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Thread: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

  1. #1
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Anyone have good luck with particular mic positions when making wavemaps?

    Or any tips on making them?

    I have had some success but my best sounding wavemap so far is with an AT 2020 a few feet in front of me. Sounds great, but I feel I can do better.

    Thx,
    Dan
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    I tried several fine condenser mics and noticed their differences in creating a wave map are not as important as mic position. But even much more important for a wave map that I really liked was manipulating the pickup sound. My wave maps always lacked the airiness of a true mic and sounded a bit dull. So I used the mic with the biggest treble boost I could find ( a friend loaned my a Neumann KM183 omni), sent my K&K equipped Collings MF5 to a RedEye preamp and used the treble knob to bring the treble down significantly. I connected the line out on the RedEye with the line in on the TD. Mic position was 10 inch away from the picking hand.
    Same experience with a K&K - equipped guitar.
    Later I tried the identic setting using more linear sounding mics and it worked fine with them. So for me manipulating the pickup signal was the goal.
    But it sure depends on what sound you are going for and what your pickup sounds like.
    Good luck,
    Bob

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    Player, luthier, tech Andy Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    Anyone have good luck with particular mic positions when making wavemaps?
    Dan
    I got the most realistic results using small-diaphragm condensers located in front of the headstock, aimed straight down the neck at the mandolin body. I tried out quite a number of mics, many Shure as I work for them and was able to borrow some things. The KSM137 did really well in this headstock position as well as in some other positions where you might normally expect to mic a mandolin.

    I think it's important to note that by "realistic" I mean only that using the headphones during the training process, the modeled sound was similar to the straight mic sound. "Realistic" may or may not translate to "useful" when trying to select a model for use in live sound reinforcement in various acoustic environments. So I saved nearly 20 different wavemaps and I have an idea of which ones are going to sound brighter, darker, etc relative to one another. When I soundcheck I start with a flat EQ on the Tonedexter and try some different models until something seems to work, then I can make fine adjustments with the bass/treble/notch controls and blend/character controls if needed.

    All of the wavemaps I saved sound drastically better than the straight pickup into any preamp I've tried previously. I've not had to use much EQ at all, the thing just produces much more of a natural sound.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    Anyone have good luck with particular mic positions when making wavemaps?

    Or any tips on making them?

    I have had some success but my best sounding wavemap so far is with an AT 2020 a few feet in front of me. Sounds great, but I feel I can do better.

    Thx,
    Dan
    It takes a while of trial and error to get the best sounding wavemaps. I spent several days in the studio training mine on 4 different instruments with 5 mics each. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll find the sweet spot. Mine was different with each mic and each instrument.
    Best, Stevo

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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    I borrowed my buddies “Edwina” by ear trumpets and made 6 new maps, all in different mic positions...
    They all sound pretty good. One I deleted because the levels were strangely loud.

    I think the mic over my head facing down came out best in this case. I repeated this setup exactly in my bathroom and it seemed to be similar with some bathroom reverb. Interesting.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Can someone explain ' wavemap ' to me, and what use it is ? I just tune up my mandolins and play.

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    Can someone explain ' wavemap ' to me, and what use it is ?

    Dave H
    With the Tonedexter, you play into the unit with an input from your instrument’s pickup at the same time as with an input from a microphone. The resulting wave map is an effort by the Tonedexter to eq the pickup to sound close to the sound of the microphone. The results differ depending on the microphone used and the microphone placement. Thus lots of experimenting in creating wave maps.
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    With the Tonedexter, you play into the unit with an input from your instrument’s pickup at the same time as with an input from a microphone. The resulting wave map is an effort by the Tonedexter to eq the pickup to sound close to the sound of the microphone. The results differ depending on the microphone used and the microphone placement. Thus lots of experimenting in creating wave maps.
    I think it's more complicated than just eq adjustment...I think it is a digitally processed signal that transforms the piezoelectric input to match the acoustic sample...impulse filter is what TD calls it.
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Wow, that's great, just try and imagine if Dave Appollon or Bill had one .

    Dave H
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Sorry if this is derailing the conversation, but has anyone mis-matched Tonedexter wavemaps?
    For example, your buddy has an awesome Gilchrist the tone of which you love. Assuming you're using the same pickups inside both mandolins, can you build a wavemap that makes your Kentucky KM-150 sound like the Gilchrist?

