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Dark Fire News

---------------

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/a-message-about-dark-fire

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Blogs/dark-fire.aspx

 

Dark Fire Blog

---------------------

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Blogs/Dark-Fire--The-Inside-Story.aspx

 

SOFTWARE

--------------------------------

 

Dark Fire Software Download Link:

 

 

 

Instruction

---------------

For best operation, be sure your Dark Fire Battery is fully charged.

 

Gibson Robot Manual - THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ALL DARK FIRE OWNERS!

http://www.gibson.com/robotguitar/robot-guitar-manual.pdf

see pages 24-53, Which describe various Robot MCK functions, most work identically for the Dark Fire.

 

Watch the Gibson Robot Video Instruction - 90% is identical to Dark Fire

This Robot Tutorial shows: Tuning, Alt Tune demo, String up mode, and Intonation - Functions are similar to Dark Fire.

 

Dark Fire Quick Start Guide

http://www2.gibson.com/getdoc/9ee5361d-b063-4a1c-b128-db239b10a947/DarkFireQuickStart.aspx

 

Dark Fire Get Started Download ( Work In Progress)

http://www.gibson.com/Files/USA_PDFs/Dark_Fire_Get_Started.zip

 

Unofficial Dark Fire Guide

http://forums.gibson.com/resource.ashx?a=8

 

RIP Installation Tips:

http://forums.gibson.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=13308

 

Dark Fire Initial Check Out

http://forums.gibson.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=12677

 

NI Guitar Rig

-----------------

NI Guitar Rig Site

http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=guitarline

 

NI Guitar Rig Tutorials

http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=guitarrigtuts&L=1

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/hot-to-use-guitar-rig-3-review-testing-overview/726418304

 

Guitar Rig 3 Manual

http://d.scribd.com/docs/g9yhlndifp3bygw66pz.pdf

 

Guitar Rig 3 Setup Guide

http://d.scribd.com/docs/14cn9l2a5wyggby9fuax.pdf

 

NI Guitar Rig Preset User Library

http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=guitarriguserlib&L=1

 

NI Guitar Rig Patches

http://tinyurl.com/coj36k

 

NI Guitar Rig Forum

http://www.native-instruments.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=199

 

 

 

Ableton

------------

Ableton Live Movies Tutorials

http://www.ableton.com/movies

 

Ableton Live 7 Lite Reference Manual

http://documents.scribd.com/docs/2atgj3h1m7q8163twsmd.pdf

 

 

Ableton Live Community

http://www.ableton.com/community

 

 

Guitar General:

---------------------

How do different pickup configurations impact sound

http://tinyurl.com/7mw5cq

 

How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great!: The Electric Guitar Owner's Manual by Dan Erlewine

http://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Electric-Guitar-Great/dp/0879306017/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

 

 

Guitar Setup Page

http://mysite.verizon.net/jazz.guitar/guitarsetup.htm

 

Strings

I recommend the superior Fender Super Bullets (10-46, 3250R, Regular) - for their superior ultra stable Bullet ends. Unlike normal Ball end strings, the Bullets stay in tune better and are polished" and do not "stick" in the nut like normal round wound strings. While working with Larry Carlton at Valley Arts we tried every brand of strings in exhaustive testing and the Super Bullets were the the clear winners due to every aspect of their design.

 

http://www.zzounds.com/item--DAVF3250R

 

Guitar Scale Length Comparison Page

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/warrenallen/scale_lengths/scale_lengths.htm

 

Mojo Tone Parts

http://www.mojomusicalsupply.com/images/media/2009_consumer_catalog.pdf

 

Dark Fire Video Links:

-----------------------------------------------------------

Gibson Dark Fire Demos

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/check-out-these-dark-fire-demo/

 

 

Winter NAMM 2009 Report - Gibson Dark Fire Details - up close

 

Toni DaRosa of Tronical - Tuning Demonstration

 

Techware Labs

 

Distinctive Guitar - function description.

 

Interview with Henry Juszkiewicz at CES 2009

 

Winter NAMM 2009 - Gibson product specialist Aljon Go Dark Fire Demonstration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwA-2isUcTI

 

Chameleon Tone Rundown 8:48 (In Italian) with a perfectly functioning Dark Fire

 

Home Music Studio

-------------------------------------------------------

Sound On Sound

The world's best music recording magazine

http://www.soundonsound.com

 

 

Sonic State

Another popular synth and gear-head site...

http://sonicstate.com/

 

Harmony Central

Online Community for Musicians

http://www.harmonycentral.com

 

How to setup a Music Studio

www.tweakheadz.com

 

Dealing with Audio Latency, Pops, Crackles:

http://www.recordingreview.com/articles/articles/173/1/Home-Recording-Computers-Clicks-Pops-and-Latency/Page1.html

