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Thread: Those of you playing acoustics live...

  1. #1
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Question Those of you playing acoustics live...

    For those of you playing acoustics live... Do you use standalone amps or run straight to the PA or mixer? What FX do you use? Built in (amp) or pedal? I'm just looking for some ideas from you who are using the goodies regularly... Thanks for playin'

    Just started getting ready for a new acoustic project... boy do my fingers hurt
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

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    Although I have a small acoustic amp, I've always gone through a direct box straight to PA. It doesn't make sense to me to mic an acoustic amp when DI works simpler. I've not had the need yet to simply mic the guitar, but I've played around recording a bit with a condenser a few feet away and captured the room dynamics pretty well.
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  3. #3
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input!

    I'm looking for idea as this will be my first acoustic adventure... most likely 2 guitars, bass and small drum kit with several vocals. Just trying to figure out what will be the best sound with a small portable PA with minimal speakers.

    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

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    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    The few times I've done it, I did it differently. Once, with an acoustic amp, not mic'ed. And the other time, plugged directly into the PA...


    Jamie
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    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    DI to the PA, definitely for me. I use a LR Baggs Para DI or BBE Acoustimax preamp/DI. When I used to play in an acoustic duo, I ran a full pedalboard of effects, but now, I'm playing a P22 or SC HB II and going through the DI. I add a compressor before the DI, with just a touch of compression. It helps squash the piezo artifacts without hurting the tone.

  6. #6
    If you have a PA or a FOH mixer, it's best to go DI (or preamp) into the PA.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  7. #7
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys...

    So... if I go with a DI, can I still run effects inline with that? Should they go pre or post DI box? (I'm assuming pre, since most effects lack XLR jacks) I would really like to have a little chorus and reverb just to add some space, nothing crazy. Maybe some delay for solos or something...

    I haven't looked into DI boxes for a long time, but I always wanted to get a Countryman 85, are those still relevant today? If not, what are some good choices to look at?
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

  8. #8
    Check out the Zoom a2.1u. I've used mine mostly with the piezo side of an electric guitar but it works great as a DI, tuner and multi-effects. I run my Taylor acoustic into a DI and straight to the the PA and just use my onboard eq.

  9. #9
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Anyone else? I know you guys are playing acoustics live... Don't make me troll my own thread...
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

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    I was going straight into the PA and bleeding a little through the monitors which can work ok, this past weekend I just picked up a Fishman Loudbox Mini, its 60 watts and weighs just 20 lbs. This amp sounds so good its plenty loud and seems to stay very clean and tight at louder volumes, its got digital reverb and chorus which also sounds great. I much prefer using an amp on stage as a monitor or stand alone amp, its got a DI out so you can still go into the mixing board for the bigger gigs! Check one out if you can!

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    I just picked up an LR Baggs Para DI for me P22 - It does not play well with my high end acoustic with a KK westerm pure mini pickup. The DI you use to the board wll make a difference. I have an Ultrasound amp that is wonderful and I know they make a DI to reprodce that type of sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.LaGrassa View Post
    I was going straight into the PA and bleeding a little through the monitors which can work ok, this past weekend I just picked up a Fishman Loudbox Mini, its 60 watts and weighs just 20 lbs. This amp sounds so good its plenty loud and seems to stay very clean and tight at louder volumes, its got digital reverb and chorus which also sounds great. I much prefer using an amp on stage as a monitor or stand alone amp, its got a DI out so you can still go into the mixing board for the bigger gigs! Check one out if you can!
    I can second this one the Loudbox Mini, just recommended one to a friend with a P22 as well. I haven't used the DI out from it to PA, have you actually tried that? I'm curious to hear if it's a solid DI itself.
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    Goatee Practitioner Danerada's Avatar
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    I play through a Kustom Sienna65 acoustic amp. And I run from that into the PA. I ask the sound guy to set my EQ flat and then I adjust the amp EQ. Works well for me.
    - Dane

    “He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo.”

