Violin Pedals To Rock Out! (part 2)

violin pedals

Learning more about violin effects

In the previous blog post we’ve talked about the different kinds of violin pedals, and in particular, the ones categorised under “modulation“. We’ve also differentiated those that work best for violin, and those that are mainly for guitars.

Let’s rewind: here are the main types of effects.

Today we’ll talk about FILTERS, DYNAMIC, and PITCH pedals.

Filters

Let’s discuss pedals that modify filters. You’ve probably heard the terms “high pass filter” or “low pass filter“: perhaps when recording on a studio, or just reading about the subject,or playing with the controls of a keyboard. These terms refer to filters that eliminate or select certain frequencies of the spectrum. The consequence is a sound quite different from the original. The most common pedal from this category is the Wah Wah (the ones guitarists call Cry Baby). This has two formats:

  • The manual Wah, controlled by a foot pedal.
  • The automatic Wah-Wah. The pedal in this case is controlled by a presetted oscillator. This settings depend on the tempo and rhythm of the song played.

In my experience with this violin pedal, I can say that, even if it’s one of the most popular effects for guitarists, it’s not so well suited for violins. In fact, I’d say: avoid the automatic wah-wah altogether. It works really well with short notes, such as in funk music; violins, being a bowed instrument, it doesn’t have the same result. When running the arch all across, the Wah will generate a choppy sound. It sounds as if the microphone was getting turned on and off every few seconds. If you never experienced this issue, then do let me know! I’d like to be proven wrong on this matter.

The best way to make use of the Wah Wah pedal is playing rhythms similar to a guitar (short, stacatto); specially with the inferior part of the bow, using the manual Wah-Wah. Remember to sync what you play with your bow, and with your foot! This won’t come out right if you’re playing the melody, but it suits nicely certain beats. Give it a go!

 

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