 

 

Learn Music Technology/Audio Recording at Home

Just download and Read all the free Power point presentations here:

http://www.arsdivina.com/AudioRecording.html

 

UTILITIES

-------------------------------

WinXP Latency Checker

http://www.recordingreview.com/blog/dsp-latency-checker-utility/

 

MIDI OX (WinXP - Debug MIDI Control Messages)

http://www.midiox.com/

 

 

MIDIPIPE (Mac equivalent of MIDI OX)

http://web.mac.com/nicowald/SubtleSoft/MidiPipe.html

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/audio/midipipe.html

 

MIDI Tutorial

http://web.archive.org/web/20080123110718/www.borg.com/~jglatt/tutr/miditutr.htm

MIDI Tutorial

 

Using MIDi Guitars

Chorderator

http://www.chorderator.com/

 

 

Dark Fire Technology

--------------------------------------

Tronical

http://www.tronical.com/tronical/home.html

 

PEQ Board

PEQ = Sanyo LC75281 4-band Stereo Parametric EQ

http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/view/40899/SANYO/LC75281.html

 

Piezo Preamp Rail to Rail Op Amp = ST TS922

http://www.st.com/stonline/products/literature/ds/5150.pdf

 

Analog P.S. = NSC S18B DC to DC Converter

http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM2622.pdf

 

CPU Board

CPU = ST STM32F103 ARM Cortex M3 32 bit Microcontroller

http://www.st.com/mcu/inchtml-pages-stm32.html

 

 

CPA Board

Latched 8-bit Relay Sink Driver = A6841SAT

http://www.allegromicro.com/en/Products/Part_Numbers/6841/

 

(6) CPA Board PU SW Relays = Omron G6HK-2-DC5 DPDT Relay

http://tinyurl.com/cybvar

 

RIP

--------------------------------

RIP is software selectable for a sample rate of 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, 96kHz.

RIP FPGA = Xilinx Spartan XC3S25OE

which has flash memory for field upgrades for its internal ARM 7 CPU and FPGA I/O mapping

http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/171766/XILINX/XC3S250E.html

 

ARM = Advanced RISC Machine (CPU)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture

 

FPGA = Field-Programmable Gate Array

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FPGA

 

The Dark Fire Guitar can mulitplex 8 separate analog signals using two 4066 analog switches, and sends this Analog Multiplexed signal down the TRS "Ring" connection to the RIP interface.

 

Inside the RIP, the 8 channels are de-multiplexed into these analog signals:

 

1) Mag PUs

2) Mono Piezo

3) Low E

4) A

5) D

6) G

7) B

8) High E

 

 

These feed two destinations, the Hex Output Jack ,and four AKM AK5386 stereo A/Ds - which then feed a Texas Instrument iceLynx-Micro IEEE1394-200CES controller which feeds digital audio over Firewire 1394A to a the PC/Mac.

 

Rather clever!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplexer

 

A multiplexer (inside Dark Fire Guitar) is a device that combines several analog signals into one output signal, which carries several audio channels, by means of a Time Division Multiplexer (TDM) technique. A demultiplexer (inside RIP) takes the TDM input signal (on the the TRS "Ring") that carries many channels and separates those over multiple output signals.

 

 

Imagine an 8 channel version of this diagram below

resource.ashx?a=12

Left half is similar to the encoder inside Dark Fire - Right half is similar to the decoder inside RIP - feeding four stereo A/D's (8 Channels of Audio) and the Hex Out (actually only 7 outputs)

 

 

 

The RIP final output is one AKM Stereo DAC, its 24 bit and balanced out AK4382A

http://www.akm.com/prodfolder-dac.asp?p=AK4382A

 

 

Basically the Dark Fire TRS multiplexed audio protocol is just as Craig Anderton alluded to in one of his blogs - Analog!

 

Its begins inside the guitar - where 8 analog signals are multiplexed together using CD4066 analog switch IC.

 

Mag, Mono Piezo, ,Low E, A, D, G, B, High E

 

 

This Analog MUX Packet is sent down the TRS Ring contact, where it is demultiplexed inside the RIP by pair of CD4066 analog switches , each analog signal hits a low pass filter to remove switching spikes.(see block diagram above)

 

The decoded analog signal array inside the RIP feeds two targets;

 

* Four stereo A/D's which feed the TI Firewire streaming audio controller I2S Inputs (x4).

 

and

 

* Seven analog signals feed the RIP's Hex Out (no octal DAC required)

resource.ashx?a=14

 

For monitoring GR3 / Ableton Output - the RIP uses a AK4382A 24bit 2 channel DAC -

 

The computer sees the RIP as an 8 Input/ 2 Output Firewire device.

