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Thread: Mandolin through octaver, pitch shifter, etc.

  1. #1

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    I'd like to hear a little feedback (pun not intended, at least not at first..!) from any of you who've played mandolin through octavers/octave pedals/transposers/pitch shifters/..or whatever.

    When used with your solid-body electric are there any "tracking problems" or other little electronic idiosynchracies or does it pretty much just sound like an electric guitar?

    Has anyone tried running a clean acoustic signal (like an acoustic w piezo pickup) through one?
    Does the resulting sound at all resemble a mandola or octave mandolin or does it just sound like some weird electronically distorted mandolin? (not that there's anything wrong with that either!)

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    I use a Boss OC3 regularly, and have experimented in the store with the Electro Harmonix HOG and a Whammy pedal. For all I find that if the output of my mandolin is strong enough, I can get decent octave sounds up through about a D in first position on the A string. Higher than that, and output drops off enough that the effect has a hard time with it. I rarely have tracking issues. As far as sound is concerned, after signal strength is addressed (sometimes I'll flip on the drive in front of the octave to boost it) it sounds pretty much like an electric guitar through an octave pedal. Bear in mind that these things are usually used to be pretty un-subtle, and it will likely drastically alter your sound, instead of just dropping your sound by an octave.
    I've never tried an acoustic through the OC3, but I would guess that there would be problems with excessive pick noise, and generally poor results due to signal strength. YMMV.

    Christian
    Christian McKee

    Member, The Big North Duo
    Musical Director, The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

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    What about making the mandolin sound like a bass?

    Is that too much to ask for?

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    Registered User brendon b's Avatar
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    I've tried tracking an acoustic through an OC2. Not great. But I've been told the OC3 is much better.
    Also tried tracking an acoustic using software - a VST plugin pitch shifter. Better, but not great.
    In both cases the signal was from an internal piezo.
    The best success I've had was with an old Framus acoustic which had an electromagnetic pickup.
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  5. #5

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    I occasionally run my Fishman Piezo Bridge equipped '93 Flatiron Performer F into a Boss OC-3. Using Octave 2 it can cut right through a horn section (I play swing jazz on occasion). I also have a Whammy Pedal and it tracks just fine - but i'd have to say I get more satisfying results using the magnetic pickups on my Tele and Fender Jazz Bass when employing an Octave Divider.

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    I played in a big mando band with Jimmy Ryan one night or two, and one of the guys played "bass" all night on electric mando through an octave divider. It's not too much to ask, unless you are fussy about the bass TONE. I think a hardcore bass player would complain, but a bar full of people having fun had no problem with it (neither did I, it was cool!)
    John McGann, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music
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  7. #7
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    I heartily agree with the mandolin-as-bass thing. The tone isn't what you'd want on a nightly basis, but it can definitely work. In its polyphonic setting, the OC3 can be adjusted to apply the octave to a given range of notes, and it's not hard to dial it to make your C, G and D strings "bass" strings, and leave the A and E untouched. Pretty cool. I do this when my band plays Sweet Leaf

    Christian
    Christian McKee

    Member, The Big North Duo
    Musical Director, The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

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    Greaat! Thanks for the mandolin-as-bass input. Now all I have to do is get an electric mandolin and a Boss OC3 pedal!

    I have an acoustic octave mandolin and a cheap piezo clip-on pickup. Tomorrow night I am buying an amp. I'm afraid that now I have the electric bug! This is worse than MAS. Now I feel the burning desire to electrify all of my instruments. And if I can't do that, I feel the burning need to buy all new instruments with built-in pickups and pre-amps. Somebody stop me before I go bankrupt!

  9. #9
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    I have the Dan Electro cheapo Chili Dog octave pedal...it's not bad and fairly inexpensive so you can buy one and see if you like it...you'd be out 30 clams; the price of a few beers around here these days

    I never use mine though because as others have mentioned it doesn't track that well on the higher strings. It's a novelty type sound.

    I've had much better luck achieving something along the same line which the Maxon Auto Filter

    For lack of a better description it's the Garcia quack sound BUT there are some great subtle settings for cool funky stuff. Not an octave pedal but does fatten up the sound.

    Personally I really appreciate the ying yang of an electric mando and an electric guitar in the same band so I am less and less trying to alter my electric mando to the range of a guitar

    I would like a 5 string though





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    Once the synth access is fitted, the Roland Synth patches that are Bass tones
    rattle the big woof just fine.
    slap bass without trashing your hands.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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