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Earth - The Physical Plane - Acoustic Feedback Problems With Guitar


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#1 federalhog

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:35 AM

S*** drives me nuts. 2013 and I'm still dealing with feedback. Mostly because I don't know what I'm doing. But hopefully there is a planet somewhere, where the physical properties of the environment do not cause feedback. Earth? Not impressed. Anyhow. 

 

Ok, here's what I got. 

 

I use resonator guitars, primarly. 7 of them and one acoustic J45. Now the ones that are most a problem are the baritone resonators. They use an active highlander preamp/ piezo pickup. I try not to run them through another preamp. I use to have a fishman aura pedal, the big one, which had a nice feedback suppressor. But I found that just going direct. Resonator > highlander battery box (powers the preamp via a TRS cable) > Line6 L3T sounded better (tone wise) than going into the Fishman preamp as well and then into the L3T

 

Now I have the L3T going into the Stagescape and I have a monitor as well in front of me. L2T. When I'm by myself I don't even use the 2 additional 3LT PA speakers. Just the 3LT (as my guitar amp) and the L2T as my monitor. 

 

Now, when I hit a certain note on the guitar (steel body baritone resonator) it vibrates and goes nuts (feedback)

 

Now when I use the feedback suppressor on the 3LT, I have to switch it to RED. This kills the feedback, but the tone goes in and out with a clicking like the speaker is constantly adjusting. This sounds like lollipop and the volume goes up and down as it's adjusting. 

 

The 3LT sits to the Left of me, like 3' away. 

 

I have a small pedal board with my pedals on it. Mind you, when I'm using the resonators, I'm using the TRS cable > highlander box, to a morely A/B switch box. I need the switch box to switch between TRS cables for the highlander pickups and the 1/4" mono for the other guitars. The switch box enables me to unplug one guitar and switch to the other channel so I don't get that cable pop. Just thought I'd explain all this. 

 

What I'm thinking about is perhaps a graphic EQ, one of those behringer or DBX rackmount EQ's or perhaps some parametric EQ. I'd go from the pedal board, into the EQ, into the 3LT. 

 

What do you think about this? Do you think there is a better solution? I know someone is probably going to say to use the guitar > mixer, rather than guitar > 3LT, but I find I love the bass response of the guitars going right into the 3LT. However this limits me as far as being able to adjust the frequencies that are feeding back, hence my idea of using an EQ. 

 

Played out the other night and used my L2T with vocals and guitar going into it. Sounded great, but the same problem happened. That one note. Endless feedback to the point where I want to quit music. I'm a bit of a drama queen I know, but when I'm playing and singing it drives me nuts. 

 

Any ideas / help appreciated. 


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#2 RonMarton

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:46 PM

...What I'm thinking about is perhaps a graphic EQ, one of those behringer or DBX rackmount EQ's or perhaps some parametric EQ...

 

I think you're more or less on the right track with that approach, but I feel that not only will implementing rack mounted gear be a very "messy" arrangement, most of it will be very hard to tune for exactly the right feedback-killing "notch" you're after ...and some will either not filter steeply enough or take "too big a bite" out of the spectrum, to the detriment of your tone.

 

Given that you're already using a pedalboard, the little devil that first springs to my mind is the Utility Parametric Eq pedal from WMD Effects.  

 

http://proguitarshop...ametric-eq.html

 

http://www.wmdevices.com/utility.php

 

wmd-parametric-eq-3.jpg

 

The way this would work is that you'd "tune it" for the baritone resonator's particular problem, but only stomp it into service when you're using that particular instrument.

 

That "tuning" process will be a lot more straightforward with this type of parametric eq than it would be for most other devices, in that once you've decided which of the three bands contains the offending resonant "note", you first adjust the topmost "Q" control for that band fully clockwise to its "sharpest" notch, set the bottom "Level" control to its fully clockwise "maximum boost" as preparation for you to identify just where the large "Freq" knob needs to be set to eliminate that "ringing".

 

(This procedure is based on the fact that it's far easier for our ears to detect the presence of a note than trying to identify it from its absence.)

 

So, with those upper and lower knobs preset on the parametric eq box and the baritone guitar connected, you start with your speaker's level control set to "off", engage the parametric eq's stomp switch and then very slowly and carefully increase that speaker's level control until feedback just starts, then back it of to where it's just "on the verge" of ringing again.

 

You'll then find that sweeping the larger, middle "Freq" knob through its range will reveal a spot that makes the offending resonant note "jump out" at a surprisingly low setting of your speaker's level control.

 

That's the frequency that needs cutting, so to achieve this you then turn the bottom "Level" control anticlockwise from its neutral "noon" position, but only as far as is necessary to cure the feedback with a minimum of effect to your tone.