 

Reference for Roland GK-13 Pin Interfacing

http://ftp.terratec.de/AXON/HELP_FILES/AXON_13-pin_Specification_v1.0.pdf

 

Gibson Tech Timeline

-----------------------

Gibson has a long history of partnerships - heres the ones in recent years:

 

1994 Gibson / Oberheim: Digital Echoplex

http://www.loopers-delight.com/tools/echoplex/echoplex.html

 

1999 Gibson / Opcode

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/6454/gibson.html

 

1999 Gibson's GIMIC / MAGIC Media-Accelerated Global Information Carrier Specification

http://www.gibson.com/en%2Dus/Divisions/Audio/MaGIC/SPECIFICATIONS/

 

2003 Gibson / Xilinx - CES Best of Show Award for the Gibson MaGIC true-digital guitar. (1st generation)

http://www.xilinx.com/prs_rls/design_win/0303gibson_ces.htm

 

2005 Gibson HD6X Pro - Digital Guitar (2nd generation)

http://www.gibson.com/DigitalGuitarNew/gibsonDigital.html

 

2006 Tronical Gibson relationship established. (1st Robot)

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/19462/page2/

 

2007 Gibson recruits Craig Anderton to road test latest HD6X Pro Digital Guitar

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Blogs/CraigAnderton/CraigAndertonOfEV2/

 

2007 Gibson Guitar Signs Worldwide Exclusive Agreement for the Tronical PowerTune System

http://www.modernguitars.com/archives/002767.html

 

2008 Gibson Echo Audio - Dark Fire RIP Box (3rd Generation Digital Guitar)

http://www.echoaudio.com/Company/About_Echo.php

 

2008 - Native Instruments is proud to collaborate with Gibson.

http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=guitarline&L=1&ftu=02206d0a624071f

 

2008 Craig Anderton / Ableton / Gibson: "I introduced Gibson to Ableton, and the next thing I knew, there was an email saying a deal had been struck to include a custom version of Live with Dark Fire."

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Blogs/dark-fire--the-inside-story/November-2008/Ableton-Live-signs-on-and-things-get-busy-.aspx

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  • 3 weeks later...

Inside dark fire there are three PC Boards

 

The bottom PCB is labeled "CPA" - Three pots are soldered here (Neck Volume, Bridge Volume , Neck Tone) - along with PU switching Relays for Series/ Parallel and Phase.

 

Next up is the "PEQ" PCB = connected with a vertical header - this is the PCB you see under the battery, it simply lifts off easily. On the underside of the board is the Sanyo PEQ IC - typically used in Clarion Car Stereos, and a Dual Op Amp gain stage.

the PEQ is a full stereo 4 band Parametric EQ IC, Left channel for Mag PU, Right for Mono Piezo.

 

The third PCB is the one you see with the illuminated Gibson "G" - and is the CPU PCB - inside the small black plastic box. This is where the ST ARM Cortex Microcontroller IC is, along with 4066 Analog switches for multiplexing the TRS connection to the RIP.

 

Everything is modular and uses far more robust wire connectors - compared to the delicate flat ribbon cable used on First Generation Robot.

 

I fully expect to see Dark Fire owners being able to upgrade to future rev CPA, PEQ, CPU boards in 2012 - using the existing cable harnesses.

And yes - there are no DSPs, A/D convertors, or restricted dynamic range. The boards look very current and compact state of the art. Although had I laid out the board I would have decoupled the Analog Ground from Digital control ground. I have a minor gripe about the low underlying hum at -80db. Been there done that, and only Careful attention to separate grounds and power decoupling can go a long way to picking up an extra 30db of useable dynamic range. But I'm used to designing THX approved digital audio gear (my day gig).

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Inside dark fire there are three PC Boards

 

...

 

I have a minor gripe about the low underlying hum at -80db. Been there done that' date=' and only Careful attention to separate grounds and power decoupling can go a long way to picking up an extra 30db of useable dynamic range. But I'm used to designing THX approved digital audio gear (my day gig). [/quote']

 

Extremely useful information indeed. Great to hear of your confidence in the upgrade path being within reach of the mere mortal... Thanks once again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OLD SCHOOL GIBSON GUITAR TRICKS

===================

These were the sonic tricks I learned I could do on any stock Gibson Guitar with two pickups, and independent volume and tone for each pickup and a good Tube Amp. I can do all these on the Dark Fire too.

 

 

Amp: Marshall 50 Watt plexi head with EL34s Output Tubes, and 4 x 12 cab, or Vox Ac30 Top Boost, or Ampeg VT40, or Fender Bassman.

 

Guitar: Les Paul

 

Typical Rock Trio

============

CONTROLS:

Bridge Vol: 10

Bridge Tone: 10

Neck Vol: 3

Neck Tone 10

 

Operation: Control all dynamics using just the PU selector switch - down for Bridge PU selection during solos, Middle position for both PUs for a lower volume "crunch" during vocals.

