What? Effect pedals for acoustic guitars?
Effect pedals aren't there just for screaming distortion, filthy fuzz or endless reverb. Some pedals can make acoustic guitars sound even more acoustic!
To many of us the magic of an acoustic guitar is that you can just pick it up and play it. No cables, knobs, amplifiers or anything else: just you and a guitar, that’s it. And if you want to record that sound, all you have to do is use some good microphones and you'll get even more magic. Just like a good camera can capture an image in a way, you can't see with the naked eye, good microphones pick up things you don't hear with your naked ear.
So there are good studio solutions for recording an acoustic guitar. But if you step into a rehearsal room or on stage with your acoustic guitar together with other musicians, you run into some problems. The guitar sound drowns and needs to be amplified. In some settings, just like in a studio, you can just put a microphone in front of you and your guitar. Unfortunately, you often get feedback or hums in return. Then there's not much left to do but amplify your acoustic guitar with a pickup. There are many options to choose from, such as a pickup in the sound hole, under the bridge (piezo) or a small microphone in the body. And there are systems that combine the best of both worlds.
By doing so, you actually turn your acoustic guitar into an electric guitar that sounds as acoustic as it gets. This is very useful for a rehearsal room or on stage, because you can at least hear yourself. But not everyone is happy with the way it sounds, because you lose a lot of the subtle dynamics of all that beautiful wood by amplifying with a pick up. It’s: hello volume, farewell finesse. Some guitarists love this crystal clear sound with a lot of attack and plenty of highs, whereas others compare it to an icepick in the forehead.
If you're looking for the ideal, warm, amplified acoustic sound, effect pedals can help enormously. That may sound crazy, because it is mocks the ‘less is more' principle of acoustic playing. Still, pedals can make your amplified acoustic guitar sound much more natural. It’s a bit like photography and video: without make-up you can look like a ghost in the wrong light, but with a bit of make-up on you look more like yourself. It’s the same with amplified acoustic sounds. Some frequencies need to be muted and others turned up a bit, just to give it back some of it’s own natural sound.
If you’ve ever play electric guitar, you know that with effects you can go pretty much all the way, every way. Awesome! But with an acoustic guitar it is very easy to overdo it and miss the mark. A bit of subtle reverb, a little compression and some clever humming and feedback solutions are far more usefull.
LR Baggs offer all of that and then some with their Align pedals.
LR Baggs has of course been making fantastic pick up systems for years and with these effects they provide very easy to use finishing touches. The Align Session is the first and only analog tool with multi-band compression that allows you to deliver a mastered acoustic sound from the studio in any live setting. With these effect pedals, LR Baggs made some handy little helpers that make your acoustic guitar sound more like a guitar in all circumstances.
Just look at the video in which Tony Polecastro of Acoustic Life explains clearly why these pedals are a good idea for almost every guitarist:
Would you like to know more about Align pedals or ways of amplifying your acoustic sound? In our shop in Dedemsvaart we can show you and let you listen a lot of different options. And yes: we're open!