Getting Started With Pedal Effects
When I first started playing rock I knew I needed to find the right violin pedals to change the sounds I could make. The reason was pretty obvious: the best guitarists rock their amazing riffs or solos with the help of a pedal or sound filter.
Don’t be confused: filters and effects are just that – you won’t rock only because you plug in a pedal. They are there to help you boost the song; to get a certain sound.
Let me be perfectly clear: music is about scales, harmony and everything else. Using a distortion pedal on an electric violin doesn’t automatically turn you into a fiddling god… Just like wearing fake leather leggings won’t turn you into an instant rockstar 😉 Sorry to disappoint you!
The next step was looking for the right fit for the violin. Unlike the guitar, which is a plucked string instrument, the violin is a bowed string instrument. Although it seems obvious, the difference is a big deal when we start using pedals.
Guitars make short, pluck sounds, that have low sustain. Violins react very different to guitar effects, since they produce long sustained notes. This long sounds can interact with the filters in completely different ways.
In an ideal world, we would have specific effect pedals for violins. Since there are non in the market (…yet!), we need to identify guitar pedals that work best with violins, and avoid those that simply don’t.
Types of Violin Pedals
These are the main pedals categories:
Inside the first group, Modulation, we’ll find five types of pedals: Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Tremolo and Rotary.
Based on my experience, the pedals that work best for violin are the Flanger and the Phaser; but not the rest. You’re welcome to try them all out and see what suits you and the sound you’re trying to obtain, of course. But first, I’ll explain further why I chose these two pedals over the others.