Mimicking Acoustic on an Electric Guitar


Using the Axe-Fx


Lesson Info

Mimicking Acoustic on an Electric Guitar

A lot of people want to, you know, simulate an acoustic guitar we should slide real quick um a lot of people want to simulate acoustic guitar on an electric and they're a lot of ways to do this uh a couple different methods obviously having a pizzo or pis o r p zo are hell you want to say it sooner or later our industry is going to decide on how that word is actually pronounced uh that's it's going to take another hundred years or something? I don't know so sooner or later will decide, but you don't necessarily need to have won the prix set that I, uh posted larry mitchell and I both tweaked and I ended up posting eventually on the exchange it's called acoustic badger that would actually just uses a new electric guitar without any kind of acoustic pick up in all this guitar has appears though, innit? But I'm actually going to show you howto match this and make it sound like an acoustic without that because most guitars don't have it. So the key to this eyes first off a tone match of an...

acoustic guitar second off compressors air really key because a lot of acoustic guitars in the studio are compressed and so that's kind of sound you're going for and also because you want the input signal to be a little more consistent to hit this uh tone match block and also finally you gotta remember it's still an electric guitar so you can go in and add a second and block out of volume petal between it and go between an acoustic sound and electric sound in real time on any one of these presets so once you turn it into acoustic guitar, don't forget that you actually still having electric play leads faster than you could on an acoustic because we can't all be algae meal so we're gonna start off just, uh familiar sight here are empty grid and um but this one we're gonna have a couple different blocks first off got a compressor and I'm just gonna bypass thes I'm just gonna get set up and add a filter block and there's no hard and set rules to this obviously but these were the blocks that I found uh both through looking at a lot of process that people made to do this and also from building one and kind of tryingto get it toe work um through various methods these air the blocks that I found her most helpful uh in doing that so we've got a compressor a filter a multi band compressor which is kind of another secret weapon block in the acts effects it's super powerful basically what it does is it takes your signal and it splits it into three sections so you set a crossover point here and here and then it compresses the lows, the mids and the highs in completely different ways. So you basically have three completely separate compressors that are working on three completely separate areas of your tone on its ah, really it's a mastering tool. It's used a lot to master recordings, but we have it here in the expects and can use it for every guitar. So I'm gonna put a graphic, you hear we're gonna bypass that, um, and we're going to also put a p q. And for those of you following along at home, this is the part of the class that gets a little more advanced. So follow along carefully. I'm gonna I'm gonna do this. You know, fairly, uh, trying to this fairly explicitly. So you guys can see what's going on cooper, one of the questions here impossible on this topic here is did you buy the altar rez cab separately? Or do they come with the xl? Uh, every gonna pull up the cab's here, all of these calves? This is a factory stock excel. So everything with you are at the end of it is an ultra rest cab. And actually these up here as well, um, those all come with the firmware, so they're they're included. There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of amazing I r is out there that have been made both by third parties like own hammer on by fractal itself fractal has really put a lot of time and money and some serious effort into releasing several cam packs they're five now I believe and there are there's one maybe too now that our ultra as I know there's one because I produced it with map the cone and cliff chase and our wonderful engineer up in new hampshire and it's hundreds of ultra reservoirs on duh so you can buy a lot of iras and go crazy with ours or you can use the ones that already and they're the ones that are in there kind of a nice sampling there's kind of like one from every sort of a category I guess is a good word for it you know they're a couple different for twelve and a couple different two twelves and all these things but there are a lot of altera's caps included in the expects already if you have the latest firmware so I'm just rebuilding this because I lost it when I went into the cabin block there um all right, so where were we need next tone match? Uh crafty hell right and parametric on dad actually together okay, so I'm gonna bypass all this jazz here and what we're gonna do is we're gonna tone match I'm gonna put my guitar on the middle position pick up, which is, uh, kind of coil tap position. Because that kind of sounds like an acoustic. Anyway, um, put a put an amp block right here. Might take it right back out. But I want to show you because it's too quiet right now without any