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Transform an Acoustic Guitar Into a Dobro Using Aluminum Pie Pans and Convolution

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This Instructable is in the Art of Sound Contest. If you like it, show me some love!

I'm working on a long distance project with my former guitarist. He found himself in an alternative country groove one day, laid down some tracks, and asked me to do something with them. I was honored, of course, and began work right away.

For one song in particular, he recorded some slide guitar licks on his Ovation Celebrity; his playing fit perfectly, but that guitar sound didn't do it any justice. Acoustic guitars, when played with a slide, sound spitty and thin, with too much attack and little body. I just couldn't get it to sit well in the mix - it desperately needed dobro. EQ'ing was not enough. I had to find a way to model one using his existing track.

Fortunately, modern advances in digital audio and a little ingenuity paid off nicely. In my debut Instructable (debut meaning first one, so be nice) I will attempt to show you how to turn your acoustic guitar sound into one more closely resembling a dobro. Examples are included so you can hear it for yourself.
 
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Step 1: Disclaimers

First, I know there are a few purists who will undoubtedly say, "Nothing you'll do will sound like my '37 National with hand-spun Quarterman cones," or, "How dare you defile the reputation of such a soulful instrument by saying it sounds like pie pans?" Let's get one thing straight: I respect and admire genuine dobros and dobro players alike. The sound I got, as you will probably get, does not sound exactly like a '37 National with hand-spun Quarterman cones. It does, however, sound like an Ovation Celebrity convolved with pie pans which, as I've discovered, is a surprisingly close approximation when mixed correctly.

Second, while we will not be modifying much more than a pre-recorded audio track, you will need to perform surgery on a loudspeaker. You will, in essence, destroy the speaker in the process. This means you will need to use a speaker you don't care about. Don't go ripping up your $1,000 near-field monitors and then come crying to me.

Third, while we will not use anything dangerous like power tools, if you maim or kill yourself in the process of replicating this Instructable I am not liable. I'll tell your grieving family, "I'm sorry for your loss; however, it just means (your name) is a moron and shouldn't have owned a (whatever you used to kill yourself)."
itsachen5 years ago
Thanks for helping me back there, and voting! Great instructable, voted for it!
bustedit5 years ago
you're a tart pan. i don't know what i mean.
Wow- well done!!
Housedog5 years ago
Wow! You sure know lots! Awesome.
brunoip5 years ago
WARNING! Science content! :)
nice Instructable