 

With both PUs on, The Neck volume control on "3" "loads" the Bridge PU signal down. Yet the sound emerging from the guitar still sounds like the bridge PU - not both. Provides dynamics, and turning down during vocals is usually a good idea!

 

 

 

Fake Wah Wah

============

CONTROLS:

Bridge Vol: 10

Bridge Tone: 10

Neck Vol: 10

Neck Tone 0

 

Operation: Perform Hammer -ons, while toggling the PU selector switch - creates a wah-wah type sound.

 

 

Fake Violin

============

CONTROLS:

Bridge Vol: 10

Bridge Tone: 7

Neck Vol: 0

Neck Tone 7

 

Operation: Select Both PUs, Perform Hammer -ons, and really work the Neck Volume control "on" for each note - creates a violin type sound.

 

 

Clapton "Woman Tone"

============

CONTROLS:

Bridge Vol: n/a

Bridge Tone: n/a

Neck Vol: 10

Neck Tone: 0-2 (adjust to taste)

 

 

Operation: Play on the Neck PU only - and with the tone control rolled down to "0-2" feeding a loud tube amp (Marshall) this recreates the Clapton tone on Cream's "Spoonful"

 

Jeff Beck Group LP Tone"

============

CONTROLS:

Bridge Vol: 7

Bridge Tone: 4(adjust to taste)

Neck Vol: 7

Neck Tone: 4 (adjust to taste)

 

 

Operation: Set up your amp with a lot of Gain and a lot of treble, and / or use a Treble booster pedal (Rangemaster) feeding a loud tube amp. Back off the volume controls for dynamics during vocals, but never turn the guitar up beyond "7" during solos - this gives you a lot of picking sensitivity, light touch = clean, dig in and play harder = dirt / sustain.

 

You can hear some of these here - its very long - two sets recorded live in 1979:

http://www.lovedrums.com/audio/Rocket88/

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Test your Dark Fire Pickup Polarity

 

Use a mono guitar cord - feed a clean channel of an amplifier

 

1) Enable the piezo. To activate the Piezo signal output, pull the MCK, turn it to Letter “I” LED (Blue Bank) and gently press & release. The guitar symbol on the MCK will turn green and the acoustic tone of your Piezo will mix with your regular Mag PU signal as you ramp up your toggle Sw Piezo Blend pot. With a mono guitar cable, your piezo signal will blend with your regular Mag PU output at the tip of the cable’s plug.

 

 

2) Rotate the PU toggle SW Piezo Blend pot full clockwise = full piezo output. You should hear the "acoustic like" piezo sound.

 

3) Turn both Mag PUs Vol Off ="0" You will still hear the "acoustic like" piezo sound only.

Use the Piezo Blend to control the Piezo volume, for now turn piezo to full output = full clockwise.

 

 

4) Test the Piezo vs Bridge Mag PU phase - switch the PU toggle SW down to "Bridge PU". Since the Bridge Mag PU volume is on "0", you will still only hear the piezo PU. Slowly rotate the Bridge Mag PU volume Up to "10" - and note if there are certain ranges of the Bridge PU volume pot where perceived audio signal level is lowered due to phase cancellation.

If the Bridge PU is in phase with the Piezo PU, at a Bridge PU Volume Pot setting of "10" you should have a good full frequency response signal. * Now turn the Bridge Volume Pot to zero as proceed with test #5

 

 

5) Test the Piezo vs Neck Mag PU phase - switch the PU toggle SW up to "Neck PU". Since the Neck Mag PU volume is on "0", you will still only hear the piezo PU (step3) . Slowly rotate the Neck Mag PU volume Up to "10" - and note if there are certain ranges of the Neck PU volume pot where perceived audio signal level is lowered due to phase cancellation.

If the Neck PU is in phase with the Piezo PU, at a Neck PU Volume Pot setting of "10" you should have a good full frequency response signal. Now turn the Neck Volume Pot to zero as proceed with test #6

 

 

6) Test the Neck Mag PU and Bridge Mag are in phase. Switch the PU toggle SW up the middle position = both Mag PUs. Use the Piezo Blend to control the Piezo volume, turn piezo PU to full OFF = full counter-clockwise.

You should have both Neck Mag PU Volume on zero, and Bridge Mag PU Volume on zero, and Piezo Blend full counterclockwise, and hear No sound.

 

7) Slowly rotate the Neck Mag PU volume Up to "10". Due to traditional Gibson Les Paul Wiring, and with the PU toggle switch in the middle position = both Mag PUs , if either Mag PU Volume control is on "0", you will not hear any sound.

