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andymguitar

How can I make my acoustic models sound more like an acoustic...

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So I've been working with the Variax for half a year now. Still not entirely convinced by many of the models, but most concerned about the acoustics as that is what I need more than anything else. I find that there is too much boom, you can strike a chord at a relatively low velocity and some undertones jump out alarmingly! There are also some odd harmonic things going on, it just doesn't sounds as nice as an actual acoustic really…  Any one have any suggestions?

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58 minutes ago, andymguitar said:

So I've been working with the Variax for half a year now. Still not entirely convinced by many of the models, but most concerned about the acoustics as that is what I need more than anything else. I find that there is too much boom, you can strike a chord at a relatively low velocity and some undertones jump out alarmingly! There are also some odd harmonic things going on, it just doesn't sounds as nice as an actual acoustic really…  Any one have any suggestions?

 

What are you playing through? If it's ANYTHING but some type of FRFR speaker(s), you'll never get a convincing acoustic tone. Trying to use those models with a traditional guitar amp is futile...the frequency response is far too narrow, and it'll just end up sounding like an anemic, clean electric guitar. 

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3 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

What are you playing through? If it's ANYTHING but some type of FRFR speaker(s), you'll never get a convincing acoustic tone. Trying to use those models with a traditional guitar amp is futile...the frequency response is far too narrow, and it'll just end up sounding like an anemic, clean electric guitar. 

I've tried it through an acoustic amp and into the fx loop on my amp, but neither is great really. Maybe I need to invest in a powered speaker then!

 

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A decent acoustic amp should be good enough for good full-range speakers. I personally don't think the acoustic tones are very convincing to my ears. You could try running the output though something that applies acoustic guitar IRs, like a Fishman Aura 16 ... that should give it more of a "woody" tone, but I'd see if you could try one or borrow one first. Mama Bear also makes a similar device..., Xvive, ToneDexter, and others.

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13 hours ago, andymguitar said:

I've tried it through an acoustic amp and into the fx loop on my amp, but neither is great really. Maybe I need to invest in a powered speaker then!

 

 

The regular amp is a lost cause...FX return, front end, doesn't matter. It's the speaker that's the problem.

 

The acoustic amp on the other hand should theoretically yield decent results, but as always ymmv. Never tried one with the Variax, personally,  so I've little to offer on that front... but through Helix and an L2T they're quite useable. Perhaps not as pristine as the real thing if you're sitting and playing in a room by yourself, but live to crowd of Friday night drunks, it's more than adequate... also covers up the fact that I can't play real acoustics worth a damn... ;)

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I think I may try and borrow a powered speaker and see if that's any good, otherwise I may as well sell and buy a decent acoustic!

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....now you're talking. A good acoustic sounds a LOT like a good acoustic. (Although if you perform live, amplifying that great sound presents its own set of challenges). 

 

Cruison's comment re: playing to a Friday night crowd (and in a mix with other instruments) is spot on — it works good enuf, but not so good as a solo "acoustic guitar."

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On 5/21/2018 at 11:32 AM, andymguitar said:

So I've been working with the Variax for half a year now. Still not entirely convinced by many of the models, but most concerned about the acoustics as that is what I need more than anything else.  Any one have any suggestions?

 

There are many reasons that trying to make an electric guitar PERFORM like an acoustic is a waste of time.........

Even after going full FRFR, the first thing that any experienced player will notice is that the missing factor of the actual presence of the guitar itself.

An acoustic is a live thing..you can feel it...not a deadstick electric in your lap while you hear something else entirely through your speaker/amp. Try Alt Tunings and it gets even worse. You learned or were taught to play by listening to the instrument itself, and now the disconnect is something that I could never get used to.Then everyone will tell you that you need to change your playing style, ie: "Pick Softly".."Use a Soft Pick", ETC, ETC, the list goes on and on. 

I play a 500X FRFR "Dream Rig" after trying to sort out the same things as yourself, but now for any acoustic sets I just go direct with a real acoustic guitar. Latest is a Muiderman OM.  Wow!  Model that ! The Doctor knows his stuff !

I'm gonna say that if your a person that is looking for the acoustic to work as a mainstay, experience tells me that you won't find it foots the bill.

Try an accompanying percussion finger line on your Variax....Go ahead...I'll wait. 

And that's just one thing out of a long list that you won't be able to replicate. Try out an E-Bow and a slide sometime....

AND...Last but not least....I've never had any reliability/service/ parts issues with ANY acoustic guitar that I own. Never.

