Volume or booster pedal?

August 6, 2019, 1:11 AM · Hi all,

I play in a folk/pop band. Last time we played in a small 'acoustic' setting, I played with my own amplifier. What bothers me is that for my solo's or second voice, I needed a good volume. So my amplifier was on a really loud stand. But when I don't play a solo or leading/second voice, my volume is still really loud. It always annoys me when I listen to other bands, when the violin stays really on the front when they play only the chords or rythm things. So I don't want that sound myself.
It is not convenient to turn to my amplifier every time I want it more or less loud. And I use a DPA 4099 mic so no volume knob there either.
My band leader told me to buy a volume pedal. But in the store they adviced me a booster pedal because it would only interfere in the sound when I want my volume up. THey told me with a volume pedal I compress my sound all the time, that would be a shame of the violin sound when I bothered to buy a really good mic and amplifier to keep a good violin sound.

So now I don't now what to do. What would you recommend and what do you use? And all these people that gave me advice play guitar of bass. So perhaps there are other of better solutions for the violin? Hope to hear your experiences.

Replies (15)

August 6, 2019, 2:07 AM · I use a volume pedal, and if set in the middle I can increase or decrease volume in slight degrees as desired. And I can use the pedal to switch off volume. The booster has, as far as I know, only two volume settings.
August 6, 2019, 5:41 AM · I have a Fishman Artist, they were designed for acoustic instruments and sound awesome. I also play through a Blackstar HT-40 with a bunch of pedals
Edited: August 6, 2019, 7:03 AM · I don't agree that a volume pedal would compress your sound. How would it do that? It's a simple passive attenuator. Hard to believe different volume pedals sound much different.

The Fishman Artist is an amplifier. I'm not aware that Fishman makes a volume pedal (I tried searching for it briefly and failed). You can buy a bundle that includes a footswitch. The footswitch is a simple kill switch for either channel, it's not a booster or volume device.

One thing I can tell you from experience is, don't buy a cheap plastic Chinese volume pedal. Get something very sturdy.

Something I don't know is whether using a volume pedal will affect how your amp delivers phantom power to your microphone or whether you'll need a pre-amp. What's your present setup?

Jeffrey what's your favorite stomp box?

August 6, 2019, 7:05 AM · Hi Henry, thnx for your reply. A volume pedal sounds indeed more attractive because it really gives the possibility to increase or decrease (instead of on or off) Do you think it affects the violin sound very much?
and just out of curiosity and to learn: how do you use your volume pedal within a song?

Jeffrey, thnx for your reply. Do you also use a volume or booster pedal? And if so, what works best for you?

Edited: August 6, 2019, 7:13 AM · Hi Paul, thnx for your reply. I currently use a DPA 4099 with an ART phantom II Pro for power and usually a cube 80gx as amplifier (it is powerfull enough for semi acoustic settings)
I have the luxuary to live really close to the company that does all the soundwork in the region. I buy my stuff there and there is not many cheap stuff there (unfortunately ;) )
They already looked up what volume pedal I would need in this setting. It also has something to do with impedance (still trying to understand what that means....)

They promised me to help with the setup so I'm not afraid of that part.

August 6, 2019, 7:15 AM · By the way: if you could recommend a volume pedal in this set up it would help me very much!
August 6, 2019, 7:54 PM · I have a really basic set up consisting of a Fishman pickup, a Roland Cube 60 and a really old volume pedal, which I just checked is also made by Roland. So I haven't gone into any great expense to retain a true violin sound.

I haven't noticed any difference in sound going straight through the amp or via the pedal.

I can control the volume during a song by keeping it very low over the vocals then increasing for a solo break, but this depends on the kind of song to how much I would vary the volume. And it means I don't need to stop playing because my volume is too high, I can actually turn off and play acoustically for a very quiet number.

August 7, 2019, 1:23 AM · Thank you Henry! That is what I want to do with the pedal. If it would really effect the violin sound, you would have noticed. So I'm gonna look for a volume pedal. Thank you for sharing your experience, this really helped me :)
August 7, 2019, 2:31 AM · You can always try before you buy...
Edited: August 7, 2019, 3:46 AM · At the moment the only person I can discuss pedals with is my friend who is a bassist, so things like volume pedals and wah-wahs don't feature among his gear. All I've got is a Zoom G1 so far, but it's a bit of a toy, albeit fun.
Presumably you can get a pedal which does both volume and wah-wah?
August 7, 2019, 4:42 AM · Presumably you can get a pedal which does both volume and wah-wah?

It's called the 'Cry Baby'....

August 7, 2019, 5:59 PM · Isn't DPA XLR? If it is then you may want to use the effects loop of your amplifier if it has one. I haven't used a volume pedal much but I have used a boost pedal. TC Electronics Spark is a nice, small and simple boost pedal if you just want a controlled volume increase for solos.
August 7, 2019, 8:24 PM · I'm starting to think that an effects loop is a pretty useful feature for an amp to have. The more I think about it the more I like the idea.
August 7, 2019, 10:13 PM · Well, you get a different sound with effects if you have the amp's preamp in front of them. Some preamps such as the Baggs Venue has an effects loop also. Certainly it's an added advantage if you are using an XLR and want to go through effects using quarter inch.
Edited: August 8, 2019, 1:17 PM · I use an ART tube MP preamp with my DPA 4099, then plug the quarter inch output from the preamp into a Morley Optical Volume pedal. Works great, with no deterioration of sound. If I remember my research correctly, an optical volume pedal prevents any potential impedance problems. I think what you want to avoid is "passive" volume pedals. Look for "active" ones instead (ones that require power to work).

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