Planning an Acoustic Rig

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Brett Valentine, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Though I'd been toying with the idea for a bit, this idea sort of started for me in the " Praise & Worship Players---> Post Your Rig" thread. Since they've discontinued the RANE AP-13, I though about building my own acoustic dual source rig in pedalboard form (nature and GAS both abhor a vacuum). This will go into an SWR Blonde on Blonde powered speaker or a Fishman LoudBox.

    Any ideas? Opinions? Suggestions?


    [​IMG] Ernie Ball Stereo splitter pedal (better than using a "Y" cable in my opinion, and quicker than building my own).



    [​IMG]
    2 of these, one for the Ribbon Transducer and one for the internal mic (general tone shaping, bottom end of the RT and top end of the mic).



    [​IMG]


    2 of these for resonance and feedback problems, but for now, I might be able to get away with one for both channels, but I'm planning for 2 and 2 three foot Mogami XLR cables



    [​IMG]
    This would be for the 2 Presonus EQ's (XLR outs)
    some kind of XLR to unbalanced 1/4" cable or transformer.


    [​IMG]Ernie Ball VP Junior 25k or 250k volume pedal

    eventually, I intend to add the Alesis NanoVerb and place it in a loop with the Xotic X-Blender.

    [​IMG]
    The Radial JDI direct box which might be overkill, I don't know, (but just in case things get recorded. . .)

    or for about half the price the Radial PRO DI
    [​IMG]


    Well, that's it for now.

    Brett
     
  2. jeak

    jeak Member

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    Seems a bit complicated with all those components. For a nice clean 2-channel acoustic/mic rig, I really like the Fender Acoustasonic SFX II combo amp. Much warmer and fuller sounding than anything by SWR. I might also check out the PJB Suitcase. No mic channel, but it has two independent instrument ins and, I think, an fx loop or two. I'm sure your idea would work and sound great. I just like to keep things simpler. YMMV.
     
  3. royd

    royd Member

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    I play a Lowden acoustic with a Sunrise soundhole and a surface mount McIntyre.
    Here's what's in my rack:
    a Sunrise stereo buffer box - Raven PMB-1 - digitech s100 effects unit - dbx stereo compressor, a korg tuner and a power conditioner. Works for me.

    They don't make the Raven anymore either but I've been impressed with the dtar solstice pre-amp. It is worth a look.
     
  4. Den

    Den Member

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    Check out the new Zoom A2.1u ... I was totally surprised at the sound quality, flexibility and features on this little box. Tuner, feedback suppression, guitar models, loads of effects, volume pedal, EQ, DI and more than you'd likely ever use.

    I gave it a try after hearing rave reviews from some pro sound guys who do lots of amplified acoustic work. I had never even considered Zoom gear in the past, but this pedal is way cool.

    BTW I use it with my Goodall / Baggs iMix which I thought sounded great direct to the board ... but now even better with this.
     
  5. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    That Phil Jones Bass looks like a great amp!

    As for "simple," these days, I use a Baggs PADI and that does a great job.

    Tried the Fender and thought the tone was pretty good (still have an Acoustasonic jr that I use for quick small gigs and get a pretty nice dual source tone with the PADI running on phantom power on the mic channel.

    I'm also not a fan of the Cali Blonde's tone these days, but with the Rane pre and independent control or the mic/RT signals, I get a completely different tone than the SWR (warmer, more controled top end, though still with that huge bottom end). I haven't been able to beat the sound I get with my dual source rig, not to mention having seperate control of my monitor signal with the ability to send a seperate signal to the house. Also, The Larrivee C-09 and Avante AV-2 baritone acoustic have different resonant frequencies and need the flexibility and control I get with the graphic and parametric EQ's.

    [​IMG]
    Rane AP-13
    2 ART Tube EQ's
    (the NanoVerb is on pedalboard #2, the Tube PreAmp Compressor is for one of the aux input channels)

    The pedalboard I would like to build should give me the same potential sound and control as the above rig. It is a bit complex, but housed on a pedalboard, it should take the same amount of time to set up as the RANE based rig or my electric rigs.