 

8) Slowly rotate the Bridge Mag PU volume Up to "10" - and note if there are certain ranges of the Bridge PU volume pot where perceived audio signal level is lowered due to phase cancellation.

If the Bridge PU is in phase with the Neck PU, at a Bridge PU Volume Pot setting of "10" you should have a good full frequency response signal.

 

More here:

http://forums.gibson.com/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=15662

 

This is the correct 5 pin wiring order for the Dark Fire Bridge PU

Bridge_Burstbucker3_5pin_connector.jpg

 

This is the correct 5 pin wiring order for the Dark Fire Neck PU (Most require red & white wire to swap positions)

NeckP90H_5pin_connector.jpg

 

DF_Mag_Polarity.jpg

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Dark Fire Initial Check Out - Q/A

-----------------------------------------------------------------

**CHARGE THE BATTERY PRIOR TO TESTING YOUR DARK FIRE**

 

 

{Q} Whats up with the neck profile on the Dark Fire?

 

{A} All Dark Fires have an "asymmetrical" Neck Profile - These appeared on Ernie Ball MusicMan Axis Guitars 15 years ago, and now Gibson adopted this for bulk of their standard production Les Pauls. It takes getting used too - but the treble side is 1/4 " thinner than the bass side. If you sliced the Headstock off and viewed down the length of the NEck - you would see an "Egg Shaped" profile. All Dark Fires come this way standard.

 

scan00012-218x118.jpg

 

 

{Q} The MCK seemed a little stiff in the down position. It rotated without any crunching sounds, but it

kinda "grabbed" a couple of times on the way around. On subsequent rotations of the MCK, it got better.

 

{A} It may clear up - be sure the three internal wires are not grabbing inside the MCK's hollow shaft.

 

 

 

{Q} The MCK lifted up OK, but again it seemed a little stiff. I wouldn't call it easy to lift, but on the other hand, we were never tempted to use a crowbar. (jk) <g>

{A} It can be difficult - although I should state my returned "fixed" MCK is perfect - easy to operate.

 

 

 

{Q} - When the guitar was connected to the amp, the MCK made "popping" noises when we activated it.

It also made noises when we rotated the MCK through the detent positions on the switch. Is this issue being addressed somehow?

 

{A}This is Normal - its intended to "Pull OUT the MCK and tweak" then before you begin playing again, Push the MCK IN. In the full pushed IN position there should be no hums or pops or noises. If you hate pops and crackles - before lifting the MCK "OUT" place the PU Selector on Neck position and turn neck volume to zero. Make your MCK selections for alt tunings or chameleon tone, and then push the MCK all the way "IN" - then play as normal.

 

 

 

{Q} I'm confused by the volume controls and the pickup selector switching, and I don't know if there's a problem or if that's the way it's supposed to be. With the pup selector switch set to "neck" and the neck volume control turned up, we got sound....regardless of the setting of the bridge volume control.

{A}This is Normal - just like all other Gibson Les Paul, ES-335, SG Volume and Tone controls.

 

 

 

{Q} With the pup selector switch set to "bridge" and the bridge volume control turned up, we got sound...regardless of the setting of the neck volume control.

 

{A}This is Normal - just like all other Gibson Les Paul, ES-335, SG Volume and Tone controls.

 

 

 

{Q} HOWEVER, with pup selector switch set at the midway point (which I would have assumed activates BOTH pickups), we got sound ONLY if BOTH volume controls were turned up. If either volume control was turned to zero, we got no sound...regardless of the setting of the other pickups volume control.

Is this normal?

 

{A} This is Normal - just like all other Gibson Les Paul, ES-335, SG Volume and Tone controls.

 

 

{Q} The neck pickup did indeed hum, but so did his amp. <g> I understand a firmware revision will fix this?

{A} Tronical will provide a Firmware fix to correct this - the current Hum is because Tronical disabled the lower hum cancelling coil in the P90H They can enable the Neck P90H PU humbucking coil with a Firmware Update

 

 

{Q} Tuning was very fast, but sometimes the low "E" and "A" strings were reluctant to tune...all strings tuned eventually. Maybe we just need to work on our strumming technique? <g>

 

{A}I also find the Lower strings need time to settle and the Tronical system may have a resulting error. I use a floor tuner and I make minor corrections like I would a normal guitar - minor retuning may be required until the strings are stretched. I'm not complaining. Every robotic system has similar issues of very minor non repeatability - the Tronical system gets you in the 99% to 100% ballpark, with occasional times where some strings may requirie hand tuning to get that last 1%. If you are seeking perfection - you reside on the wrong planet.

 

 

 

{Q} My brother-in-law is disappointed with the Chameleon Tone technology. We may have been doing something incorrectly, but every preset sounded the same to us. We hooked the DF directly (no pedals) into a Gibson Les Paul Goldtone GA-5 amp...a little 5 watt Class A single volume control tube amp. I think my brother-in-law was expecting the Dark Fire to produce all these various Chameleon tones (Metal, Rock, Acoustic, etc.) by itself.

