JamUp Pro App and Electric Violin

Edited: January 14, 2020, 11:20 PM · Hi everyone! I am wondering if anyone out there has any experience using the JamUp Pro App with electric violin? I am classically trained, but enjoy a wide range of musical genres and recently received a Yamaha YEV 105 Electric Violin. I can do some basic things with this app, but having been classically trained, I really have no understanding of effects pedal boards and where effects go in the train or why. (Should have hung out more with my electric guitar friends when I was younger!) Jesús Florido demonstrates this app on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/oh8q7SQ8KSc

I so appreciate any input you all might have. Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I just added a reply below to hopefully clarify my question a bit more.

Replies (11)

Edited: January 11, 2020, 5:46 PM · Hi Paula, like you I have spent some time investigating effects pedals ("stomp boxes") for violin. Here is a little of what I learned.

First -- and most importantly -- you can go crazy trying to select and optimize various effects for your electric violin, but in the end the thing that matters far and away more than anything else is just how well you play the violin. I ended up deciding -- for now -- that I didn't want to spend time dickering with electronics and computers -- I wanted to improve my game -- my tone, my technique, and my improv skills. Maybe you already have game to burn, but I sure don't.

Second -- What you have there is essentially a digital modeling algorithm built into an app. You can also get stomp boxes (made by Boss, Line 6, etc.) that will "model" different types of effects, and those even claim to model the sounds of specific amplifiers and speaker cabinets ("amps and cabs") using technology called COSM (composite object sound modeling). With these devices, you get what you pay for. Boss has one that's like $200 but I've tried it and I was really unimpressed. The L6 Helix is a better device. I have not tried the top-of-the-line Boss unit (the GT-1000, aptly named because it's $1000), but that one is supposed to have higher frequency range and faster A/D conversion.

Third -- But you don't get as much of what you pay for as a guitarist would get, and here's why: Because a lot of the effects seem to be triggered on the attack of the guitar being picked or plucked or strummed, so when you are playing with a bow, you will find that sometimes the effect triggers and sometimes it doesn't, which depends on the particular effect you are using but this can be very frustrating. The guy doing the demo on YouTube has largely conquered that, but looking at his body language I sense that he has to work pretty hard to get his effects to sound right, digging in at the frog with his bow, etc.

Fourth -- How many different types of effects do you really need? If the answer is two or three, you are probably better off with analog stomp boxes on a pedal board. Lets say maybe some distortion/overdrive, a phase shifter, and some kind of delay/reverb/looper. Yeah you could spend $1000 on that combination if you get quality pedals like EHX plus the powered pedalboard, but those devices are really going to sound a whole lot better than the digital modeling in the app, and there will be NO latency. Likewise, you can improve your sound just by having a better amp. I tried a few and I was most impressed with the Fishman amps. They're not cheap though, so I have not bought one yet. Still using a small Fender amp (25-W Rumble). Another thing that will greatly improve your sound is a graphic EQ. The tone controls on amps and pre-amps just don't give you as much flexibility. I have a 10-band MXR equalizer that I have had for almost 40 years. This is more important for me because I don't have an E-violin, I have a removable pickup (Fishman V-200) for my regular violin. So depending on the pickup placement I might need to adjust my equalization. With your Yamaha violin you shouldn't need to deal with that.

Fifth -- One thing that the modeling app can do for you is help you decide which kinds of effects you'd like to invest in as analog stomp boxes. So that's the upside.

Edited: January 11, 2020, 10:06 PM · I don't think I could improve on what Paul said. He covered all the bases with complete clarity. Personally, I find most effects to be uninteresting, apart from a bit of reverb and delay, and those can be gotten in a good acoustic amp without anything additional. The most important thing is eq, and electricviolinshop.com has a tutorial about using it that I'd recommend looking up. Without carefully applied eq electric violins sound awful. With eq they can sound beautiful on their own terms.

Edit: here's part 1. You'll find a link to part 2 there.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ehSaPxbeol8

Edited: January 11, 2020, 7:33 PM · Mark .. link for that tutorial?

Oops ... YouTube.

January 12, 2020, 10:06 AM · I've played around with Jam up Pro and the like. I think they are fine to experiment with at home but I would feel uncomfortable using something like that on stage. I also find it quite fiddly on a phone. For the beginner I would say a cheap multi-effects might be better. You do need an interface to plug into your phone/device and that may cost about the same as an entry level multi-effects.
I haven't tried this one but I know Zoom are good for the price: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/G1FOUR--zoom-g1-four-multi-effects-processor
If you don't have an amp then you need to make sure that the unit takes headphones.

That way you can try things out and see what you like. Once you try something entry level then your addiction to individual pedals can begin!
Also, that Yamaha needs an external preamp. Without it it will sound very thin. Some amps have them built in...
As a reference, I will second The Electric Violin Shop for knowledge on the matter.

January 14, 2020, 11:17 PM ·

I am brand new to this forum, so THANK YOU to those that have taken time to give me feedback. I really appreciate it! Thank you, Paul, for the science behind the digital modeling algorithm. I enjoy knowing how and why something works. I'm kind of a nerd. Thank you Mark for the input on EQ, and Christopher for the confirmation on JamUp being for home and experimentation to begin my "pedal addiction."