    Brett
     
  6. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Royd, that sounds like a nice rig.

    How do you like the Sunrise buffer box? I'm assuming it's active.

    Haven't checked out the Solstice, but I was looking at the Raven Labs PMB-II. The Solstice looks nice in that it adds 2 XLR inputs.

    How are you using the compressor? Are you compressing the combined signal as a whole or are you compressing the transducer more than the mic or vice versa?

     
  7. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Den,

    I was considering picking one up for my Power Bridge equippeed Carvin DC-135, just to have for a quick send to the house. My other option was the D-TAR Momma Bear, if I can get a chance to try one.

    Brett

     
  8. Den

    Den Member

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    I tried both the Momma Bear and the Fishman Aura. Between the two, I preferred the Momma Bear, but for me, the Zoom is a better overall unit, at a much better price. One of the keys for me is that I'm not looking to dramatically alter my tone, just enhance it a bit if possible. This pedal gives me EQ, as well as some other tools that make things sound even more "natural" and "acoustic" to my ears. I also like having a tuner, volume pedal and the ability to easily boost my tone to step out for a lead ... all at my feet. Try it out from someone who offers a 45 or 60 day trial. Good luck.
     
  9. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Thanks Den,

    What's nice is that it comes bundled with Cuebase LE (which came bundled with the PreSonus FireBox) wich is a pretty good basic program.

    I think I might need a little more serious tone shaping for the PowerBridge, but I will definitely give one a try. The PowqerBridge sounds great through the LoudBox, but always thin in the house. Actually, it sounded the best with the original Fishman preamp/eq (which is long gone).


    Brett
     
  10. Den

    Den Member

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    There's a lot of tone shaping in this pedal. For fattening the tone, after you've done what you can with EQ, you'll find a "tube boost" effect in the guitar model section that can fatten and warm the tone considerably. There's also the possibility of a very slight delay added as well.

    Good luck. Den
     
  11. royd

    royd Member

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    Brett,

    I like the Sunrise buffer a lot. It boosts and fattens the signal and it makes the Sunrise sound a lot better than without.

    I use a touch of compression on each pickup (no mike... just a mag and a soundboard transducer - I don't care for internal mikes or for under-the-saddle pickups) with touch more on the magnetic. It is subtle on both. I use it to bring out the harmonics and to even out the artifacts when I hit the body of the guitar.

    You can get a taste of the sound of the rig at the link in my sig. I did use an external condensor to record each of the pieces but it was always mixed with my stage rig and I tried to stay pretty consistent to the sounds I get live.
     
  12. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Royd,

    Thanks. The Ernie Ball looked interesting in that it doesn't seem to use batteries (so far limiting the need for power to the 4 EQ's). What I like about the Sunrise is that it's going to have the right impedence for most acoustic p/u systems (although, only the PowerBridge is passive).

    The reason I asked about the compressor is that before I had the Rane, I used the ART compressor with a Boss AD-5 to compress the mic (or top end). When I really dug into the strings, the tone would actually warm up almost like and electric as the RT (or lower mids and bottom end) got stronger. What ever system you use, it makes for an interesting effect to warm up the tone the more you dig in, or even reverse it so that the tone brightend up the more you dig in; even fi you only do it to a subtle amount.

    Brett
     
  13. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Royd,

    Checked out your site. Nice stuff. Celtic Dreams really shows off your tone. Very natural sounding to my ears. Man! You've opened for some of my favorite artists (Vance Gilbert being one of them).

    Brett
     
  14. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    MMHV. I found the Fender very cold/harsh. I thought the loudbox was fuller and warmer than the Fender. SWR's good stuff.

    Brett, were you wanting to use a pedalboard with your acoustic to get one great acoustic sound, or to use effects? Either way, IMO, avoid electric guitar stuff, like the MXR. Really, any good EQ will do, Graphic or parametric. Just a matter of finding which you like.

