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Tone Matched Acoustic --> Electric: Peterson Style (Preset/IR Included)

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Voes did a great preset share and some people asked me for what I do in a similar vein. Instead of jacking his thread, I am doing my own.

Here's the scoop. I do a lot of acoustic work and acoustic gigs; I've been a long time user of the Line 6 Variax for acoustic stage performing. The past few years if you've seen any pictures of me from gigs that have been posted online, you've seen my JTV-59 Variax. What I offer to bands is the ability to go between acoustic-to-electric within a song too. That's a bit tricky with the Variax, you need to switch the guitar and your preset at the same time.

My #1 guitar is my 1995 PRS Custom 22; and during some downtime last fall, I spent some time Tone Matching in an attempt to make my PRS Custom 22 (with no piezo; JB humbucker Bridge) into an acoustic. Would it work? Could it work?

It worked pretty good actually. I ran the process twice. Took my *killer* Taylor K-16ce and made a recording of myself playing it. Mic'd with a tube Royer mic (David Royer did these as kits back in the day) and took my time till I was happy with how it sounded. When I Tone Match, I follow Cliff's advice - I just play a chord up and down the fretboard chromatically. All the way up, all the way down. I loop that in a DAW then do my Tone Match to that.

What I then did with this one is export the Tone Match as an IR and loaded it in to the preset and ran the Tone Match block after the IR and ran the Tone Match again. [edit] Then I used Fractal's Cab Lab and mixed the resultant IR's serially and combined them into ONE IR (it is attached). That got me MUCH closer to what I wanted. Then I added a multi-compressor and a slight chorus (Dimension D works PERFECT) and reverb. Works great. All you need is the one IR in a User Slot and your cab block pointing at it.

Ideal perfect world acoustic tone? NO WAY. A very musical, practical, usable acoustic/electric hybrid tone that stands alone well AND in a full band mix on stage? YES. My keyboard player in my band owns a studio and KNOWS tone; he even told me, "That's the best acoustic stage tone I've ever heard." Nuff said, case closed. Sean knows his stuff.

So I stripped all the Global stuff out, I stripped out all the expression pedal stuff and will share this here on the forum for now. Once we have block sharing on Axe-Exchange, I'll share it there too.

***IMPORTANT*** You MUST set the Multi-Compressor (and normal compressor block if you use that) to YOUR touch. I look for about a -3db or just over that on transients. When I did share this with an artist (from the Fractal Artist Page) that I work with, I had to change the settings drastically; he plays with a much lighter touch than I do.

This Tone Match was done with a Seymour Duncan JB, full volume, full tone on my 1995 PRS Custom 22. I did this with MY hands on both guitars; IMHO, that's important to note. In other hands, I have noted that it works well as a musical tone, but it is not the same in other hands.

This is a firmware v12.03beta5 preset.

Ideally, you have fun and enjoy it; tweak it to your heart's desire and if you possibly can - just do your own Tone Match in a similar manner for optimal results. The Axe-FX II is a VERY powerful tool; but unless you use those tools you just might not appreciate what it can do. The Tone Match is VERY cool and not just for copping EVH and JP tones. ;)

Attached find the preset and the IR that you need to point the user cab at. Use FractalBot to load the IR into one of your open User IR slots and change the Cab Block to point to that... and have at it.

The ToneMatch IR
View attachment 022-PRS Acoustic 1a.syx

The Preset
 

Attachments

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yek

Moderator
Moderator
Middle of the night so I can't try this now, but looking forward to doing this tomorrow!

BTW, I think you have both files switched, "022" being the IR.
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Middle of the night so I can't try this now, but looking forward to doing this tomorrow!

BTW, I think you have both files switched, "022" being the IR.
Cool. Thanks; I fixed the OP to point to the right files.
 
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yek

Moderator
Moderator
Scott, couldn't resist. Just tested. :)
As far as I can hear at super low volume, sounds really well.

On my system the Tone Match block is bypassed and is placed before the Cab. This doesn't seem to match your description. Also, enabling the TM block doesn't sound good.

After the 2nd Tone Match, did you export the Tone Match again, so the IR in fact comprises both TM operations (not needing the TM block)?
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Scott, couldn't resist. Just tested. :)
As far as I can hear at super low volume, sounds really well.

On my system the Tone Match block is bypassed and is placed before the Cab. This doesn't seem to match your description. Also, enabling the TM block doesn't sound good.

After the 2nd Tone Match, did you export the Tone Match again, so the IR in fact comprises both TM operations (not needing the TM block)?
Oops. I should point out that I merged the second Tone Match with the first using a serial chain in Fractal Audio's Cab Lab so all you need is the IR; not the Tone Match. I'll re-upload the Preset minus the Tone Match. Thanks for pointing that out.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
I think it sounds excellent. Presets which simulate acoustic guitars often record well, but are too thin for live use, IMHO.
This one, using the bridge pickup, has body and cuts through.

I haven't got much experience with MBC so I have to delve into that.
 

Roland

Veteran
Well, that's a big step forward for my ears. It sounds good on its own at home volumes. I suspect it may need a little EQ on the top and bottom ends to adjust for live volumes. Unfortunately that will have to wait until Monday when I can audition it in a live band mix.

Like yek I don't have experience of multi-band compressors. Any tips?
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Well, that's a big step forward for my ears. It sounds good on its own at home volumes. I suspect it may need a little EQ on the top and bottom ends to adjust for live volumes. Unfortunately that will have to wait until Monday when I can audition it in a live band mix.

