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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Fishman aura pedal

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

majorjer - Posted - 11/02/2020:  07:54:08

Plain and simple...are the results worth the expense. Price rivals cost of instruments.

hlpdobro - Posted - 11/02/2020:  09:23:17

Worth it to me? Absolutely. Worth it to you? Arbitrary if you're dealing with a $400 instrument.


Oboe Cadobro - Posted - 11/02/2020:  09:42:34

Agree with Howard. I play on a $5K instrument and a $400 pedal keeps it from sounding like a $400 instrument.

hlpdobro - Posted - 11/02/2020:  10:30:04

Amplifying The Spider Bridge Resonator Guitar

May be useful in answering your questions about the Aura and other stuff!

Doug Schuch - Posted - 11/02/2020:  20:10:34

Do you already have a Fishman Nashville pickup installed? If not, don't bother - it won't do what you think. I am not sure how it might worth with a different brand/style of piezo pickup - might be great, might be OK, might not add anything. But magnetic pickups? Forget it. If you don't have that pickup, or add $200 plus installation costs to the cost of the Aura pedal.

Are you playing live with a band that uses electric instruments? If not, you probably don't need the pickup or the Aura pedal. Have you tried just mic'ing the reso? If you have, but can't get enough volume to compete with drums/electric guitars, etc, then you are a candidate for the pickup and pedal.

Do you have the Fishman Nashville pickup now, and like the tone of your guitar when played acoustically, but don't like the tone when played through the pickup, but need the pickup to be loud enough to be heard? Then I'd say yes - the Aura pedal should give your instrument a tone pretty close to what it sounds like mic'ed, without the feedback concerns.

I thought about putting this into a flow-chart, but not everyone is as geeky as me and understands flow charts, and it was a pain. But the above I think sums up everything I have read about the decision tree for the pickup and pedal combo.

gzerninplatz - Posted - 11/04/2020:  21:46:39

The difference is quite audible, if you are an educated listener.
First of all, it eliminates that annoying piezo quack. If you don't notice the quack, you probably don't need the Aura. On top of that, it just makes the sound more lifelike. But if the electric-sounding tone you get from your bare pickup (what do you use?) doesn't bother you, then you don't need the Aura.
And unless your audience is quite musically sophisticated, they surely won't know the difference either. You'll get a very dobro-like sound with any method of amplification...
But yeah, I use one. Because I can hear the difference and, once heard, when you A/B it, you just can't go back...

dannyschmidt - Posted - 11/05/2020:  10:29:08

I hope it's ok for me to post this in this thread. It's somewhat germane to this conversation. I just posted a classified listing for a Jerry Douglas Fishman Aura pedal in mint condition. I've never actually used this pedal as I don't play a resonator guitar. I inherited the pedal from my uncle.

I do, however, have a long relationship with Martin . . . and by extension, Fishman through Martin . . . and I have played with their Aura for acoustic six string. My general takeaway on the Aura is that it's as good as its understanding of the instrument it's modeling. Like any modeler (Vocal Mic modelers, Amp modelers, etc) . . . the better they understand the "data" that comes into them from the input source, the more accurately/convincingly they can sculpt that input into an output sound that's reminiscent of the sound it was modeled after, and which it's trying to simulate.

As this applies to Martin, they fine tuned the Aura to understand the general input tone of a standard D28 or a D18, etc, and uses that as the basis of the modeling it does. And since they're fairly consistent instruments, the modeler does a pretty good job of spitting out a sound that approximates "a D45 through a Royer R-121" or whatever they modeled.

I'll be honest, I don't use an Aura. I prefer to sculpt the tone I want independently. But I appreciate what they do, and I think they do it reasonably well and at an appropriate price point. And they're best feature, in my estimation, is that they are very VERY simple to use, if you don't have the experience or bandwidth to diddle your own sound through a variety of gear. All you have to (all you CAN do) is pick one of the preconfigured models, and set the blend (how much of the modeled sound relative to the original signal), and that's it. So basically if you spend a day exploring each of the 20 models . . . hopefully you'll find one that pleases your ear, and that all there is to it. You just leave it on number 18 and play.

Just my two cents.