 

{A}May be Pilot Error - I have to follow the Dark Fire instructions precisely to enable Chameleon Mode. If you use an overdriven amp - the Chameleon tones will not be revealed. Use a clean amp.

 

 

{Q} My question to you is...using the equipment I mentioned, what differences between preset tones should we have heard?

 

{A} With current Firmware, On Neck PU only you - will not hear ANY change in Chameleon tones- due to a bug

 

Best to crank full up both Neck and Bridge volume and Tone,

Turn Piezo Blend full counter clockwise to Off

 

Place PU Selector in center position to select Both MAg PUs - now you can try the Chameleon tones.

 

DF_Coils_Matrix.jpg

 

Gibson = Les Paul

Texas Blues = Neck and Bridge of SRV Strat

Funky = Out of phase funk

Twang = clean Tele

Acoustic = PEQ emulated Acoustic guitar, based on Mags as Source

L5 = Jazz Tone, reduced high, thicker lower mids

Solid Rock = Out of phase rock

Metal = all coils in series like a Brian May Signature.

 

To verify the Chameleon is working, feed a clean amp to hear all different Chameleon Tone types.

I use a Roland Cube Street on the Black Panel <Fender twin> setting to test.

 

{Q} All of the presets sounded acoustic to me. I would have expected the "Rock" setting to be a bit distorted, with the "Metal" setting even more so...yet we could detect no distortion in any combination of amp/pickup volume.

{A} The Dark Fire Chameleon tech only emulates specific Guitars. All actual real guitar models listed above in the "Chameleon Tone Table" have zero distortion - Dark Fire is simply recreating many guitar sounds - not amp sounds. Different guitars have subtle peaked EQ curves, and sensitivity levels delivered to 1/4" output jack. the Dark Fire Chameleon tone truly emulates the "mojo" of many different guitars.

 

 

 

RIP Install Checkout

================

 

While playing the RIP / Dark Fire / Console

 

Here's what I observe

 

1) I make the Firewire connection to the computer, then apply DC power to the RIP with DC Power Pack.

 

2) I launch the RIP console - I see the Black Mixer with VU meters - no activity.

 

3) I connect the Dark Fire to RIP

 

4) My MCK is Down - no lights on MCK

 

5) All I see is the Far Left VU meter ("Guitar" )

 

6) I pull "OUT" the MCK

 

7) I slowly strum

 

8) The Tuners start to "tune"

 

9) I continue a light strum

 

10) After 10 seconds - and still strumming - I suddenly see all the VU meters (with exception of the 2 Playback channels) "dance" on the RIP Console Mixer

 

 

11) Note MCK MUST be in the "OUT" position - lights ON in order to see all VU meters for all string channels "dance".

 

 

 

 

{Q} During tuning MCK Displays WHITE LEDs for Strings?

 

 

{A} White flashing LEDs indicate a short!

The strings carry power and data to the neck. If only one string is touching a hardware part (bridge, taipiece, even a fret bar!!) or another string, the system wont work!!

If the Gibson "G" on the neck electronic cover does not start flashing once you activate the system, it is most likely that there is also a white LED on the MCK flashing = short circuit = no power on neck electronics.

 

1) Check the ball ends, they must not touch the tailpiece at all.

2) Check all string bars on the saddles, the strings must be in the middle position of each string bar.

3) Check the tuner posts, the strings must not touch each other, cut all string ends very close to its post!!

4) Check the tailpiece and bridge height and adjust if needed!

 

If all of this does not work, do the following:

- remove the high e string, afterwards try to tune. If it works now, the problem was the high e string.

- If it wont work, remove the B string and try to tune... and so on...

 

Keep in mind that there must be at least two strings to maintain function, one for ground GND (-) and one for power (+) and data.

 

Strings for GND (-) = Low E, D, B

Strings for power (+) and data = A, G, high e

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  • 4 weeks later...

Last 10 Posts

Topic: Problems with my DF (PLEASE HELP!)

Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 10:07:10 AM

Jorge,

 

sorry to hear that.

 

 

If you hear winding noise and the powerhead is not moving at all, it might be a connection issue from the powerhead to the Neck PCB.

 

1) Please inspect the tuning pegs that wont work. If the case rotated, rotating back to it's original position (level with the back plate with the light up G) will fix the problem.

Tighten the nut to make sure it will stay in this position!

So anyone who happens to bump their headstock and something doesn't work, check your pegs to make sure they are straight.

 

2) Also, carefully cleaning the contact pins may help.

Therefore remove the pegs by unscrewing them and clean the contact pins on the bottom of the case. Afterwards level the case with the back plate with the light up Gibson "G" and screw tight.

