Question about gigging with an acoustic

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by TheGuildedAge, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    I have played electric in all my bands, but my singer and I just finished a cd and are looking to play some shows, just the two of us. The only acoustic gig I ever played was a few months ago and my K&K Pure Western wasn't cutting it, tinny and small sounding.

    I think I want to use my pedalboard for delay, pog2 sounds, etc. Can someone tell me where in the chain a direct box would go. I am looking at sansamp, lr baggs, radial, etc. and would like to use my pedalboard and the DI.

    It would be guitar, pedalboard, DI, I just don't know the proper order.
  2. AnchorHoy

    AnchorHoy Member

    Mar 7, 2010
    Not enough gain into whatever amplification setup you were using. While the Pure Mini is pretty hot as "acoustic" pickups go, IME you really need some kind of active preamp to bring out its full potential, preferably something with at least a three-band EQ

    K&K makes a couple of good ones (I happen to use a Pure XLR). Baggs ParaDI works well. There are others reported to have good results in this application

    Guitar > Preamp > everything else (use the effects loop in the pre if it has one)
  3. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    white plains, ny
    K&K makes a preamp and IMO it works well. I did a gig today with mine, louder than usual, and the sound was really good. I do mix the bridgeplate with the mic.
  4. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    London On
    The DI (whichever brand you choose...) goes at the very end of your signal chain so that it is after your last effect pedal and right before your mixer. You will run your pickup signal through your effects using 1/4" TS instrument cable and then from the DI you will switch to a big long XLR cable that goes into your mixer channel.
  5. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    This is probably it. If you're an electric guy you might already have a couple pedals that can help. A Graphic EQ pedal can add a bit of kick, regardless of how you set the curve. One of my favorite pedals for acoustic work is my Duncan Twin Tube Classic distortion pedal. Turn Gain down, and volume up. Very little coloration to your tone, but it warms it up and boosts you.
  6. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

    May 1, 2005
    With a proper preamp, the K&K should sound full, with plenty of bottom end. The only downside of that pickup is band volumes where it can feedback, but at duo volumes it should sound stellar. If it still sounds thin with a preamp, you might have an install problem.

    The pre should be the FIRST thing the pickup sees. If you want to use pedals, keep them after the preamp. One thing I've found is that a lot of guitar pedals don't hang with a hot signal from an acoustic pre so you'll have to experiment.

    Personally, I like acoustics to sound like acoustics and prefer to bring an electric along for effects. I use just a little bit of reverb or delay on a flatop at the most, just enough to make up for the ambience the electronics take away.
  7. royd

    royd Member

    Jan 29, 2004
    Santa Barbara, CA
    as was said, you really do need an active pre-amp, it would be first in your chain with a short cable, less than 15 feet. In spite of what some folk say, the K&K's really do require a good pre to sound anywhere near their best. Next come all of your pedals, last comes the DI.

    I have been primarily an acoustic player for a bit over 20 years (out of 40 + years playing) and have some thoughts about amplifying acoustics. The simple version is that it is not possible to make "my guitar only louder" for a whole bunch of reasons. But, you can get a sound that sounds like your guitar only bigger. When you amplify an acoustic, you will lose some of the subtle details and beauty of an acoustic in your lap, but it can still sound great. I find subtle effects help here... a touch of compression brings out the quiet things that might be missed in an amplified setting. A touch of some kind of mod makes it sound a bit bigger and mimics the way you hear the guitar bouncing around in your bedroom while the pitch wavers a bit from the physics of acoustic guitars. Some reverb... makes it bigger yet. I don't like the way OD or distortion sounds with an acoustic and I'm not crazy about wah wah's or envelope followers with acoustics.

    I have two acoustic rigs. #1. A Lowden O25C Custom with a dual source (Sunrise mag and McIntyre SBT). These go to a Sunrise stereo buffer/pre to a Dtar Solstice blender with a dbx stereo compressor in the inserts adding a touch of compression to each pickup and a digitech S100 in the effects loop with a tiny bit of chorus and some reverb to the overall sound. That all goes to either the house PA or my fishstick.

    #2. Lowden S10P with a Fishman UTS to a TC Electronics G Natural either to the Fishstick or to a passive DI to the house PA. Again, I use a touch of mod, a touch of compression, and some reverb or maybe delay.

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