Acoustic Guitar: It's me isn't it?

Mod Dwarf owner here, love love love the concept, the whole thing, they way it works and delivers … however, am I at the wrong meeting?

I’m an acoustic guitarist, looking to create that extra dynamic, a way to go from soft sensation to awesome dynamic and everything in between.

I’m just not getting it though …

  1. Coming in too hot, I can set the inputs low but as soon as I start to hammer the guitar, I’m red lighting.

  2. Outputs also, red lighting long before I get the sound levels I’d like from my pa.

  3. I’ve got a sound, reverbs aplenty, delay lovely, but can’t quite nail an overdrive that I want to bring in to the mix for that extra lift.

So acoustic players, how are you doing? Winning?

Great to chat always, thanks Darren :slight_smile:

Hi @Darren_Poyzer

I do all styles from acoustic all the way to heavy metal and thrash.

I put a TinyGain plugin right after each input and in front of each output.
That way I can temper a hot incoming or outgoing signal.

Usually I put some in the middel of my chain as well to see where I’m going in the red…
literally; because it will blink green when signal strength is optimal but red if it’s too hot.


For the overdrive I would consider a clean amp; haven’t tried overdrive on acoustic yet.

If you like to experiment:
I did make my cheap acoustic sound better by puttin the IR profile of a different guitar in a CAB IR sim
Acoustic IR to counter piezo quack


does your onboard preamp have an output control? You might also try a DI before the Dwarf, but that does add another box.

Thanks for this, I’ll give it a try. I like the idea of placing these in the middle as I do seem to be out of control a little, and not knowing where my problems are.

Having said that, I do play a heavy handed style at times and whack the heck of the acoustic for effect, so maybe I need to adjust my playing style also.


Yes my guitars - I’ve tried more than one - have to send a low signal for me to avoid a hot input signal. As stated previously, my loud strumming playing style could also be an issue.

DI before the dwarf … hmm, I’ve placed a USB powered interface after the dwarf, putting a very low signal into the dwarf and then boosting it via the interface … this gives me a result but it’s not ideal.


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I was also thinking of a compressor pre-Dwarf, but again, that’s another “thing on the floor”, but it should help clipping the inputs on the Dwarf. I have the Fishman Aura DI, and it has a built-in compressor, so it helps tame my heavy-handed strumming :slight_smile:

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Where exactly is your signal clipping? on the inputs of the dwarf, or on the outputs of the dwarf? you could lower the input gain in the settings if the first one is the problem.

I’ve been troubleshooting in and out, but primarily I’m having to lower the input from the guitar to get anything like a reasonable level of control.

Maybe it’s me, but through my pa when I’ve lowered the input to such a level, I am then not getting the level of signal out that I require, without boosting the output on the dwarf, which then starts to red light also.

I don;'t know , is this because I am playing an acoustic guitar, and as suggested earlier, I need a compressor before I come into the Dwarf?

maybe some light compression on the dwarf input or near the front of your chain, and then a hard cap at the end of your chain? I generally feel that there’s something weirdly delicate about the dwarf’s input/output balance and clipping, haven’t totally dialed it in, but sometimes I’ll switch to an old pedalboard and think, “woah that was quiet, no wonder there’s noise.” Gain staging is a pain in the ass. I need to go to music engineer school :sweat_smile:.


sorry for late reply … I literally gave up on this 6 months ago, and have been waiting for the right time to really get some control of something I can’t kind get to grips with …

maybe I don’t have the patience, maybe I don’t know what I want

I do think the ‘gain staging’ issue is a pain though, and if i change acoustic guitars it’s different again

back to the drawing board … free time soon, hopefully I can crack this! :slight_smile: d

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you can create a board with a 4-way switcher and and a separate gain (and perhaps simple EQ) behind it so you can “normalize” to a same level for 4 guitars by just switching

a “m-vave chocolate” controller can help. Super cheap and my solution for switching amp settings live!

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