The DP Series digital preamps are a world-first in acoustic guitar amplification continuing the tradition that has made Cole Clark class-leaders in design and innovation around the globe.
The preamps have been through a long, tough development cycle before being introduced with the release of the Little Lady II; they are now available in all models.
The digital preamp replicates the functional input, EQ tone filter and mixer circuit blocks that make up an analog acoustic guitar preamp. The advantage is that because the signal is in the digital domain, these circuit blocks can be reconfigured easily to match the many different models and wood variants that Cole Clark use.
All preamps have both pre-sets loaded at Cole Clark when the preamps are fitted. The User pre-set can be edited by the individual player to suit their own needs; the Factory pre-set at this stage is only editable by Cole Clark. This is just to ensure that if another owner purchases the guitar, it will always sound like we intended to when it left the factory.
The User Software
This software has many of the features of the software used by the factory and there is a DP User Software Guide that details how you can edit the User pre-set.
The User software is in an early stage of development as far as supporting different software platforms, but we didn’t want to hold up its introduction so we have released the Windows version while the software for OSX and other platforms is being developed.
The existing software was written for XP, Win7 through to Win 10 but may run on earlier versions.
Virtual Machines – OSX
At this stage, it is NOT recommended that you run the software on a virtual machine under OSX as we have had a few hiccups usually related to the usage of the USB port when it is being shared. Future versions of the software will be able to run on other platforms; we will release those on our web site as soon as they become available.
User Software Installation
After you have unpacked the zip file, follow the steps below to install the software.
- Double-click “setup.exe”
- Click on the “Yes” button when dialog box asks if you are sure that you want the program to make changes to your computer.
- Click on “OK” if you want to continue with Installation or Exit if you want to cancel.
- Click on the installation Icon when prompted.
- It is probably the best option to take default folder offered by install program (Cole Clark) unless you have good reason to install it in another location – it shouldn’t really be an issue where it runs from.
- You will get a few messages stating that a file is being loaded that is older than the one on your system; click on “Keep” to retain existing file.
- If you get a message “an error occurred while registering the file “C\Windows\system32\MSHFLXGD.OCX – press “Ignore” program usually runs OK – this has only happened on a few computers running some early versions of Windows.
Difficulties with installation
Any difficulties or comments that you may have with installing the software please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please supply the make and model of your computer and the version of Windows that you’re running and we’ll try and sort it out for you.
Please read the DP User Software Guide that came with the zip file for information on using the software
Q. Why did we decide to use a digital preamp
A. Analog preamps are expensive and time-consuming to design and build. When you build as many wood combinations as we do at Cole Clark, when each of these instruments is amplified, it is quite difficult to settle on one “sound” that suits all models and variants. Using a Digital preamp that effectively reproduces the sound and function of our analog preamp, but with the capability to be reconfigured internally, gave us the option to change the profile of the preamp for every model and wood configuration now and into the future.
Q. Does the Digital preamp use modelling to get its sound.
A. The DP2 & DP3 preamps are NOT modelling preamps, they are designed to replicate the internal workings of our analog preamps but also add the flexibility of sound modification that we could only get from analog circuitry by component change and constant redesign.
Q. How does the digital preamp differ in usage compared to the analog preamp?
A. Our analog preamp was designed to be easy to use with the minimum controls required to adjust the sound when playing live or in the studio. The hard work of programming the signal path was done by us internally so the player would always get a great sound. The new digital preamps use exactly the same interface as the analog preamp with the exception that there is a USB socket and a switch to change between two pre-sets. One pre-set stores a Factory profile and the second one stores a User profile which enables the player to impose his own tonal requirements on the preamp.
Q. How does a player edit the User pre-set and what can be changed.
A. We have a computer program named DP User Software which enables a player to adjust many settings on the preamp. For instance, a player might decide that they want a different setting of the graphic EQ controls and the volume level when they are fingerpicking, compared to when they are using a plectrum. The Volume & Tone controls can be edited and stored to achieve this. There are many editable functions including the maximum and minimum range for the Bass, Middle and Treble controls, the frequency at which the Bass, Middle and Treble are centred, as well as the bandwidth that each control affects. If you want to dive in a little deeper, you can change the way that the Bridge/Face rotary control regulates the two audio filters that adjust the frequency, bandwidth and level of the Bridge and Face sensors as they are blended.
Q. Can you save the User pre-set?
A. The Current User preset can be saved to the computer via the software. Also, the edited sound can be saved to the computer without storing it into the preamp if so desired. Saving User pre-sets can be handy if you are working on a recording for instance and you have a specific pre-set for the song, it can be reloaded later when working on the recording again. A live performance oriented User pre-set can be loaded in between recording sessions very easily.
Q. Will there be any User pre-sets available on the Cole Clark website?
A. In the near future we plan to do some User pre-sets with some accompanying video footage to show how the pre-set might be used. Some of our Artist’s pre-sets will also be available on the website.
Q. Can the USB socket be used for anything else.
A. As soon as time and money permits, because the audio is processed internally in the digital domain, we are contemplating using the USB to output this signal so it can be fed directly into a digital recording program. Sample rate of 96k at a bit depth of 16 or 24 bits would be a good logical choice but final specs are still in the pipeline.
Q. My digital preamp is cutting out. What should I do?
Cheaper batteries will not power the preamp properly. We suggest a high quality battery.