I would like to clarify my question, because I don't think I worded it precisely enough or really gave enough of my background. I'm definitely aware of what a black hole experimenting with effects pedals can be, and I wholeheartedly agree that simpler is usually better. JamUp Pro, in my mind, is simply a way to inexpensively experiment with where these different effects go in the effects train and why. So, maybe it helps if I say where do Noisegate, Delay, EQ, Reverb, Filter, etc go in an effects train? Which ones come before or after the amp and why? I just don't seem to be able to find a video or tutorial for electric violin that answers this question.

A little more on my background: I have played violin for over 40 years. I have played electric violin for about 4, but the sound engineer has been responsible for any effects. I now own my own electric violin, and I use a Fishman Loudbox Mini Amp (which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking.) I purchase most of my electric violin supplies through Electric Violin Shop and have watched a lot of their videos. They are a GREAT resource! I plan on purchasing a Boss ME 80 soon, per Christian Howes and Electric Violin Shop's recommendations, because it will cover any effects (and more) that I will ever need.

This is longer than I wanted it to be, but hopefully it makes my initial question a little clearer. And again, thank you so much for being willing to engage in conversation with me.

Edited: January 15, 2020, 12:30 AM · Your Fishman loudbox has an input, at 5Mohms, that's optimized for your YEV's piezo pickup, so I think you should plug into that input first. Then put any effects you use in the amp's effects loop. I don't really know about "noise gate" or "filter," but I think that eq should be first in line on a pedal board. This is because one of the main functions of eq is to eliminate spurious sounds like bow change thump, high frequency shrillness, and pitches that amplify excessively, like C# on the A string or low frequencies generally do for me. You want to do that right out of the starting gate so you have a clean signal to start manipulating with any other effects you choose to use.

I'm not sure if my suggestions are relevant for JamUp Pro specifically, because I have no personal experience with it. Is it meant to be used in an effects loop? (I'll go check.)

Edit: OK, I looked at the JamUp Pro videos by Jesus Florido, and all he does is demonstrate the possibilities. Is he playing through an amp, or straight into a computer for recording? (I suspect.) (And on a personal note, and though I like Jesus Florido, it's nonetheless a mystery to me why anyone wants to sound like that anyway. JMHO)

January 15, 2020, 6:53 AM · Following up on Mark's post:
1. I agree about using the effects loop in the Loudbox. My main (so far deal-breaking) disappointment with Fishman's battery-powered version of the Mini is that it does not have an effects loop. I would have thought that anything designed to go between your instrument and your amp should be okay in an effects loop. Mark, tell me if I'm wrong about that.
2. I agree with Mark about Jesus Florido and I would take it a step further. The reason he "wants to sound like that" is because that's the kind of sound the app he's demonstrating does best. Let's see him demonstrate being able to sound like Jerry Goodman. Then I'll be impressed.
3. I agree with EQ first -- get rid of the crap in your signal that is only going to get worse going through your mod boxes, especially anything like overdrive, and I would put reverb/delay last. In fact, you'll see that is how the ME-80 is laid out too.
4. Let me how noise-gating works. This sounds like one of those things that is heavily optimized for the attack/decay profile of the guitar. I'm betting a nickel you'll be disappointed. Anyway the ME-80 is all digital inside, you should not need noise gating.
5. Also please report back to us how you find the ME-80. That's not super expensive so if you're finding it gives you a lot of cool options that actually sound good, I'd be interested.
Edited: January 15, 2020, 10:41 AM · Paul, and Paula, I just assumed that the Loudbox Mini had an effects loop because the Loudbox Artist (that I have) does. In fact the Artist has two effects loops, one for each input channel. After Paul's comment about the Mini "Charge" lacking that feature, I checked and the standard Mini does not. Sorry to say, but that's another reason why the Loudbox Artist is worth the upcharge. The first reason, and the one that swayed me to the Artist, is that the Mini lacks phantom power for condenser microphones. All the best clip-on mics require phantom power, and I always wondered why Fishman left that off on the Mini.

Given that, I think that you would need to plug into a piezo preamp first. That's because effects processors do not have the high impedance inputs that are optimum for piezo pickups. Then go through your effects board before the amp input. The Loudbox Mini seems simpler out of the box, but when you start applying real world solutions to your amplification chain, its simplicity quickly becomes a hindrance.

January 15, 2020, 10:40 AM · Well I guess now we know why the Mini is smaller and cheaper. :)
January 15, 2020, 11:44 PM · Mark and Paul, thank you so much! This is a lot of very useful information! Still learning terminology, so I may have to reread your comments a few times to digest it all, but you've both really given clear explanations for me.

I have thought about eventually owning the Fishman Artist for gigs and using the Mini at home. Now I have a reason to start saving my pennies again.:) And I will report back after I purchase and use the ME-80. Christian Howe's has used the earlier version, the ME-70 for years, and had nothing but good to say about it.

January 16, 2020, 6:50 AM · Christian Howes ... wow, that's a pretty high-level recommendation.

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