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Author Topic: Violin impulse response and convolution review featuring ToneDexter  (Read 1041 times)

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Offline Titch

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Finally I have had time - I wonder why?  - to write up what was many days of testing both microphones and the Audio sprockets ToneDexter.
I went through a series of emotions both with the mics and the ToneDexter.

A surprising conclusion for me on mics was that the Thomann Ovid CC100 mic at £66 is a close match to the DPA 4999 @ five times the cost

The full blog with pics and sound files can be found here:
https://www.sonicviolins.co.uk/electric-violin-blog/5/5/2020

If you're the person that skips to the conclusion then here it is:

Just use a decent instrument with a good pickup and EQ...

"Because EQ is an essential prerequisite and integrated into all live sound, whether dealing with microphone or DI, it makes sense to fully understand and explore its potential. In many ways EQ is the most underrated tool available to all musicians, and when combined with reverb and delays can sculpt excellent results. When you heard that acoustic violin sound that you adored so much, be aware that you were also listening to the space in which it was being played. IR is now used extensively in Convolution Reverb systems for which it is a very appropriate tool, and therefor very capable of modelling that space in which you heard that violin. Reverb and delay are additive effects that provide depth and space, IR pedals do not add anything to a sound that may well lacking in information to start with…"

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Offline pluwin

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Thank you for your great review and good audio clips.

I liked the Violin + eq best.
Tonedexter sounded a bit artificial to me, but I have to say that I'm biased because I use a violin and an eq-pedal (wampler equator, semi-parametric) myself.
I bet the tonedexter is very handy in a live situation.

Offline procarpenter

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Great post. Thanks for taking the time to write this up. It's really interesting to start seeing some reactions to this technology. I might hold off for a while on purchasing the Tonedexter.

What do you recommend for EQ in a live situation?

Offline Titch

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Thanks Pluwin - you have re-enforced my thoughts. Yes there are some artefacts generated by the ToneDexter, that was the best sound I could get. I do think Audiosprockets have a great system in their approach compared to a device that loads a random IR. I did try using a Wavemaps generated from different violins to the one i had plugged in - that gets really weird and I think explains why random IR are just that - random, you'd have to get very lucky for that to work. This is also why i don't understand how Audiosprockets suggest they can make a Yamahahaha "xyz" solid body fiddle sound like a great acoustic violin - you just can't, science says so, no matter how much some players wish to believe so :-)

Thank Procarpenter - regarding EQ you really need one or two parametric EQ bands available in your set up to focus in on "problem" frequencies, typically in the 1-2kHz area, I use the EQ in my desk - pic on blog - but if you don't use a regular desk the the Empress ParaEq is my go to recommendation.
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Offline Nashorn

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Thank you very much for your review and the time you put into this! Very interesting.

Offline procarpenter

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Thanks for the recommendation! Very much appreciated.

Offline Titch

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I have just updated the blog and added a recording using a 3Sigma IR (Italian Violin 4c) as a comparison to the results from the Tonedexter.
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Offline pluwin

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Nice addition. The first time when I listened to the audio clips I had pair of quite expensive headphones.
This time it's just the speakers of the laptop. Through the speakers the tonedexter sounds much richer than the sigma, which exaggerates a certain mid frequency.

Offline Titch

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... the tonedexter sounds much richer than the sigma, which exaggerates a certain mid frequency.

I agree - some of the other 3sigma IRs sounded terrible, I don't understand why they should be so different, way more than the difference that I'd imagine between two "Italian Violins". I didn't create any wavemaps that were anything like that far out even when applying ones created from different instruments. Confirms my thoughts that the Tonedexter approach is more suitable than a short Impulse.
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Offline onlyme

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Im only one more in the line who says thanx for the time and energy you put into this. Happy user of the TD myself, unfortunately no possibility to gig at the moment because of Corona but I somehow agree what pluwin wrote. Sounds a bit artificial around the high mids and highs in comparison with the DPA right before it but not that much. In a live situation you wont have that comparison and that "artificial" sound is somehow what cuts that the mix.
@ Titch, I have a question concerning your mix. I can see you have a hpf at 97hz but a boost at 63hz. Any reason for that?

Offline Titch

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Re: Violin impulse response and convolution review featuring ToneDexter
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2020, 01:15:46 PM »
Titch, I have a question concerning your mix. I can see you have a hpf at 97hz but a boost at 63hz. Any reason for that?

Thanks for asking.
Settings in photo are not related to tests - Blog updated to clarify - I think they just drew a pretty picture  :-)
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Offline shaunfiddler

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Re: Violin impulse response and convolution review featuring ToneDexter
« Reply #11 on: Jul 26, 2020, 07:09:05 PM »
This is also why i don't understand how Audiosprockets suggest they can make a Yamahahaha "xyz" solid body fiddle sound like a great acoustic violin - you just can't, science says so, no matter how much some players wish to believe so :-)

I use TD wave maps created for my acoustic fiddle on my Yamaha YEV. It's not that I think the YEV suddenly sounds acoustic, its that the TD is the easiest solution I've found to tame that quacky/kazoo tone that comes from electric violins.

As for artificial sounds on an acoustic, when I first started using the TD I'd crank the character all the way up to get all that mic sparkle I had been missing for so long. Now I back it off to 1 or 0 depending on the room I'm in. To me, even with the character at 0, playing through a wave map still sounds head and shoulders better than just using a preamp + EQ.

IR isn't perfect, but its a hell of a tool and I think Audio Sprockets is at the top of the heap for IR solutions right now.

Offline Jansberg

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Re: Violin impulse response and convolution review featuring ToneDexter
« Reply #12 on: Aug 17, 2020, 08:14:43 PM »
thanks Titch - I did experience some of the same things you describe when I experimented with IR and how close I could get to acoustic sound with careful EQ and reverb

Here from a very old post..

definit improvement in the sound samples. I got some of the same when I used the Fishman Aura - here a late night gig at the Celtic Connections playing my old german acoustic with LR Baggs into Fishman Aura 100% image:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSopDgA2zEQ

One thing I notice in all the samples with violins and impulse response is the "digital edge" - the way that harmonics does not always sound good.

EchoLoK - I would recommend that you notch out a small frequency spectrum around 400-500 hz (body resonance) as this sometimes interferes with the IR.

I did a lot of experiments with EQ and reverb (very small rooms) and could sometimes uptain effects similar to IR - from that I learned a lot about the resonances of the violin body.

take a look here at my blog (which needs updating, I know) : http://jansberg.blogspot.dk/2013/04/violin-viola-eq-and-frequencies-part-ll.html 
www.jansberg.blogspot.com - my blog about pickups, microphones, amplifiers and other gear for fiddles

 




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