Upon reviewing a survey we did after one of our Christian Musician Summit conferences, we were reminded of the fact that the number one factor in buying gear is word of mouth. While electric guitar players tend to congregate and go on at lengths about the latest pedal, we acoustic players tend to be rostered one at a time, and have fewer resources to turn to when it comes to buying a single piece of gear, much less an entire rig. Noting that many of us acoustic strummers are leaders, we want and need to be judicious about the gear we use since we tend to be on the platform a lot. As churches have embraced the multi-site model, more of us are finding ourselves with less team to work with, but an even greater expectation of excellence since some visitors judge a church by the worship. The access we have to gear here at the magazine can and should serve as a vehicle for helping you make the most of these challenges. If you’re at a good sized location that is rock solid, I promise we won’t leave you out of this conversation, so please read on…
WHAT IS A RIGBOOK?
Quite frankly I borrowed the idea from the “lookbooks” found in fashion magazines where the editors get together and create entire outfits. Most musicians buy gear piecemeal and often end up with gear that was not necessarily bought with a bigger picture in mind. The goal of this article of to create a killer rig that addresses a huge range of challenges we face in modern worship settings, regardless of the size of our congregation.
The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme and the Bugera AC60 are both great pieces of gear, but when used together they can totally transform your worship sets. Let’s talk about why!
TC-HELICON VOICELIVE 3 EXTREME: While the VoiceLive 3 Extreme has more features than some of us will use in worship, the quality and range of these features is a great fit for churches of all sizes, especially plants and satellite campuses. The VoiceLive 3 Extreme has separate processing and signal paths for vocals and guitar. It also features the ability to import MP3s, enabling you to use tracks from sources like MultiTracks.com – without having to use a computer! Yes, you will need to create a mix and convert it to an MP3, but being able to have great sounds and effects for vocals and guitar in one box that also allows you to control up to 100 songs from your feet is awesome. You can even automate specific effects to turn on and off at various sections of a song. Tapping both preset buttons simultaneously mutes all effects so you can talk to the congregation without the gooey ethereal vocal reverbs that are great for singing… and then there are the guitar sounds. The VoiceLive 3 Extreme integrates a number of TC Electronic’s most iconic pedals, many of which have become mainstays on many a worship guitarist’s pedalboard. One of the areas where this unit shines most is what it can do to transform your acoustic sound. The acoustic electric guitar is a gorgeous sounding instrument, and the addition of some compression and reverb will take your sound from good to great. As noted in our demo video, adding boost to make parts pop as well as tasty amounts of chorus and delay adds even more dimension to our beloved instrument!
BUGERA AC60: In case you didn’t know, Bugera is a sister company to TC, but to be honest I’d never played one of their amps until they sent this one. That said, this may be the only piece of gear I’ve ever seen on the Sweetwater web site with five out of five stars – and playing is believing. With the EQ completely flat it sounded great, and did a fabulous job of amplifying the acoustic goodness that the VoiceLive3 Extreme was putting out. This sixty watt amp sports two fully independent channels, the second of which has a combi jack (1/4 inch and XLR), perfect for the independent vocal processing output from the VoiceLive 3 Extreme, a vocal mic, or line level instruments like a keyboard. It also has integrated effects that can be routed to one or both of the channels. Since I don’t sing, I can only attest the heavenly sounds that came out of channel one, which you can experience with your own ears by watching our demo. An array of output options make it easy to pipe these sounds to your P.A., while still benefitting from some volume on stage if you need it. The AC60 also features a convenient kick stand as well as a mounting hole for an “amp on a stick” option.
If you’re reading the print version of this article I strongly encourage you to download the Layar app so you can hear how great this rig sounds, as well as some tips on how to get the most out of it.
VoiceLive 3 Extreme MAP: $799.99
Bugera AC60 MAP: $249.00