    Seems like you could make a lot of money selling different models/wavemaps, like a Variax but more acoustic. Like piano or drum samples.

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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    i was wondering a similar thing, but not trying to get the cheapy to sound great; I was thinking that there could be a whole rabbit hole to dive down by purposely mis-matching sources and playing instruments. you could get some weird and freaky unique sounds to play with. Maybe call it “wave-hacking “ to make it sound cooler than something thought up by a 54 year old mandolin geek.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Sorry if this is derailing the conversation, but has anyone mis-matched Tonedexter wavemaps?
    For example, your buddy has an awesome Gilchrist the tone of which you love. Assuming you're using the same pickups inside both mandolins, can you build a wavemap that makes your Kentucky KM-150 sound like the Gilchrist?

    Seems like you could make a lot of money selling different models/wavemaps, like a Variax but more acoustic. Like piano or drum samples.
    In my very limited experience I had confusing results at best.

    I tried playing my oval with the f-hole wave maps and it didn't sound good. Vice versa and the results were also poor. Not sure what I was hoping to achieve (more sustain in my f?) but they are both Collings MT2 with K and K pickups so this was a relatively close comparison and I am assuming the pickup placement and shape of the holes made an effect here.

    When I played my Octave mando with f-holes through my MT2 f-hole wave map it actually sounded pretty good. Some of the low end wasn't there, but I suppose that's to be expected.

    I didn't directly compare my two f-hole mandolins yet, let me get back to you on that... BUT... I have a feeling it won't work all that well, I suspect the reason the tonedexter gets decent sound is because it can see the specific output from YOUR piezo pickup and match that to the sound from the microphone. If the pickups are mounted with a different adhesive or in a slightly different location...??? All of the pickups I have are K and K and were installed by the same luthier, and I think that helps in this comparison. So perhaps I can get my Weber Bighorn to sound like my Collings MT2 because of the similar pickup placed by the same luthier? Do I want that? lol

    Wouldn't the Fishman Aura 3 pedal have been more successful if you could just match any piezo pickup to any wave map?
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  17. #13
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    I didn't directly compare my two f-hole mandolins yet, let me get back to you on that... BUT... I have a feeling it won't work all that well, I suspect the reason the tonedexter gets decent sound is because it can see the specific output from YOUR piezo pickup and match that to the sound from the microphone. If the pickups are mounted with a different adhesive or in a slightly different location...??? All of the pickups I have are K and K and were installed by the same luthier, and I think that helps in this comparison. So perhaps I can get my Weber Bighorn to sound like my Collings MT2 because of the similar pickup placed by the same luthier? Do I want that? lol
    Ok, so I have 5 decent wave maps with my MT2, all have different mic placements so they all have slightly different sounds. I plugged my bighorn in and tried all of them. In general it sounded kinda like my bighorn but with a touch of something overlaid upon it. A color of the MT2 but definitely not the sound of the MT2. I could only really tolerate the sound of one of the wave maps like this, but even this one my brain did not like for some reason. Things didn't line up well and it felt off. Better then a raw piezo with no EQ, but then again anything is.

    I suspect if you had a cheap mando and like 20 wave maps of a Nugget (or two) in different mic positions (and pickup placement?) you could find something that would sound better then the cheap mando. But not as good as a Nugget.

    If I were to make an analogy of some sort it would be like going to an Optometrist vs grabbing a pair of readers in the checkout lane. The glasses made for you are always going to fit better and give a better view of reality but you might get by with readers. I don't wear glasses or claim to have a good view of reality...
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  18. #14

    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    If you never have to play louder than you can get by using a mic, or don't play out at all, you can ignore all of this. I asked the guys at Gryphon what pickup I should use, this was pre Tonedexter days, and was told I wouldn't like any of them. Enter the Tonedexter, that takes that sound you don't like and turns it into a miced tone you do.

    The finger style guitar guys are real tone geeks, and they jumped on board early on.
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    So it sounds like what we need is a... "convolution map"? If that's the right term. I don't know the digital signal processing terms or computer science behind this, but I'm sure it must be difficult, or the Tonedexter folks would rent a Loar and ship the thing with it already set up, right?