 

Subsequent widening of the "Q" (top knob coming back from fully clockwise) may allow less cut from the bottom knob to be more effective at eliminating feedback, but your ears are the only judge of the overall settings of all three knobs to achieve the best "anti-feedback versus tone" compromise.

 

A similar technique would also work using more comprehensive boxes such as Radial's excellent Tonebone PZ-Pre:

 

http://www.sweetwate...e/detail/PZPre/


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#3 federalhog

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 02:17 PM

Hey man, thanks. Yeah I was looking at that WMD pedal. Also the radial. I just would prefer not to go from preamp into another preamp. Or maybe you feel that is ok? Believe me, the last thing I want is a rack piece. 


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#4 dboomer

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:06 PM

I hear you ... feedback sucks!

 

I would recommend that you turn the FBS off in the speakers and used it in the mixer instead.  btw running them in RED mode is for speech only and will result in some unpleasantness. Always use green for music.

 

Now use the "Resonator DI" preset in the StageScape.  Maybe you haven't found it yet.  Start with the Acoustic Gtr Mic'd preset then go into Tweak mode.  On the top row just to the left of center you'll see a "folder".  Click on the folder and then on "load presets".  Scroll down on the list of 17 alternate ac gtr presets.  Resonator DI is second to the bottom.

 

Now ... this will get you about as far as you can get before you have to resort to things that will suck the tone out of your instrument to get more feedback reduction.  You are on the horns of a dilemma trying to amplify a resonator.  A lot will depend on how loud you need to get it, how close to the speakers you are and how big the room and stage you are playing on is.  That place on the planet where this does work is outside in the middle of a field where I''ll bet you can get 5 times louder before feedback than you can indoors.

 

Gotta get louder still ... well that's why they invented electric guitars ... sorry  B)   Not to sound like a sales pitch, but we have a couple Variax Resonator patches on JTV's along with all the alternate tunings you want.



#5 RonMarton

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:31 PM

Of course ! Silly me !

 

…Just buy a James Tyler Variax. Why didn't I think of that…?  :lol:  

 

(All jokes aside, should finances allow, that purchase would indeed be a magnificent solution to this problem, as well as giving you an amazing plethora of alternative instruments and sounds.)

 

Apologies, though, for mainly concentrating on the "speaker only, solo practice" mode, whereby I neglected to mention that you already own an entire "toolbox" of far better parametric equalisers, right there in your M20d.

 

So whether or not the "Resonator DI" preset that Don recommended totally solves this feedback issue, (I doubt it will, but a whole heap of expertise and development have gone into ensuring that it's a really good "starting point") it would really be worth your while to spend some unimaginably valuable time exploring and "playing with" (in every sense) the "Eq 6" that's in "Deep Tweak".

 

As you'll have seen me mention before, one of the greatest things about the M20d (and there are many great things) is the clarity and intuitive nature of the "illustrated training course" that it delivers with every such exploration.

 

In this particular case, you'll find that the "Eq 6" display and rotary controls exactly mimic the controls of the WMD Utility pedal I mentioned above, …except that there are two full sets of those knobs, (shown as "Mid 1" and "Mid 2" on page 3.9 of the Advanced Guide) as well as additional "Low" and "High" frequency "shelving" (not fully parametric) controls and a "live" graphic depiction of what your operation of those controls is actually doing to the audio spectrum.

 

Sure, the layout of those three rotary knobs ("Q" and "Freq", with the WMD's "Level" knob being called "Gain" by Line 6) is "sideways" instead of the "vertical" orientation on the WMD stomp box, but you'd still use the technique I described earlier to "tune" a "Mid" parametric eq for the purpose of "notching out" that ghastly "note", …the difference being that, with practice, you may find that two different and more subtle "notches", (setting one first and then performing a "seek and destroy" on a remaining "harmonic" with the second) will yield the feedback reduction you're after, with far less effect on the overall tone of your instrument.

 

...I just would prefer not to go from preamp into another preamp. Or maybe you feel that is ok?...

 

Seriously, Esteemed Cross-Border Porker,

 

I will always do anything that reliably and practically gets us the sound we're after, regardless of any so-called "rules" that are frequently imposed by various self-proclaimed "experts" and "audiophiles"...

 

…so YES, that connection will work just fine to create your "one player, one pedalboard and one speaker box, cut-down" rig, but (as Don has indicated) some venues and physical layouts will always remain very hard to "ring out".

 

IMHO you will, however, definitely be far more likely to achieve a workable result with a carefully tuned parametric eq (or two) than with any automated "robot" that's always "hunting" for feedback and destroying your tone in the process. 


