VIOLIN PICKUPS AND LOOP PEDAL
Hi violinist.com community,
Would anyone be able to give me some advice re. pickups and loop pedals? A pickup appeals as I've started playing in a band where I'm in competition with electric guitars, and I thought a loop pedal might unleash any creative potential!
After a little YouTube research, I'm quite tempted by the Myers FEATHER pickup and the BOSS RC3 loop pedal. Does anyone have experience of these two items?
The Meyers Feather is a microphone, not a pickup. It will therefore "pickup" the sounds of other players around you and be highly susceptible to feedback. Microphones usually sound better than pickups, but they're not necessarily the best choice in a high sound volume situation.
I second what Mark says - talk to the Electric Violin Shop. Somebody can recommend a piece of gear they are happy with but somebody else thinks it's awful... Opinions here vary from experienced professionals to well meaning amateurs - don't just jump on the first product somebody mentions.
I have the Fishman V-200 pickup and the Boss RC30. I used to have a boss preamp but the only reason I used it was to have control of the tone and volume when I was going straight through the PA; usually because the sound man didn't really know what a good fiddle sound was, other than that I didn't really understand it's purpose, and since it died my fiddle sounds just fine straight through my Roland Cube 60. At big venues the sound man just mics up my amp. I just got the Boss RC 30 to mess around with, I suppose it would depend on the style of music whether it could be included in a band..
I've got a boss me80 multi effects device on order at my local store. Apparently recommended by Christian Howes.
I got the Vox Stomplab II G multi effects unit, I think I only tried it once and got tired of it real quick. The best device I ever had is the Boss Delay Pedal, love the effect of playing in a 'great hall'. Paul, have you joined a rock band.....?
WOW! Thank you everyone for your detailed replies: obviously I'm new to this game and have a lot to learn - I'm totally unschooled in 'electrifying' sound and clearly need to seek advice from those in the know. The reason I'm considering a pickup/mic is that I'm playing in a Nirvana tribute band (!): they want me to imitate the cello in their 'unplugged' set. I say 'unplugged' but they are very much 'plugged-in', leaving me with nothing but elbow power - bit unfair I'd say!
.....to recap: I would like a pickup to generate more sound when playing with 2 electrified acoustic guitars ( and drummer!). The loop pedal would be purely for my own pleasure/challenge - not for playing with group.
To emulate a cello you will need an octave pedal.
Thanks Paul - really useful info and links. An octave pedal does sound interesting, though the group I play in don't seem to mind that the violin plays at a higher pitch than a cello - I pretty much stick to the bottom 2 strings anyway. Given what you say re. Pre-amp 'BS', what would you recommend for someone new to the world of electrified sound? Also, do you recommend buying 2nd-hand (read cheaper!), or can this be, I'm assuming, a bit risky?
A second hand preamp is probably a good risk. Hard to advise you on that item because I have always used the custom device from HPF-PRE (this product is made by my brother who is a physicist by training and an electrical engineer by profession). If I didn't have that I'd be tempted to try one of the cheaper ones by Baggs.
Thanks again. Yes, as we say in the UK: You can't polish a turd! (don't know if you have 'turds' in the States?). Am getting back into the violin after a 30+ year hiatus - was pretty good in my late teens ( UK Grade 8 if that means anything to you), all classical though. Lots to take into account before taking the plunge... $$$$ !
If you are in the UK then Ashdown - a British company makes a very good preamp which is actually cheaper and I feel better than Baggs (I've got three Baggs preamps). These are a replica of the original Trace-Elliot vintage preamps. Actually, these are made by the guy who started Trace-Elliot before it was sold to Peavey:
The Ashdown preamp looks fine. The Baggs gigpro belt-clip model is around $130. Belt clip preamp is very convenient. Takes a while to get used to multiple stomp boxes. More than two and you're getting a pedalboard, etc.
Yeah, as well as the Para DI and the Venue, I have the Gigpro. It's a good preamp. For me the Ashdown is better. The eq. on the Ashdown plays nicely with violin and has a nice shape button which enhances the tone. Personally, I never liked having a belt-clip, especially being wireless but I can see how you could feel more like Jerry Goodman having one!
Only $80 - wow! 50% off
When I go to Chris's link, it says, at the top:
The Amazon link was for US people. The other link was the Ashdown site direct link or just google Ashdown. Note that I'm just giving the heads up on a good preamp which in the US is going at a bargain price. I'm not saying this is the only preamp for every person and every pickup! Both the new and the vintage seem to be under the radar for violinists and they are cheaper than Baggs.
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