“I just ordered my WalkaBout Odyssey. What do you suggest for an amp? Is a regular instrument cable okay to use?”
As more and more people are discovering the WalkaBout Drum, we’re getting these questions quite often. And they are important questions too, especially if you want to get the absolute best sound out of your WalkaBout.
Because the WalkaBout Odyssey is equipped with a dual-source LRBaggs system, it has both a microphone and a pickup located internally, which makes it capable of amplifying both boomy lows and sizzling highs. In particular, an internal mic is key to amplifying the SounDots (Snare, Riqq, Tamb, etc.) which magnetically attach to the two internal DotSpots in the upper bout. The Odyssey comes from the factory in mono mode, so any quality 1/4 inch instrument cable should be fine to use, and it will output a single output. (To split your output to two-channel, we recommend reading the blog post, WalkaBout Secret Weapon.)
The Venture is equipped with a proprietary internal mic (i.e., unlike the Odyssey, there is no pickup). Thus, it is mono output only. As with the Odyssey, any quality 1/4 inch instrument cable will work with your Venture.
Plugging It In
Whether you have an Odyssey or Venture, we recommend that you plug your instrument cable into a full-range amp (like a keyboard amp or full-range powered monitor) or directly to your band’s PA system. Some acoustic guitar amps can work as well if they are full-range. In the hands of a seasoned street busker, an Odyssey and a full-range battery-powered speaker can be killer. The key is to have an amp that can amplify the full spectrum of sound (say 50 Hz-15 kHz or better). Note that we do not recommend using a guitar amp or bass amp, as both of these types of amps are tuned to their specific application, and aren’t capable of capturing the full frequency range of the WalkaBout. Frankly, it will sound a little thin and wanky.
Just like any other amplified acoustic drum, we recommend that you use equalization and compression, and perhaps some reverb, to round out your sound. Dialing in your settings will allow your WalkaBout to fill a big room with groov-ilicious sound. Of course, you can always go wireless too!
Do you have any tips that you use with your WalkaBout Drum? Let us know!