Try the powered speakers out if you can rent or borrow 'em. But approach it as an acoustic player first if that's what you use or need the most.

Not Visa-Versa. You'll be a lot happier.  

"Good Enough" also means you will never get any better than this.................Hope that ain't 'yer goal ?

 

Shawn

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Guitarkyller said:

 

There are many reasons that trying to make an electric guitar PERFORM like an acoustic is a waste of time.........

Even after going full FRFR, the first thing that any experienced player will notice is that the missing factor of the actual presence of the guitar itself.

An acoustic is a live thing..you can feel it...not a deadstick electric in your lap while you hear something else entirely through your speaker/amp. Try Alt Tunings and it gets even worse. You learned or were taught to play by listening to the instrument itself, and now the disconnect is something that I could never get used to.Then everyone will tell you that you need to change your playing style, ie: "Pick Softly".."Use a Soft Pick", ETC, ETC, the list goes on and on. 

I play a 500X FRFR "Dream Rig" after trying to sort out the same things as yourself, but now for any acoustic sets I just go direct with a real acoustic guitar. Latest is an OM Muiderman, Chapdelaine model.  Wow!  Model that ! The Doctor knows his stuff !

I'm gonna say that if your a person that is looking for the acoustic to work as a mainstay, experience tells me that you won't find it foots the bill.

Try an accompanying percussion finger line on your Variax....Go ahead...I'll wait. 

And that's just one thing out of a long list that you won't be able to replicate.

AND...Last but not least....I've never had any reliability/service/ parts issues with ANY acoustic guitar that I own. Never.

Try the powered speakers out if you can rent or borrow 'em. But approach it as an acoustic player first if that's what you use or need the most.

Not Visa-Versa. You'll be a lot happier.  

"Good Enough" also means you will never get any better than this.................Hope that ain't 'yer goal ?

 

Shawn

 

 

 

Yeah, agree.. I'm mainly a classical player, but do quite a few musicals, and the appeal of the variax (with my XT live) is to be able to get a wide variety of controllable sounds  that I can change quickly. For a gig that's all acoustic or all electric I would leave it at home for sure..!

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So I had  slight breakthrough tonight, put the Variax and XT live through the house PA (doing a theatre show this week.) and it worked really well. Acoustic sounds were much better and the soundman was very happy to have a direct feed rather than a mic on my amp. There's barely enough space for one guitar in the pit so brining an acoustic and electric is not possible..

 

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55 minutes ago, andymguitar said:

So I had  slight breakthrough tonight, put the Variax and XT live through the house PA (doing a theatre show this week.) and it worked really well. Acoustic sounds were much better and the soundman was very happy to have a direct feed rather than a mic on my amp. There's barely enough space for one guitar in the pit so brining an acoustic and electric is not possible..

 

Models/amp/cab sims...everything worked much better for me going direct/FRFR. You also need to learn and spend some time in Workbench HD to get the models to sound their best....took me a while with the 500X too. Rocks it now tho'.

Anything acoustic just didn't cut the mustard for the reasons stated. 

Hope you get what you need....but a nice new GOOD acoustic/w/pick-ups at your disposal is never a bad thing !

You'll never have a problem that more new gear won't fix.........LOL !

"HONEY ! ................. I NEED a new Taylor 814 "........O.K. ?

 

Shawn

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Two things:

 

.011" gauge strings with a wound G.

Play with the flesh of your fingers and thumb.

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For those like me who record on a DAW, the Maserati ACG plug-in by Waves sounds great with the Variax acoustic models.  I tried the presets with all the acoustic models -- some sucked and some were ok.  But several of them really made the acoustic models shine!  It's pretty cheap ($29) and simple to use.  Hope this helps.

 

Sandy

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5 hours ago, cbeattyjr said:

 

Play with the flesh of your fingers and thumb.

 

 

Which is fine if you're a fingerstyle player... won't help a lot of folks though. 

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On 2/21/2019 at 9:11 PM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Which is fine if you're a fingerstyle player... won't help a lot of folks though. 

Good point.  However, folks who play a lot of acoustic-electric guitar (no matter what brand) might want to consider playing with their fingers and thumb.  I'm not saying to become a "fingerstyle" player.  Just consider your normal techniques without a pick.  Nearly always sound better when amplified.  No quack.  Requires way less processing.

 

On the other hand, when I'm not playing amplified, I get buried by the guy with a dreadnought playing with a pick!

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