I've got a couple things I want to mess around with. Couple of tests for effects and processes that I have in mind. It's all quite scientific and kinda strange and I'll bring my findings to the forum.
First, I need a file to mess with. Anybody got an acoustic-electric guitar, a means to record it to computer, and a couple minutes in the not too distant future to do me a favor?
What I need is a sample of an under-saddle piezo system with all the EQ set flat in the middle, and volume set to whatever is appropriate for recording to your machine. Maybe four or eight measures of something that covers a wide range of the neck. Chords and single notes in open position, somewhere in the middle (5-7 position) and then up above the 12th. Any style will probably work, but we are trying to show the "whole instrument" so that we can get an idea of how things translate in various situations.
Ash, I'd be happy to do that with my Maton Dread, which has an under-saddle piezo, and is also completely free of alterations by JH. Just a completely dry direct recording of the piezo signal? wav file in preference to Mp3?
I'd suggest taking up any other offers you get too though, my playing is pretty basic.
OK, Ill give it a try. We've got a quiet Xmas day today and I wasnt going to do any more chores than I have to, so I might get to it, or else later in the week. Wifes family descends on us for a BarB/Q tomorrow. cheers John
I did a bit of first position strumming, then a version of 'Dear Prudence' intro that starts above the12th fret, then works its way down and then back up, then an acoustic version of part of 'Rocking in the Freeworld’
I hope its useful, but if not, no problem, it was fun to do. So what your idea?
Well that was quick! I posted the same request on facebook last week. Got a couple of "wish I could, but..." responses. I need new friends!
I'll try to download it when I get home and let you know. May not get around to messing with it for a couple days...
I just want to play around with the idea of a set of all-pass filters for a sort of analog "modeling" solution. Something I've mentioned aboard before, but never really got the chance to try. Wanted piezo acoustic because that was the initial context I had in mind, though I think it could do interesting things to electrics as well.
I listened real quick. Smurf me, I hate the sound of undersaddle piezo! You're playing is fine. Better than anything I'd have come up with for what I'm trying to do. Might cut it up a little just to make it fit between the commercials.
But I'm gonna have kids waiting for me to unwrap boxes containing things that they want in just a few hours. Should probably sleep at least a little before then.
You are most welcome. I expected that if you use it, you'd just cut out a clip or two of a few seconds.
On the piezo sound of it, i quite like it as it is but its a bit one dimensional when heard raw. When used amplified it is better within a big room and it stays clear in the mix for an acoustic part. I should also admit that the current strings on it are nearing the end of their useful life. They are elixir nanoweb, and last very well, but with a new set it is a bit more lively in the wound strings.
One thing I think about acoustic guitars is that their sound within a room is very multi-directional. The resonances from different parts of the body, and the percussive sound from the strings, combined with the reverberance from the room is all part of the experience, and is impossible to feed through a single channel signal without losing something.
This Maton is mid range and has good piezo system. But when Tommy plays the top models, they have a combined system with more than one sensor and a built in internal mic. This kind of plurality of input seems to be a feature on many of the recent top electros from various manufacturers.
I find that if I want to get the best recording, two channels with one being the piezo and the other a mic - preferably condensor is the way to go. Then, I move the two channels about 20% right and left, and add a very small amout of reverb.
It's that nasty zingy high frequency edge to the attack that kills me. I won't use a condenser on an acoustic for the same reason. For my tastes even a lot of dynamics seem to emphasize that thing too much. I don't ever really hear that sound when I'm in a real space with a real acoustic guitar, whether I'm playing or somebody else. I don't know for sure what it is, but I suspect that we just hear more of the body and acoustic resonance of the chamber than the direct sound of the strings. When I pick up one of these things (usually at an open mic somewhere), the first thing I do is crank the treble knob way down. Then it sounds like a guitar to me.
This type of sound is good for only one thing in my mind: That backing rhythm, throw an acoustic on it, might as well be a tambourine thing that's so common in last few decades.
Okay, actually two: It is, in fact, a pretty accurate reprentation of what the string itself is doing. Under the saddle you get a fairly "flat" profile of the harmonic content, from which it is possible to extract any subset that you would like. That's sort of what I'm shooting for here.
And a lot of people disagree with my tastes on this. That's fine. Its going to be a challenge in this testing to provide impartial output. I'm thinking I'll throw a low-pass on there so I can stand to listen to it and then bypass it for the final renders so that normal folks can get a more objective perspective.