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Nov 1, 2018 - 10:35:41 PM
330 posts since 12/29/2008

I have recently joined a band, and the sound guy is the guitar player. He is having a hard time getting to the fiddle sound that I am looking for. I play through a Baggs pickup, then through a Rane preamp/EQ, and I'm generally satisfied. I haven't played with this group much, and maybe it was the room (a very bad room), but it seemed that though I cut through everything else, it didn't at the time of the attack, but just a split second later. Maybe that's just how loud live music is supposed to work, but I've seen some pretty major shows in which this doesn't seem to be an issue with the fiddle. And I've played with groups before in which this didn't seem to be an issue.

My uneducated thought is that maybe there is too much reverb, but have been told that there is very little. The guitar player suggested that maybe a compressor would help...I know nothing about this. I get that it would keep my volume from extremes but not sure what else it would do for me.

Another thing, is that there seems to be a 'wavy' effect coming through. I'm not sure what would cause that either. If a compressor or something like that would help both issues, that would be great. I see that Baggs makes something, but all I have found is specific for guitar, but maybe like tuners that are labeled 'guitar' tuners, they work for me too.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

Nov 2, 2018 - 5:49:58 AM

4118 posts since 9/26/2008

A compressor will not solve your problem, it will just make your sound less dynamic (less louds and softs).

Nov 2, 2018 - 6:46:25 AM

kruzty

USA

3 posts since 10/2/2018

Are you only going through your amp, or are you also going to the PA? If you truly aren't getting any of the initial attack out of the PA, it sounds like there is a noise gate on your channel that is set too aggressively. If there is a gate on your channel (or on your preamp), try turning it off.

Nov 2, 2018 - 5:02:39 PM

2296 posts since 9/13/2009

Not much info to go by. A few comments. Could be many things. Just to bring up some other common issues. 

The room and speaker placement can play a roll; speed of sound in air is about 1 millisecond per foot. How far the speaker is, as well as effect of sound bouncing off walls and ceiling... affect the latency to our ears. 

The "wavy" comment suggests it could be a phase issue and/or comb filtering going on. This happens for various reasons but most often is a source (fiddle) being amplified by 2 inputs, either 2 mics or mic and pickup. (could also be from inputs picking up source and amplified sound). 

I didn't quite get the compressor suggestion... the only thing I can think is that might help is if their was some limiter/gate thing that sometimes happens in the chain... that is... the initial attack signal is not enough energy to get thru the system, under some db, sound gets cut off. Only once the input signal gets to a certain db will it get amplified, which might give effect of delay. A compressor can boost the quieter signal up. 

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 11/02/2018 17:14:41

Nov 2, 2018 - 7:32:18 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

I didn't hear any mention of a DI, which besides a good matching preamp, or in combination, is absolutely essential to getting a good FOH sound.

Nov 3, 2018 - 5:11:28 AM
likes this

RobBob

USA

2628 posts since 6/26/2007

I only use a compressor to blowup flats and blow off dirt. Guess this is something else. ;-)

Nov 3, 2018 - 6:28:52 AM

bees

USA

78 posts since 6/16/2016

I use a compressor to process audio I have recorded. I use it to help 'separate' instruments so that they don't muddy each other's sound. I concur with others that it would not fix any delay issues you are experiencing. Although the qualifier is that I am just barely qualified to answer the question...

Nov 3, 2018 - 11:53:27 AM

DougD

USA

9122 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Are you using the Rane AP-13? If so, unless you have some crazy EQ settings or something, it and the Baggs pickup should do a good job. What is your perspective for judging your sound? Are you just hearing what is coming back from the room, or do you have good monitors?
I'd suggest making some recordings for reference. Try recording the mixing console output and see how that sounds. If that's OK try recording the sound coming out of the speakers. I suspect your problem is the room itself, and if the sound at the speakers is OK then maybe you need to imorove your monitoring. You could use one the sends on the Rane to drive a small powered speaker just for your fiddle.
I don't think a compressor will help, and might make things worse if the attack time is too short. I've never been tempted to use a compressor on a fiddle, but I deal mostly with microphones in acoustic (or semi-acoustic) environments.
Good luck!

Nov 3, 2018 - 11:56:30 AM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

I tried several pedal compressors on the fiddle and never liked any of them. Now, some use compression in live settings from the board, or in recording, but typically these compressors are much more transparent than what you get from a guitar pedal.

