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Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by Jerry259 on 2012-07-29 19:42:30.2090

Based on weeks of reading, I think that this will work but I would like to know 100% that it will.

I want to run both the piezo and magnetic pickups of a hybrid guitar through the HD500 as tone 1 & 2 respectively.

Tone 1 - MAGNETIC would at least have compression, eq, amp & cab, reverb, delay, as well as wah and some mod effects once in a while (trem, chorus, flange, etc).

Tone 2 - PIEZO would have compression, eq, reverb and delay. Sometimes I may run an amp & cab for some interesting tones (whish may cause DSP limit errors).

Alternatively for Tone 2, I may get a Fishman Aura Spectrum DI which would simplify DSP useage. The Aura has 3 band eq, compression and 3 notch filters for feedback.

I would mix Tone 1 & 2 in the post area as I would actually prefer sending one stereo mixed signal to the soundman. I want to control how much electric or acoustic tones get heard based on the song I am playing. I could also then add some delays that would apply equally to both tones at times. I could also make full use of the onboard looper.

I will always run this through a PA system. I do not own a guitar amp and will not be buying one. The signal will be XLR left & right out to the PA, then back to me via monitors.


1) Will this work??

2) Will I run into DSP limit errors??

3) If I never run amp & cab on the piezo signal, should I be free of DSP limit errors??

4) Can I have some patches setup to run both piezo & magnetic AND some patches setup to only run the magnetic signal as dual tones?? I am refering to the input settings. Can I change input settings for some patches or is it one way for every patch??


Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by jimsreynolds on 2012-07-30 01:22:01.3600
  • Will it work?:  basically yes but with limitations as per below.
  • Will you run into DSP Limits?  I think that with an amp model on both paths and use of Reverb and delay then the answer is probably 'yes'.  
  • With just one amp you should get away with it but frankly the risk is still fairly high if you use a 'greedy' combination of effects.  Doubling up on Reverb and Delay is probably the biggest issue. 
  • Input settings you can choose to either set for all patches or to set on a patch-by-patch basis.  You would achieve what you want with the latter.

Not 100% that I understand your mixing setup but you will save DSP if you can share Delay/Reverb and or modulation across both channels.  This can be achieved by putting the FX post-mixer..

Piezo with amp models?  Not entirely sure why you would want to.  You can probably do better with EQ or the Vintage pre-amp on that channel.

Bearing in mind that you can set some patches to be Piezo and others to use the Mag pickup:  do you need to blend the two signals at all?  Just thinking out loud ....

Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by Jerry259 on 2012-07-30 11:21:51.4580

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it!

I should perhaps have mentioned that I am approaching the HD500 as an acoustic player who wants to add some edge once in a while. I have grown tired of the feedback problems inherint with acoustic guitars on stage. I have found that some piezo equiped guitars sound as good or better then piezo equiped acoustics, when you COMPLETELY isolate the piezo sound. I think that many people say a piezo equiped acoustic sounds better than an piezo equiped electric simply because they still hear the un-amplified acoustic tones when playing. OR, the piezo equiped electric is running through the clean channel of an electric amp (big no-no). I plugged a piezo equiped Schecter into a Fishman acoustic amp and was completely shocked at the acoustic tone!!

So I would use the piezo almost all the time. About 50% of the time I would mix in a clean magnetic signal to add some warmth lets say 25% to 40% of the overall mix. Now for songs where the chorus gets intense, I want to add some distortion while still having the percusive tones that only come from acoustic type signals. Also, an acoustic guitar playing along with a clean electric that has some chorus or tremolo on it can sound so nice. There would be songs where I would use some lead tones with no piezo signal at all, or just some nice crunch!

Being that I can set input for patch-by-patch basis, I would not run amp & cab on the piezo input. There are situations where I could have separate piezo and magnetic patches. For Instance, song starts with acoustic only, I loop that, then switch to magnetic patch for some lead work.

In regards to reverb & delay it does makes more sense to run that in the post position. I realize that the times I want heavier reverb would be for isolated tones (piezo or magnetic), such as mellow fingerstyle acoustic playing or mellow magnetic leads. As such, I wouldn't need 2 of them running, I could just switch to another patch.

For a great example of mixing electric and acoustic signal click on the following link and go to 3:50 in the video

Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by jimsreynolds on 2012-07-30 16:36:23.4610

Impressive tone on that vid!   Surprisingly realistic.  Of course there is always the Variax .....

Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by Jerry259 on 2012-08-22 08:28:27.7670

I like the variax quite a bit. I would love to have one at some point. However, I can't see any way that you could run the magnetic pickups and the models at the same time. When you run models, your pickup selector switch is used for selecting different models. So therefore I could never have acoustic and electric tones at the same time. I do see that there are dual outputs, but if the selector switch is already being used, are you stuck with both pickups being on all the time? The Pilots Guide seems to indicate the same thing. You or either in anaolg mode or models, not both.

Still, I can appreciate the variax for what it is. At this point in time, it would not work for me.

Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by meambobbo on 2012-08-22 14:39:12.8130

You don't need a Variax.  What you are saying can be easily acheived.

Set Input 1 to Guitar and run the magnetics into the Pod's Guitar input.

Set Input 2 to Mic and run an XLR from your Piezo to the Pod's Mic input.

Do not put ANY effects in front of the channel split.

In Channel A, put the amp/cab you want and any effects you want to only hit the magnetics.

In Channel B, put your compressor and EQ.

Pan both channels dead center in the mixer and level their volumes relative to each other so that the tone is as dirty as you ever want it.

Place effects common to both signal behind the mixer (delay, reverb).

Put a Volume effect right before the mixer in Channel A.  Assign its volume parameter to your expression pedal with min 0%, max 100%.

Now when you have the exp pedal in heel position, you have 100% acoustic signal.  With the exp pedal in the toe position, you have the dirty mix you wanted.

If adding the dirty tone into the acoustic tone makes the volume too high, try setting another Volume effect at the end of Channel A and controlling it via the same EXP pedal, but set min to 100% and max to ~80%.  This will decrease some acoustic volume as you add in the dirty magnetic tone.

Volume effects are VERY cheap DSP-wise.  Reverbs are not.  If you need a reverb but cannot fit one, try using a Delay with a short time instead.  It sounds fine especially if you have a longer delay on top of it.

With both channels having amp+cab, you're going to get close to hitting the DSP limit if you use any reverb.  Otherwise, you should barely be ok.

Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by Rewolf48 on 2012-08-23 08:25:57.2740

The Tyler Variax Guitars (JTV) can output both Mags and Variax Models at the same time through the DVI connection.  You can set path A to be "Variax" and Path B to be "Variax Mags" on the HD500 and have both sounding at the same time.  There are several demos of this around.

I have one patch that I use for Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" which has a heavily distorted electric and then switches to an Acoustic with a capo at the thrid fret - I play it with my JTV using the Bridge humbucker into a "line 6 electric" for the distorted electric and the variax through just eq, compressor and reverb; the HD500 patch sets the variax to the correct Acoustic setting (factory) and does the transposing for the capo when I select the patch, and I use the expression pedal to switch between the two by varying the volume on each path.

The only thing I have to remember to do at the start of the song is to have the expression pedal in the correct place, the variax pickup switch in the humbucker position (JTV-69) and to then switch to the patch.

Re: Hybrid guitar, Aura Spectrum, HD500, dual tones & viability of it all!
by Jerry259 on 2012-12-01 20:06:42.7140

Well I have now aquired the HD500 and the Schecter Solo Custom E/A. I am haveing so much fun and inspiriation with this. With the coil splitting options and different amps I can get everything from clean and dirty strat tones to full out metal. I haven't started messing with amp sag, bias and such yet, that's next.

What I am quite surprised at is the tones you get when you mix in the piezo signal to pretty much anything. It brings in a little more of the lows and highs but also a little bit more clarity to the tone. In a way it brings in some single coil tone range while still having the beef of the humbuckers.

I have been having so much fun that I have spent very little time building dual signal tones. I just got a very satisfactory tone for fingerstyle acoustic the other day. It was good and then I added a hint of the neck pickup and it filled out the tone so nice. I find that heavy strumming isn't great yet, a little quacky. I may demo Fishman external preamp (Platinum Pro) to see what that does. It has 4 band eq with sweepable mids and also compression and a notch filter which would free up some more DSP for me.

One trouble that I am having is signal clipping when running acoustic tones. I am doing what you have recommended elsewhere; no amp, then compression, eq and such. I find that if I raise that eq much at all I get a hint of distortion. I still have to play with it I guess.

I also find that I greatly prefer the looper in the pre position so that I maintain stereo signal, but that of course has some limitations. I do enjoy the looper post, setting a rhythm track in one patch with acoustic, then switching to a nice lead tone.

Anyhow, thanks for your advice, I am certainly enjoying myself!

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