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Can You Simulate A 12 String Guitar With A 6 String?


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An accurate simulation - no. A "sounds ok for this part" like sound - maybe depending on how picky you are.


The problem is that a typical 12 string has additional bass strings that are an octave higher, but the additional top strings are roughly in unison - how it is actually tuned depends on what you want.  Some people only double some of the strings to have a 9 or 10 string for example.


A bit of very short delay will simulate that second string being plucked.


A Pitch Shifter can simulate the Octave higher strings - which is right for the bass strings, but is wrong for the upper strings where the extra string is close tuned to it's pair


The chorus effect can simulate (sort of) the effect of two strings playing together which is right for the upper strings but wrong for the bass strings.


Getting a good 12 string sound from 6 strings is very difficult.  There is the idea of Nashville Tuning where the lower strings are replaced on a 6 string with thinner strings so that when double tracked with a standard 6 string is gives a 12 string effect


Even JTV 12 string simulations where each string is individually processed to give a simulated double with individual levels and micro tuning variations can sound false at times, but does allow you to play with almost any variation that you may want to try.

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I'm not at my equipment today, but if I remember correctly there is a factory preset that comes with the HD500 that simulates a 12-string using a 6-string. I believe it's in the Bass-Aco-Voc setlist but can't be sure. What I am sure of is that, after listening to it, my reaction was - well, maybe useful in a pinch but not enough like a 12-string to fool anybody.

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  • 2 weeks later...

  • I havent found any preset that really addressess a 12 string in Line 6 or any other make. The pitch shifting isn't really up to it, you can get it to sound OK on individual notes but then it sounds awful when you strum. The best proven and reliable approximation i have found over the years is to combine a compressor, chorus and delay. The chorus modulates the note around the delay to give a subtle 'slightly out of tune' sound while the compressor gives sparkle and jangle.... it ain't perfect but it is reliable and a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn't tell the difference.

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