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

 

Topic: Help Needed...

Posted: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:34:48 AM

PMossberg,

 

GOR is different:

 

E, A = (+)

D, G = (-)

B,e = (data)

 

You need at least 3 strings on the guitar, one of each (+), (-) and (data).

Otherwise the tuning system would not work.

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

Topic: Help Needed...

Posted: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:06:09 AM

j00ni3,

 

white flashing LEDs indicate a short!

The strings carry power and data to the neck. If only one string is touching a hardware part (bridge, taipiece, even a fret bar!!) or another string, the system wont work!!

If the Gibson "G" on the neck electronic cover does not start flashing once you activate the system, it is most likely that there is also a white LED on the MCK flashing = short circuit = no power on neck electronics.

 

1) Check the ball ends, they must not touch the tailpiece at all.

2) Check all string bars on the saddles, the strings must be in the middle position of each string bar.

3) Check the tuner posts, the strings must not touch each other, cut all string ends very close to its post!!

4) Check the tailpiece and bridge height and adjust if needed!

 

If all of this does not work, do the following:

- remove the high e string, afterwards try to tune. If it works now, the problem was the high e string.

- If it wont work, remove the B string and try to tune... and so on...

 

Keep in mind that there must be at least two strings to maintain function, one for ground GND (-) and one for power (+) and data.

 

Strings for GND (-) = Low E, D, B

Strings for power (+) and data = A, G, high e

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

 

Topic: String up does not work... ???

Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 8:39:37 AM

Icing777,

 

the red dot indicates "communication error".

This means that a message was sent to the neck without reply!

Dark Fires body CPU communicates with the neck CPU via the strings:

E, D and B strings = - (GND)

A, G and e strings = + and communication

Next time make sure to put on at least one of the GND strings and one of the communication (+) strings.

If you put on all strings first, you will get the best performance.

Just make sure that they don´t touch each other.

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

Topic: HELP

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 10:10:53 AM

Omarpv,

 

sorry to hear that you are still having problems.

If the charger goes green and the guitar does not charge the reasons could be:

 

1) The cable is too long.

2) Wrong power supply. It should have 12 V DC and 1000 mA!!

 

3) Dead Battery, which is most unlikely because you said it displays 4/10 charge level.

Anyway, in this case we will send you a spare battery.

 

 

Info@tronical.com

www.tronical.com

 

 

Tronical

You play. we tune.

Topic: Powerhead not working

Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:28:06 AM

Aenimal,

 

it´s good to hear that.

You say you moved the saddle a little bit? Or did you move the string bar?

It is possible that the string bar was somehow inclined inside its saddle/black insulator.

This would impede proper piezo function.

We experienced, that after restring or intonate the guitar this may occur....

Moving or even slightly hitting the string and / or string bar often helps.

Also, if you are experiencing bad tuning performance try this with any string.

 

We think you should not send it back. Contact us if you need support.

 

info@tronical.com

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

 

 

Topic: Powerhead not working

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2009 7:40:06 AM

Hi Aenimal,

 

sorry to hear that.

 

Please try the following:

- Activate the tuning system

- Make sure the peg of low E tuner is all the way in, engaged to the motor.

- Strum low E string

The low E symbol LED on your MCK should now start flashing red = pitch detection, and afterwards it should flash yellow = tuning info sent to the neck.

If this does not happen it is most likely that the piezo for the low E string (underneath the saddle) is not working properly.

 

If it is ok, the problem is the PowerHead. Try to carefully remove the PowerHead and clean the electrical contacts. Re-install it and restring.

 

If this does not help please contact us, we will find a solution!

 

www.tronical.com

info@tronical.com

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

Topic: Telephone Number for Gibson Service in USA

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:51:25 AM

Captainrico,

 

sorry to hear about your problem.

Did you change strings recently?

Please check:

- Are there white symbols shining on the MCK once you activate tuning and strum the strings?

White lights on MCK indicate a short circuit! In this case, the Gibson G in the neck electronic box wont light up, which means no power is running up the strings to the neck CPU!

Is this happening?

If so, check your strings at the tuner-posts, taipiece and bridge. Strings must not touch each other at all!!

 

"Guide each string through your tailpiece, over the center of each saddle

(where contact is essential), and through the nut slot, and then straight

through the post hole. Pull a slight amount of tension on the string, and

tighten down the locking nut on the post hole. Cut the extra length off each

string close to the post so that they will not make contact with other strings,

as that would cause the system to function improperly. Also, do not use any

strings which have frayed wraps at the ball end, because that could short

circuit the Data-Transmitting Tailpiece. It will not damage the Tailpiece, but

Dark Fire will not function if any part of the string touches beyond its

insulated holder."

