding discontinued PREsys's on eBay for around $20 (us), and IF you are capable of installing them, and that includes "Precisely" cutting or enlarging a whole within +or- 1mm to 2mm margin of error. This is not a job for the impatient or those who like to rush results with power tools, because you do not get any do overs.

 Installing the PREsys in my beloved Alvarez was the scariest thing I ever did since getting married for the first time, which unfortunately didn't work out as I expected.

 So before you try and cut into your precious acoustic guitar, I'd highly recommend try cutting into something else first to see if you like it.😴

Practice makes perfect, and nobody is perfect, so measure at least twice and cut once.

Edited by Steev

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Hey Steev,

How is much wood drilling/destruction was involved in the installation for the Fishman PREsys?   Did you do it or have a tech do it?

<<Taylor doesn't make pickups, and if you buy a low end Taylor you're going to get a low end pickup.>>

My Taylor is koa (not low end) and I am pretty reluctant to do anything to it that is irreversible, but I really would like a better sounding pick-up on it and others have raved about the Fishman as well. 

<<scariest thing I ever did since getting married for the first time, which unfortunately didn't work out as I expected.>>

(I have installed 2 wives in the past and neither worked out.   Trying to uninstall #2 right now.)

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12 hours ago, BRainbow said:

Hey Steev,

How is much wood drilling/destruction was involved in the installation for the Fishman PREsys?   Did you do it or have a tech do it?

<<Taylor doesn't make pickups, and if you buy a low end Taylor you're going to get a low end pickup.>>

My Taylor is koa (not low end) and I am pretty reluctant to do anything to it that is irreversible, but I really would like a better sounding pick-up on it and others have raved about the Fishman as well. 

<<scariest thing I ever did since getting married for the first time, which unfortunately didn't work out as I expected.>>

(I have installed 2 wives in the past and neither worked out.   Trying to uninstall #2 right now.)

I'm not 100% positive, but I'm 99% sure Taylor buys it's electronics from Fishman in bulk. I am certain that they concentrate on build guitars and don't manufacture any electronic components, and NOBODY can do that better then Fishman.

 Even Fender uses Fishman electronics. I have a Fender T-Bucket acoustic electric Bass with a factory installed Fishman strictly Paizo.  I LOVE it, and actually use it more then my vintage Fender P and Jazz basses because I can dial in the sounds of either + mic it acoustically with an Audio Technica AT 4050 and by recording and mixing 2 mono tracks together, I can also get a very convincing Upright bass sound. Click HERE to hear an example, and please note to get a more fingered plucky sound prominent around the 1:00 minute mark, all I really had to do was change my seating position to change the proximity "Angle" of the AT4050 from pointing the 12th fret to pointing towards the bridge. I was able to use my position and "Ears" to make the proper  adjustments without having to touch any EQ or any controls what so ever.

 I wouldn't be able to do that if the mic was built into the Bass guitar's Fishman Presys

I'm a hobbyist grade luthier (builder) and modifier of cheaper guitars (only) for several decades now.

I modified and installed the Presys in a mid level Alvarez that didn't come with any electronic  Paizo/pickup/transducer installed at all so I had to cut a fresh whole in the body and "route" out a hole for the 1/4' inch output jack.

 Never drill into the body of a guitar, to avoid splintering use a router such as a variable speed "Roto Tool". And also when cutting a hole to install a Fishman Presys, cut it smaller then you need it to be, and use a file to bring it up to shape and form is MUCH less risky then trying to cut it to size in one shot, because you DON'T get a second chance.

 My only reason for doing it was for live performances, and seldom if ever use it in the studio, and when I do it's only because I'm going for the particular world famous "Ovation Grunge Folk" type sound. I'll have to give Neil Young full credit for that, good or bad, it's a staple sound stamped into all out brains that at first offended me, but when I got used to it I simple realized it was just another genre specific sound on my production palette, and actually a great tool to be used with Melodyne if you intend to convert audio to MIDI.

 However, in your case, it would be a and irreversible modification that would most certainly devalue a KOA Taylor that has a "Square" hole already carved into it for the control panel, it would have to be elongated into a rectangle. 

 And if your Taylor sports the 3 knob configuration as many Taylors do, you would have to carve a fresh hole for installation and be left with at least 2 unsightly holes or 2 useless knobs where the Taylor's pots are located. Either choice is rather undesirable in my opinion, and you can still get the Paizo/mic sound of the Presys by plugging in direct and placing a super cardioid mic(s) in front of your guitar to achieve the same effects.

I would strongly advise against modifying and installing a Presys into any fine higher end expensive guitar such as a Taylor, Martin, Guild, or Gibson because it WILL devalue it.

I would also strongly advise not installing a Presys in a cheap acoustic guitar either because it won't make a guitar sound better then it already does, it will bring out all the guitars flaws up to front and center. 😝

Edited by Steev

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