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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Electric fiddle


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/54605

Black - Posted - 01/25/2021:  14:24:15


I was wondering what people think of usingan electric fiddle as a monitor to hear clearly how you sound when you play, I notice what I hear under the ear is different on recording and play back

ChickenMan - Posted - 01/25/2021:  15:59:56


What the electric fiddle gives you is not the same as what your acoustic fiddle gives sonically. Agreed that what your ear hears and what the audience hears is different. You're getting ALL of the bow noise, they're getting next to none.

Black - Posted - 01/25/2021:  16:02:53


Exactly what I mean, I will be able to here my mistakes in real time;)

banjopaolo - Posted - 01/25/2021:  23:43:14


In my opinion is better to play and study on the acustic instrument in any case... I had an electric that I used in some gigs but never really like it... now it is closed in his case, with broken pick up since I think 5 years!


Edited by - banjopaolo on 01/25/2021 23:43:52

DougBrock - Posted - 01/26/2021:  10:02:41


I bought an electric violin for two main reasons- to give my ear an occasional break from having a loud instrument up so close, and to allow headphones when I want to practice without bothering my wife. It IS interesting moving the sound either to a speaker or headphones.

I feel that I can hear details better with the acoustic violin. The electronic path seems to smear or hide some things (and my performance seems better with electric violin, lol).

Although it wasn’t my motivation to buy an electric violin, it IS fun using different effects, from very subtle to outrageous. :)

pete_fiddle - Posted - 01/26/2021:  11:18:06


i used an electric fiddle for a few years in an extremely loud "Cetic Rock" drum and bass band, (Still got the tinnitus). In those circumstances it was my only option. But i wouldn't go back to it now, even for monitoring purposes. I just practice with one of those wire mutes now, it's ok for playing acoustic background stuff as well.

ChickenMan - Posted - 01/26/2021:  12:01:29


quote:

Originally posted by Black

Exactly what I mean, I will be able to here my mistakes in real time;)






I'm not sure what you mean by that. The electric signal does not give you an accurate picture of your playing; you might hear obvious mistakes, you still won't hear everything else might be considered a mistake due to the nature of the electronics. .



IMO Recording is a better way to hear those subtle "mistakes" anyway. No worries, enjoy your quiet fiddle (they are nice) and the realtime listening. 

farmerjones - Posted - 01/26/2021:  12:49:24


IMHO, acoustic & electric violins are similar but different animals. Much the same as electric vs. acoustic guitars.

Black - Posted - 01/26/2021:  13:29:01


@chickenman what I mean with saying mistakes in realtime, is I will be able to hear if I am in tune as I play more than anything else.. I have ony been playing violin a couple of years, I play guitar, and am no expert on violin, or guitar come to that... I noticed almost right away that what I heard directly under my ear as I played was quite often on recording and play back obviously out of tune, if the sound was coming from in front of me I thought I would be able to hear this immediately. My intonation is slowly improving now anyway, Not being able to play with others for over a year now doesnt help either. By the way I havent played in front of an audience on fiddle yet, I have many times on guitar, and also singing though.


Edited by - Black on 01/26/2021 13:33:41

ChickenMan - Posted - 01/26/2021:  15:08:36


Ahhhhh, I see. That will help as it can be surprisingly hard to tell if you have good intonation in the early years. If you are not already doing so, try finding a tone drone generator online and play against, say a D note. That really gives you the feel for when notes are in tune for a certain key. Playing long long slow bows over scales is good tone practice AND helpful with bow control (especially if done while watching in a mirror to ensure you are A: playing with the bow perpendicular to the strings and B: playing in the sweet spot between bridge and fingerboard.

Also, just record yourself when you are struggling - it can show you are mostly in tune, maybe just playing that high G a little flat, and it will shed light on places where you're bowing might be ever so slightly out of sync with your left fingers.

Black - Posted - 01/26/2021:  15:18:50


@chickenman thanks for the reply I am going to try out what you say, I need any and all suggestions to improve and its very appreciated, never thought it would be this hard.

RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 01/26/2021:  20:49:31


quote:

Originally posted by DougBrock

I bought an electric violin for two main reasons- to give my ear an occasional break from having a loud instrument up so close, and to allow headphones when I want to practice without bothering my wife. It IS interesting moving the sound either to a speaker or headphones.



I feel that I can hear details better with the acoustic violin. The electronic path seems to smear or hide some things (and my performance seems better with electric violin, lol).



Although it wasn’t my motivation to buy an electric violin, it IS fun using different effects, from very subtle to outrageous. :)






I have practiced regularly with an "electric" violin for maybe 15 years. But really, I don't plug them in very often. My first one was a Yamaha SV-120, and I immediately learned that the headphones didn't add much, so I threw away the batteries. In 15 years, that instrument has had headphones plugged into it less than 5 times, and has been plugged into an amplifier about twice. My YEV-104 is much better as an electric instrument, so I plug it in maybe twice a month. That's just for fun.



The one and only reason I practice on these instruments is to reduce volume. Mainly that's to keep my wife happy. I am not a beginner, so my playing is pretty good. Still she gets tired of it. But even for myself I don't want a full-volume instrument under my ear. That way I can do other things like watch TV simultaneously. I can watch two movies in a row late on a weekend playing the entire time. I would not do that with a normal instrument. I can sit next to my wife on a loveseat and play while she is reading a book. She would not tolerate that with a normal violin.



The advantage of this is I practice more than I would otherwise, certainly while I'm still working. Because most of the sound comes from the strings (there is other via bone conduction from chin rest contact), you do hear string noise from bowing problems. So I do attempt to bow as smoothly as possible to get a clean sound.



This would not work for everyone, but it does work for me. So mostly I practice "silent", but I can assure you that if you draw a good bow across some Helicores under your ear you will hear plenty!

RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 01/26/2021:  21:16:57


I'm sure you saw Doug Brock's setup here: fiddlehangout.com/topic/54598



Electric violin with piezo pickup -> ToneDexter preamp with violin models -> headphones would be a pretty nice setup except for the cords. (I hate cords.) Bone conduction headphones might also be worth trying if you wanted to hear the rest of the world.

DougBrock - Posted - 01/26/2021:  21:31:01


quote:

Originally posted by RinconMtnErnie

...except for the cords. (I hate cords.)






Same here! I thought I'd use headphones more, but the extra cord from the headphones is just so annoying and in the way. Worse for fiddle than guitar or mandolin. I've been playing the YEV-104 through a small speaker most of the time and that's been satisfying. (Once I had to add the preamp and then the multi effects, the idea of easy portability pretty much went away.)


Edited by - DougBrock on 01/26/2021 21:45:13

RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 01/30/2021:  14:52:27


I just posted a recording of myself on the SV-120 in a new post: fiddlehangout.com/topic/54634 . That was largely in response to this post, but I thought it was worth starting a separate topic. I think people have misconceptions about what electrics can sound like. Just like a cheap fiddle set up badly sounds bad, a cheap electric set up badly sounds bad. With a good setup, an electric can sound pretty close to a normal fiddle and you can use headphones.



But because of all the hassle with cords and batteries, I will still use mine primarily unplugged for practice.


Edited by - RinconMtnErnie on 01/30/2021 14:53:22

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