A forthcoming device allows acoustic guitar players to easily add effects to their sound, with no external speaker, using just the body of the instrument itself.
For the acoustic guitar player, plugging in to an external amp and effects processor can be quite fun, and can add a lot of 'spice' to your playing, just by virtue of having access to a wider range of sounds. But whereas hauling an acoustic guitar with you isn't a big deal, hauling an amp and accessories with you (and finding a place to plug in) can be challenging.
What if you could get a wide variety of sounds from your acoustic guitar, including complex effects and virtual (MIDI) instruments, without having to use an external amp? That would certainly be a game-changer, as it could essentially turn your guitar into an all new instrument, and by adding to your available 'soundscapes' without needing to be tethered to a plug, it could also convert acoustic performances into rockin' ones.
As an acoustic guitar player, and not a very good one at that, I'm always looking for some advantages, and by advantages I mean something that will make me sound better, not necessarily play better. So when I heard about a device that can add distortion, or reverb, or echo effects to an acoustic instrument, without needing to plug in to an external amp, I didn't believe it until I saw/heard for myself.
After I watched the below video, I almost titled this piece "You won't believe how this acoustic guitar sounds!" but I held back:
The ToneWood-Amp is a unique digital signal processor that uses a driver to generate sound waves from the back of the guitar, which interact with the natural sound of the acoustic guitar body, producing the effects as seen above, which come only from the sound hole of the instrument, with no speaker involved.
"The ToneWood-Amp was created from one simple thought. I have always envied the electric guitar players that get all those awesome effects and tones, I wanted to have this awesomeness but I also wanted to be able to maintain my acoustic guitar's natural sound and it's mobility." - Ofer Webman, creator of the ToneWood-Amp
The device can be mounted on and removed quickly from almost any flat-backed acoustic guitar, using a system of magnetic rails. The ToneWood-Amp is designed for guitars with either a magnetic or piezo pickup (bridge or soundhole), but the team behind the device say they're also putting together a “Technician-Free” pickup bundle for those guitars without a pickup.
Not only does the ToneWood-Amp enable a variety of effects on its own, but it can also connect to other iOS devices running guitar effect apps, virtual MIDI apps, or recording apps, allowing for a wide variety of sounds, tones, and textures from any acoustic guitar.
This is normally when I tell you about a crowdfunding campaign, but there isn't one currently running for this device, so if you're interested in getting a ToneWood-Amp when it's launched, sign up at their website to register for pre-ordering. There is no commitment to buy one for signing up, but if you sign up now, you can then order one at half-price ($90) when the pre-order campaign goes live (mid-October).
[Update: The ToneWood-Amp Kickstarter campaign is now live.]