blocks, um, you're not gonna hear the guitar itself, so within a few, we'll hear it. But this is, um this is kind of the signal that we're sending, uh, to the tone match block. So it's going to hear this kind of town so it's kind of going to hear that that has a little bit of an apse, uh, response to it, and in fact, we could, uh we could just do this and go into this filter block here and bump the level way up. We'll be able to hear the rock guitar so that's, what? We're gonna be sending the tell match block so let's, turn that on, and we're just gonna set this to us, be like normal and play a little bit into the local tone. All right? Now we're gonna go over here and I've got this reference tone here, and I've got a couple different ones, um, let's, try this one. What I've done there is just looped the intro bars to a song a couple times a year, a little glitch when a little jump, but I've looped it enough times to where I can hit play and then go back and start this without it messing up somebody hit play on this, I've just let the expects listen to that, um, and I've also let it listen to my impulse, so going to hit match and we get this, uh, crazy, you cue curve right here because the two tones air really different, so they're having to do a lot of work, so the first thing we want to do because the signal is so low is we're gonna bump this way way up I'm actually gonna put it like, uh, eleven point five it's already sounding way more acoustic like than it already did, so pretty cool. So this was it before on here it is with that, uh, the basically it's an I r that we've made, resulting from tone matching that dry signal to this recording. So that's again without pia's, oh, that's, just the electric guitar pick ups so it doesn't sound exactly like an acoustic and just be forewarned here that again, this is not a panacea, it's, not a magic pill, we're not actually just going to suddenly put martin and taylor out of business by turning you know this hum bucker equipped solid body electric rock guitar into some giant you know, gorgeous wooded acoustic we're just trying to get close but it's not gonna magically you know be something that tommy emmanuel would want to use on a record so we're going to do a couple things to kind of shape it a little closer so first off what we want to do is we just want to compress the signal a little bit that's going into it so I want to make it a little smoother we're just kind of trying to even everything out um something to do with this compressor is kind of just leave it a default I'm going to raise the attack a little bit um and I'm gonna lower the release just kind of let's clamp down on it um a little slower so we get those transience that air you know that acoustics are so well known for what we're still kind of smoothing everything out a little bit um everything else I'm just gonna leave under fall um this is super technical stuff roomie and square verse peak is a really, really subtle difference of how the compressor listens to the transients and collapsed down on him uh you guys khun hot between these two and seeded difference if you'd like but we're just gonna leave it how it is so um at this point turn our filter block back on and we're just gonna use this feels right now for volume but it is without the compressor and here it is with the compressor giving it a little body just making it a little more filled out and, um general just kind of warming it up a little bit right now with this filter block if, uh if I really crank up the level here um on one of these blocks all this pick the compressor for kicks you hear this really high end hiss and um that hiss happens whenever your tone matching an acoustic guitar I found that really any acoustic youto match when that happens you really boost the level to match this dry input s o that level boosted what that tiny little bit of noise that's coming through the signal chain when you told majin acoustic that noise is really accentuated so you've got this high hiss so what I'm gonna do with this filter block has just create excuse me I'm sorry got a little shelf I'm gonna create a low pass filter and it's gonna knock off the high end this is knocking off way too much high end so I'm going to go way up here to like seventeen thousand fifteen thousand something up here till I just hear a little bit less that hiss ok ten thousand no that's taken too much out so we don't want to lose the don't lose any of the tone that we just got you know it was the tone match but we wanted just shave off a little bit of that high end and just kind of bring it down under control here alright lower that a little bit so basically we're just kind of you know cutting out a little bit of that noise that's being accentuated by the tone match all right now this is where it's really gonna come alive the multi band compressor is really really powerful so right now we've got this way also already a pretty damn good sounding a acoustic tone for guitar that doesn't even have a piece of pick up on but I'm a turn the multi banking press ron and I'm going to set these two points like uh this is basically again um and if I could draw you a graph I would this is basically you can see here in the editor there's one point here one point here and it's