Tom Lumen and the AER Pocket Tools Colourizer

On hearing the brand AER, everybody thinks of the outstanding amplifiers of the company. But our German friends came onto the market with something unique: the product line called Pocket Tools is a perfect choice for acoustic musicians. Today we are going to introduce the Pocket Tools Colourizer preamp/DI box, which is actually an effect which helps You to make the sound more colourful. Characteristically, the AER was created a new category again.

The colourizer is designed to be used on the floor and it has similar size as a standard edamer cheese. The equipment’s box is black aluminium, and the pots coated by rubber, like many other AER products. The set includes a case with zipper and an AER metal box. In the box, next to our new “friend”, there’s a 24 V DC adaptor. The colourizer is a great support for line and mic use, as well.

The equipment has one line input and it also has a 24V phantom power input for the microphone. With the switch we can change whether we connect the line or the mic to the effect. We can control separately the input and the output signals on DI and line output, and we have an inverter switch, as well. Before the leaving of the output signal we can change the sound in three ways. For this process we have a tone, an equalizer and an enhancer.

In the tone section we can find a balance and an intensity pot. The balance handles the high and low voices from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. When it sets to the middle, it lifts the ranges below and above 1 kHz voices equally. When it turned left, the treble is decreasing till 0DB, as turned right, the bass is decreasing till 0DB. After this set up, with the intensity pot, we can choose the amount of the previously set “fun”. With this function we can make the sound powerful without distortion. It’s a very useful thing, when we have to use the EQ for reducing the feedback.

The EQ is a parametric one. With a simple swich we can choose from two frequency ranges, from 90Hz to 1,6kHz (f1), and 680Hz to 11kHz(f2). With the frequency pot, we can set the range, the other pot is to set the bandwidth. And there is a level pot which is for increasing and cut 15DB.

The enhancer function enriches the sound with the previously set stuff, and generates overtones, actually replace the previously lost overtones. In this section we can use an on-off switch and an intensity pot. The enhancer plays an important role in the final sound: we can make our sound more natural or more artificial, it depends on our intention.

With this gadget, it is possible to reach our desired sound in a really short time. Before throwing into open combat, it is useful to make experiments at home to be able to use all of its knowledge.

Being a solo acoustic guitar player, I have tested this gadget in various situations. I am traveling the world with my Maton EBG 808TE electro-acoustic guitar and my AER Compact 60/2 amplifier. After getting many experiences with this combination I can say that the Colourizer made a perfect performance with this setup. Since in my concerts I generally connect to the local system, I have tried the gadget before and after the amplifier and I plugged it into the effect loop, as well. There was a case when I sent out the signal of the Colourizer with DI output and the output of the line was connected to the Compact 60/2, which was sent out to DI, too. In every situation, it gave a big boost to the sound. I use it to get the most possible natural and powerful sound. And in fact it supports me to avoid the unwanted feedback, as well.

The amplified voice of the acoustic guitar is a philosophical question. On the gigs I meet many other kinds of sound engineers and sound masters, and all of them have different opinions in connection with this issue. This small structure serves as a bridge for the different views. With this gadget we will be able to make really big changes in some moments instead of hour-long discussions. For an addition, it is also important to mention that the Colourizer is perfect on the stage without amplifier too, and I offer it for line recording processes, as well. Every amplified acoustic concert needs a Colourizer around.