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Thread: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

  1. #26

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    I've used effects on and off with mando, but tend more toward either time delay, or modulation, but not dirt or distortion/overdrive effects. Same with the fiddle. At some point both a mandolin and fiddle start to sound like an electric guitar with enough distortion, and usually in bands I am in there is already a ton of that. I have to stand out from the guitars.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by illinoisfiddler View Post
    I've used effects on and off with mando, but tend more toward either time delay, or modulation, but not dirt or distortion/overdrive effects. Same with the fiddle. At some point both a mandolin and fiddle start to sound like an electric guitar with enough distortion, and usually in bands I am in there is already a ton of that. I have to stand out from the guitars.
    Good point. I don't have any electric guitarists playing with me at the moment so I don't have this issue. I would be curious to play with one, though, and see how different we can sound.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    I’m with Illinoisfiddler — I have found that delay is the single most effective effect when paired with my mandolin playing. I have a 90s Deluxe Memory Man that I think is probably the best delay I’ve ever used, specifically for what it does with mandolin. I’ve run a couple different rigs over the years...in my band, I switch between electric guitar and mandolin. At one point, I was running my Gibson mando into an LR Baggs Venue DI, then into the Memory Man, into the board. In recent years, I’ve switched to gigging almost exclusively with a National resonator mando that has a Tele-style pickup, which I run through the same chain as my electric guitar, into an amplifier. These days I use an EHX Canyon for delay sounds (the DMM takes up a lot of space, and requires 18v, so it’s not a good fit for a small pedalboard...thankfully, the DMM setting on the Canyon is stellar). I’ll occasionally switch on some overdrive or fuzz with the resonator mandolin (usually using a slide for some goofy, snarly sounds), but I’ve found that mandolins don’t seem to take to dirt pedals in quite the way I want them to. Maybe it’s the overall lack of sustain from the instrument, or the chorus-y characteristics of unison string courses, but I have a hard time digging the sounds of dirt on a mando unless it’s for a song that’s meant to have a somewhat jarring effect.
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  5. #29
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Adding to # 10 .. My Roland AC 60 has chorus & reverb, lighter smaller yet, Roland Mobile AC has reverb ..





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  6. #30
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    Adding to # 10 .. My Roland AC 60 has chorus & reverb, lighter smaller yet, Roland Mobile AC has reverb .....
    I've been eyeing the Roland Street Cube EX as an option. Friend uses hers regularly for farmer's markets and other parking lot gigs. Guitar and mic coming in, and it really sounds great running on 8 AA batteries. Some reverb, some delay or not, bring in the chorus options on the AFX pedal (on 9v battery), and it's instant joy for a busker. I'd still likely be tempted to use the Baggs Venue DI, powered via a 9v battery. Charge/replace the batteries for each gig and never need to worry.

    To avoid making this a hijack: less is more when it comes to signal chain and effects. I am happy to have minimal gear at a gig. If there are good on-board effects on the amp, I am happy use them as I can.
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  7. #31

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    It's interesting to read the opinions of different people regarding this topic. One of the reasons I wanted to start this thread was because there is so little on this subject on the Internet.

    To update my first post, I realized that by placing the compressor before the phaser and flanger, the sound improved dramatically. However, since the issue of dirt pedals was brought up, I would keep the comp after the dirt pedals (in my case, overdrive and Fuzz). This allowed me to get a surprisingly smooth sound even with the Fuzz cranked up. I guess in the end, it really depends on the pedals one is using to determine the order they are in (some pedals need a comp before, some after).

    I will most likely take some pedals off my board, namely the one I rarely use. However, I really dig the sounds I am getting with dirt pedals. They seem to give the mandolin a nice boost in volume and "fatness". I will be getting a FuzzFace Germanium and a Big Muff Pi Triangle. I will update this post once I've had enough time to try them out. Cheers!

  8. #32

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    I'm in an acoustic/electric grateful dead tribute band with a Eastman mando with Fishman pickup into a Baggs DI and into a Loudbox. I've added a Wah and want a distortion in the mix but getting a lot of feedback. Unfortunately, I stand only about a meter and a half from the amp (small stages suck) and trying to complete with an electric guitar, acoustic played pretty loud, a bass and drums. It is always as expected the distortion pedal. Always looking for ideas. I haven't tried putting a sock in the f holes to see if it helps. But any other ideas?