Nov 3, 2018 - 12:11:15 PM

DougD

USA

9122 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Steve, re a DI, you might want to check out the Rane AP13. I've never seen one, and its kind of an antique now, but high quality and very versatile.

Edited by - DougD on 11/03/2018 12:18:22

Nov 3, 2018 - 3:44:31 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

Is that what the OP is using?

Nov 3, 2018 - 4:00:55 PM

DougD

USA

9122 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

He said he's using a Rane preamp/eq, but didn't say what model, and hasn't responded to my question. That's the only one that came up in a Google search - don't know if they've made any others or not.

Nov 3, 2018 - 5:13:46 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

Gotcha. I did see that the one you posted is basically a DI, so that should work. Maybe what the OP is hearing is the FOH reflections and sound off the back wall. That can be disorienting if you are new to it. Really what is needed is some type of adequate monitor, be it a high quality speaker monitor with a mix just for the fiddler, or better yet a customizable in-ear mix.

Nov 3, 2018 - 5:44:33 PM

DougD

USA

9122 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

That's what I was thinking too. We'll just have to see if he comes back to the thread.

Edited by - DougD on 11/03/2018 17:46:13

Nov 7, 2018 - 1:40:10 AM

6 posts since 11/7/2018

I dont have but I saw on many online stores

Nov 8, 2018 - 3:52:51 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

That's what I was thinking too. We'll just have to see if he comes back to the thread.


Doug, I am already using the excellent Fire Eye Red Eye preamp/DI on my fiddle pedalboard and have gotten tons of great compliments on its tone, even from sound guys in Nashville. It is hand made in Austin, TX. I think the only way I could go up would be a Reddi or Avalon preamp, but those are quite large and very expensive.

Nov 9, 2018 - 3:15:22 PM

DougD

USA

9122 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Steve, yes I'm aware of the Red Eye; although I've never seen one I have the spec sheet on my tablet. I don't use a pickup, but if I did that would be one of my top choices. As a live sound engineer I run into pickups mostly on bass, sometimes guitar. Its amazing the stuff some people come up with (I rarely do straight country acts these days). I do work with some artists who use fiddle or mandolin pickups, but they usually have it sorted out and just need an XLR line or two.

Nov 9, 2018 - 3:52:58 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Steve, yes I'm aware of the Red Eye; although I've never seen one I have the spec sheet on my tablet. I don't use a pickup, but if I did that would be one of my top choices. As a live sound engineer I run into pickups mostly on bass, sometimes guitar. Its amazing the stuff some people come up with (I rarely do straight country acts these days). I do work with some artists who use fiddle or mandolin pickups, but they usually have it sorted out and just need an XLR line or two.


Doug--yes, I use pickups on both fiddle and mandolin. I prefer the L.R. Baggs bridge for the fiddle, but use a Fishman M300 Nashville pickup bridge for my mandolin. I run them both through wireless and the same pedalboard so I can switch quickly and only use one XLR line. The Red Eye fits easily on my board and sounds great with whatever goes into it!

Nov 10, 2018 - 5:44:10 AM

bees

USA

78 posts since 6/16/2016

Illinois fiddler: How do you run wireless from your fiddle into your red eye DI? I have used the red eye DI wired into my mandolin and fiddle and into the mixer board. The sound is pretty good. Recently I have been using a Line 6 wireless with the receiver directly wired into the mixer board. That sounds good on mandolin but the fiddle (LR Baggs bridge) is kind of shrill. Been wondering how to tame the wireless fiddle a bit. What would be the simplest wireless routing you would use from the fiddle to the mixer?

Nov 10, 2018 - 3:31:18 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

quote:
Originally posted by bees

Illinois fiddler: How do you run wireless from your fiddle into your red eye DI? I have used the red eye DI wired into my mandolin and fiddle and into the mixer board. The sound is pretty good. Recently I have been using a Line 6 wireless with the receiver directly wired into the mixer board. That sounds good on mandolin but the fiddle (LR Baggs bridge) is kind of shrill. Been wondering how to tame the wireless fiddle a bit. What would be the simplest wireless routing you would use from the fiddle to the mixer?


