Is there an effect pedal (preferably nano) that its purpose is to locate, capture, and eliminate feedback for acoustic instruments for live-stage performance?

I've been using the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI, that had an anti-feedback system that automatically locates and squelches the troublesome frequencies, but it was stolen from me, and besides it's too bulky. I'm looking for a smaller pedal.

  • 1
    Jimi would be very sad to lose all feedback :-) – Carl Witthoft Dec 6 at 13:19

There is no 'pedal' you speak of. I beleive this is because the solution you are looking for is a digital one. Feedback is a physical phenomenon caused by your pickups literally hearing the speaker and then the speaker amplifying itself repeatedly. The 'fix' is to lower the gain stage (volume), or put more damping between the pickups and the speaker. Most onstage artists do this by facing toward the cab for more feedback and away for less. Your body is a good damping tool.

There are digital feedback eliminators out there like the Behringer Shark. These detect a spiking feedback loops and specifically bring down only that frequency, but they won't come in pedal format simply because they have to work continuously to actually tell if they are hearing feedback or say a whistling instrument.

  • FWIW active analog circuits can be designed to do frequency/gain tracking so it doesn't absolutely have to be digital. Digital is "easier" . But see the famous (??) Burwen adaptive box for hiss removal. patents.google.com/patent/US3678416A/en and some of the commercial products thea.com/Vintage-Pro-Audio-Equipment-Dynamic-Noise-Filter – Carl Witthoft Dec 6 at 13:23
  • Why would “digital” and “pedal” be a contradiction? There are lots of digital pedals, and many of them are continuously on but merely use the pedal to switch between different modes. – leftaroundabout Dec 7 at 22:40
  • Behringer Shark is good but it's too bulky and is rather accustomed for studio, not for live performance, which is what I'm looking for. Thanks for your nice answer anyway. – Shimmy 2 days ago

The problem isn't with the gain of the instruments as such; it's the gain of the instruments, plus the gain of the PA, plus the EQ of the PA versus the room that you're playing in, adding in the position of the instrument and artist.

The solution, then, is not simple, and it isn't an instrument pedal. You need a decent sound engineer :p

Failing that, there are Feedback Suppressors (usually rackmounted) that can listen for feedback and notch out that frequency using a built-in parametric graphic equalizer. These work OK for voice and some guitar work, but their failing is that they sometimes incorrectly hear a long keyboard note (or sustained singing note). When this happens, they think the system is going into feedback, and they notch out that note. It can ruin a song...

The other (best) solution is to ring out the room your playing in. Once you've done it a few times, it becomes a quick process before sound check. But you do need some equipment to do it. Basically, you attempt to identify the frequencies in the room that will cause issues, and you notch them out on EQ.

  • I've updated my question. – Shimmy Dec 7 at 0:59

You might like the LR Baggs Session DI pedal. It has a notch filter that is pretty easy to use. You set up on stage, let the guitar start feeding back, and then sweep the knob until the feedback stops.

  • It can only suppress a single freq, doesn't it? – Shimmy Dec 8 at 22:41
  • Yes, it just reduces the gain for a single narrow frequency band. It works great for me. – Todd 2 days ago
  • What if you have several troublesome tones? – Shimmy 2 days ago
  • For an acoustic, the biggest problems I typically have is some low to mid-low frequency causing the whole guitar to resonate and feedback. So it's not like the "microphonic" feedback you might get with a distorted electric guitar. This just notches out the offending frequency and you are good. You could pair it with a multi band EQ pedal if you want to cut other frequencies. – Todd yesterday
  • It always depends on the pickup. Every pickup has its own troublesome frequencies. – Shimmy yesterday

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