Stomp boxes?

May 5, 2019, 3:12 PM · For y'all electrified violinists -- what kind of stomp boxes (effects pedals) have you enjoyed or found useful (or, as in my own case, secretly coveted)?

I went to a jazz jam last night and I saw the guitarist had a little collection of pedals on the floor. I don't see why mere guitarists should have all the fun!

Replies (13)

May 5, 2019, 5:05 PM · Maarja Nuut (from Estonia) plays an acoustic violin, but does great things with a looping pedal:
May 5, 2019, 5:29 PM · Yes! I have a looper. Actually it's my 13-year-old daughter's looper, we got it for her for her birthday.

What else? I know Jean-Luc Ponty loved his phase-shifter.

May 5, 2019, 5:35 PM · I have three pedals. One that I consider essential is my Empress ParaEq, which is a three band parametric eq pedal. With it I can roll off the bass below 200Hz to eliminate bow direction change and handling noise, without affecting any relevant frequencies. I also do a high frequency roll off to control the shrillness characteristic of piezo pickups. And I tinker with midrange too. You don't have to have a parametric eq. A typical seven band with preset frequency centers will work well too, but I feel that the parametric eq allows more subtilties of control. The three band eq's often found on acoustic amps are optimized for guitars, and are not optimal or even adequate for violins.

Then I have an EHX nanoPOG, polyphonic octave generator, which I only use for the octave down function, never the octave up. Finally, I have an EHX nano looper 360, which I might even get around to using one day. If my amps didn't have effective reverb circuits, I'd feel a need to get a reverb pedal. LR Baggs has a new one that has refined room/hall reverbs only, without spring and plate reverbs. I'm not playing surf violin, after all.

Personally, I have no interest in overdrives, distortion, etc. Simplicity is the way to go, and to repeat, my eq pedal is the only one I really need.

May 5, 2019, 5:38 PM · Mark -- great! I appreciate those tips! Keep 'em coming!
Edited: May 6, 2019, 4:46 AM · I have an MXR 10 band graphic equalizer, and

an EHX MicroPOG. I was using only the sub-octave, but found I could dial in the upper octave at around 7 o'clock and add some of the bite back in that the effects chain was eating away at.

I find the POG hard to use at anything but low levels, but I'm not a rocker. It gives an artificial sub-octave sound, like a motor boat idling, but the sound speeded up. Another analogy would be the old balloon in the bicycle spokes sound.

I have a Cry Baby Wah pedal, which is kinda fun, but I want a wah pedal that is not as easy to pivot, will return to home position on its own, and you can easily dial in your parameters. I haven't found one with all of these together.

Also have a Para Acoustic DI.

Two things I'm thinking of getting are
the Mimiq, (doubler, not delay or reverb. I just want to fatten the sound), and

The Freqout (artificial feedback. Yeah, I said I wasn't a rocker, but I want some sustain for blues. Other sustains have not worked for me).

Things I have, but am unsure if to recommend them. I simply had them before the electric fiddle came along:

Xotic RC Bass Booster - Seems to add some richness to the tone, even though the next pedal executes a high pass filter. The gain dial on here can give me some nice subtle overdrive-like sound, even though I'm not going into an amp.

Xotic EP Booster - gives me a grindy distortion if I crank it. Not sure how much I'd use that.

Things I've found that don't work, for me, and my search for a more acoustic sound:

Boss CS-3 Compressor/Sustain. The sustain does not work for fingered strings. It will susstain for an open string.

Flashback II Delay - Just too much stuff and delays can turn into space ship noises unless you're careful. So I returned it.

Any distortion pedal I've tried.
Any Overdrive pedal I've tried.

I don't have a tube amp to use with those pedals.

Any chorus pedal I've tried. I do get a light bit of chorus from my mixer board, which can be ok. I just need light handed effects.

Any TC Electronics cheap pedal. I think they bought up either Behringer, or DanElectro, and, just wasn't getting what I wanted.


If you're on Facebook, there is a group called "Electric String Players" where you can see people's pedal boards, ask questions, etc.

Edited: May 6, 2019, 5:09 AM · ElectricViolinShop.com has lots of videos of the effects they sell, and they've kinda sorta cherry picked the ones that work well with electrics, though I wouldn't just hand all decision making over to them. Guitar Center has a good return policy, which I make full use of.

If you search YouTube for "Electric Violin Effects" you will get some hits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qRvOc-ttjU

And this just broke my heart about the Mimiq, but I'll survive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq5siCpvMCc

May 6, 2019, 10:33 AM · David Ford many thanks! I will check out that Facebook group for sure. I have a Boss wah pedal but somehow I am not coordinated enough to do wah pedal while playing violin.
May 6, 2019, 11:47 AM · David, Mimiq does not work on violin! Just thought I would save you some money...
May 6, 2019, 12:45 PM · @Christopher - yeah, I found a video stating that much, though it did add some shimmmer.

@Paul - yeah, that wah takes some doing. I've gotten slightly better, though I wish the pedal was not so easy to go down. Keep at it.

May 6, 2019, 3:04 PM · The Boss wah pedal (PW-3) is relatively stiff. The disadvantage is you really have to stand on it with your toe to toggle the bypass. I thought my daughter would have fun with it (with her cello), but she isn't strong enough to activate the bypass while sitting down. I'll probably sell the pedal. (Mint condition, asking $75.)
May 6, 2019, 8:35 PM · My wah is a Dunlop. Found out, their plant is about 30 miles from my house.
May 7, 2019, 12:05 AM · I have a problem activating or deactivating mine. I end up reaching down with my finger and pressing the plunger.

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