HB II Piezo Foot Controller

Discussion in 'Forum Rules & News' started by Richie1720, Jun 29, 2020 at 9:45 AM.

  1. Richie1720

    Richie1720 New Member

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    Hi All,

    I’m new to this forum so I apologise if this question has already been asked and answered!

    I’m 99.9% certain that I’m going to buy a HB II Piezo and was wondering if there is any kind of foot switch/controller that I can use to switch between the magnetic pickups and the Piezo when playing live. I’m planning to put the Piezo output through a DI box into the PA and the magnetics through my BOSS GT-1000. I play a lot of songs which require an instant switch from the acoustic Piezo sound and a distorted sound from the BOSS/amp.

    Thanks in advance!
    Rich
     
  2. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    Do you think a foot switch would be better for you than the mini toggle on the top?
    I've never considered a foot switch, but I think it would effectively need to cut the signal from one of the two guitar outputs rather than cutting the signal at the guitar. I'll be interested in what you come up with.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
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  3. Richie1720

    Richie1720 New Member

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    Thanks for your reply VB! Due to the structure of some songs (plus my lower ability levels!), I’m not sure I’d have the time/accuracy to use the mini toggle in a live show. My thinking is the same as yours and to use a three button foot switch (dual inputs from the guitar and dual outputs to the electric rig and the DI/PA). I’m thinking I would set the guitar toggle to the blend position and use each button on the foot switch to replicate the toggle: FS1 - electric only; FS3 - Piezo only and; FS2 - blended. Just wondering if anyone knows of such a footswitch available to buy before I start down the path of a self-build project!
     
  4. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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  5. django49

    django49 New Member

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    ABY like that is the way to go. Keep in mind that the pedal will not "blend" the two tones if you are going to separate amps. Rather, it will allow either or both amps to be engaged. But you can still balance the output from the guitar through the amps if you prefer not to bend down and adjust levels on the pedal.
     
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  6. ElrytNamrogo

    ElrytNamrogo My name be scrambled

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    One thing to note about this going route is that having your piezo essentially engaged (in the "On" position) at all times will eat your 9V batteries like crazy. Just be sure you have plenty on backup.
     
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  7. Richie1720

    Richie1720 New Member

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  8. Richie1720

    Richie1720 New Member

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    Yeah, I should have time to get the different amp/ABY levels set during sound check to make it fully hands free!
     
  9. Richie1720

    Richie1720 New Member

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    T
    Thanks for the tip Lorry Megaton! Assuming that I switch the guitar to magnetics only during songs that don’t need the Piezo will help save battery life?
     
  10. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

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    The guys in Opeth use Piezo-equipped PRS guitars almost exclusively, as many of their songs have acoustic parts. They use this approach - both outputs on all the time, and a simple footswitch to switch between them.
     
  11. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    If you use the mini-toggle to switch, when you are switch to 'Magnetics only', that will switch off the battery because the Piezo circuit will be inactive. If you opt to use a footswitch to go between different outputs, you would need to keep the mini-toggle in the middle position (mix) so the Piezo circuit will be active and would still be sending a signal to the footswitch even if that signal doesn't progress further in the chain. Therefore the battery will continue to drain.

    Bands like Opeth may well use that method themselves but I bet they have a big supply of batteries on hand all the time and a tech to ensure their Batteries have enough charge to last the 'gig', swap batteries out during a gig and backup guitars they can swap over to if the battery dies. So unless you have those options too, the mini-toggle method going to be the easiest and you can do that 'anywhere' on stage too.

    What you can do, is use the mini-toggle to switch off the Piezo during those songs that are Magnetic only and then switch the mini-toggle to 'mix' for the songs you want to switch back and forth. However, it will still use battery throughout the entire song and if you forget to switch it off after that song, its still active even if its not in use.

    The mini-toggle is no more difficult than any other 3-way toggle and not really much different than jumping from the Neck to Bridge Humbucker (switching between Piezo and Magnetics, or switching to both (middle position). I can see having a footswitch being advantageous in select circumstances, not having to break your strumming pattern to switch between piezo and magnetics - assuming you don't have a fraction of a second to flick that mini toggle or use either Volume pot if you are going for a mix. Another option of course is having both on Clean and then at some point, kicking on an Overdrive for example for the Magnetics which really pushes the Piezo back and whilst that chord is still ringing, turn off the Piezo. You can also turn on the Piezo whilst the chord is ringing out with that overdriven sound before you turn the pedal off to do a 'clean' blended sound.

    Its up to you of course as there are pro's and con's to each option and it just depends on what Pro's are more important or more what Con's you can live with easier. I am sure that you would get very proficient with using that mini-toggle if you wanted and may find the cost and hassle of replacing batteries is too much of a con or maybe the benefits of changing pick-ups without having to stop strumming - even for a fraction of a second is worth it, even if it means you have to be at your pedal board, and you go through more batteries as a result. I don't know if it will have a fraction of a delay when you switch using a footswitch and could sound odd if the Magnetics don't trail either or the signal drops as the pedal switches (if you go to blend to keep trails) - its things you may want to consider to find the right option for you...
     
  12. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    No worries, I hope it works for you. I've no experience with it myself.
     
  13. Egads

    Egads One, Two, THIRTEEN!

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    I realize this is not exactly what you are asking for, but thought I'd give you an alternative. I run a volume pedal on my electric board, and one on my acoustic board (really, it's just a small acoustic effects pedal, sometimes an EQ pedal (I play standard and baritone acoustics, and really need the control), and volume pedal. I leave both pickup outputs on and use the volume pedals to bring the acoustic and/or electric in.

    It's hands-free and gives way more control than ABYs. One of the cool things about piezo guitars are the combined sounds going to different amplification sources. The 3D-ness of the acoustic through the PA and the electric through an amp (and also PA sometimes) is awesome. I didn't want to remove that option, which is how I ended up here.

    Get the guitar. You'll love it. They are really amazing. Good luck!
     

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