making a crossover point so we're gonna adjust this level of the spectrum separately from this one and this one separately from this one so it's three discrete points that were compressing um so these numbers are just something you kind of have to feel out I've done this enough times to where I kind of know what I like them to be on um but again, this is something where if I had more time I would just play a lot and show you uh what this is really you know, doing step by step but what's important is how it sounds again I got these numbers by just turning the knobs and playing actually ran a looper block into it so it was just continually going done and then and then and then and then uh and I just massage these these dials until I got to a point that sounded good which really, um is something I really recommend you guys doing just kind of you can set up a liver block you know? Just put one um where is the looper whooper where you at? Hello just get a liver block you know, play into it um well actually just trim this little bit of the beginning ofthe where I had to record and it'll uh loop it not very prettily because I didn't do it in time but because I had to stop and start it I wasn't doing it on the msc but I'll just play this and we can see wait wait okay, so apart from that getting a very old er what we've we can kind of see just shunt that block out there um actually, no, I'm gonna keep that he might uh might use it again, but so basically here it is without the compressor get that volume back. Actually, that we lost was that on seventeen, I think something like that. So this is really fattening enough, it's. Kind of like we added a little body to the guitar way. So there we go. That's kind of what that's doing? Um and this again is a matter of taste, I think pretty good, but I like it a little fatter and so helping to kind of tame the spank you get that's kind of being imparted to the tone when is going through this? Because you see it's getting all this high end that was in the jangle iness of the acoustic and because of the way the strings on an electric car compared to an acoustic, they're not going to act the same way. So, um, we can start this looper back up, actually. And I'll show you will start going into the graphic, hugh. And basically, this is just a massage. The tone a little bit more. We're going toe go through, and with the looper going, we can here. We're just gonna start adjusting things until it kind of sounds, uh, the way we wanted teo. So going here, start this way. Wait, all right, so as you see, I was kind of just going through and popping the perimeter all the way up on all the way down to see what part of the spectrum it was affecting so until I kind of got a sound that I like so we've got wait all right so that's sounding pretty close do one more thing here uh and again this is kind of just something that's come from donna you know having done this a bunch of times um it's not really it's just kind of a matter of taste really and you guys are welcome tio experiment around excuse or kind of a rabbit hole I mean you khun you can go down the rabbit hole and get really deep because every little you know their infinite choices about what you could do to the tone you know, I might have just made that a little brighter than some people would like and you guys following along it might be have you know, completely separate values depending on what acoustic uh I'm sorry what electric you're using um it might sound completely different so what I'm going to do here and this looks really really slight as you can see here is this the tiniest little bit of roll off the lows and I don't know if maybe depending what speakers you khun you're listening on um when I was kind of doing some of those big coarse there was a a little underlying sub uh almost a sub frequency kind of low end that didn't really sound very good. It kind of sounded like uh had a pillow somewhere in the guitar like a tiny little pillars of me acoustic guitar really? That makes that kind of sound at least in my mind so what I'm gonna do is just kind of back these lows off way to take it all the way on the way over here it's really like anemic pop goes down a little bit and this could also be the last place where we kind of adjust our volume so depending on what your ah you know what your other patches sound like this could be part where you adjust the level and really any one of these can be where you put your level so now the last thing we need to do is, uh go in here and, uh we're gonna get that hits a little bit about their um we're gonna go on and we're gonna put a reaper block because who wants to play guitar without reverb? I don't wait wait on there a few ladies and many gentlemen you have it. I will now bypass all of these except the filter which uh remember is just kind of ah hi pat I'm sorry a low pass on a real high frequency so it's basically just boosting the level and we'll listen to what it sounded like before and now what we have after all of that, which is something that I would definitely use life uh instead of bringing an acoustic to a gig, you really know what that that f sharp was doing in there but kind of wasn't interesting there you guys go that's uh, quick and dirty. Well, not not very quick and