Fishman Aura Spectrum DI – Review


by Gary Wolk

As we know, recording acoustic guitars can really be a challenge. Mic placement, having the right mics, room sound etc. can be very tricky. If you have a home project studio like myself, and have to deal with noise like the constant AC running (I live in Florida), or outside noise from planes, trains, and automobiles, that even makes it more of a challenge.

Enter the Fishman AURA Spectrum DI.

I picked one up a little over a year ago, and it has really solved the problem. The Spectrum DI is much more than a DI box. They have captured images of real acoustic instruments played through some of the most popular studio recording mics.

It features 128 preset images for Dreadnought, Orchestra, Concert, Jumbo, Nylon, 12-string acoustic guitars as well Fiddle, Mandolin, and Resonators.

The mic images include the Neuman KM84, Shure SM57, Soundelux E47, Shoeps CMC64, AKG C414, and others.

The one complaint I always had about recording acoustic/electric guitars, is that when you just record them directly into your interface, or regular DI, they always had a bit of a tinny sound, like running it into a PA system. The AURA Spectrum alleviates that problem.

And it could not be easier. From their image bank chart, just choose your style of guitar, what wood the top, back, and sides are, and which mic you would prefer. That’s it.

Also included is the Aura Gallery III which you can load via the included disk, or down load from their website. This gives you even more images to use via USB cable where you can load in 16 images at a time to the unit. For instance if you want the specific image of say a Martin D28 miked with a Neumann U87.

These are not virtual instruments, so keep in mind you can’t make your 6-string sound like a 12-string or Mandolin….

On board you have Volume control, 3-Ban EQ, Compressor, Blend control, Tuner, and Anti-Feedback (for live performances, or running through an amp) Trim control, Phase control, 1/4″ in and out, 1/4″ FX loop, and XLR out. It runs on 9-volt battery or AC.

Using the unit along with a mic can really enhance the sound as well.

With a street price of around $329 USD it is an affordable solution for getting great acoustic sounds, and making your overall acoustic recording experience quick and easy.

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