Violin Pedals To Rock Out! (part 3)

violin pedals

Fade Out: it’s the last part of the violin pedals series

At last, we’ve come to the final post on this blog series. Congratulations for making it all the way to the end, and thank you so much for all the positive feedback. If you’re only just joining us, go back and read part one and part two.

A quick recap: these are the main violin pedals’ categories. We’ve already tackled the first half.

Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to dive into the second half of the list: DELAYS, DISTORTION AND SATURATION, SPECIAL EFFECTS and EQUALIZATION. Ahoy!


Digital Delay DD-3 bossAh, delays! Here’s another pedal I couldn’t gig without. My go-to is a pretty basic BossDigital Delay DD-3.

It’s essential for me; however, it’s very simple to use. The functions are for controlling the feedback, the level of the effect, the time of the delay, the mode, etc.

Why is this pedal so important? Because it rounds up the sound, specially on electric violins. It’s a confidence booster!

They are for repeating with a certain delay (obviously) what we’re playing. It’s important to be careful and experiment with the knobs before using it for a live show. Depending on the delay time, and how many times we want the signal to repeat itself, the result will vary very much.

What does each knob do?

  • Delay Time: time it take to produce the echo
  • Feedback: amount of time the signal is repeated (anything between 1 and above)
  • Mix: the amount of delayed sound that gets mixed with the original.

I usually use the feedback knob at about halfway, and the delay time just a quarter (starting from the left) when I’m not adding any particular extra effect. The final effect is deeper, but doesn’t modify the rhythm or the clarity of what you’re playing.

The only warning I should give is that delays and distortion violin pedals don’t go well together! The end result can be confusing.

Distortion and Saturation

Speaking of distortion pedals, they are actually very useful; specially for rock violin. Rock’N’Roll has a particular sound, and it’s mostly due to distortion effects – across all subgenres – even if just for a short phrase or lick.

They work wonders on violins; riffs and double strings are the best. Here’s an example: the intro to my song Concomitancia. Single strings also work well (listen to the intro) although double strings are better.

I have yet another Boss pedal: Turbo distortion DS-2. It’s very easy to use, simply choosing the tone and distortion we want and how high we want it. It comes with two kinds of distortions: regular and turbo (obviously, way deeper).

Be careful! It may be Rock’N’Roll to distort, but don’t go overboard. It can be tiring to hear anything that abuses this effect. For example, think of the guitar role in a song: they have a distorted riff and then play along with the singer’s melody. The ear rests during the melody, so it’s important to keep this in mind if we lead a rock band. Know when to bring in the noise (for riffs, or solos); but also, give it a rest!


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  1. Nice article, Mariana!

    I don’t have tried so much with modulation ones, but with your comments about these effects I’ll take a look on them, especially phaser and flanger. I remember, once I played with a quick preset with phaser I felt the violin lost gain, volume or something. That was because I just didn’t understand how that effect works, but yes, it must be really interesting and I’ll try it again.

    Yes, delay is a very cool effect and I would like to have a Boss like you. In my case, I’ve got a Behringer DR400 (delay and reverb in the same box), it has been my first pedal and it has given good results. But, since delay and reverb are the last ones into the effects chain, I think they must be very good devices giving the final touch to the sound, and Boss is a brand that makes an excelent work.

    About EQ, I use a Behringer too (EQ700), but different like DR400, I use it after the OD/DS and amp simulator multieffects (the Boss ME-25) and it makes a good job for me with its 7 graphic bands.

    Well, I heard some of your songs on Soundcloud and they are pretty cool! I love the fact that your musical concept is instrumental and your performance and the effects you apply sound great!

    Thank you for create this cool site and the articles you have written on it. Of course, I’ll be on the lookout for more updates!

    Greetings from Mexico! 😀

    1. Hey, HAUZ! It’s lovely to see you here 🙂

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the site and these articles. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas about topics to cover in the next ones 🙂

      You have a pretty interesting setup. I think you can experiment a lot with them. Personally, I’d put the equalizer first, but see what works for you.

      The problem with pedals like the flanger or the phaser is that you can turn the knobs to get a “dryer” sound, closer to what’s natural for the violin, but it will lose that quality nonetheless.

      Thank you very much! I’m pleased you like my music. Here’s the bandcamp for the No Hay Banda album 😀

    2. Good stuff! I play with and try a lot of pedals. My favorite octave pedal so far is the Mooer Tender Octaver. I find it the clearest/cleanest octave down pedal I have tried. I seldom use the octave up, and either set it to hear ONLY the low octave or sometimes the dry signal with the low octave dialed down in the background. My favorite modulation is the Boss PH3 phase shifter. Really does a lot with violin. Not much luck with flangers yet, finding something I like. I need to try the Boss you recommended. For “special effects” try if you can an Electro Harmonix Mel-9. Awesome effect when paired with an octave or harmonist pedal. My go to reverb is the Digitech Supernatural Ambient Reverb. The “shimmer setting” pairs well with the violin, though it can be a bit much.
      Anyway, keep posting reviews and such. Not a lot out there for electric violin players. Good website!

      1. Thank you very much, JBurton! That’s some amazing gear you’ve got there. I agree that the lower octave – it’s powerful, and gives the violin a great “body”. I hope you find the Boss flanger I have to be useful! Unfortunately, in Argentina it’s hard to find all the pedals I’d like; but I have a blog post coming in a few days that’s about electric vs acoustic violins – I think you’ll dig it 🙂 Cheers!

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