Here's the link to the classified, if you're interested:

And again, if that's inappropriate to post in this thread/forum . . . my sincere apologies . . . I'm happy to come back and edit that part out.

gzerninplatz - Posted - 11/29/2020:  14:18:40 my new road-o-phonic and A/B'd with the Aura....the Aura definitely adds back that sort of whiny overtone, particularly audible on slides...without it, it still sounds like a dobro, but not that in-your-face dobro tone.
Then I plugged in my myrtle tricone with a Krivo resonator magnetic pickup...straight, it sounds like the tricone, but with a sort of warm magnetic pickup vibe to it. With the Aura, it sounds like a single cone!
Then I plugged in my Oahu Diana with a Valco string-through pickup...and it sounded like....wait for it...a single cone dobro!!! Not as in-your-face as with a cone instrument, but still pretty obvious.
The Aura is making everything sound like JD's Blackbeard, I guess.

GONE - Posted - 12/02/2020:  12:54:39

Aura pedal sounds like JD’s Blackbeard because that’s more than likely the WAV map captured while using that particular guitar.

The Fishman piezo bridge is basically just a trigger input to the Aura pedal. Think of triggers used on drums for several decades to trigger samples or WAV maps of acoustic drums.

With this system we never really hear the acoustic qualities of these pickups anymore. The sound heard is essentially a WAV audio sample.

I use similar device Tone Dexter but create my own WAV maps with various guitars and small diaphragm condenser (SDC) mic. As an aside I sometimes use a couple maps created with SM57 dynamic mic - sounds pretty darn “bluegrass stage” convincing for Dobro. But the all around best sounding maps/samples usually come from SDC mic.

ToneDexter is very flexible and with a little preparation I can play an easy action Taylor or some other beater yet spit out the WAV map of an old salty high action Martin.  

Line6 Variax guitar technology is another long time purveyor of this realm. Many others now getting into the game. Exciting times!

Edited by - GONE on 12/02/2020 12:58:24

hlpdobro - Posted - 12/02/2020:  13:12:21

I believe the original Douglas images were actually NOT recorded with a Douglas guitar :-). The Blackbeard wasn't around back then anyways.


AK Slider - Posted - 12/02/2020:  13:51:00


Originally posted by JDopyera

Aura pedal sounds like JD’s Blackbeard because that’s more than likely the WAV map captured while using that particular guitar.

The Fishman piezo bridge is basically just a trigger input to the Aura pedal. Think of triggers used on drums for several decades to trigger samples or WAV maps of acoustic drums.

With this system we never really hear the acoustic qualities of these pickups anymore. The sound heard is essentially a WAV audio sample.

With all due respect, all of the above is incorrect. The Aura is loaded with detailed eq curves that when applied to the signal from the pickup, approximate the mic'ed tone of the dobro. Your instrument and your playing of it still sounds like yours, not some audio sample.

GONE - Posted - 12/02/2020:  14:04:23

I apologize for posting about the Aura when I haven’t actually used or dug deeply into this pedal. Happy to delete and scrub the post if in the best interest of accuracy.

My "theory of operation" may be overly simplistic but it’s not entirely incorrect either.

gzerninplatz - Posted - 12/02/2020:  14:12:21

When I said "makes everything sound like JD's Blackbeard" what I meant was "makes everything sound like a dobro"....but a dobro surely sounds more like a dobro through the Aura than it does through any other electric means. And the other instruments have a little dobro flavor, but not anywhere near as real as a dobro through the Aura.
My new road-o-phonic sounds a bit lacking acoustically (it is a solid body, after all...) and dobro-like (but missing the true nature of the sound) but through the Aura it has a full-body pretty-perfect dobro tone...

hlpdobro - Posted - 12/02/2020:  14:14:44

basic Aura explanation.

Could not find a more complex explanation with Bil. fwiw

Edited by - hlpdobro on 12/02/2020 14:15:03

gzerninplatz - Posted - 12/02/2020:  15:35:31

Thanks, Howard...

An interesting tidbit is that the advice for using the Aura suggests less than half image, with the rest being natural pickup tone (Blend control).

But...both Jerry Douglas and Mike Witcher run the Blend at 100% Aura tone. I agree...with the Blend lower, you get more of your instrument, perhaps, but it just sounds great at 100%!

And as far a which mic setting to really seems like the major difference is the balance of treble (high settings) to bass (low settings). It is REALLY hard to hear more than that in the different mic settings (for me, "hard"="impossible"). Any thoughts on what to listen for to understand the differences?

JD says he uses mic 4 (RCA driven mic) for live shows (Mike Witcher also uses mic 4) , moving to higher settings (16) if he needs to cut through more...

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