Violin Pedals To Rock Out! (part 3)

violin pedals

Equalization

As I mentioned before, the rounded sound of my electric violin (to feel the closest to an acoustic one) was through an equalization pedal.

It’s pretty straightforward: it comes with knobs that bring up and down the low, middle and high levels. It’s going to be a very personal choice, depending on what we want to sound like, what pleases our ear, etc. In particular, the best sound for my electric violin comes from lowering the mids, getting the highs in the middle and bringing the lows up. This gives a lot of force to the sound, and it’s the easiest way to make the transition between the acoustic and electric violins.

Special Effects

Lastly, FXs. I’ve just started dipping my toes in them, to be frank, but I’m fascinated already. The only pedal I own is an Electro-Harmonix “Talking Machine”.

This one is rather hard to use, because each knob has its own completely different function depending on where the central switch is at. It’s also complex and ambiguous for violin because it could also be categorised as a filter. Therefor, with some of its presets we’ll have the same issue as with the wah-wah: it’s hard to find a way to get a long, sustained note with this effect.

In spite of this, it’s another one of my favourite pedals. With patience and willingness to experiment with it, the results can be craaazy! Have a listen to another one of my songs, Punto de Quiebre:

This time, the unstable sound worked for me because I had the idea of having something that was reminiscent of a child’s voice, using the same preset with short notes. This is essentially what the Talking Machine does: it generates sounds similar to the human voice with an aggregated background (regulated by the knobs) that feels like the wind’s hooting. This results in a very particular atmosphere.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any more pedals from this category (donations welcome, ahem).  To mess around with the sound, I go to my trusty mini Korg keyboard, or I simply resolve to music software. I wish I could share more about the subject; all I can say is that there are tonnes of FXs pedals and I’m sure they would kick ass with the violin.

This is the End…

So there you have it!  The complete list of rock violin pedals. Have you tried many of these? Did you have a different experience than mine? Got any pedal recommendations? Share your thoughts below!

You may also like

4 Comments

  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 http://nohaybandarock.bandcamp.com/releases 😀

    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!

Leave a Reply