 

Regards

 

Tronical

Topic: Changing strings and MCK turned off,wont function.

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 1:14:24 AM

Kris,

 

The manual says:

"Guide each string through your tailpiece, over the center of each saddle (where contact is essential), and through the nut slot, and then straight through the post hole. Pull a slight amount of tension on the string, and tighten down the locking nut on the post hole. Cut the extra length off each string close to the post so that they will not make contact with other strings, as that would cause the system to function improperly. Also, do not use any strings which have frayed wraps at the ball end, because that could short circuit the Data-Transmitting Tailpiece. It will not damage the Tailpiece, but Dark Fire will not function if any part of the string touches beyond its insulated holder."

 

Try this:

- Charge the battery!!!

- Make sure that the strings are not touching each other at all!! Is each string cut off close to the post, no contact with others??

- "Pull a slight amount of tension on the strings" to make sure that no string is touching a fret as this will short out the system!!

- Check all saddles. Are all strings in the center of each saddle?

- Check the tailpiece holes, are the ball ends not touching the tailpiece at all??

- Check the strings ball ends, poorly wound string ball ends (frayed wraps) may cause a short inside the tailpiece hole.

- Did you change tailpiece height?? If you screwed it down, closer to the body, make sure no string is touching the bridge behind the saddle (tailpiece direction!!). In this case adjust the bridge also.

 

Regards

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

Topic: Gibson Dark Fire Forum Wish List Jan.15, 2009

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2009 2:59:00 PM

Hi elantric,

 

its always a pleasure to read your posts!

 

“Dark Fire Firmware Update requests:

=============================

* Better Store and Play functionality in Chameleon Mode: after composing a sound the user could simply push down the MCK in order to save and link the settings to the actual preset and to enter Play Mode.”

 

With Firmware 2.1.16 exactly this issue is implemented.

 

 

 

”* Provide a method for an Onboard Chromatic Tuner.”

We are working on this issue.

 

”* Provide Single string down mode.”

Please suggest a reasonable click stream to activate this mode

 

 

”* Provide user enabled Function 19 for Mute while Tuning.”

We cant mute via software completely. It would be possible to set the PEQ to –12 db for all bands during tuning. We will test this issue and report.

 

”* Provide user enabled Function for Volume Level control of Piezo Acoustic OUT on TRS "Ring" contact.

Please explain why do you need this function.

When you use the splitter/charger box and plug the Ring into the Aux Input or a second amp you can control the volume with the amp.”

 

”* Provide a reduced complexity MCK "easy mode". This could be a dumbed down version with reduced functionality to get the new owner through the initial stages with ease. Furthermore this could be the choice for people with simpler needs.”

 

We are thinking of a beginner mode with reduced complexity. It would be very helpful if the community provides us with ideas and wishes.

 

”* Provide a Bluetooth HID profile to allow a path for creating an IPHONE version of "Dark Fire Configuration Tool".”

 

When you look at the body cpu you will find the label “Bluetooth”. We anticipated this demand and are working on this issue.

 

Tronical

You play. We tune.

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When I change strings, I do the following steps for each string:

 

1) Rotate the MCK to "D" - and press it down - turning all powertune stuff off.

 

2) Loosen string manually with the tuning peg - careful not too aggressively to Not damage the motor.

 

3) Loosen locking binding post screw on top of the binding post and Remove old string

 

4) Rotate the Tuning peg manually until the hole in the tuning binding post lines up and an absolutely straight string path for threading a new string is established.

 

5) Carefully thread new string through the tailpiece, over the bridge, up over the nut, and thread it though the hole in the Tuning post.

 

6) With my Left hand, I pull the new string as hard as I can, then with my right hand I rotate the locking tuner screw on top of the tuner to clamp the new string.

 

7) Using side cutters, I cut off the remaining string length as close to the tuning post as possible

 

8) I manually turn the tuning peg to tighten the string - enough to have enough tension for the piezo bridge to accurately "read" the string pitch.

 

9) I raise the MCK up , rotate it full clockwise, and single "tap" it.

 

10) Strum the guitar and the Powertune system tunes the new string to standard pitch.

 

11) Important - I stretch the new string, this video shows my method:

 

12) I tap the MCK - and strum , and it retunes the string after stretching - and I'm ready to repeat steps 1-12 for the next string.

 

13) Repeat steps 1-13 until all 6 strings are replaced.

 

 

I end up with less than one wrap on each locking tuning post. My High E has the most string wrapped around the locking tuning post - still less than one full wrap for all strings- which is best.

 

Its always best to keep the non speaking string length to a Minimum.

 

That means use the shortest possible amount of wraps around the Locking tuning posts.

 

I have no more than 3/4 wrap (less than one) on my posts

 

Like this:

 

PICT0045.jpg

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