WaveMaps Are Now Available for Specific Stringed Instruments
As you know, Audio Sprockets’ ToneDexter Preamp creates a way to learn the difference between the sound coming from the pickup, and the sound coming from a microphone placed in front of the instrument. It uses that information to create a transformation preset called a WaveMap. When you playback using that WaveMap, it makes your piezo pickup sound like your instrument does in the studio—miked.
However if we were to create a WaveMap of our Martin guitar and you download that WaveMap into your ToneDexter and try to use it on your Gibson acoustic guitar, it probably won’t work as well as you (or we) would like. The success of this approach depends on several factors: how closely the pickups in the two guitars match each other, what type of pickups they are (e.g., sound board transducers or under-saddle transducers), and also how closely the resonances and characteristics of the two instruments match each other. As you can imagine, there is a lot that can go wrong with this approach. For this reason, despite many requests from our users, we have been reluctant to post WaveMaps for you to use on your instrument.
However, if the target playback instrument has a solid or thin body with little or no acoustic sound of its own, and if the difference in pickups between the source acoustic instrument and the target solid/thin body instrument is accounted for, this idea can be made to work very well!
Therefore, we have decided to create WaveMap sets designed to be used with specific solid and thin body instruments that we have studied in the lab. This way we know that the sounds you will experience will be satisfying.
ToneDexter for Silent Guitars
Audio Sprockets’ James May shows how our free downloadable Yamaha Silent Guitar WaveMaps can enhance the sound of the silent guitars. The Yamaha Silent guitars have built in mic modeling, and it works pretty well. But if you disable it, and play through a ToneDexter, you can get an even better, more authentic sound with no sense of artificiality or extra time delay.
Download your free set of Yamaha Silent Guitar Wavemaps and hear the improvements for yourself.
ToneDexter for Electric Guitars
Audio Sprockets’ James May shows how our free downloadable Electric Guitar WaveMaps can enhance an electric guitar fitted with a piezo pickup such as the LR Baggs X-Bridge or T-Bridge or the Fishman Power Bridge. He shows how both Gibson style and a Fender style guitars can be made to sound like acoustic guitars. James uses a stereo 1/4″ guitar output jack socket so both the normal magnetic pickups and the piezo bridge pickup signals can be fed out of the guitar separately to keep full functionality of both electric and acoustic sounds.
Download your free set of Electric Guitar Wavemaps and hear the improvements for yourself. Note that these will only work well with piezo bridge pickups fitted to an electric guitar. However, we do encourage experimentation.
Creating the Yamaha SL200 Silent Guitar WaveMaps
Audio Sprocket’s founder James May, has gone into the studio and recorded a set of WaveMaps for both the nylon and steel string versions of the SLG200 series of Yamaha Silent guitars.
James explains the process, “ToneDexter is designed to map the acoustic sound of an instrument onto its pickup signal by first capturing the acoustic sound of the instrument, and then playing back (with just the pickup) through the captured essence embodied the WaveMap preset.
Since the Yamaha Silent Guitars don’t have an acoustic sound, we had to generate the WaveMaps with other full-bodied acoustic instruments. I recorded and produced separate sets of WaveMaps for the SLG200N/NW nylon and the SLG200S steel string versions. For the nylon string, I used a Cordoba GK Studio Negra (Gypsy King signature model). For the steel string, I used three distinctly different good sounding acoustic guitars: a Gibson Advanced Jumbo (rosewood), a D-18 style Voyage-Air (solid mahogany), and a Martin OMC (rosewood). All guitars were miked from three positions which gives a useful variation in sound choice. I then did some post-processing which adapted the WaveMaps to make sure the differences in the pickups were accounted for.”
ToneDexter can now take the sound of the Silent Guitars to a whole new level with deep, rich acoustic tones not attainable before. Download the free SLG200 WaveMaps and check out the results for yourself.
Creating the Electric Guitar WaveMaps
We have had many requests for ToneDexter to provide an acoustic guitar sound for an electric guitar. Audio Sprockets’ James May had two challenges to overcome, “ToneDexter is designed to map the acoustic sound of an instrument onto its pickup signal by first capturing the acoustic sound of the instrument, and then playing back (with just the pickup) through the captured essence embodied the WaveMap preset.
The first challenge is that ToneDexter does not work with magnetic pickups. The solution for an electric guitar is fairly straightforward: replace the bridge with piezo bridge, such as the the LR Baggs X-Bridge or T-Bridge or the Fishman Powerbridge. These are available for Fender style bridges as well as Gibson style tune-o-matic bridges.
The second challenge is that since an electric guitar does not have an acoustic sound, we had to generate the WaveMaps with other full-bodied acoustic instruments. I recorded and produced separate sets of WaveMaps for guitars equipped with the LR Baggs X-Bridge and the Fishman Powerbridge. Though not yet tested, we expect guitars equipped with the LR Baggs T-Bridge to work well with the X-Bridge WaveMaps.
I used three distinctly different, good sounding acoustic guitars: a Gibson Advanced Jumbo (rosewood), a D-18 style Voyage-Air (solid mahogany), and a Martin OMC (rosewood). All guitars were miked from three positions which gives a useful variation in sound choice. I then did some post-processing which adapted the WaveMaps to make sure the differences in the pickups were accounted for.”
Equip your Electric Guitar to Produce both Electric and Acoustic Sounds:
- Fit the guitar with a bridge type piezo pickup such as the LR Baggs X-Bridge or T-Bridge or a Fishman Powerbridge.
- Change the output jack from 1/4″ mono to a 1/4″ stereo with the electric pickup to tip, and the piezo pickup to ring.
- With a split jack lead – 1/4″ stereo to 1/4″ tip mono (to electric guitar amp) and 1/4″ ring mono (for piezo pickup to ToneDexter)
- Download the Free Electric Guitar WaveMaps, load them into your ToneDexter, and enjoy your new acoustic guitar sounds!
ToneDexter Video – How to Archive and Upload WaveMaps
This video shows how to install the WaveMap sets that we have posted on this page. In this example we show how to install the WaveMaps for the Yamaha SLG200N Silent Nylon String Guitar. Install is similar for all the other sets that we have made available.
Check out the process for backing up your current WaveMaps and for transferring in new WaveMaps that you download. Remember that you need to rename the WaveMaps with numeric names such as 01.WM or 12.WM and put them in the WRITE folder in order to get them to load. It is good practice to save the download maps, then copy and rename them as appropriate.