• 3 Sigma Audio Introduces Impulse Responses For Mandolin

    3 Sigma AudioLos Angeles, Calif. — 3 Sigma Audio has introduced the world's first impulse responses made just for mandolin. Using 3 Sigma Audio's proprietary ACE Technology, recording acoustic instruments DI is now a reality.

    Instantly transform your mandolin into a miked up masterpiece of the most sought after brands on top of the line gear.

    Choose between the beautiful Gibs FM (based on Gibson F-9) or Fend SE (Fender 63SE). Each pack includes 15 mix ready impulses designed for both recording and live use.

    For those unfamiliar with the technology, Signa Audio has prepared their own Acoustic Impulse Tutorial video.

    Product Demo



    Additional Information

    Comments 21 Comments
    1. jmkatcher's Avatar
      jmkatcher -
      When you want your mandolin to sound like a cheap Fender import, there is no substitute.
    1. BrettMoore's Avatar
      BrettMoore -
      Couldn't have modeled a Loar?!
    1. jmkatcher's Avatar
      jmkatcher -
      I'm sure they're working on modeling a Loar LM-170 right now. Probably need a supercomputer to calculate accurate sound reflections through plywood.
    1. Jim Garber's Avatar
      Jim Garber -
      That is very strange indeed...
    1. Bob Clark's Avatar
      Bob Clark -
      Can't say that it's on my wish list.
    1. Clement Barrera-Ng's Avatar
      Clement Barrera-Ng -
      It's not eliciting any impulse response from me either.
    1. almeriastrings's Avatar
      almeriastrings -
      A solution in search of a problem.....
    1. hank's Avatar
      hank -
      Uh-0, like everything else today I don't get it. What is wonderful about Impulse response?
    1. mandopixie's Avatar
      mandopixie -
      At least it looks like the demo fellow is having some fun with it..
    1. Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
      Daniel Nestlerode -
      Let's hear a bit of Old Dangerfield. No?
      Red Haired Boy? No?
      Soldier's Joy, surely every mandol- No?

      Ah. Another guitar player who was handed a mandolin and told "it's the same just upside down."


      Daniel
    1. DRLopatka's Avatar
      DRLopatka -
      Hey guys!

      My name is Dan Lopatka and I am the Media and Marketing Director for 3 Sigma Audio, as well as the mandolinist in this video.

      To give you a little inside info on our product, the impulse works by stripping away all the things your pickup adds, leaving only what makes your mandolin sound ‘real’/acoustic/close-miked.

      The beauty of an impulse is that you can get miked-quality sound straight from your DI, so you don’t need to have an acoustically treated room, set up a mic, or worry about moving around while recording. In fact, when I recorded these demos, I did so in my home office with cars driving by, my neighbor’s dog barking, and the babies who live beneath me crying – I never would have been able to record there with a condenser.

      This makes impulses especially nice for performing live. You don’t need to be constrained to a mic or have electric-sounding mandolin tone blasting through the speakers.

      These can be used with any mandolin – you don’t need to own the one we modeled. And even if you’re using an incredibly high-end mandolin, its DI tone will still benefit greatly from an impulse. The impulse shapes the signal in a very positive way that keeps all the things you love about your mandolin’s sound and removes the things you don’t like coming from the pickup.

      We’re always open to suggestions for new products and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask

      Thanks, folks!
    1. DRLopatka's Avatar
      DRLopatka -
      Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nestlerode View Post
      Let's hear a bit of Old Dangerfield. No?
      Red Haired Boy? No?
      Soldier's Joy, surely every mandol- No?
      I feel ya! Would have loved to play some more traditional tunes, but the creators wanted all original pieces in a variety of styles
    1. Bob Clark's Avatar
      Bob Clark -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRLopatka View Post

      The beauty of an impulse is that you can get miked-quality sound straight from your DI, so you don’t need to have an acoustically treated room, set up a mic, or worry about moving around while recording. In fact, when I recorded these demos, I did so in my home office with cars driving by, my neighbor’s dog barking, and the babies who live beneath me crying – I never would have been able to record there with a condenser.

      This makes impulses especially nice for performing live. You don’t need to be constrained to a mic or have electric-sounding mandolin tone blasting through the speakers.
      Thanks for the explanation. I might have to re-think my initial impression. Looks like this could be interesting to play around with. Good luck with it!
    1. Don Grieser's Avatar
      Don Grieser -
      How would you use it live? Do you have to run through a DAW?
    1. DRLopatka's Avatar
      DRLopatka -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
      How would you use it live? Do you have to run through a DAW?
      You certainly could use a DAW to play with the impulse live, but it would probably be a bit of a hassle with setting up a laptop and interface.

      What many of our acoustic guitar impulse users do is bring a hardware impulse loader to gigs, like Helix by Line 6, Atomic Amplifire, Axe-FX, Torpedo Live, etc. They'll then send a line from the loader to either their acoustic speaker, or the house mains
    1. almeriastrings's Avatar
      almeriastrings -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRLopatka View Post

      The beauty of an impulse is that you can get miked-quality sound straight from your DI
      While I confess I have not done any testing with your product myself, I'd have to say that there are (as you are aware) other products that use convolution modelling and make identical claims... the Sound Machine Wood Works plugin for the UAD platform, for example. There are similar claims made for some of the hardware-linked DSP pedals and stomp boxes by the likes of Fishman (Aura system) and TC Electronic (Bodyrez). Not a single one of these delivers on the hype. I would be interested to try your system to see if it gets closer to the target than any of the above. In each case, you'd get better results from even a $15 microphone than you would from the many hundreds invested in the necessary software/hardware to run impulses live (a Line 6 Helix runs to around $1,500) - never mind the results obtainable from a genuinely high grade microphone. As for sound intruding when recording... 3.00 am works quite well, and is free, as well as having zero latency.
    1. JL277z's Avatar
      JL277z -
      Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
      ... microphone. As for sound intruding when recording... 3.00 am works quite well, ...
      With all due respect, I have to politely disagree.

