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Returning violin player
Intro plus a few questions
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New member
September 24, 2014 - 1:18 pm
Member Since: September 24, 2014
Forum Posts: 2
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Hi guys. I'm new to the forums here so I thought I'd stop to introduce myself!

I grew up playing classical violin as well as some bluegrass fiddle. I started playing violin in the 4th grade and played very seriously until my first year in college. I changed schools after my first year in college and transferred to a school without any music offerings. Subsequently I pretty much stopped playing cold turkey. It's been about 6 years now. I've picked up my violin on and off throughout that time but never for any serious amount of time. Currently, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things!

I would like to pick up my violin to learn more improvisation as well as to possibly hook up with other local musicians in my area. One interest of mine is using the violin for a contemporary rock band that I've been communicating with lately. For this band, I'd really like to begin to experiment with amplifying my violin and running the sound through an effects board. I've been doing a little research and I've pretty much decided I'm going to look into the Boss ME-80 board for effects (due to the on-board pre-amp). I've also experimented with playing the electric guitar in the past so have a pretty decent tube amp already.

I do have a question regarding violin amplification though. My acoustic violin has an LR Baggs piezoelectric pickup (like this one http://www.electricviolinshop......ridge.html) I had installed a few years ago when I was playing more seriously. I'd like to experiment with additional effects (reverb, delay, distortion, wah, etc) through an effects board (like the ME-80) and play with a loud amplified contemporary rock band. I've read about feedback problems that can arise with mic'd acoustic instruments in this setting, but I'm wondering if I'll be ok with the piezoelectric pickup that I currently have installed on my violin. 

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what direction I should go? Should I consider investing in an electric violin as well? Will I be ok to play in the rock setting with my current acoustic setup or am I going to run into problems (sound quality, feedback, etc.)? Any other suggestions for an effects board?

Thanks in advance! I'm definitely looking forward to playing again!


September 24, 2014 - 1:42 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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You should be able to get some volume with the setup you describe, before running into feedback problems.  Whether it will be enough depends on a lot of factors, like how much volume you end up needing and where you have to stand in relation to any speakers carrying your signal and so on.

There is no sure "one size fits all" answer to your questions, since every situation is going to be different.  Probably the best approach is to give it a try in a rehearsal and see how it goes, and then work from there.  You may not even have a problem that needs fixing, won't know until you try.

So far as fx, the Boss ME80 looks like it has quite a few options in that regard.  Don't you think it would be enough? 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

California, the place of my heart
September 24, 2014 - 1:42 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Hello and welcome to the forum.  Many here will be able to chat about the pickup and e. Violin with you.  ( sorry I don't know anything about that).

Welcome and have fun. Jump in and post around

Rock violin is cool!  


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Pullman,WA, USA

September 24, 2014 - 4:04 pm
Member Since: May 12, 2013
Forum Posts: 197
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Hi, @grappler86 

I agree with @DanielB to try it and see if you have any feedback problems; then, only if you do,  I recommend you add an LR Baggs Venue equalizer/direct box.  It has effect send and receive loop to connect the input and output of your ME-80 , and has equalization and notch filters.  I use the equalizer function (with a solid body NS Design solid body 5 string violin) just to equalize out the harshness of the pickup. I run  through the mixer board and front of house in three different bands. It is nice to have an equalizer first in the signal chain before the effects loop, my effects, and then the XLR direct output to the mixer board.

I do not know enough about the ME-80 to know if it has the built in equalization adjustments you would want to reduce the harshness of the pickups.

The Venue has several adjustable notch filters that you  use to attenuate frequencies that have feedback. My acoustic electric Yamaha A1R has a built in notch filter that I have used to eliminate feedback at high volumes, and it works similarly to the ones in the LR Baggs Venue.

I have a VOX Tonelabs LS multieffects pedal, and have run the NS violin through that, but right now i just use the tonelabs pedal for my Reverend PA-1 guitar and a lap steel and run the violin with the LR Baggs Venue and two single effects pedals; an MX Carbon Copy Analog Delay , and an old Arion Stereo Chorus that I only use occasionally.     gwscheer

"Make every note beautiful", Ivan Galamian

“To play a wrong note is INSIGNIFICANT; To play without PASSION is INEXCUSABLE!” , Ludvig Van Beethovan

"It ain't rocket surgery"


September 24, 2014 - 4:35 pm
Member Since: July 26, 2014
Forum Posts: 130
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@grappler86 - Just wanted to say "Welcome". You shouldn't have any problems picking back up after being off for 6 years. I was off for about 25 years and jumped back in. Have fun and good luck with your amplification - sorry, don't know enough about that to offer any advice. Have fun! semiquaver-1214

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
~~Albert Einstein


September 24, 2014 - 5:12 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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One thing I can think of that you may want to consider, grappler86, would be a simple volume pedal.

I don't know the ME80 unit you're talking about, personally.  It has a pedal, but likely in some settings the pedal is used for other things than volume. 

The reason I make the suggestion is that electric violin (which would include an acoustic with a pickup, in this case) doesn't have as much dynamic range as you can squeeze out of an acoustic violin being played as an acoustic violin.  Bow pressure and speed still make a difference, but not as much as they do when playing acoustic.  A volume pedal can make up that difference, so you can get a range of dynamic expression that may be closer to what you are used to.

An acoustic violin being played as an acoustic gets a lot of it's power from the body of the instrument acting as a physical acoustic amplifier that projects the sound out into the room.  When you go to using a pickup, it will just take the sound from the bridge, and it won't have that help from the resonances of the body anymore. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

New member
September 26, 2014 - 12:41 pm
Member Since: September 24, 2014
Forum Posts: 2
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@DanielB and @gwscheer, thank you for the quick responses! I'll give some of those things a try. I actually haven't picked up an effects pedal board yet. Originally, I was considering the ME-80 but I may fall back to the ME-70. I can find them a little cheaper and it would probably allow me to invest in one other piece of equipment whether it be a DI box, a volume pedal, or even a more complex looper for practicing/individual performances.

I'll post more when I've actually had the opportunity to fiddle around with the band and a multi-effects pedal.

Thanks again!

@coolpinkone and @VickieD, thanks for the warm welcome!  

Fort Lauderdale
September 26, 2014 - 1:02 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16062

Welcome to the forum grappler86,

Good question. I have been onstage with every situation possible and I can tell you that your setup is way better than you can imagine. A solid body violin will of course have the least chance of feedback but you'd need a monitor, preferably an in ear monitor with yourself in one ear and the sum in the other.
Having an acoustic violin with a great piezo pickup allows you to hear yourself most of the time. It's still good to have a monitor though. You can achieve all kinds of effects using the electric violin setup that you have right now provided you get the right kind of effects and pre-amp....

BTW, we also sell the Baggs both with and without the external mount. fiddlershop.com/lr-baggs-violin-pickup.html

Look forward to a follow-up.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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