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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    So the thing is, the signal from each piezoelectric is different, I tried using a different pickup mount location and it sounded wonky...
    It's not a midi controller, just a filter applied to your signal. I think filter is the wrong term, maybe replacement overlay.
    I've hear midi guitars that sound like horns, so amidi mandolin that sounds like Thile's mando is not that far fetched. Let's write up a patent application together Marty, then we can buy our own Loar's!
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    As I understand it, the tonedexter learns the difference between the piezo signal coming from your specific mandolin, and the signal coming from a specific microphone at a specific placement, then takes the piezo signal and digitally transforms it to the miced sound fast enough that latency is not a problem. So I think if you took a Loar equipped with K&Ks ( egads!), made a preset, then played a Rogue K&K equipped mandolin using the Loar wavemap, you would have one confused machine. It would not have the right reference tone to work with.
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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    My buddy came by with a fiddle last night, so of course I had to have him try it with the tone Dexter using my mandolin wave maps.

    His piezzo pickup sounded pretty good by itself, but it did sound better through the mandolin wave maps. Without me saying a thing about what the pedal was supposed to do my fiddle player said “wow that adds more body.” A lot of the piezzo sound was there but it seemed to have a touch of the mandolin body sound added in.

    This is a one off experiment (and n=1 really shows nothing) but I wanted to share the results.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    No, using mismatched tonemaps won’t make your Rogue sound like a Loar. Think of it like this: the TD listens to the mic and pickup sounds, and figures out how to get from one to the other. To use an analogy, let’s say you want to drive from LA to NYC and you put that route in your GPS. Later, you are in Chicago, and you want to go to NYC. Well, that route worked well last time, so you put it in again. ‘Drive 5 miles East, turn left ...’ You drive east for 3k miles from Chicago as if you had started in LA and end up ... somewhere in the North Atlantic. You may end up somewhere interesting, but that would be pure chance. The Aura would be more what you want for that.

    The TD doesn’t make your pickup sound EXACTLY LIKE A MIC but it sure does make it sound a hell of a lot better. And it’s a good preamp. You do have to take time and experiment; it’s not plug-and-play.

    I also get best results on guitars and mandolin with the headstock position. But I’m experimenting now with a DPA4099 to see what that can do.

    Steven
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Can you please describe The headstock position used please? So far I've only had success with right out front over the bridge, but have had some issues with harsh peaks on fret 5 and up on the e string. EQ has tempered the spikes, but I'm still wanting the next best image
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Silverangel Econo A #438
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Anyone have difficulty Tonedexter's level-setting algorithm not getting the mic levels right? I'm using a quality SDC mic (Octava MC012) that I've used regularly for years and I know sounds great on my mandolin. Everytime the training kicks in, the volume through my headphones either drops almost completely out, or it sounds like the mic is distorting, depending on mic position and/or what I played during the level-setting phase. It's a hot mic, but not out of the ordinary (and I've tried with a couple of other mics I have around and am getting similar results).

    I'm following their recommendation for fiddle to play middle-range double stops (up the neck on G and D or D and A strings) during the level-setting phase. Maybe I'll try banging an open G chord without the G string to see if that works better...

    Oddly, a couple of the wavemaps are still pretty usable played through a PA speaker, so maybe this is just my imagination.

    Anyone run into anything similar and/or have any ideas?

  29. #23
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    I play the A and E strings at a mild volume back and forth, if I do much more then that the volume of the wavemap seems to come out pretty low...
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  30. #24
    Registered User stevo58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Just in case it’s not known, ToneDexter has a different ‘persona’ for mandolin and other high-pitched instruments.
    You can read about it here -

    https://audiosprockets.com/support/firmware/

    If this is already known, sorry for the repeat.
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  31. #25

    Default Re: Tonedexter wavemaps for mando and mic position...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Sorry if this is derailing the conversation, but has anyone mis-matched Tonedexter wavemaps?
    For example, your buddy has an awesome Gilchrist the tone of which you love. Assuming you're using the same pickups inside both mandolins, can you build a wavemap that makes your Kentucky KM-150 sound like the Gilchrist?
    I did wavemaps with my Collings, using JJB pickup for the send and an MXL large diaphragm in front, slightly above.

    When I play my Breedlove crossover also with JJB through the TD, the sound is much better than just the piezo, and while not the Collings, sounds pretty good.

    I like the Tonedexter quite a lot.
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