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#6 federalhog

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:03 PM

I find the same thing with the automated robots. Tone = gone. Well that variax might be a nice guitar, but I doubt it produces the subtle nuances of a resonator guitar. As I said, I'm not doing the guitar > mixer, but rather to the 3LT. 

I could and should do the guitar > mixer, but as I might have mentioned, the bass of the L3T is kick lollipop with the baritone resonator. Through the monitor alone it's meh. 

 

So I'm looking at a few parametric EQ's. The WMD looks like a solid contender. But I'm also looking at the BBE Acoustimax, which has adjustable mids and notch filters. I went back and read what you wrote about tuning the mids. If I was 1/2 as good with sound as I am playing slide, I'd be golden :)

 

I realize I should really be going into the mixer though. Maybe I'll try that and swap the 2Lt out for a 3lt on it's side as a monitor to get the nice bass I get. Now of course this is in the basement/studio. Playing out, it's going to sound like crap no matter what I do, it always does and my bass player just says, get use to it, it never ever ever sounds good on stage. 


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#7 federalhog

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:08 PM

I hear you ... feedback sucks!

 

I would recommend that you turn the FBS off in the speakers and used it in the mixer instead.  btw running them in RED mode is for speech only and will result in some unpleasantness. Always use green for music.

 

Now use the "Resonator DI" preset in the StageScape.  Maybe you haven't found it yet.  Start with the Acoustic Gtr Mic'd preset then go into Tweak mode.  On the top row just to the left of center you'll see a "folder".  Click on the folder and then on "load presets".  Scroll down on the list of 17 alternate ac gtr presets.  Resonator DI is second to the bottom.

 

Now ... this will get you about as far as you can get before you have to resort to things that will suck the tone out of your instrument to get more feedback reduction.  You are on the horns of a dilemma trying to amplify a resonator.  A lot will depend on how loud you need to get it, how close to the speakers you are and how big the room and stage you are playing on is.  That place on the planet where this does work is outside in the middle of a field where I''ll bet you can get 5 times louder before feedback than you can indoors.

 

Gotta get louder still ... well that's why they invented electric guitars ... sorry  B)   Not to sound like a sales pitch, but we have a couple Variax Resonator patches on JTV's along with all the alternate tunings you want.

 

But I'll bet those guitars have the standard wimpy nut width all electrics do, which is why I can't play electrics anymore. One of my nationals has almost a 2" nut width. Neck is a baseball bat on the baritone Nationals. I have a danelectro electric. I can't even play the damn thing. Plus your forgetting the circus aspect of using resonator guitars. Not many people use them, which is one of the reasons I do. Most people have never seen them before, so with that, the upright bass, it's like a little side show. 

 

Yeah the drummer is pretty loud. Luckily I have electric style pickups in my resonators as well. I am just reluctant to use them as the resonator tone is lost through a conventional pickup. As we play out more and more I'm afraid I'll have to use the pickups instead of the piezo highlanders. 


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#8 RonMarton

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:25 PM

...Well that variax might be a nice guitar, but I doubt it produces the subtle nuances of a resonator guitar...

 

Sorry Line 6-ers, but when it comes to the likes of slide, dobro, pedal steel and various zydeco and folk style instruments , I'm also always in favour of the acoustic originals "warts and all"...

 

...it's going to sound like crap no matter what I do, it always does and my bass player just says, get use to it, it never ever ever sounds good on stage...

 

…And I'm with your bass player there as well.

 

One "trick" though...

 

…It often happens that moving even a foot or so one way or the other, (left, right, upstage or downstage, on a higher or lower platform) takes a players ears "out" from being in an acoustic "hole" (that engineers call a reflective "node") that "hole" having a marked effect on being able to hear bass more than on any other part of the spectrum, and corners should definitely be avoided if that's at all possible.

 

Same with possibly relocating and/or elevating the speaker box.

 

It may still be crap, just not quite as deep, …er, …aah, …um, …in every sense of that word.  :)


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#9 dboomer

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 03:45 PM

"Now I have the L3T going into the Stagescape "

I'm confused... Are you going into the mixer or not?

#10 federalhog

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:46 AM

I have the 3LT DI out going to the mixer. In essence, I'm using it as an acoustic amp. 


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#11 actdmusic

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:51 AM

It's VERY strange that you notice a sound difference by doing it this way instead of going in to the M20d first...  In my mind it should be the same or even better.


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#12 federalhog

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:56 AM

This way, I'm going direct into the speaker and then into the board. Otherwise the thing would just have to be setup as a monitor. I'm use to using it like that when I play out, so I figure the same setup at home would be good. 


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#13 actdmusic

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:46 PM

Man, just go direct form your stomp boxes to 2 channels on the mixer, one channel for the BBE and one for the Boss BD. 

This way you can even EQ them separately ;)  


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