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Is It Possible To Make An Acoustic-Electric Guitar Sound Like An Electric Guitar? And If So, How?

Ever feel the need to get different musical instruments to make various music and sounds? Unfortunately, it seems a costly investment, as most guitarists cannot afford. Instead, it is better to invest in an acoustic-electric guitar.

An acoustic-electric guitar provides the playability of an acoustic guitar and the volume of an electric guitar. It has in-built pickups to amplify sound as an electric guitar and can be used as an acoustic guitar as well. 

The important note here is that you can make an acoustic-electric guitar sound like an electric guitar. If you cannot afford an electric guitar, nothing is better than investing in an acoustic-electric guitar. 

In fact, it is the best option as these guitars are relatively efficient and reasonable. With the best cheap acoustic-electric guitar, you can get an electric guitar like sound in an affordable way. 

This article is the guide to transform your acoustic-electric guitar to sound like an electric guitar. Before that, you should understand a few more details about an acoustic-electric guitar. Let’s get started.

About Acoustic-Electric Guitar

An acoustic-electric guitar is a type of acoustic guitar with a built-in pickup system or onboard microphone. It is also denoted as a plug-in acoustic guitar. Also, it can be plugged-in directly into the PA system without the need for a microphone.

You can plug an acoustic guitar into effects pedals to get wild results. Most acoustic-electric includes an EQ cluster to tone shape the sound. It makes these guitars highly versatile.


Different Pickup System in an Acoustic-Electric Guitar 

The acoustic-electric guitar includes three types of pickups to amplify it before going to the main guitar amplifier. They are:


  • Magnetic Pickups

Magnetic Pickups are like the pickups of the electric guitar. It is designed to mount underneath the strings, at the soundhole. This pickup captures the mechanical vibration of the strings and converts them to sound. 

Magnetic pickups don’t need a preamp, and installation is easy and fast. Also, it doesn’t work with nylon strings. 

  • Piezo-electric Pickups

Piezo-electric pickups are placed underneath the saddle of the strings at the bridge. They have added natural sound quality than magnetic pickups and easy to install. Due to this, these pickups need an onboard preamp and power source.

  • Microphones

Most acoustic-electric guitars feature a condenser microphone placed inside the guitar. It can deliver a rich and warm tone close to the natural tone. This system is relatively expensive and difficult to install. 

Make An Acoustic-Electric Guitar Sound Like An Electric

Why Use an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?

The acoustic-electric guitar is used in music genres where more volume is needed with the sound of acoustic guitar. These guitars can be plugged into an amplifier that allows a reliable tonal output. 

Due to this, most professional musicians use these guitars in live concerts. It can amplify your instrument without a distinct microphone. Because of versatility and consistency, most people prefer using acoustic-electric guitars.

On top of that, an acoustic-electric guitar gives you the freedom to move. The sound of the guitar’s pickup output is easily controllable even at higher volumes. Also, these are cost-effective, so you should consider using an acoustic-electric guitar.


Difference between an Acoustic-Electric Guitar and Electric Guitar:

  • You can use acoustic-electric guitar while plugged and unplugged, as well. Conversely, an electric guitar can be played while plugged in only.
  • An acoustic-electric guitar is easy to use and play. Whereas, you need to make lots of adjustments before playing.
  • An acoustic-electric guitar can be plugged into an electric amplifier to make a louder sound while an electric guitar uses pickups to sense the vibration of the strings.


How to Make an Acoustic-Electric Guitar Sounds like an Electric Guitar?

Now comes the main part. In case you wonder, can I make sounds like an electric guitar with an acoustic-electric guitar? No worries, you can. Only you need to use professional software like Mixcraft. 

By using a few effects, you can make an acoustic-electric guitar sounds like an electric guitar. Mixcraft is one of the potent multi-track recording workstations. It comes with a range of audio effects, music loops, and virtual instruments. 

You can record audio, compose audio with MIDI, remix tracks, and add further effects on the guitar’s track. In a word, it instantly changes the computer to a fully-stocked specialized recording studio. Let’s have a look at the ways to do so.

  • Step 1: Listen to The Raw track

First and foremost, open your raw guitar track in Mixcraft software. Then listen to the raw sound without any effects on it. Great!

  • Step 2: Add Effects

Now you need to add effects to make this track sounds like an electric guitar. You may want to add any effects from Acoustica reverb, Acoustica EQ, and Acoustica Distortion. 

You can also custom the effects as you want. Here are the custom settings.

  1. In the case of Acoustica Reverb, you need to change reverberation, high-frequency damping, and stereo width. 
  2. In the case of Acoustica EQ, you need to set the sound quality. You may choose a basic low boost that gives you a wider, deeper sound.
  3. In the case of Acoustica Distortion, you need to change pre-gain, distortion, and post gain. Here pre-gain and post gain are too important, as it can blow your drums up. 
  • Step 3: Listen to The Track AgainAfter, adding these effects, listen to the track again and feel the differences. If any further changes needed, simply go to the settings and make changes.
  • Step 4: Setup The Baseline

At this point, it comes to the bass line setup. You may want to set the bass line to 160BPM. Now hear the guitar sound at the top of the baseline. You all know a regular baseline is just a drum beat, which is a loop. This loop can be added anyway.

  • Step 5: Make A Loop

Copy the main guitar track and paste it into any sequence with guitar tracks. Make sure to add it from where you want to listen to the raw track again. You need to align the guitar track with the baseline.

Remember, where you set your track up to begin playing with the other track is very important. It is necessary to keep them on time.


Final Thoughts

Hitherto you have learned how to make an acoustic-electric guitar sound like an electric guitar. If you haven’t owned an acoustic-electric guitar, buy it now. It is undoubtedly one of the affordable ways to get diverse music. Now, you can enhance the number of songs and sounds available to you as a guitarist. 

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Ben Laughlin

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