From andy waters
Posted February 22, 2005 at 05:03 PM
Id love to play a violin with a midi convertor with a wicked analog synth sound blended with the straight violin tone
boss and lexicon make the best multi efx for the money and roland makes a guitar midi convertor
A digital multi-fx would be nice (I trust 0's and 1's more than analog, you can have a lot more parameters at your disposal as well), plus the option to create presets and have everything in one big box is a great advantage. Unless you are an extremely sensitive audiophile (even then), most humans cannot discern 24-bit sound from processed analog sound, they both have their own unrealism to them. Thus, a multifx's reverb algorithm can easily match the springs of analog reverb. Manipulation of frequencies lends itself to digital technology as far as precision goes.
If in your head analog sounds good though, by all means go for it (bear in mind, MANY analog effects do not have true bypass, meaning that even when the effect is not being used-the sound is still slightly changed).
If you can do it RIGHT, you can make a violin sound good with distortion.
Performed at the Sydney Olympics with electric distorted violin
-You can make it sound like shred guitar.
Reverb will always add 100% to your sound. Im experimenting with delay and reverb to achieve an string section sound, but I cannot...
Wah-wah will work, for some funk sounds and such.
I didnt really dwell to much with electronics though, I need to focus sounding good acoustically first...
has some cool samples of the violin processed with guitar effects, along with explanations for the main types of effects.
Each effect usually has a gain setting, and you don't want to step on a reverb box and suddenly get twice as loud (or quiet). Your sound checks become more of an issue at a gig. The order in which the boxes are connected can make a big difference in possible hum and (unwanted) distortion.
I've had good luck with Boss pedals: Blues Driver, Delay, Harmonizers, etc. I love the effects of the Alesis Nanoverb as a separate unit or built into the Trace Elliot amp. The Alesis AcoustiFX pedal looks interesting at a reasonable price.
I think it's a good idea for an electric violin player to explore these effects. Your playing can develop in interesting new ways.
(If the rest of your band is more conservatively acoustic, they may take some convincing.)
It's just a solid state combo, right?
Depending on what you play, don't be afraid of feedback. Avoid the screeching kind, but there is a musical kind of feedback which can actually be played, though I don't know how it might work with violin. Certain positions on the stage or certain positions or angles in relation to the amp can start it, as well as touching the headstock of the guitar to the amp, as a last resort.
Being a guitar player, but not an electric violin player, instinct tells me that you might have the best luck with effects that manipulate time, like phasers and flangers and long delays. Also transposing devices, and to some extent distortion. The usual effects come in both classic analog and modern digital flavors broadly speaking, and some people prefer one or the other. The most popular guitar distortion is the Ibanez ts-9 reissue or circuits close to that. The two most popular phasers are the Small Stone reissue made by Electro-Harmonix, and the MXR Phase-90. At the right setting the SS sounds like a Univibe. The MXR on the slowest setting just adds an interesting background flavor, like in EVH's "Eruption." I would definitely work a good flanger into something, personally. There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of things that haven't been done, I think. There are a zillion manufacturer's websites that demo their effects on guitar. The Electro-Harmonix site for their classic effects. www.tonefrenzy.com has probably the largest number of demos of boxes to hear on the web, including classic stuff that hasn't been made for decades. I'd avoid most modified boxes and boutique boxes just because the expense usually isn't justifiable. Once you learn what the boxes sound like you can look for them used on ebay. The more beat up it is, the more mojo it has. As long as it still works, of course.
Multi-effects like the Digitech stuff could be the most cost effective to start, but later you might like individual boxes rather than Digitech's version of everything.
I shudder to think about doing this with stomboxes (bending down to change flanger, while hopping around to switch off all the pedals, all in 10 seconds.
Another alternative is rack mounted stuff. Some of the people I like best don't use effects at all, just a guitar into a cranked amp. Angus Young, Slash, and so on.
If you want to know what a peddle geek is, then look at The Edge of U2 or Joe Satriani. It takes 4 men to carry in Edge's peddle board, and he has like 5 differnt rack effect towers.
Question is whether you'd like a possibility to switch between regular violin sound and processed sound (something which I've only managed with the use of Schertler pick up) or if you're satisfied with the somewhat electronical sound you get from all piezo-based equipment. Barbera transducers will probably be my favourite piezo-equipment.
Good piezo-stuff is fairly ok to use without getting too much feedback-problems, but the best again would probably be Barbera or L.R.Baggs, for example. It is extremely important to find a violin pick up that works good. This is really important! Find something that brings your violin sound into the effects as clean and strong as possible.
Like one guitar guy suggested, phaser and chorus, along with reverb and delays can sound awesome on a violin. However, I've also used distortion effects (from Lexicon MPX G2) along with Zeta electric violin (called Zeta Jazz), but this is very expensive, and is probably not necessary to get a good sound. But, my playing sounded like electric guitar, and I fooled good guitarplayers with this, making them believe it was a guitar playing.
My advise would be
1) get a good violin pick up
2) find out how much money to spend
3) if you're capable of controlling parameters within a pedal board or a rack mountable effect processor, and get it to work, try it. If not, start with stomp boxes, I would suggest, for a start, Boss Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Phaser etc. and OCTAVE. Boss Octave pedal sounds awesome with a good violin pick up, and triggers quickly. Some other octave effects (actually like the ones in very expensive Lexicon units) will trigger too slow, and be irritating!
4) Always try equipment in the store A LONG TIME before you by it. Remember that this is built for guitar players, not for violinists.
5) Zeta violins have special effect processors built for violins. However, expensive, so I like the ones for guitar better.
If you have an extra violin you don't know what to do with, try out Barbera transducers special bariton set. A special bridge with a piezo-pickup system, and four strings to go along which is tuned one octave below a regular violin. The sound is airy, a little bit rough, and I just love it!
Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles is in New York to cover the biennial event at The Juilliard School, including classes by Brian Lewis and Sarah Chang.
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