Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hexaphonic Guitar System: 3

I got the adapters I needed yesterday, so I was able to get everything connected solidly. These little puppies are very useful, and I didn't even know they existed until I started poking around on eBay. What they do is, they take an insert jack - which is usually used as a loop to insert compressors or effects units, hence the name - and they make them into direct outputs. Evidently, live sound engineers use them a lot to get direct outputs from their boards for live multi-track recording. The RMC Fanout Box has an insert jack for each string, so if you want to use them as outputs, as I do, you need these adapters. Otherwise, a regular mono TS guitar cable won't make proper contacts.

I expected them to be from some exotic manufacturer, but no, they are made by Hosa. I got eight so I'd have these extras. For those interested, it is called a DOC-106 INSERT DIRECT-OUT ADAPTOR. They must be fairly common if Hosa makes them.

Here's one unboxed. As you can see, it has a male stereo TRS jack on the right, and a mono female TS jack on the left. The male TRS makes all of the proper contacts, and the female TS accepts any old guitar cable. The female return jack was just left out of the wiring. Very cool.

*****

I set all of the units up to provide distortion for every string, and it really doesn't sound like six different guitars, and complex harmonies still sound mushy, just not as mushy as with a mono or stereo system (There is some crosstalk between the strings). Mixed into the background of the clean stereo guitar sound, though, it's very spooky. I'm going to need the winter to mess around with it, but one thing I know for sure, and that is that the solid state preamp in the Lexicon MPX-G2 does not have a sweet enough overdrive sound. I knew this would be the case, as I've been spoilt by over thirty years of MESA/Boogie tube amps. But since I've proved the concept with the Lexicons now, I'm going to build another hexaphonic system with six MESA/Boogie preamps. Since the ones I want are discontinued, it will probably be a while before I can scare up six of them. In any case, this has been a marvelous project and I'm learning a ton from it.

Now that I have all of the elements sorted out for my main recording studio, I'll be able to turn my attention to the Synclavier and the Fuga Electronica album. In my down time from working on that, I'll explore the hexaphonic possibilities. First, though, I'm going for a week's vacation out west in the Ferrari! I haven't been away from my house in over three years, so I'm hitting a wall with my motivation and I badly need a break.

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