At my solo “acoustic” gig that I play every Friday night, I haven’t been playing an acoustic guitar, instead using my beloved Gretsch Electromatic. It sounds awesome plugged into the house board but admittedly, it only sounds good when I’m playing finger-style. Last night it became very apparent that with songs that require strumming, my Gretsch just didn’t sound all that good. On the other hand, when I use the guitar with my own PA (a Fishman SA220 SoloAmp), strumming is not an issue because I also have great effects that I run the guitar through which make strumming not an issue.
But plugged directly into a board, even if I’m running effects such as reverb and chorus, the Electromatic sounds like an electric guitar plugged into a PA when strummed. Kind of lifeless. So this morning, I plugged my guitar into my trusty Roland Cube 60, switched over to the Acoustic channel, and smiled. It sounded close enough to an acoustic that strumming wouldn’t be an issue. The amp is set set up to run right into a board as it has a recording out which defeats the speaker. I’ve used it in the past precisely for this purpose.
What is an issue is the limited space I have. I could make it work, but it’s not optimal. Besides, all I’d be using the amp for would be as a pedal. Then it hit me. Roland is notorious for offering its on-board effects as pedals and vice-versa. So I did a search to see if Roland or BOSS made an acoustic simulator similar to what is on my Cube 60, and I found the BOSS AC-3, which uses the COSM technology that they put into the Cube line. For modeling/simulation, I’ve found that the COSM tech works really well with my equipment. Others’ mileage may certainly vary, but in my years of using my Cube 60, it has never failed to deliver – at least for playing clean, which is how I’ve used that amp for years.
Here’s a great video from Andy at Pro Guitar Shops that demonstrates the pedal’s capabilities:
The cool thing for me is that I won’t have to lug my Cube 60 to get an acoustic sound. Admittedly, it won’t sound _exactly_ like an acoustic, but it’ll get me close enough, and close enough is good enough.