  9. #33
    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Oh this is a great thread! I love effects and use a TRex tape delay (it actually uses tape for the effect like the old echoplex) and I’ve been thinking about adding a chorus pedal as well.
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  10. #34

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Rharrington1219 View Post
    I'm in an acoustic/electric grateful dead tribute band with a Eastman mando with Fishman pickup into a Baggs DI and into a Loudbox. I've added a Wah and want a distortion in the mix but getting a lot of feedback. Unfortunately, I stand only about a meter and a half from the amp (small stages suck) and trying to complete with an electric guitar, acoustic played pretty loud, a bass and drums. It is always as expected the distortion pedal. Always looking for ideas. I haven't tried putting a sock in the f holes to see if it helps. But any other ideas?
    I've tried a LOT of distortion / overdrive pedals and the only one that really works well with a piezo pickup is a Sparkle drive. It is like a tube screamer with a clean channel mix.

    As for my current favorite pedal, Earthquaker designs Spatial delivery!
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  11. #35
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by grandcanyonminstrel View Post
    As for my current favorite pedal, Earthquaker designs Spatial delivery!
    Heck yes, I have been using the Spatial Delivery for about 6 mos and it is really fun!
    (Except middle setting on the switch is really crazy and strange, and it freaks out sound guys with the digital pops)
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  12. #36
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    I made the mistake of walking through our local music store around my birthday a month ago and decided to buy the new Zoom A1X Four pedal that just came in. Well, it wasn't a mistake as I am enjoying it a lot.

    https://www.zoom-na.com/products/eff...cts-processors

    Some of the violin-specific `pedals' work pretty well for mandolin, I appreciate being able to remove all the extraneous instrument-related pedals and have noticed a number of new preset available - enough that I've got it full of stuff I at least want to try out.

    I don't think it will replace my standalone pedals for gigging [and the looper is inferior to my current one due to 30 second max sample time] ... but it sure is a fun toy for home use and I'm having a blast exploring the huge volume of pedals I can load on there. It's nice being able to create 5-pedal chains so that I when I find a certain sound I want for a specific song I can have everything saved on that preset. The looper isn't great for a looper as the 30 second max time is too easy to run past. That said, it does allow you to loop pre-effects, which is hugely useful so that you can play a phrase or two and adjust all the effect knobs with that phrase running.

    I'm spending a lot more time every week with my mandolin in my hand, I'm getting my value out of it. I also will avoid buying a number of pedals just to try them out now that I have this ... any future pedals will be a lot more educated buys once I try everything on this out.

    I have no idea when I'd have time to run some sound clips, but will keep it in mind in case I get snowed in. Winter's here far too early in Wisconsin
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  13. #37

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Anchors View Post
    Oh this is a great thread! I love effects and use a TRex tape delay (it actually uses tape for the effect like the old echoplex) and I’ve been thinking about adding a chorus pedal as well.
    Glad you think so! I haven't gotten to a chorus pedal yet. I've been using my flanger with a low rate (almost all the way counter clockwise) to get a chorus-like sound. If you get a chorus pedal, please let me know how it goes.

  14. #38

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    I made the mistake of walking through our local music store around my birthday a month ago and decided to buy the new Zoom A1X Four pedal that just came in. Well, it wasn't a mistake as I am enjoying it a lot.

    https://www.zoom-na.com/products/eff...cts-processors

    Some of the violin-specific `pedals' work pretty well for mandolin, I appreciate being able to remove all the extraneous instrument-related pedals and have noticed a number of new preset available - enough that I've got it full of stuff I at least want to try out.

    I don't think it will replace my standalone pedals for gigging [and the looper is inferior to my current one due to 30 second max sample time] ... but it sure is a fun toy for home use and I'm having a blast exploring the huge volume of pedals I can load on there. It's nice being able to create 5-pedal chains so that I when I find a certain sound I want for a specific song I can have everything saved on that preset. The looper isn't great for a looper as the 30 second max time is too easy to run past. That said, it does allow you to loop pre-effects, which is hugely useful so that you can play a phrase or two and adjust all the effect knobs with that phrase running.

    I'm spending a lot more time every week with my mandolin in my hand, I'm getting my value out of it. I also will avoid buying a number of pedals just to try them out now that I have this ... any future pedals will be a lot more educated buys once I try everything on this out.