pretty clean really, uh, way to making an acoustic sound like an electric and, uh, just briefly, because I know the next section is going to use a lot of the work that we've done here already, I'll show you something kind of need we're keeping in mind that this is an electric guitar, so the beginning here, I'm gonna add volume block and, uh, go over here and, uh, you know, what actually been added down here? I'm sorry and, uh, delete this, but I'm gonna go in and connect this we always want the acoustic running. What I'm gonna do is put an ant block right here and just pick and and it's got a little bit of dirt, not too much, but maybe like thea a c twenty trouble. I'm gonna run this into a cab just a little bit of dirt that's funny, I have a friend that orders their martinis slightly soiled, that's good, yeah, I drink on leah anybody from a ketel one if you're listening endorse me I'll drink ketel one vodka martinis but uh yeah a little bit dirty there like where is a little bit there is between not dirty and filthy is what I always say uh so what we're gonna do with this volume block here uh is and attach it to a modifier and we're gonna go over modifiers in a minute but right now I'm just gonna attach it to external one and I'm gonna hope that that's attached to my yes it is good so if we get that shot of the m f c back I've actually just attach this volume block to this pedal right here and what that's going to dio is I'm always gonna hear the acoustic cranked up I'm also going to hear this amp so uh see a mute the acoustic really quick I'm just gonna put a volume right in here and uh set that to music bypass it it's actually not enough drive I want something with a little bit more drive how about the uh sony abs somebody chime in on the form and tell me what champ I should pick uh alright sorry to wait I'm thinking one thing the f a s guys on the warm or telling savior workman thing there noticing hey yeah very go click and save thank you I'm putting faith in your great editor all right so ah so now we've got this acoustic bring in this electric is louder as little as you want it it's kind of getting to jimmy page territory because if you listen to led zeppelin songs really closely will hear that a lot of the time when he's on very, very dirty tones he's also gotten electro acoustic rather jamming along behind him so we could do is actually going to this filter here just lower the volume a little bit so that the they're both playing what I'm also going to do here real quick is it's going to attach this same one of the same controller here? But I'm going to invert this I'm gonna make the start the end and the end of the start so that's doing is when they my toe is up it's gonna turn the volume off my toes down so now we've turned it into acoustic at the bottom an electric at the top without the acoustics so if you could see both of these parameters happening there basically working in inverse ways so I've got my crew stick on my electric so I could be and obviously you could set that up in more useful ways than having kind of I don't know like a kind of hard lead and having a big full body toe acoustic guitar one way you might want to do it is uh, you know, put a big lead with a nice long delay so that it repeats out um and we'll just up the feed back there and you can do this kind of thing. I'm actually you know what I'm gonna do, do the multi delay and this isn't necessarily anything you guys need. Teo follow along on, um, just kind of illustrating with power of this kind of set up to do, um but let's, uh, so watch this real quick. I'm kind of mixing between the two sounds having them carry over it, even just throw the multi delay up here on this line and now, no way ah, probably wanted on both lines just so they're kind of in the same sonic space, but so you just do that. Actually, uh, we're gonna want to delete that. So so there you go, there's kind of a way. You can mess with that. And again, if you buy the class, you guys can have this preset you, khun, change whatever parameters you want to mess around with it. I'm going to save it with the models you delay un bypassed there.

Class Description

The Fractal Audio Axe Fx gives guitar players an incredible range of capabilities, but the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. In the this course Cooper Carter will share his road-tested tips for getting the most out of the Axe Fx preamp/effects processor.

Cooper has experience using the Axe Fx on tour and in the studio. In this course he will show you the tricks he has mastered while working with the Axe Fx in countless sessions and on stages across the country. The Axe Fx gives you access to hundreds of different tones through its inventory of vintage and modern guitar amps, speaker cabinets, guitar stompbox and studio effects. Cooper will simplify those options and give you a roadmap for working efficiently. You will learn how to create and tweak amp profiles and go deep on working with cab simulations and how to use effects.

This course will unlock the advantages of the Axe Fx and open you up to a whole new range of exciting possibilities. If you want to learn how to get the most of this complex tool, join Cooper and CreativeLive for this essential Axe Fx training course.