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Audio feedback: Audio feedback is an effect produced when amplified sound is picked up by a microphone and played back through an amplifier, initiating a "feedback loop". Feedback as pioneered by guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix is generated by playing an instrument directly in front of an amplifier set to a high volume. This relatively primitive technique tends to create high-pitched overtones and can be difficult to sustain. It can also be hard to determine the sound volume and guitar position relative to a loudspeaker necessary for achieving feedback conditions.
The EBow is a small, handheld pickup/string driver that sustains a sound. The devices consists of two coils: one that picks up and amplifies the guitar string vibration much in the manner of a guitar pickup and one that acts as a magnetic string driver, vibrating the string. The EBow drives one string at a time. Later EBow models contain a mode switch which allows the player to either produce just sustain or overtone feedback in addition to sustain.
Other magnetic string drivers use the guitar pickup signal as input, creating feedback/sustain by way of a string driver mounted in the guitar.
Many compressor pedals are often also marketed as "sustainer pedals". As a note is sustained, it loses energy and volume due to diminishing vibration in the string. The compressor pedal boosts its electrical signal to the specified dynamic range, slightly prolonging the duration of the note. This, combined with heavy distortion, can lead to infinite sustain at lower volumes.
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