    Personally, I've never liked the sound of ANY acoustic amp anywhere near as much as the sounds I've gotten from sending a direct signal to a decent PA. I used an SWR Strawberry Blond for a short while. (It's DI out sounded really good, though.)

    After re-reading, I realized that you HAVE that AP-13 rig. Why do you want a pedalboard syle one? Is that rack not easy enough?
     
  15. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Waxnsteel,

    I was leery at first about the MXR EQ, but my brother-in-law used to use one with his double bass without any problems. What I really like is that both the MXR and PreSonus EQ's are bypassable. The one thing that does concern me is the Ernie Ball stereo splitter box, but at $20.00, that doesn't concern me too much. If it turns out to be a dud, I may gut it and build my own circuit. If that fails, then I'll probably spring for the Sunrise unit.

    Part of the reason for building this is the fact that I would like to have a volume pedal and delay/looping effects when I desire them. This becomes a little bit more problematic with the RANE, and makes setup a lot less streamlined.

    The pedalboard allows more flexibility and interchangeable parts as well. Also, since I keep the RANE and SWR up at my sister's place near the church I play at, it would be nice to have a system with me, and a full backup system.

    Brett
     
  16. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Picked up one of the MXR EQ's. Too tired to set everything up and try it with the acoustic and amp tonight. If it's too noisy, it will do fine with my bass or even my baritone electric. Was told its fidelity is 20Hz to 20k Hz, so we'll see.

    Brett
     
  17. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    Collings CJ-A with Bband UST and SBT, into a Raven Labs PMB - one channel for the each pickup. That goes into an Alesis Nanoverb (sometimes a Quadraverb Plus), then to either an SWR California Blonde and Blonde on Blonde, or into an Ultrasound rig for smaller venues. I also use an old Roland volume/expression pedal (I use it strictly as a volume pedal); it has stereo in's and out's, so I use one for each transducer. Very simple rig, but very effective. I also have a Taylor 512FCSB (Taylor custom shop NAMM show guitar) that has a Bband UST and a Sunrise soundhole pickup. The Sunrise goes to an ART TubeMic Preamp before hitting the Raven Labs PMB. I've a Taylor 1995 Limited Edition GA-WS that that has only a Bband UST; same for my Taylor 315-12 12-string

    Peace,

    jb
     
  18. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Troubleman,

    Nice rig and collection of guitars. Do you have it mounted on a pedalboard? I found that I wasn't that moved by the Ultrasound/ Baggs Dual Source combination, or even just the Ribbon Transducer alone.

    I completely forgot about the ART Tube MP line. The one thing missing is the roundness and warmt the ART EQ's added, and at less than half the price of the Radial JDI, probably worth a look. I'd read that some found them to be a bit noisy. The tradeoff is that the JDI requires no batteries, external, or phantom power (I'm trying to keep that to a minimum).

    Since I can get the original TubeMP online at a good price, I might have to pick one up first and give it a try.

    Brett
     
  19. shikawkee

    shikawkee Mad King Edmund Gold Supporting Member

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    MXR EQ is good, I think the Maxon may even be better (I just got one).

    From my Santa Cruz OM PW I send my Fishman Matrix undersaddle (I'm on the road a lot and reliability is key) to Lehle splitter then my small pedalboard: (Dragster>Comp>Fuzz>Chorus>>EQ>Trem>Delay>SWR amp or other)

    The "B" of the split goes to my custom-made DI/EQ channel:

    http://www.edpettersen.com/edpettersen/Coileq.html

    I have a Keeley looper which I use as a tuner out and mute switch.

    The rig sounds and works great for me especially with those clubs that have one mix for mains and monitors.
     
  20. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Shikawkee,

    That's an interesting rig. So you're just using the Matrix (on my Taylor 612C) and splitting it into a direct signal (through the Coil EQ) and a pedalboard/amp rig and to the house?

    Brett
     

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