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View Full Version : Jamming with an Acoustic Electric, iPad and an amp




arjunrc
Sep 26, 2013, 02:15 PM
Hi folks,

I've been following this forum for a few months and have been reading up on various threads to learn how to work towards my goal. Having bought stuff that I thought would solve my issues, I'm having some issues, so I thought I'd get out of lurk mode, register and ask for help :-)

I have a acoustic electric guitar (Martin DX1RAE, with a Fishman Sonitone pickup) and a Acoustic AGW 15W amp. Its a great combination for jamming with my friends - not really concerts etc - just getting together and reveling in how bad we actually are a guitarists.


My goal:
Anyway, there are times when I wish I could get an 'electric distortion' sound for some riffs just for fun. I don't need them to be amazing quality but reasonable for our purpose.
(Like this guy posted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjzxsuNuTT0) on youtube - he never added details)

My idea & subsequent acquisition:
After researching this forum, I decided to buy the Apogee JAM, installed GarageBand for my iDevices (iPad, iPhone, Mac), and bought a 1/4" (Mono) to 1/8" (stereo) cable.

What I hoped to achieve:
My DX1RAE would connect its output to the JAM. The JAM would connect to my iDevice. The headphone out of my iDevice would connect to my acoustic amp in. I'd add a drums track in garage band, choose a software amplifier on GB with some distortion effects and voila - I own an electric guitar that can shred (well, not quite, but sounds reasonable enough)

Execution:
I got my stuff yesterday. My first "iDevice" was my 2010 MBP. I connected as above with the exception that I turned on the MBP speakers - I did not connect the MBP to the amp - I just wanted to test the first part: i.e . how my guitar will sound via GB.

The results were not good at all: I could barely hear by guitar from the MBP speakers - it was set to full volume and whenever I added any sort of stomp box to the software amp, it sounded terrible. Monitor is on, when I record and playback, I can hear the guitar but it doesn't sound that great. When I want to 'play through' I don't hear my guitar if I use a clean combo amp on GB. Monitor is on. JAM light is green.

Has anyone use an acoustic electric with JAM and GB? What settings do you use for playthrough ? Have you tried to add distortion? How does it sound?



ChrisA
Sep 26, 2013, 05:38 PM
Hi folks,

I've been following this forum for a few months and have been reading up on various threads to learn how to work towards my goal. Having bought stuff that I thought would solve my issues, I'm having some issues, so I thought I'd get out of lurk mode, register and ask for help :-)

I have a acoustic electric guitar (Martin DX1RAE, with a Fishman Sonitone pickup) and a Acoustic AGW 15W amp. Its a great combination for jamming with my friends - not really concerts etc - just getting together and reveling in how bad we actually are a guitarists.


My goal:
Anyway, there are times when I wish I could get an 'electric distortion' sound for some riffs just for fun. I don't need them to be amazing quality but reasonable for our purpose.
(Like this guy posted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjzxsuNuTT0) on youtube - he never added details)

My idea & subsequent acquisition:
After researching this forum, I decided to buy the Apogee JAM, installed GarageBand for my iDevices (iPad, iPhone, Mac), and bought a 1/4" (Mono) to 1/8" (stereo) cable.

What I hoped to achieve:
My DX1RAE would connect its output to the JAM. The JAM would connect to my iDevice. The headphone out of my iDevice would connect to my acoustic amp in. I'd add a drums track in garage band, choose a software amplifier on GB with some distortion effects and voila - I own an electric guitar that can shred (well, not quite, but sounds reasonable enough)

Execution:
I got my stuff yesterday. My first "iDevice" was my 2010 MBP. I connected as above with the exception that I turned on the MBP speakers - I did not connect the MBP to the amp - I just wanted to test the first part: i.e . how my guitar will sound via GB.

The results were not good at all: I could barely hear by guitar from the MBP speakers - it was set to full volume and whenever I added any sort of stomp box to the software amp, it sounded terrible. Monitor is on, when I record and playback, I can hear the guitar but it doesn't sound that great. When I want to 'play through' I don't hear my guitar if I use a clean combo amp on GB. Monitor is on. JAM light is green.

Has anyone use an acoustic electric with JAM and GB? What settings do you use for playthrough ? Have you tried to add distortion? How does it sound?


Likely your guitar is not outputting a high enough level signal. Or you have the interface (Apogee) set for line-in and it needs to be set for Instrument-in.

Also while the modeled amps and effects in Garage Band are not bad "Aptitube" is the best one I've found. And they have a free version you can try.

If the guitar pickup is sending a low level signal you can always get a booster pedal. A real analog pedal.

I don't like the Apogee. It lacks a gain input knob and a UV meter. The UV meter would be very helpful if you had it so you could SEE the output level of the guitar.

On the other hand a cheap Fender or "Squire" Statocaster sells for under $200. a LOT less for a used one. You might find the Strat is easier to play, lower and lighter action, longer neck, the strings are easy to "bend". They are cheep on Craigslist.