If your love for acoustic guitar tone transcends solo performances – when you find yourself yearning to take flight in front of a full-tilt rock or country combo, you may have a few issues to work out. The two most obvious concerns are making yourself heard over the din and that old nemesis, feedback.
While many modern acoustic-electric guitars are well-equipped for tone-shaping in live situations, it’s important to be aware of what to boost and what to cut. Pulling out frequencies in the 100-300Hz range takes away some of the “woofiness” that a) would get drowned out by the bass anyway; and b) can cause guitar-top-rattling feedback in the low end.
Midrange and high-mid frequencies can be tweaked to make your notes heard, while adjusting high frequencies lets you dial in that sparkle and percussive quality that makes your acoustic shine through the mix.
If you’re plugged directly into the PA and the FOH engineer can accomodate you, adjustments can be made at the console, but having either an onboard or a stompbox-style EQ is well worth it — especially if you’re using onstage amplification.
Just imagine what C.F. Martin or Orville Gibson would think if they could hear what today’s acoustic boxes can do!