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The best sound I have managed to get. Useful info!

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  • The best sound I have managed to get. Useful info!

    Hello everyone. I'm a bit of an audiophile when it comes to acoustic and after much frustration, I found the most true sound I have gotten out of my Taylor 710CE (year 2000). Any time I take this guitar to a shop or around people who play acoustics, someone always comments about it's rich character and uniqueness. I don't like most Taylors but this was the guitar I learned on and theres just something about the response that brings me sheer joy. Simply incredible sustain and so clear. Issue is it never sounds even close to it's character via a PA system. Then the VPDI came along. It is by no means perfect, but I'm getting close to tonal bliss.

    Previously I ran from an M1 active into a Fishman Aura spectrum and used an LR Baggs Align Reverb. This was a pretty nice setup and served me well.

    I decided to upgrade to the Anthem and get a nice pedalboard going. My signal path is as follows: VPDI: FXSnd -> [Align Session -> Boss BD2 -> Align Delay -> Align Reverb -> EQD Dispatch Master] -> FXRet -> Polytune 3 mini -> amp (if not going direct via xlr). I am currently using a Rolls PM55P with monitor in ears to EQ and tweak before going live. This setup works incredibly well! I use the xlr direct to the PM55P. I use a tap tempo switch for the delay and everything sits on a pedaltrain metro 16 powered by an Ojai with both 18 V switches on and 2 spitters so that I can power all 7 pedals at 9V. I know I know... why the BD2 and the dispatch? Well.... I just love these pedals and I can get some cool sounds out of them with the right EQ settings. Not that anyone cares but I keep cable lengths to a minimum and use only a 6ft 1/4" from my guitar to input. Call me crazy but I've found that it makes a small but appreciable difference especially with acoustic. I have found that theres no place for a large acoustic board unless you have dirty stuff running on an entirely different pickup with a clean signal still in the mix. My total cable run before xlr is roughly 7 ft. This setup gives me no noise at all.

    Heres where my technique comes in and anyone who has an Anthem could potentially benefit from this (this could be unique to my Taylor and others sounding like it so take it for what it is and try it out if you have an anthem)... When creating a voiceprint, I basically cut the trumic out almost entirely. I use the adjustment tool to bring the trim just about to the bottom and roll the blend knob back. Effectively the VP is being created on a mostly Piezo basis. Don't ask me why this works, I just had some time to kill and spent about 9 hours toying with VP creation techniques. Additionally, my taps in step one are very light and spaced far apart time wise. Then when I actually am using the voiceprint (80%), I bring the trumic all the way back to the point where it's carrying more than the piezo dB wise. I know that the VPDI is processing it anyway so theoretically it shouldn't make a difference. It makes a huge difference. Even when I bring my VP to 100% its super noticeable. This confuses me but whatever!

    EQ settings is where the golden sound really comes in, I downloaded Spectrum, a waveform analyzer (free for 2-3 days on the app store, but you only need it once per guitar) and play into it like I would the Acousticlive app. Then I find the max dB and select the frequency where it occurs and cut that frequency in the AcousticLive app. Then I build the EQ around that as a base and tweak. Think of it this way... The guitar has a certain frequency that it throws out heavily and it can overwhelm the pickup system. That frequency needs to be cut even if the guitar on it's own SOUNDS balanced.

    This just... works. It really really works and I could not be happier. Money well spent.

    If LR Baggs incorporated a waveform analyzer into the app sort of how I imagine the Feedback is analyzed, it would change the entire game and there would be no place for a fishman aura or really anything else in the market (for now until someone gets more creative). This way EQ could essentially be generated from what the app probably already knows about the guitar. I petition Baggs to help us on the EQ front. Otherwise.... Just wow. You guys really did something with this pedal.
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    Last edited by noahthib; 07-17-2021, 09:03 PM.

  • #2
    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your detailed experience. One of the things I love most about the Voiceprint is how much people can mess around with the VP creation to make their sound "their own".

    I would love to see an RTA of some kind in the AcousticLive app, but its implementation would be tricky, from what I've been told. If there's a way to do it, I'm sure we'll find it.

    Thanks again for posting!

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