      3:00 am microphone recordings can easily be ruined by even *one* of the following:

      • Train whistles
      • Ambulance or fire truck sirens
      • Neighbor's dogs barking at the moon
      • All-night mega-watt music party on the next block over
      • 24-hour truck-route traffic
      • Industrial machinery, such as a nearby 24/7 lumber mill etc.
      • Night-shift worker housemate getting home from work & making the microwave go "beep beep beep"


      Etc. Depends on where on lives.

      Even otherwise-idyllic rural areas can have nighttime trains, running on unpredictable schedules, where long train whistles (especially if there are several crossings) can ruin an otherwise-great mic recording.

      Not everyone can justify moving to a different region based solely on the desire to obtain better recordings via microphone.

      Imagine what the spouse would say to this idea:

      "Honey, I know we've lived here 38 years & you love this house, especially the wonderful kitchen that took us 20 years to build, & the giant fully-equipped woodworking shop, but we are moving now because I need a quieter place to record my mandolin."

      That might not go over too well... especially if there were already complaints about MAS & buying that 7th mandolin last year...

      The other alternative, soundproofing a room from outside nose intrusion, is an expensive proposition and not something that everyone would be able to do. One does not have to be "poor" to find a $10,000+ project unreachable, there are many senior citizens (I'm one) on fixed incomes who have to make do with what they have.

      Although, I haven't priced the Impulse Response mandolin product, I don't know if that's an affordable solution either.

      My own admittedly amateur/hobbyist solution to recording-noise problems, is to use a cheap pickup & run it through a guitar amp (Roland Micro Cube, set to "Acoustic" sound modeling), then pipe that sound to headphones (for me to listen) & computer audio-in jack (to record). The tone is, um, dubious, good enough for casual YouTube but that's about it, but at least it doesn't record unwanted ambient noises... The only thing I have to watch out for now is avoiding 60-cycle hum ... "it's always something" eh.

      Anyway, back to the OP topic, I am mildly curious about the Impulse Response thing & I might look into it someday.

    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      All quiet at 3:00 a.m. Riiiiggghhhtttt. Trying living in a large University town, or any town with a college. Or any house with a sidewalk in front or to the side.
    1. almeriastrings's Avatar
      almeriastrings -
      You can even have problems in a 'real' studio. I used to work at one place sometimes where from time to time, low flying military jets appeared to use us for target practice... they were so low you could see the pilots. Even pro-levels of sound-proofing were not up to keeping that noise out. However, it is usually better to try to find (or hire) a quiet place to record than to 'fix it in the mix', though there are some very effective tools available such as Izotope RX5 that are widely used in the video and film industries to remove unwanted sounds from microphone recordings. These can work extremely well. Not cheap, though.

      What is not often entirely clear to many is that convolution modelling purports to offer a kind of 'alchemy' - transforming, say, a standard preamp into a high-end model, or a cheap acoustic guitar into a Martin D45, or provide the reverb of a concert hall in a bedroom studio. It is more successful in some areas than others. The convolution reverbs these days are very good indeed. Some are excellent. Modelling of preamps, compressors and EQ's has also improved a lot. It needs a lot of DSP power to run stuff like this and as computers have become more powerful, this kind of modelling has become more feasible. Despite many advances in modelling preamps, or specific microphones (such as Slate's Virtual Microphone System) etc., few would argue the end result is 100% "as good as the real thing", but in some cases, it can be quite close, or close enough. Then again, the 'starting point' is typically pretty decent in itself - so making an already very good quality condenser mic sound like a specific even better condenser mic is not half as challenging as making a cheap mandolin sound like a great mandolin. Making a cheap mandolin with a piezo pickup sound like a fine mandolin recorded with a high quality microphone is several leagues more complex and difficult yet. That truly would be alchemy, and finally, lead will have been turned to gold.....
    1. DRLopatka's Avatar
      DRLopatka -
      Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
      There are similar claims made for some of the hardware-linked DSP pedals and stomp boxes by the likes of Fishman (Aura system) and TC Electronic (Bodyrez). Not a single one of these delivers on the hype. I would be interested to try your system to see if it gets closer to the target than any of the above.
      I hear ya -- we've heard the claims, too. We approach modeling much differently than other companies with newer technology and achieve better results. If you have a moment, check out the product vid for our acoustic guitar impulses: https://youtu.be/v4ob9Qn8uH4 It includes a helpful A/B of the guitar DI vs. the impulse, which I think will help illustrate my point.

      Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
      In each case, you'd get better results from even a $15 microphone than you would from the many hundreds invested in the necessary software/hardware to run impulses live (a Line 6 Helix runs to around $1,500) - never mind the results obtainable from a genuinely high grade microphone.
      Yeah, the Helix is a bit pricey, but there are less expensive options if you want to use impulses live. Atomic Amplifire is only $600 and if you really don't care about all the bells and whistles that come with those two (effects, amp sims, etc.), there's the ESPi from Logidy for only $200.

      And if you're only looking to record at home (assuming you already have an interface and DAW), there are tons of free impulse loaders, like NadIR, Reverberate LE, etc. Our $10 mandolin impulses will save you $5 on that $15 mic