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phil_m

Tips On Getting Acoustic Sounds

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Just in case people didn't see this link in the other thread, I thought I'd start a new topic since this is brought up a lot here.

 

The biggest point Sean makes is that playing the Variax acoustics and having them sound good requires a light touch - a very light touch, really. I think this is where many of the complaints come from. You can't necessarily treat the Variax like an acoustic guitar and strum the crap out of it like you would a real acoustic guitar and expect it to sound good.

 

Anyway, here's the link again.

 

http://blog.line6.com/2013/2061/

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    Thanks for posting this. I have been noticing that a number of patches people loaded on customtone for "Acoustic" sounds have a propensity to get overdriven real easily. Not a good sound for acoustic guitar. Playing lightly is another matter and a little counter intuitive to me - I tend to gravitate to playing like I would with a real acoustic. Not getting the best results with that either. I guess I'll have to go through this blog post, take some time to digest it all & adjust my thinking & playing style when it comes to JTV acoustic sounds. Some of the acoustic sounds on Sean's videos are outstanding, and I haven't gotten close to those results yet.

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but it would be great if Sean make available the patch he wore in the video, others he posted are not The Same

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The problem I'm having with acoustic sounds from my 59 is string rattle on the 6th string (low E), no matter HOW easily I "hit" it. It seems to be limited to the J-200 and the D-28. The others seem to be okay. Any suggestions (other than not using those two models)?

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Don't think so, Charlie. It's only on those two models; the other acoustics, the resonators, strats, teles, LPs, etc., seem to be just fine (no rattle), so it must be in the modeling.

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Should not do that if you have no string buzz.  It may be much more evident on the acoustic models.  I would still try a slight action change and see if it has an effect.

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Sitting & tweaking a bit w/Seans' patch & workbench - Just HAD to say I LOVE my new 69...& my 59  - the pod500 I have  much to learn..., but after 48 yrs. I'm pretty freakin happy

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I've noticed a curious thing, every time I go to record the sound of acoustic guitars distort, and I did all the tests possible, I took out the compressor, volume decreases, treshhold, I changed my position, shifted in mixer and then I caught a empty patch and noticed that even then saturating in the bass, it seems a problem of the acoustic, the electric does not saturate,

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how you guys think is most likely to saturate the sound of acoustic guitar? increasing the compressor or increasing mixer? because i use mixer 10db

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I've noticed a curious thing, every time I go to record the sound of acoustic guitars distort, and I did all the tests possible, I took out the compressor, volume decreases, treshhold, I changed my position, shifted in mixer and then I caught a empty patch and noticed that even then saturating in the bass, it seems a problem of the acoustic, the electric does not saturate,

 

I too noticed that the Acoustics were compressing/saturated since 2.0 when there appeared to be a significant volume increase.  

 

Use Workbench HD to reduce the global string volumes, and if necessary the patch volumes as the saturation can occur within the JTV - this can also be caused by using heavier string gauges.

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It would be nice if the Variax had a way to indicate that clipping was happening anywhere in the signal chain.  (Like the Pods do)  Then we would know to reduce the string volume settings.  Piezo outputs vary quite a lot from unit to unit.  (I use them at work)  Vendors often sort them into bins that are close to each other but from bin to bin they vary a bunch. 

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and yet I use +3 or 4 db in patch acustic (5) on the workbench, is it this that is causing the distortion?

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Not too long ago I completed the Dreamrig with the L2t. (JTV 69, HD500). I could not believe how good the acoustic patches sounded. I also found that I was over driving the patches with eq and compressors to raise the volume. I took every thing out except reverb and an eq to lower the low freqs, I was able to set the mixer to 6 db.

 

WHile you can't play the acoustic patches as hard as a real acoustic guitar, you can play them hard. The dynamic range is pretty wide before you over drive. Since you have the L2t and 800 wats. You can always turn the amp up and lay back a little on your playing.

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I think I would recommend moving the high amplitude models down to match them rather than moving the low amplitude ones up.  Any clipping will cause lots of distortion and bad sound.

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It would be nice if the Variax had a way to indicate that clipping was happening anywhere in the signal chain.  (Like the Pods do)  Then we would know to reduce the string volume settings.  Piezo outputs vary quite a lot from unit to unit.  (I use them at work)  Vendors often sort them into bins that are close to each other but from bin to bin they vary a bunch. 

 

"Like the Pods do"?  That's news to me.  One of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of overload indication on my HD500.  Which Pod models have this instrumentation?

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Empty patch on HD500 saturating means the JTV is too hot an input - use workbench to turn it down.  For normal guitars that is what the Pad switch is for or you lower the pickups.

 

It is all very well the software automatically limiting, but really wish that we could see where it is happening.  

 

On the JTV there could be a "calibration process" where the individual string amplitudes are adjusted automatically for your current strings, specific set of peizos and your definition of "strum hard". Would at least take one bit of guesswork out of the process of making a JTV sound good.

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how can i use the WB to turn down the input? you say to lower the volume of the strings individually? which another type of regulation has the workbench for acoustic?

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Hi!

 

The great YT Demos were made with Firmware 1.8.

Should I still use 1.8 in 2016 or what is the best Firmware for the acousticsounds?

Is it further ok to use 0.12 strings on a STV69?

 

Thanks!

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Hi!

 

The great YT Demos were made with Firmware 1.8.

Should I still use 1.8 in 2016 or what is the best Firmware for the acousticsounds?

Is it further ok to use 0.12 strings on a STV69?

 

Thanks!

It's 147% subjective....the "best" version to use is the one that sounds good to YOU. We could argue all day long about which firmware version is "better" for this, or that. Nobody's "right". If you like what you hear, then it's good. If not, it sucks. Experimenting is the only way to find out.

