NAMM 2020: Is LR Baggs about to change the game for acoustic guitar tone with Soundscape?

NAMM 2020: When LR Baggs have a new product it's always significant; the company has proved it delivers innovation for acoustic guitar players time and time again, from its preamp pedals to Align Series effects and industry-leading pickup systems. But now it seems to have something really different. And potentially very special

It's taken them three years to develop, now could Soundscape be a game-changer for anyone who plays an acoustic guitar live?

Some of us may be getting a little jaded about hardware that relies on phone apps for functionality, but hear this out because on paper it really does make sense. 

The Soundscape pedal works with LR Baggs' Acoustic Live app to create a Voiceprint via your phone (this is what Baggs are calling the impulse response).

(Image credit: LR Baggs)

The Voiceprint technology has been developed with Dr. Jonathan Abel, the co-founder of Universal Audio, no less. This Voiceprint uses an  algorithm that  measures your acoustic guitar sound in detail by analysing its 'actual timbre and playing response'.

It then creates a customised preset for you to use live, as well as for recording if required. To access this preset Voiceprint you plug your guitar into the Soundscape pedal and position  your phone; ' tap on the bridge, strum a few chords, pick some strings, and you’re done!'

Many companies have tried to address the challenge of how you convey your guitar's natural sound plugged in, with varying degrees of success, but this seems like a genuinely innovative approach.  The relationship between the app and your guitar sound can go even deeper too…

The most accurate sonic performance we have engineered in our 40+ years

LR Baggs

Every Voiceprint that you create will also pinpoint your acoustic guitar’s specific resonances that are prone to feedback issues. It then creates an Anti•FB profile to easily manage feedback with one simple control on the Soundscape pedal, one that is tailored to your specific instrument. 

The app has another potentially useful feature too;  full-parametric EQ for balancing each preset as you wish. 

(Image credit: LR Baggs)

The LR Baggs Soundscape will be available in Spring 2020 ($399). LR Baggs is calling the results 'the most accurate sonic performance we have engineered in our 40+ years' so we're hoping to get a closer look and listen during our extensive coverage of the Winter NAMM show 2020.

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Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.