Like yek I don't have experience of multi-band compressors. Any tips?
I think this has a great explanation of some not so obvious uses of multi-band compression. For example using it as an enhancer.

http://www.waves.com/1lib/pdf/plugins/c4-multiband-compressor.pdf
 

miketheman

Veteran
Thanks for sharing Scott!
Gonna test this preset/IR for sure.

I think Radley also did a write up about MBC somewhere, did it ever get WIKI:ed? Is he still around by the way?
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Just worry more about the threshold settings for each band; these are setup for my guitar, this preset and how I like an (faux in this case) acoustic to react.... and you can vary the output of them using each BAND as your EQ (*Hint hint).

It's not complicated really; in concept, it's just applying 'independent' compression differently spread over 3 different frequency ranges. If you use THIS as your EQ in terms of how you approach it; you'll find it's VERY powerful. Thought/approach suggestion: need a tight bottom, defined sustain in the mids and an open airy top? MBC is your golden ticket.

Pro Tip: this is THE block that I step to when I need specific types of tones and love to use this as an 'invisible' compression when applied very lightly (low ratios, delicate use of threshold - drive it very lightly) when artists ask for more 'sustain' without that obvious, no transient/no dynamic and even at extremes, pumping artifacts that compression can add. This is to compression what PEQ is to GEQ. One is a blunt force instrument; the other is a scalpel. MBC is perhaps one of the most useful blocks in the Axe-FX. It is surprising to me (sort of) that more metal guys don't get into it; but at the same time more 'vintage' guys can use it to do things thought impossible. MBC won't do EVERYTHING for you; but if you want subtle to insane levels of control over sustain even at low (or excessively high) levels of gain - boom. For instance, vintage/blues/jazz guys want very 'tight' top and bottom; but the elusive 'open' and 'haunting' mids. MBC to the rescue. Vice versa for the other extreme - metal guys. And -viola- all points in between. It's an extremely practical tool once you get it. Learning to work with it isn't as daunting as it seems; it's more about understanding the ranges of frequency versus your goals and then deciding what sort of compression to each given your goals and likewise the output levels.

Moral: the tools are in the box. Dig into the box.
 
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barhrecords

Axe-Master
After I got into the MBC block, I added a wish for one more band and bypass switches for each band (to in-place audition on/off without changing the threshold, different from mute).
 

smcrosby

Forum Addict
I cannot wait to try this out Scott - I am on b5 too. :encouragement:

BTW - can this preset be adapted to work with an Ovation acoustic? :eek:

I have an amazing 1983 Collectors Series Ovation Shallowback (i.e., their first shallowback) with ebony fretboard that is set up for shredding with .009-.046 strings. But the piezo electronics kill the acoustic sound. Any ideas on using the AXE FX II deep features to overcome the limitations of '83 Ovation electronics? :)
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
I cannot wait to try this out Scott - I am on b5 too. :encouragement:

BTW - can this preset be adapted to work with an Ovation acoustic? :eek:

I have an amazing 1983 Collectors Series Ovation Shallowback (i.e., their first shallowback) with ebony fretboard that is set up for shredding with .009-.046 strings. But the piezo electronics kill the acoustic sound. Any ideas on using the AXE FX II deep features to overcome the limitations of '83 Ovation electronics? :)
Re: your Ovation. The Process? Yes! Tone Match it against a 'real' acoustic you play, most definitely. Just using my preset with it? I would hazard a guess it will not work very well. What a humbucker puts out versus a piezo are very different; totally different platform. Result might be something useful, but also just might not work at all.

I would personally recommend doing a tone match to get your ovation's output in the ballpark more. It's a powerful feature and just might be the ticket to what you seek.
 

smcrosby

Forum Addict
Re: your Ovation. The Process? Yes! Tone Match it against a 'real' acoustic you play, most definitely. Just using my preset with it? I would hazard a guess it will not work very well. What a humbucker puts out versus a piezo are very different; totally different platform. Result might be something useful, but also just might not work at all.

I would personally recommend doing a tone match to get your ovation's output in the ballpark more. It's a powerful feature and just might be the ticket to what you seek.
Wow that was a quick response - thanks! :encouragement:

Will do Scott - but just so I am clear on my objective in case a tone match will not solve the problem - I love the sound of my Ovation unplugged - but, I hate the sound of my Ovation's piezo circuit. :roll

Its that typical nasally Ovation piezo circuit sound that I hate and am trying to avoid. :nightmare:

Instead, I would like to use the AXE FX to to make it sound like an unplugged Ovation, Martin, or any other high quality acoustic tone. :encouragement:

Sorry for being so green on the art of tone matching - I simply have not played with tone matching to date. :stupid:

EDIT: sorry Scott - maybe I should not have hijacked your thread with my personal problem :lol
 
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barhrecords

Axe-Master
Wow that was a quick response - thanks! :encouragement:

Will do Scott - but just so I am clear on my objective in case a tone match will not solve the problem - I love the sound of my Ovation unplugged - but, I hate the sound of my Ovation's piezo circuit. :roll

Its that typical nasally Ovation piezo circuit sound that I hate and am trying to avoid. :nightmare:

Instead, I would like to use the AXE FX to to make it sound like an unplugged Ovation, Martin, or any other high quality acoustic tone. :encouragement:

Sorry for being so green on the art of tone matching - I simply have not played with tone matching to date. :stupid:
I believe this is basis for the Fishman Aura pedal: They create IR's using a mic'ed acoustic as the reference and the under saddle transducer pickup of the exact same guitar as the source.

Your steps would be identical to Scott's except use the piezo out of your Ovation instead of the PRS guitar output in Scott's example.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Scott, I think your current posted preset still has global blocks attached.
 
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