 

Use whatever strings you're comfy with...but changing the gauge will require a set-up.

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I've played Variaxes for years.  Started with the 300 and now have had the JTV59 .  I use it for all my acoustic stuff.  Live and studio.  A few things:

 

  • I play with my thumb and fingers.  I think all acoustic-electrics sound better that way.
  • I use .011 gauge strings with a wound G.  Makes a big difference.

BTW.  I occasionally play an acoustic songwriter showcase where the other "purists" play Martins and other high end stuff straight into a microphone.  When I come on with my Variax through the PA they are always amazed. 

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Yeah, my wife and I have an "acoustic" duo that is all variax. It is really hard to beat...I go direct to a behringer XR16 with a little compression and eq...sounds decent.

 

Here are some demo tracks...all played and recorded live...(variax / looper and harmonizer). The tracks are raw off my board recorded to usb. Percussion is using a beat buddy pedal.

 

https://soundcloud.com/littleblackdressband/sets/little-black-dress-demo

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My problem is that I can't use the WorkBensh because I'm blind and the software is not accessible.

So what had you to adjust via WorkBensh and what is the firmware version?

 

Tia! / Martin

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I'm just starting out with my jtv59 and for 12-string acoustics and the Chime 12s I'm lowering the low E and A octave string volumes, not the original Low E and A -- in other words in workbench I lower the "parallel" string volumes ( these are the higher notes which Workbench calls parallel strings ).  Those have been reduced to about 30%.   I'm also lowering the octave/parallel volume on the high E.     A little of the Dimension ( chorus ) effect in the POD patch helps, but dial the mix down.

 

What I'm not clear on is the detuning where you set your octave/parallel string to be something other than an exact octave ( +12 ) up.    I've been trying -2 cents and it seems ok.

 

For any acoustic I'm keeping the drive on the amp low since we don't usually want any distortion.  For this amps like the AC30 and Jazz Rivet ( in the POD vintage pack ) seem clean enough.  Some of the Fender amps should work too as long as you keep the drive low.  The jazz rivet ( Roland Jazz Chorus ) 2x12 speaker cabinet also seems to handle clean sounds well but I"m sure there are others.

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......

 

For any acoustic I'm keeping the drive on the amp low since we don't usually want any distortion. .....

Apologies if I'm repeating earlier comments in this thread. I haven't gone back to read the whole thing.....

 

Have you tried using no guitar amp at all? I usually use just a compressor, EQ, and optionally a small amount of chorus, delay, and reverb. One of the available imported acoustic IRs also helps. The Variax Tone knob is also helpful in dialing in the desired amount of body resonance, based on modelled mic placement.

 

I find I also need to use a really light touch when playing the Variax acoustic models. Heavy strumming just doesn't sound good. The acoustic models don't behave so well with too much vibration on the piezos.

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I'll try no amp with a cabinet and mic in my 500x.  I suspect for the Rick/Chime 12 string you would want an amp though.

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Actually, no amp means no cabinet.  What did you mean by "One of the available imported acoustic IRs also helps." ?

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Actually, no amp means no cabinet. What did you mean by "One of the available imported acoustic IRs also helps." ?

That's Helix only...can't import external IRs with the POD.

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Gotcha.   I'll probably keep testing with the Jazz Rivet amp ( Roland Jazz Chorus ) versus no amp in my 500x.    The other factor of course is how it sounds in a band mix and other than playing along with mp3s at home, there's only one way to test that.

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Yeah same here, when I'm using the acoustic sounds I select no amp and just add subtle effects, it sounds much better in my opinion as your getting the full range of the guitar and it's not being filtered by an amp/speaker model.

Of course all that goodness can be undone if you're not using a FRFR system

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For some reason I tend to think of the Rickenbacker 12 string ( chime ) as acoustic even though it isn't.   I"ve been running that one through a combination of Vox AC30 and AC15 amps.  I also tweaked the parallel strings in Workbench.      I use a parametric EQ on just about everything with some reduction of mid-range frequencies in a narrow band.  It removes some slight harshness in the acoustics, but also seems to remove a bit of the "live" feel -- hard to put into words.

 

Some tend to view headphones as a viable monitoring solution for tweaking patch/JTV settings, but if you play live in a band I wonder if that is really true.  Sure it sounds rich and you can feed your mp3 into the pod for easy "play along,"  but I wonder if it doesn't make things sound better or at least different than they really will in a band mix.

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Some tend to view headphones as a viable monitoring solution for tweaking patch/JTV settings, but if you play live in a band I wonder if that is really true. Sure it sounds rich and you can feed your mp3 into the pod for easy "play along," but I wonder if it doesn't make things sound better or at least different than they really will in a band mix.

No two final output devices are going to sound exactly the same...don't care what anyone says. That being said, IF your live rig is FRFR, headphones are a perfectly viable tweaking tool, provided that you're using an appropriate set. If you're using a regular amp and cab, then you can forget it. You won't even get close.

 

I use a pair of AKG 240S cans that get me very close to what I get from my L2T. It's never gonna be identical, but it's damn close...minimal tweaking required between them.

 

Stick with pairs that are billed as "studio" or "studio monitor" headphones...something that will give you a reasonably flat response. If it says "Dr. Dre" on it, it's not the tool for the job. There are tons of options from the reasonably priced, to the absurd. The AKG's are ~$100 most places, and sound great. Been using them for years.

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I play through the house PA at church, direct, no amps.  Unfortunately I donated my good "cans" to the sound team.   At home I generally use an Alto powered speaker TS112.   Even "mp3 player" style ear buds sound better -- not sure if that's stereo or just isolation from bedroom acoustics.

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