FX pedals: recommendations for acoustic?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by MichaelK, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I saw Rick Recht with his band today in Atlanta, and was very impressed with his sound. I talked to his FOH man for a few minutes and he told me a little about Rick's rig. He said Rick runs mono out from his guitar to a pedal board. He uses just a touch of ping-pong delay and a chorus pedal, then stereo out to two DIs which are then panned hard L&R.

    Anyway, I dug his sound a lot, as well as his show. The effects weren't real obvious, but once I knew what they were I could hear them once in a while through the noise of the 200 some-odd families in attendance.

    Do any of you use a delay and/or chorus pedal in your live acoustic rig? If so, what do you recommend?
     
  2. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    A friend of mine gets an amazing sound using just his Taylor to (all Boss stuff) tuner, EQ, reverb, and chorus once in a while and also a MXR Micro amp, then a DI straight to the board. I think the buffers of the cheap Boss stuff help to tame the treble of the Taylor. Effects on acoustic can be funny, they sometimes can be more pronounced (to my ears anyway), so even a cheap (but decent) pedal can sound good. But since I play mostly electric, I am not a good judge of this stuff. Of course in my freinds case, it all starts with a nice Taylor, so he can probably run no effects and still sound good.
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Don't need tuner, don't need EQ, don't need reverb, don't play a Taylor (though Rick does), don't particularly like Boss pedals (but thanks for the suggestion). I use a Santa Cruz with a Baggs dual system and it already sounds great, but I was digging the full sound Rick gets which works nicely in stereo while not being at all obvious to the average listener. It still sounds like a natural guitar.

    Not to be a nudge, but do any of you use a delay and/or chorus pedal in your live acoustic rig?
     
  4. royd

    royd Member

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    Michael,

    I use a touch of chorus, a touch of compression, and a little verb live with my Lowden (pickups=a McIntyre and a Sunrise through a Raven PMB-1). I don't use stomp boxes though - I have a dbx stereo compressor and a digitech S100 in my rack.

    I gave up long ago trying to get an "accurate" acoustic sound. It seems to me that it is not possible - that much of the "acoustic" sound is from having the guitar in your lap, the immediacy and proximity of the sound. You can't duplicate that so instead of making my acoustic sound louder, I see my live task as making it bigger.

    We worked very hard to get the same sound in our recordings as I get live so you can get a sense of it at www.sounclick.com/alexisd if you're interested.
     
  5. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    Absolutely. The only time I don't is with one of my full band projects, where I play acoustic-electric about 20% of the time. In that situation, the acoustic is strictly a rhythm instrument, and not much beyond a decent base tone is required. Beyond that, there's an ample amount of electric gear to be transported and maintained, so I want the acoustic-electric aspect to be as simple as possible.

    I currently work with two acoustic-only projects, a duo and a trio. For those jobs, I carry a dedicated acoustic-electric board.

    Many of the stomps that won't fly with my electric guitar rigs are just fine by me in the acoustic-electric environment. For instance, I've been using a couple of Danelectro Dan-Echos for about the past five years - a very practical cheap delay for this setting. The "hi-cut" treble rolloff is invaluable, as is the half-rate switch. I use one of the Danos as default ambience; it's set for low mix and repeats, with most of the high end rolled off. The other Dano is the workhorse that gets manipulated as required by certain tunes... for rockabilly slapback, funk doubling, dotted eighth note stuff, big ethereal washes, whatever the tune is screaming for. For this Dano, I choose more prominent treble in the repeats, set the mix higher, and adjust repeats as per application.

    I do often use chorus, but the set list for my acoustic job later this evening will best benefit from a bit of phase shifting here and there. Retro-Sonic Chorus Ensemble, Arion Fat Chorus, and TC Electronic SCF all make guest appearances on the board.

    My rig for this evening's show:

    Larrivee D-03 w/ Fishman Prefix -> Timmy (for slide tones) -> BJFE Sea Blue EQ -> MXR Micro Amp -> Maxon Phasetone -> Fulltone Supa-Trem -> Dan-Echo -> Dan-Echo -> Peterson StroboStomp tuner (also functioning as DI) -> house PA.

