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Sep 12, 2018 - 3:30:46 AM
20 posts since 11/6/2017

Hello all. Recently I joined a group of musicians, and when we play tunes together, I can't hear my violin. I do have hearing impairment in my left ear and have a hearing aid. When playing solo there's no problem hearing my notes and maintaining proper intonation. However, when playing with the group I lose all track of whether I'm hitting the right notes or not. Is there any type of electronic pickup or audio device to monitor your violin?

I have looked at "silent violins" which apparently come with headphones. Does anyone have recommendations for a device that attaches a violin to some kind of personal monitor? Thanks.

Sep 12, 2018 - 5:21:54 AM
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7238 posts since 3/19/2009

Interesting topic.. I have new hearing aids and they let my phone ring tone only sound in my ears...great idea.. So.. there is probably a pick up that allows the sound to go directly to a hearing aid... I'll keep watching here to see what turns up.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/12/2018 05:22:23

Sep 12, 2018 - 6:54:22 AM
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1566 posts since 10/22/2007

If your fiddle's on your left shoulder, have you tried a bit of cotton in your right ear?

Sep 12, 2018 - 1:43:13 PM
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7 posts since 6/6/2018

I have a data point for you. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's helpful.

Some years ago I stopped by New Orleans for a couple nights on the way to visit my mother nearby. I had this idea of sitting outside various jazz joints and zydeco places on Bourbon Street ... sitting right on the street with my back against the front of the building ... and playing along on mandolin. There was one little problem: I couldn't hear myself at all!
Six months later on a similar outing I had armed myself with headphones, a microphone, a pocket mixer, and a mandolin with a pickup. I didn't need the microphone because the zydeco pierced the headphones and I could just dial the volume of the mandolin up or down through the little mixer for a happy balance. This worked perfectly. I spent something like 5 hours sitting in with NO's best!

If it were some other music, not so insanely loud like your situation, then a microphone on the sound source mixed with the mando(violin) pickup would have worked just fine. The only trouble is you have to listen to the band through electronics. Any one of the electric violins would be fine for this scheme... silent or otherwise.

Sep 12, 2018 - 2:51:05 PM
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904 posts since 6/26/2007

The problem MAY be mostly with your fiddle. I have one (out of 70) like that. By itself or with one or two others I can hear it clearly. In a jam of any size I cannot. I have not tried too hard to find out why, but I'm skeptical that there is a simple solution. I recommend that you try another fiddle or two, if possible, to see if it is the same problem. If so, the cheapest solution is probably to buy a second fiddle for those situations.

Sep 13, 2018 - 7:17:03 AM
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68 posts since 3/19/2012

Some things to check out: sound post is in best position? Steel strings ( Prims or Precisions give a bit more bite)? Are you playing with the bow closer to the bridge(brighter), or in the "fuzzy" zone, close to the fingerboard?
Also try keeping a bit of distance between you and the banjoistas, and maybe, if possible, a little space from the other fiddlers. Hope this helps.

Sep 13, 2018 - 3:55:03 PM
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20 posts since 11/6/2017

Thanks all for the comments. I checked around and basically there's nothing I found that you can use to electronically amplify your violin for personal listening via headphones or earbuds. There are, however, a number of systems to allow you to hear via a sound system. In the end I just jerry-rigged an audio amplifier board that runs of off 3 AA batteries and wired the included microphone via a pigtail to allow me to place the tiny mic in the body of the violin. It does work but will have to give it a real test when jamming. Again, thanks all for your input.

Sep 14, 2018 - 5:09:29 AM
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20 posts since 11/6/2017

Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Interesting topic.. I have new hearing aids and they let my phone ring tone only sound in my ears...great idea.. So.. there is probably a pick up that allows the sound to go directly to a hearing aid... I'll keep watching here to see what turns up.

Yes I have heard about Bluetooth-enable hearing aids; excellent advance in technology.  Guess you'd need to pair it with a Bluetooth enabled preamplifier.

Sep 14, 2018 - 6:22:34 PM

314 posts since 11/12/2016

Rather than getting an amplifier to better hear your fiddle, especially as that may be problematic, have you considered doing the opposite and trying to reduce the sound coming in from the other instruments?  This thread regarding earplugs designed for music recently popped up on another forum and may be something to consider:

I'd be interested is anyone here has tried them as I'm considering getting these. When my teacher plays with me, his tone is so clear and loud that I have trouble hearing my own weak pathetic tones.

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