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loydall

Dialling in acoustic patches with/without IRs

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Hi,

I have an Epiphone EJ-200SCE which uses Fishman Sonitone Pickups. I set up a basic patch on my helix for this acoustic guitar. It was an LA Studio Compressor, an EQ to get rid of a bit of the boomy sound and then a bit of plate reverb. It sounded pretty decent (to my ears).

 

Then I started playing around with adding IRs first in my chain. I tried the 3 Sigma audio Taylor IRs that I think are geared towards dealing with that piezo sound and they seemed to do a really good job of masking that sound (I've never liked "that" sound of electro acoustics... that sort of plastic sound you get from piezo mics).

 

But - there was a frequency happening when I applied these IRs that I just wasn't liking. It had a sort of a "quack" sound to it that I found really difficult to dial out. My ears aren't good enough to know exactly where the problem was. I sort of thought it was around 1khz but it didn't really improve the sound when I knocked that out. (I tried moving a narrow parametric eq around but I just couldn't nail it)

 

So I decided to ditch the IR and go back to the simple patch I'd dialled in first. The problem now was that in doing that I was back to the piezo sound and it sounded dull compared to the IR! It's like the IR had shown me I could get better sounds out of my guitar/helix but I didn't quite know how to improve the IR. Almost like the IR gave me that crisp acoustic clarity and removed the piezo sound but it also got rid of the warmth I liked about not using IRs and added an odd quacky sort of frequency.

 

I guess my question is - given the guitar/pickups I have can any of you recommend any decent (acoustic guitar) IRs to improve my piezo sounding guitar and also any tips on how to dial in a good sound. I want a nice clear, acoustic sound without any boom that sounds good picked and strummed. 

 

Cheers.

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How does your guitar sound to you with just the pickups straight into an acoustic amp or PA? I play out with an Alvarez Yairi and searched for years looking for a pickup that worked nicely with it. I settled on a B-Band A2.2 with XOM. It sounded natural on its own, so whenever I experimented with IRs in Helix I never really liked the results (I also used 3 Sigma acoustic IRs). If I used an IR at all, it was at about 35%. If your pickup sounds like "quack and plastic" on its own, then the IRs help more, I think.

 

Your're on the right path ... start simple with the compressor followed by EQ (also try the Acoustic Sim EQ), get it sounding as good as you can, then mix in just a little IR if still needed. Also, if you search around on youtube and this forum there are plenty of good attempts to get Helix playing nicely with an acoustic. There is so much variation in guitars and pickups, though, that you will end up creating your own patches.

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The guitar straight into the PA on its own sounds ok but it still has that piezo sound to it (that I would describe as plastic). 

 

The "quack" sound is from when I apply the IR. (Any of the IRs I'm using, that is). The IR adds clarity (which I like) and gets rid of the piezo sound (which is a good thing) but introduces a "quack" sort of sound/frequency that I'm not so keen on.

 

I think your point about blending the IR in quite low is a good one. I'll give that go.

 

Cheers

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I just recorded this. Excuse the random playing but hopefully should give an idea of sound. Hopefully this link will work. Any tips on improving this? This is with a 3 Sigma audio Martin acoustic IR plus a bit of compression and an EQ. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, loydall said:

This is with a 3 Sigma audio Martin acoustic IR plus a bit of compression and an EQ. 


Hi,

 

There are stacks of “Acoustic” presets over in the CustomTone section:

 

Here’s a link to one I did way back in 2016, (Acoustic Zep) and it has been used as a stating point for quite a few other users to develop their own modified version. I think I originally used it with my old Variax so you may need to change the input for your guitar. IIRC, it has parametric EQ, studio mic preamp, couple of compressors, a chorus, tape delay and reverb. Add your Sigma IR and eq to taste and refine to suit. It’s somewhere to start experimenting. I have also used this with my Gordon Giltrap Signature Deluxe acoustic fitted with a Fishman Rare Earth Blend system.

 

https://line6.com/customtone/tone/1802464/

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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Have you tried throwing  in the Acoustic Sim? I run it parallel with my Variax and it can help.

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2 hours ago, brue58ski said:

Have you tried throwing  in the Acoustic Sim? I run it parallel with my Variax and it can help.

 

Well no but only because I'm running an acoustic (electro acoustic) into my PA (via my helix). I found the acoustic sim on top of an acoustic was too much. I assumed the Acoustic Sim was more for attempting to make electric guitars sound like acoustic, not improving the sound of an acoustic using piezo pickups.

 

But - I just tried it and while it didn't work when running entirely through the acoustic sim, I liked the top end/crisp it gave my guitar in conjunction with an IR. So I ran the acoustic sim on the split/b path but dialled in down to about 20% so all it did was enhance the acoustic/IR signal on the other path.

 

Worked really well actually.

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1 hour ago, loydall said:

 

Well no but only because I'm running an acoustic (electro acoustic) into my PA (via my helix). I found the acoustic sim on top of an acoustic was too much. I assumed the Acoustic Sim was more for attempting to make electric guitars sound like acoustic, not improving the sound of an acoustic using piezo pickups.

 

But - I just tried it and while it didn't work when running entirely through the acoustic sim, I liked the top end/crisp it gave my guitar in conjunction with an IR. So I ran the acoustic sim on the split/b path but dialled in down to about 20% so all it did was enhance the acoustic/IR signal on the other path.

 

Worked really well actually.

 

Yeah. It's not perfect at all but it does add something. I also barely have it in the mix. I use it as a subtle enhancement. Definitely don't use it full on so to speak. Sorry. I don't think I made that clear.

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