  14. #14
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. From some research I've been doing, there is a DI box "Radial J48" that is supposed to be great for acoustics (or anything with active pickups). It seems some do well, some don't, depending on the type of playing (finger style, strumming, etc) and this one keeps the high pressure distortion out of the heavy strumming (when the sound guy gets pissed because your signal is blowing up his mic preamp). Guess I need to try one out. There are so many amps to look at... what a fustercluck... I will definitely be checking some of the suggestions out if I can find them in town.

    Looked into the Bose L1 PA system as well... but I will be needing more inputs. Looks like it is made for one guitar and one mic. At least I don't need something at this exact moment... yet.

    I would really like to update to an Angelus sometime soon too... *ahem (sell the car) what?
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

  15. #15
    Haha
    Been accused of doing that myself
    DI for me, although I have tried to mic an amp with the ac, and it sounded surprisingly good,
    I prefer the DI
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    Anyone else? I know you guys are playing acoustics live... Don't make me troll my own thread...

  16. #16
    Sekunda, remember that the J48 is designed for 48v phantom power (the kind used for condenser mics). So whatever you plug into would have to have phantom power available. Some live mixers do, and some don't. And you'd be going to a mic level input and not a line level input. Some house mixers will have their mic inputs full, too.

    By way of contrast, all but a few recording consoles do have 48V phantom power on mic inputs.

    You'd want to make sure that whatever you're plugging into has phantom power available to use the J48.

    For live use, I recommend a direct box with its own power supply (i.e., it doesn't require phantom power), so that it produces a line level signal, and not a mic level signal that needs a phantom power mic input on the board. You'd get more flexibility that way. These are often configured to go with both a mic level AND a line level output.

    Also, they often have ground lift switches that can come in handy.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-08-2013 at 11:08 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  17. #17
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Sekunda, remember that the J48 is designed for 48v phantom power (the kind used for condenser mics). So whatever you plug into would have to have phantom power available. Some live mixers do, and some don't. And you'd be going to a mic level input and not a line level input. Some house mixers will have their mic inputs full, too.

    By way of contrast, all but a few recording consoles do have 48V phantom power on mic inputs.

    You'd want to make sure that whatever you're plugging into has phantom power available to use the J48.

    For live use, I recommend a direct box with its own power supply (i.e., it doesn't require phantom power), so that it produces a line level signal, and not a mic level signal that needs a phantom power mic input on the board. You'd get more flexibility that way. These are often configured to go with both a mic level AND a line level output.

    Also, they often have ground lift switches that can come in handy.
    Yes sir... I have been doing some research and this seems to be a big thumbs up product for live acoustics. I do know about the phantom power and we will most likely be purchasing a small PA system as well. I'm just trying to find the best options when its time to make a purchase...

    The J48 has a plethora of options... ground lift, polarity, 15 dB pad, low cut... plus a line level checker for 48V power.

    I will most likely get a few of them for different situations... I like options. I don't believe in a no-win scenario.
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOBirds View Post
    I can second this one the Loudbox Mini, just recommended one to a friend with a P22 as well. I haven't used the DI out from it to PA, have you actually tried that? I'm curious to hear if it's a solid DI itself.
    Have not tried it yet, hopefully this weekend I will hook it up to my PA system!

  19. #19
    Member thieves&foxes's Avatar
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    Normally play direct into my Line 6 M9 then into a DI Box, normally sound really good.
    Location: Beautiful Cape Town, South Africa
    Current Herd: PRS P22 Eriza Verde / PRS Singlecut Hollowbody II Trampas Green / PRS SE 30 1x12
    Future additions to herd : Pauls Guitar / Angelus Custom / SE Korina One / Archon and 2x12 and if they ever release a SE or S2 Bass

  20. #20
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    I wonder what my acoustic would sound like through the HX/DA...
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

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