    I have no idea when I'd have time to run some sound clips, but will keep it in mind in case I get snowed in. Winter's here far too early in Wisconsin
    Hey Markus,

    I actually started out with a Zoom pedal myself, the G1. It opened my mind up to the possibilities of using effects on an acoustic mandolin. While it certainly is true that a Zoom pedal would make your life easier, I still think analog effects sound better. Once I figured out what effects I liked on the Zoom, I bought their analog equivalent. That's not to say that the Zoom doesn't sound great (it does). Do post some clips when you get the chance. I'd love to hear how you are using the Zoom.

  15. #39

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Rharrington1219 View Post
    I'm in an acoustic/electric grateful dead tribute band with a Eastman mando with Fishman pickup into a Baggs DI and into a Loudbox. I've added a Wah and want a distortion in the mix but getting a lot of feedback. Unfortunately, I stand only about a meter and a half from the amp (small stages suck) and trying to complete with an electric guitar, acoustic played pretty loud, a bass and drums. It is always as expected the distortion pedal. Always looking for ideas. I haven't tried putting a sock in the f holes to see if it helps. But any other ideas?

    I struggled with feedback and dirt for a while, and here's what I figured out. The balance of volume and gain on the preamp is crucial. I usually have both set under 12 o'clock. You can turn them up a bit with more volume on the amp if you are playing in bigger venue. Also, I am using the Turnip green overdrive component before my other dirt pedals, to fatten up my signal a bit and get a nicer tone. If you don't want to do that, I guess you can turn the gain up a bit on your preamp.

    Regarding the actual dirt pedals, with the rig I have, I noticed that germanium based pedals work great. Germanium based pedals by default are softer and have a warmer and rounder sound as opposed to silicon based pedals. Those sound characteristics were exactly what I was looking for. Additionally, I found these pedals to be a bit quieter than silicon based pedals, which worked well with my mandolin. The pedals I recently got are the MXR Distortion Plus and the FuzzFace Germanium. Coincidentally, the MXR Distortion Plus was Jerry Garcia's distortion pedal, so this might work for you given the band you play with

    Interestingly, in many guitar forums and pedal review videos, people say that dirt pedals sound better when using the dirt channel in the amp. I almost never do that, but always use the clean channel and only add dirt from the pedals. Seems to work fine for me. Remember, this is all relatively new on the acoustic mandolin, and there's very little out there regarding this topic. There's a lot of trial and error and the more info we share the better. Let me know if any of my tips will work for you, and they don't why not.

    One last thing: Try using you body as a buffer between the mandolin and other instruments and amps. It may not not work depending on the stage/venue, but then again it may sometimes help so it's worth a try. Try putting your amp behind you and see if it helps. If you are using monitors to hear each other, try standing at an angle where the monitor is not facing your mando straight.

  16. #40

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    how do you use the pitchfork, how much blend , and at what setting, and do you use it just to give it a lower end or use it fro the effects ? thanks ,

  17. #41
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    I recommend trying 2 things in a shop if you can: different kinds of compressors (there's 4 or more differnet kinds, depending on how you count. I have VCA and OTA types)

    Also multi effects processors like the zoom mentioned above. I haven't bought a multi yet, looking at Tech 21 fly rig (< $200 used but lots of different models), Eventide h9, and Line 6 HX stomp mostly for 6 string and pedal steel.

    http://www.bestguitareffects.com/top...ressor-pedals/
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  18. #42
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by gtani7 View Post
    I haven't bought a multi yet, looking at Tech 21 fly rig (< $200 used but lots of different models), Eventide h9, and Line 6 HX stomp mostly for 6 string and pedal steel.
    I think if I really love the multi-pedal presets I will eventually progress to the Line 6 HX. I have heard really good reviews from people I know.

    I am really thankful to have gone to the multi-unit as there's just so much to learn - multiple compressors, envelope filters, etc.
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  19. #43

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbllc View Post
    how do you use the pitchfork, how much blend , and at what setting, and do you use it just to give it a lower end or use it fro the effects ? thanks ,
    I've tried using it both before and after a compressor, and without one. I think it might work better after a compressor; I guess it may be because the comp evens out the sound coming from the mandolin with is double course strings. However, since my original post, I've reverted back to using the EHX mini POG. While the POG does not have all the features of the pitchfork, I found that it tracks much better and works much more evenly throughout the neck. I usually set the octave down dial at around 2 o'clock, the octave up at either 0 or 9-10 o'clock (depending on the sound I want to get), and the dry signal around 3 o'clock. I hope this helps.

  20. #44

    Default Re: Experience in Using Effects on Acoustic Mandolins

    Huh. Something I never considered.

    M&M

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