4 Multi-effects Pedals That Will Enhance Your Acoustic Guitar Tone
Tuesday January 9, 2018. 10:56 AM , from Sweetwater inSync
Amplifying acoustic guitar and electric guitar require slightly different ways of thinking. With electric guitar, the amplifier and effects are an integral part of creating the sound, whereas the main goal with acoustic guitar is to reinforce the basic sound of the guitar and make it louder — two separate goals, two separate sets of tools.
Although a lot of the effects names used in each case may look the same — compressor, EQ, delay, modulation, etc. — dedicated acoustic guitar effects are designed with the sonic goal of preserving and enhancing the properties of a great acoustic guitar sound. An acoustic guitar multi-effects processor/preamp combines these into one convenient unit, so you can put your thoughts and energy into making music.
Here are four all-in-one acoustic guitar processors that will make your amplified life much easier. They all have EQ, compression, modulation, and time-based effects and are designed to be the only thing you’ll need between your guitar and PA or amplifier. They all are knob-and-switch based (no menus) and clearly laid out. This is a plus during a live performance, where you have to make split-second decisions and need instant access.
Trace Elliot Transit A
The Transit A is a great-sounding pedal that’s compact and loaded with features. Trace Elliot put a lot of consideration into this pedal, so there are many EQ and routing options to accommodate your live setup. Input and output controls to keep the gain staging correct; a piezo switch to increase impedance; multiple outputs to provide dry signal, mono, or stereo wet signals; and a DI that’s routed pre-processing are just some of the performance-ready goodies that are neatly tucked in. The effects footswitches even have color-coded lights!
Fishman definitely knows a lot about amplifying acoustic tone, so the ToneDEQ makes perfect sense; it’s a one-stop resource for their collected wisdom.
The ToneDEQ is logical and simple to use, but it doesn’t skimp on the stuff you need to process your acoustic tone. Aside from the EQ, compression, and input level controls, you have four different modulation algorithms: mellow chorus, wide chorus, flanger, and tremolo; there are also two delay and two reverb options — very impressive, especially considering the ToneDEQ’s size.
T-Rex SoulMate Acoustic
T-Rex has a well-deserved reputation for making pro-quality effects processors that sound really good. Now they’ve turned their attention to acoustic guitar with the SoulMate Acoustic with awesome results. Aside from great, overall tone from the FET-based preamp, the SoulMate Acoustic comes with a built-in 5-minute looper, which is handy for solo acoustic performances. The reverb has a Shimmer effect that can be controlled with the onboard knob or an optional expression pedal. Little details, such as the tap-tempo footswitch being at the end of the board, show T-Rex’s expertise at designing stage-ready pedals for working players.
Tech 21 Acoustic Fly Rig
Tech 21’s SansAmp has been a guitar staple for decades, and their Fly Rig pedalboards — including the Acoustic Fly Rig — combine natural-sounding tones and great effects in the smallest format I’ve seen, especially considering that you have discrete, knob-based control over everything. Of particular note, the chorus is specifically voiced for acoustic guitar and has no LFO in its design. It emulates the width and depth of a 12-string guitar with amazing clarity, especially in the low to low-mid register where a chorused acoustic guitar can get cloudy or muddy. The Acoustic Fly Rig is a marvel of minimalism, without being simplistic. Housed in a rugged metal chassis, this pedal is totally road approved.
To find out more about these and other great guitar pedals, contact your Sweetwater Sales Engineers at (800) 222-4700.
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