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  #1  
Old 01-08-2018, 06:10 PM
PJ10 PJ10 is offline
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Default Play salesman: TC Helicon Play Acoustic Edition

I'm a solo acoustic guy, with a guitar and a Fishman Soloamp. Looking to add, well, a bit of everything. Many on here seem to love the Play Acoustic, so I'm asking to tell me why I SHOULDN'T buy one.

That is, of course, if you can.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2018, 06:21 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I can think of several reasons:
* You don't like reverb
* You don't like Body-Rez (allows easy change of your acoustic sound)
* You don't like vocal harmonies and the ability to change them with a footswitch
* You have no need for a tuner
* You think it is better to pay for a separate looper

Before getting the Play Acoustic last year, I used a TC Helicon Gxt for 6 or 7 years. There is a bit of a learning curve when you switch to the Play Acoustic, because it has SO MANY options. Granted, some of those options are kinda hokey (like: changing the gender of your voice or sounding like a demon). I find I use 3 different harmonies most of the time (one high harmony, one low harmony, one high and one low), although you also have octaves above and below, doubling, and all the permutations of those and more.

The first time I used a vocal harmonizer when playing out, I waited to see if there would be any "That doesn't sound natural" comments. None. Plenty of compliments. One person did say, "I had to come up front to see who else was singing with you." I've seen comments from folks here on the AGF who seem to not care for it, but not one comment like that in 7 plus years in "the real world." The key to using one of these (Boss also makes something similar) is to "under-do it." If you turn the harmonies up too high, it sounds artificial. If you use the harmonies all the time, it becomes more about that than your playing/singing. Used properly, I don't see a downside.

Good luck with the decision.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2018, 06:38 PM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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I had the TC, which I thought was a real game changer for acoustic guitar/ vocalists at the time, sensational, but I sold it when the Boss VE8 came out.
I love the Boss because the adjustments for most of what I do are by twiddling lovely tactile...knobs, instead of going through the TC digital lists. You can go way deeper on the Boss but I haven’t at all.

I only want to adjust the volumes on each channel to how I want it, different for each guitar and pickup system, add a very little bit of reverb and delay on both guitar and vocal separately and I have discovered I can NOT live without the Boss vocal ‘enhance’ button! ( a premixed eq/compression to bring vocal ‘forward’ like a decent soundie could).

I use dual source or Aura system plugged direct and don’t like or use the ‘resonance’ effect.

Here I plugged my Maton with AP5-Pro system direct to the guitar section, vocal with my trusty Shure SM58, used my 'standard' settings which I try not to touch and did my version of a Robert Johnson tune - "Malted Milk". (Straight out of the xlr in the back of the Boss to my iMac/Garageband.):


https://soundcloud.com/bk7-3/maltedmilk7b




BluesKing777.

Last edited by BluesKing777; 01-08-2018 at 06:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:30 AM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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Guitar
I also have it and never really liked the bodyrez. I wanted to bypass it and just could never seem to get the processed sound out of it. I liked my guitar best going straight to my mixer. I tried to get that sound from the Play Acoustic and use only the effects. I never could. I used it anyway, but I was not comfortable with the sound. There is no end to what you can EQ but it is deep in the menus and I just need three knobs for a quick adjustment.

Vocal
TC does a great job with vocals. The effects are great and good sound is easy to achieve. I also like the fact i can go into tuner mode which kills all the effects and allows me to talk to the audience without having effects. The harmonies are good if used sparingly. I like having presets available at a footswitch. I often change vocal effects in a few songs but only have about 5 presets i use regularly and mainly stick with just two.

Looper
I don't use it playing live. Never seemed to do it naturally where it was not a struggle to get it right. Where it comes in handy is sound check. I use a digital mixer and this allows me to record a verse and chorus and walk the room with my iPad while it plays back. I can do a sound check from there and get some final EQ. This is the main reason I can't seem to let it go.

Overall, if it had EQ for vocal, I would never use anything else. I have mostly duplicated my Play Acoustic settings in my digital mixer (Behringer xr12) and now use only it. I do miss having easy changes to presets for different songs.

It's a good tool and having EQ for vocal is important to me. I also would like to make quick changes without binding over.

One last thing. To me it sounds best if you have a stereo set up. The effects and harmonies sound better with stereo separation - if you are somewhere they can be heard.
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:51 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ10 View Post
I'm a solo acoustic guy, with a guitar and a Fishman Soloamp. Looking to add, well, a bit of everything. Many on here seem to love the Play Acoustic, so I'm asking to tell me why I SHOULDN'T buy one.

That is, of course, if you can.
I own one and it's got a lot to offer a solo acoustic performer...

I recommend pairing it with the Switch 6 programmable footswitch. It opens up the unit's versatility for live use. Gives full control of looper and turning on/off guitar and vocal effects. Plus it is the only way to get the guitar boost function.

Con: I do find the Play Acoustic cumbersome when "dialing" in settings.. multi push buttons when you want to make .. even a simple change. Frankly It's a hassle...

But with all it offers and relitvely small footprint.. it sure is hard to beat for the money.
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2018, 04:52 AM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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Personally I love this pedal and although it has some menus to learn it means you have presets with names unlike the Boss. The Play Acoustic is the best product I ever bought as a singing guitarist.
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2018, 04:49 PM
PJ10 PJ10 is offline
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Great .... I'm sold!

I'm guessing for live performances it's rather simple to use with my Fishman SoloAmp? Just a plug and play? Does it go through the channels on the front or the D.I. on the back?
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