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Recording With A Piezo Pickup..

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ZenG, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. What are the pros and cons of recording with a piezo pickup?

    Also,can you plug a piezo pickup into an amp and play as normal?

    Can you run a piezo pickup through a processor (such as Zoom B3 etc.)?
  2. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    My experience with recording acoustic guitar is you can record direct or amped up with a mic just like any instrument signal. But the best results are using 2 mics to record the acoustic instrument. With acoustic guitars, the piezo has a quacky sound when the attack is strong. And with amps, depending on the volume level and the piezo design they can create a lot of feedback.
    ZenG likes this.
  3. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    I'm in the middle of an experiment to possibly add piezo disc pickups to my avatar Wishbass. I've tried two under the solid bridge and it works pretty well. I was using very old ones and had problems keeping the wires attached, so I just ordered a bunch of cheap new ones.

    I ordered a film pickup and tried it first, but it had very weak output relative to the discs.

    So far, I'd say the pros are that the tone has a very acoustic quality as one might expect. With a fretless, this only adds to the sense of an upright vibe, though of course it still isn't the sound of an upright. Also, plenty of low end.

    The cons are that it will be more sensitive to any oddities of the instrument's acoustic response than a mag pickup. My Wishbass gets funky around G at 12th fret of G string and it sounds more resonant via piezo than via mag pickup.

    Also, it needs to run directly to a high impedance amplifying input stage, so you can't wire it like a passive mag pickup with volume control, etc. and to combine with mag pickups you will need a preamp stage for the piezo and then probably a preamp for the mag pickups and then a mixing stage.

    Or run them separately, which is how I'm doing it during the test phase. Probably I will just wire a switch to select piezo, mag pickup or off.

    A preamp stage with an input impedance of at least 1 MOhm seems OK, though higher is recommended by some. Also, if you don't have a preamp onboard, cable runs should be kept short. It's been OK with a 10' cable into a preamp stage.


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