Stringed instruments and accessories
|Literally defined as an "Acoustic Imaging Blender," the Fishman Aura is designed to maximize the impact, projection and coverage of an acoustic guitar, even in the most extreme high-volume live performance situations. Asked what drove Fishman to create the Aura in a special partnership with noted digital innovator Akai Professional, Larry Fishman said, "For over 20 years, we've been committed to helping acoustic musicians sound their best both live and recorded-two very different environments. A recording studio setting affords players the luxury of classic acoustic instruments, world-class condenser microphones, and an optimal recording environment, things that are simply not practical or possible to take with you to the gig or on tour. The technology in the new Fishman Aura changes all of that."
The Aura incorporates Akai's Acoustic Spectrum Transform (AST) technology and history of innovation in digital sampling to perfectly capture the player's entire system: the special tonal characteristics of the guitar, position of the instrument relative to the microphone, the microphone characteristics, and makes it available in a high-volume live performance setting via Fishman's patented Blending technology.
The player matches their individual sound and setup to one of the exceptionally realistic built-in Sound Images in the Aura. The device's Sound Images are actually sophisticated algorithms that transform the pickup signal into that of a microphone placed in front of a guitar or other stringed instrument. This algorithm seamlessly adjusts the pickup's phase and frequency response to match the instrument and microphone in the Sound Image template.
Blending that with the direct signal, the performer ends up with a bigger, louder, clearer acoustic sound, with the impact and presence to stand out in high-volume performance situations. All of the artist's and instrument's individual nuances are preserved. Tonally, this represents an optimum solution because as, Fishman puts it, "Everyone loves the sound of a well miked acoustic guitar. The transparency of a fine microphone positioned precisely at the elusive 'sweet spot' in front of a guitar is a beautiful thing. Over the years, we have endeavored to capture these qualities with our pickup systems, with varying degrees of success. But with just a pickup, we could never capture the same sound quality as a top-shelf studio microphone setup. That is, until now."
Harvey Reid, the multi-talented acoustic instrumentalist and pioneer in the development of the popular partial capo technique, who helped Fishman to develop their Acoustic Blender amplification system, is an early adopter of the Aura. As he comments, "I was actually thrilled with the sound of the Aura system--not just pleased--and it is, in my opinion, the first quantum jump forward in acoustic instrument amplification in nearly 20 years."
Before using the Aura, Harvey's signal chain was a complex nest of cables and analog devices. Now Harvey feels he can safely retire his trusted rig in exchange for the simplicity and exceptional sound the Aura delivers. "I can now replace my whole set-up with this one Aura." Harvey's already put this notion to the test by using it on two large gigs this October and plans to use it on his upcoming show dates exclusively.
Aura was launched at Winter NAMM show 2004 and will showing at Musikmesse 2004, Frankfurt, Germany.