Guitar, Violin, one pedal board

November 29, 2021, 8:18 PM · Hi. Does anyone have any experience playing in a band, switching between acoustic violin (with fishman pickup) and electric guitar and using a single pedal board and amplifier? What set up worked well? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Replies (9)

November 30, 2021, 9:14 PM · I do this in the studio. It works, but you have to watch out for feedback, considering you're playing live. Good reason to do a sound check before your show.
Edited: December 1, 2021, 9:58 PM · The most important effect for electric violin is equalization. You have to roll off all of the bad stuff. But a lot of what’s bad frequencies for violin is essential for guitar, so you really couldn’t expect to have one signal path that would work well for both instruments without having to constantly change the settings. I believe this would also be true for other effects as well.

So what to do? Don’t get a pedal board. Instead get a multi-effects pedal like a Line 6 Helix (many models) or a Boss ME-80. That way you could program it with effects chains for violin, and other effects chains for guitar, and switch between them with the push of a button.

That’s my advice. But personally, the only effects I like with my own electric violin are the previously mentioned eq, and reverb and delay. You don’t have to agree, of course.

Regarding amplifiers, the problem I see for you is that amplified violins sound best through amplifiers designed for acoustic instruments, like Fishman Loudboxes for example, but electric guitars need amplifiers designed for them, like various Fender amps for example. Those multi-effects pedals that I referred to have effects that simulate the sounds of electric guitar amps, so you might get an acoustic amp for your violin, and run the guitar amp simulation effect through it when you’re playing guitar. These are just suggestions to get you started. You need to do a lot of experimentation to find your own sounds. It’s not easy or simple.

You might find this to be valuable:

December 2, 2021, 4:51 PM · Thanks for the responses. FYI Have been playing the violin thru a Fender amp for a while, which has been working fine. So trick will be how to work guitar into the mix. I’m starting with an overdrive, compressor, reverb, and a DI box with EQ. Planning to continue using the reverb and DI with the violin, and the OD, compressor, reverb on the guitar.
Edited: December 3, 2021, 12:30 PM · An A B switch may be handy. I use one of these:

December 14, 2021, 12:05 PM · I have done this in a touring band, and I can offer a non compromise solution without sacrificing one of the sounds.

(When achieving a professional sound quality) you can't use a guitar amp for violin, or an acoustic amp for electric guitar.


1. use a high quality acoustic amp like an AER or similar. Needs 2 inputs.
2. optional: get a good preamp for the violin like the Fishman Platinum Pro EQ
3. use whatever pedals and effects for the electric guitar
4. use a IR based (!!!) speaker simulator like the Mooer Radar or Two Notes Torpedo C.A.B. for connecting the pedals to the acoustic amp. Analog or multi effect stuff won't give you good results.

If you're on a budget:

1. whatver you can afford
2. none
3. what you already have
4. Nux Mini Studio IR Loader

If you can afford better stuff:
1. AER 60
2. Fishman Platinum Pro EQ
3. Good tube (full voltage) overdrive pedal like
Blackstar Dept. 10 Dual Drive or SIB CUDA
4. Mooer Radar, or Strymon Iridium

Edited: December 16, 2021, 10:45 PM · I've only played some laid-back jazz gigs on violin so I can't really say what will work "in the field" so to speak. But Christian Howes recommended the Boss ME-80 to me and I purchased this device and I have fooled around with it some at home.

I give it a B+ for utility. First of all it's got a LOT of stuff on it, but you just have to try it all to see what you like because a lot of the settings (knob choices) have weird names. Tweed? Yeah, okay. Utility is pretty good because you can mess with the sounds you want at home and then store them in one of the many available presets. That should be good news for someone switching from guitar to violin and back again. As Mark says there is also Line 6, and there are many others, all of them are doing digital modeling of the analogue devices. The ME-80 has the advantage for the newbie that there are knobs you turn. One of my buddies loaned me a device that was incomprehensible to me, so I called him to ask WTF and he said, oh, you have to interface it to your PC to program it. No thanks. As far as sound I would give it a B or a B-minus. If you have money to spend, then what you can do with the ME-80 is find out what kinds of stuff you want for your violin and then get those effects as analog stomp boxes because the sound will be much better. And for performing you really do want the best sound you can get. And the idea of using the same stomp boxes for violin as guitar seems daunting to me. One of the first things I noticed about the ME-80 is that many effects really need that guitar-pluck trigger, whereas that's not happening with a bowed instrument.

I also use a Fishman pickup (V-200). I like it a lot. My preamp is a modified HPF-PRE.

Edited: December 17, 2021, 12:29 PM · I am in a similar situation with an electric mandolin (it has magnetic pickups so is basically a small electric guitar as concerns amps etc.).
I agree with much of the advice about amp and cab simulators in front of an acoustic amp and I have bought a Line 6 Helix Stomp exactly for this. It sits in the effects loop of my vintage Trace Elliot acoustic amp. However, after much experimentation I have found my Strymon Deco, which is a tape deck emulator with a saturation knob, does all I need in terms of preamplification and overdrive and I don't use amp simulation or much else other than a boost before it for the guitar department. Strymon Deco is now my favorite effect for the saturation alone but it's also amazing for the modulation and delay that it does so well. Setup is quite a personal thing though...
December 18, 2021, 9:07 AM · Stomp boxes are indeed a matter of personal choice. That's why there's 500 of them in the Sweetwater catalog.
December 18, 2021, 3:15 PM · Paul, you have to buy all 500 of them to know which you like!!

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