MY way to improve the sound of acoustic instruments live.

If you have a acoustic guitar ,you might know the problem when it comes to playing live. Let’s be honest, your sound either sucks or you can not move a bit, because you use a mic.

  • -Piezo Pickups sound plasticy and unnatural
  • Mics force you to not move at all
  • Internal mics are often place very badly and sound boomy
  • Mic clamps sound good but are not consistent. The move a bit here and there and it is in the most cases too big.

I tried so much and here is what i found to work best.

  1. Audio Sprockets ToneDexter
  2. IRs
  3. My selfbuilt mic ( i hope that does not sound arrogant but it is so far the option that works bet for me)

1. The Audio Sprockets Tonedexter / IRs:

Here is how that works. You connect the output of your piezo mic to the Tone Dexter Pedal, as well as a microphone. The Tonedexter will now do match-EQ to make the Piezo sound more like a Microphone. You can now save this an just use it!

But this is not the only way to get this. Here is a little workaround if you can not afford the Tone Dexter or if you have any device that can load IRs.

2. IRs:

Here is what you need:

  • PC
  • Interface
  • DAW
  • Iztope Ozone
  • Voxengo Deconvolver
  • Gear that plays IRs Files (Kemper, Axe Fx, Two Notes Torpedo Live/Studio, AMT Pangaea, … )
  1. Connect both, the piezo output and the mic output to your interface.
  2. On your instrument, choose a eq setting you can always reproduce. Like Tone completely up or everything to the middle. And USE FRESH STRINGS!
  3. Record both tracks. Play the whole register of your instrument. On guitar move a bar-chord over all frets, otherwise you will have dips in the spectrum and it will sound bad.
  4. Use Izotope Ozone’s Match-EQ to match the piezo sound to the miced sound. You can even add more EQ and Exciter plugins to make it sound exactly like you want it too. But remember the IR is basically only a frequency correction so all drive, compression, modulation and other effect will of course not work,
  5. Create a Sweep of 60 sek. with the bit-depth and samplerate your DAW project has.
  6. Import the sweep into the track with the match EQ
  7. Export the Sweep
  8. Convert the sweep to a IR file.
  9. Import the IR to your IR loader
  10. You’re done! Congrats you are finally a nerd! 😀 Just kidding, have fun, it will sound great live.

2. My „selfbuilt“ pickup

I got this idea by the technique of pressure zone mics and because built in mics always were boomy, soft and never stayed at the same place. So for my prototype i just glued the capsule of a measurement mic to the top of the guitar just in front of the x bracing. So it will not have less phase problems and the position is not that flexible so the installing of ti will not take away too much of the vibration of the top. The cables and electronics are all on the inside of the body.

So far i am so happy with the sound that i use this on recordings and live. You can hear it on my cover of Highly Suspects „Little One“. In the Video the Guitar has no EQ on it, except a lowcut.

Right now i work on a 3D printable version so that you just have to buy that clip and the measurement mic i used.

My honorable mention goes to the T.C. Body Rez That little thing is also amazing.