    I occasionally get some funny looks for carrying my board to "acoustic" shows, but that's okay. As royd mentioned, it's an acoustic-electric instrument, and I approach it as such. I should say that my acoustic projects don't really work typical coffee house-type scenarios; much of the material is original and is somewhat stylistically diverse. As used sparingly and tastefully, effects can add some cool spice to the sonic stew. As always, it's a matter of serving the tune. For instance, I'm not going to choose chorus or tremolo when I cover the Merle Travis chestnut, "Cannonball Rag".
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. :)
     
  7. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I have been utterly floored with the results of using my TC Electronic G-System with my Line 6 Variax 700 Acoustic. And I mean just blown away.

    Played the national stage at one of the biggest festivals in Michigan over Labor Day weekend (1.5 million folks at that 3 day festival; we were the only local/regional act on that stage the whole weekend) and the sound guys were literally gaga with my gear setup and the tones.

    I am using a slight detuned pitch, compression and the boost when needed. The results are inspiring and head spinning.

    We had a three camera DVD shoot of that show; in a few more weeks I'll have a copy and the band's website will be up with clips from that show.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Thanks, Scott. The delay pedal by itself looks like it might fit the bill.

    A friend of mine used her Variax 700 at a conference this summer where we shared a bill. She used it to sit in on "bass" for our set. Her acoustic sound which she used for her set also was very impressive. She said that the simulated alternate tunings were wierd as hell unless she used headphones or had a lot in her monitors.

    Nice news about the vid - looking forward to seeing it!
     
  9. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I can't like any of the Boss choruses with acoustic (except maybe the CE-1). I do like the TCF, or an old Pearl chorus that also leaves the sparkle on the notes. I usually use a Taylor with a piezo blended with a Sundown soundhole mic, so it's not as cardboard as a straight piezo system (for that I'll just stick with my Parker, thanks). For Delay, I don't use it much but prefer something a little more hi-fi than most stomp boxes-a Korg analog multi-effect unit (PME40x) for example.
     
  10. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    Just another approach...I use a Tacoma DM18 plugged into a Baggs para DI into a Mackie 1402 which has a Lexicon MPX500 patched into aux1 and 2...

    that way I can use the Lexicons dual mono effect programs which allows me to have two different effects on aux1 and aux2 and dial em in to taste with the level control...

    I then take the main outs of the Mackie which has a 30db pad switch allowing me to use the Mackie as a submixer and plug them into two channels of the house pa panned hard left and right...

    For pedals I use a tuner and am waiting on a Toneczar Powerglide for tremelo...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  11. ronster

    ronster Member

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    This is a very cool unit you may want to check out - I originally picked mine up just to boost the signal from a cheap soundhole pickup, and fell in love with the range of sounds it can provide. I upgraded my pickup, and still use the AG stomp for 3-4 acoustic sets a month.

    It has a variety of microphone emulations, delay, chorus, limiter, tuner (tuner sucks). You can save many, many settings for quick access.

    The mic modeling technology also seems to smooth out some of the harsh treble sometimes associated with amplified acoustic guitars.

    IMHO,

    Ronster

    www.moonshotradio.com
     
  12. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Hey Scott, what happened with that vid?

    Thanks again guys. I think the TC or somthing similar, just a very clean, light chorus or delay, is what I need. Mic sims and all that are for someone else.
     
  13. John Mayes

    John Mayes Member

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    the pedals and DI's that I've liked are:

    Delay
    Chorus
    reverb


    as for DI's I really like the avalon U5 (very smooth sounding), the groove tubes ditto (sounds warm, and musical), and for affordability and awesome function and versititly the LR Baggs para DI is hard to beat for the price.

    Also Aphex makes a pedal called the acoustic exciter that really made me stand up and take attention. Really took the guitar to a different tone. Wether you like it or not is your ears, but I dug it.
     
  14. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Interesting...

    I've been using an Aural Exciter in my live PA rig for years, and I swear by it. I'm not crazy about using it for individual instruments, prefering to use plain old EQ. Maybe this thing is the absolute balls (hard to tell from the online flash demo) but anyway it's completely different from the effects pedals I'm looking for.
     

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