This ‘trainable’ convolution‑based device promises to make your piezo‑pickup signal sound like your own miked‑up instrument.
My first attempts to amplify acoustic instruments on stage used stand‑mounted mics, but my frustration at being unable to move more than a few inches from the mic led me to explore the dark arts of piezo pickups, on‑board mics and external preamps. Combining a pickup signal with one from an on‑board mic when on stage requires a blender‑type two‑channel preamp. Although analogue blenders are still available, the two dedicated digital acoustic instrument preamps that came to market have disappeared without trace or replacement. Both units used digital technology to dispense with mics entirely. They attempted to transform the sound of an undersaddle piezo transducer (UST) into a selection of emulations of specific miked acoustic guitar setups. The initial success and eventual failure of both units hinged almost entirely on how closely the response of a user’s guitar and pickup corresponded to that of the guitar and pickup used to create each transformation — a situation that was probably doomed before it began.
Until the recent arrival of the Audio Sprockets ToneDexter, it seemed to me that the concept of digitally transforming the output of a piezo pickup into a miked‑guitar emulation had had its commercial day. But my pessimism was misplaced, because the...
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