There are a couple options with the Red Eye. I run my Line 6 G30 receiver into my pedals, EQ, delay, reverb, etc. and then into the Red Eye instrument input at the end as the DI. The preferred way would be to run into the effects loop, but then you need a Y cable, especially if you like to foldback to an amp as I sometimes do. I find as long as you don't overdrive the input of the Red Eye instrument input, which is difficult because it has so much headroom, that it sounds excellent. Any buffering for the pickup takes place at my should rest, where I attach a very small and lightweight Ehrlund preamp. I have also used the Schatten Mini Pre with good results, too.  On the other side I attach the G30 transmitter and I get a very full, hot signal.

Nov 10, 2018 - 10:12:45 PM

2421 posts since 7/12/2013

illinoisfiddler Do you have sound clips of your live sound? Would like to hear what it sounds like,

Nov 11, 2018 - 6:08:58 AM

bees

USA

78 posts since 6/16/2016

Illinois fiddler: No I don't have any sound clips, sorry. We're pretty much a hack band playing old folks homes and such - fairly quiet and small venues so most times I don't use amplification other than maybe trying to get close to my vocals mic. We do however occasionally play large events outdoors and then I try to get something going. There, I have lately just been using the Line 6 wireless and into the mixer. A bit shrill on fiddle as I say but I can't say that it harms our overall performance much :-). Maybe I just need to get a better handle on setting the EQ on the mixer...

I am puzzled by using the red-eye at the end of the processing chain. It seems to me the point of the red-eye is to correct the mis-matched impedance between the piezo pickups and the rest of the chain - the rest of the chain generally having been designed for lower impedance guitar pickups etc. I would think that the output from the pedal board would be at 'normal' impedance and hence running that into the high impedance red-eye input would result in a mismatch again...

A small preamp/impedance matcher on the shoulder rest would work - plug the Line 6 transmitter into that as you say but other than the red-eye they don't seem to have high impedance inputs. I also don't want the fiddle attached to me in any way because I constantly switch between fiddle and mandolin.

Nov 11, 2018 - 12:45:06 PM

1175 posts since 4/6/2014

i've used compression on recordings to suppress or calm down dynamics, but not on live fiddle, its sometimes good for guitar though, especially if youv'e got an over zealous rhythm guitar player, or if you want to sound like Mark Knopfler on an electric guitar

i think it's an Attack / Decay tool that is good for plucked instruments, but on a fiddle that should be controlled by the bow...

sounds like you may have impedance matching issues, piezzo pickups are ridiculously high impedance usually, unless they have some magic circuitry. And unless heavily processed can sound bad, also minute adjustments in pressure on the pickup can have dramatic effects on the output, .........after all they can produce thousands of volts..... if you hit em with a hammer :0)

iv'e played around with piezzo pickups and electric fiddles and effects for a few years and i'm not a fan...unless it's out and out rock drum and bass stuff, then they are great, and a good substitute for lead guitar (with loads of effects on em ), but for an acoustic sound a good mic a subtle band and good sound engineer is a lot better imo but not always as practical as a piezzo and a rack of effects

saying that though, some players manage to get a decent sound out of em...just not me, they seem to sound ok at low volume but things go pear shaped at high volumes the same as mics,.. but you don't get the feedback issues

Nov 11, 2018 - 5:58:38 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

quote:
Originally posted by bees

Illinois fiddler: No I don't have any sound clips, sorry. We're pretty much a hack band playing old folks homes and such - fairly quiet and small venues so most times I don't use amplification other than maybe trying to get close to my vocals mic. We do however occasionally play large events outdoors and then I try to get something going. There, I have lately just been using the Line 6 wireless and into the mixer. A bit shrill on fiddle as I say but I can't say that it harms our overall performance much :-). Maybe I just need to get a better handle on setting the EQ on the mixer...

I am puzzled by using the red-eye at the end of the processing chain. It seems to me the point of the red-eye is to correct the mis-matched impedance between the piezo pickups and the rest of the chain - the rest of the chain generally having been designed for lower impedance guitar pickups etc. I would think that the output from the pedal board would be at 'normal' impedance and hence running that into the high impedance red-eye input would result in a mismatch again...

A small preamp/impedance matcher on the shoulder rest would work - plug the Line 6 transmitter into that as you say but other than the red-eye they don't seem to have high impedance inputs. I also don't want the fiddle attached to me in any way because I constantly switch between fiddle and mandolin.


That's exactly what I do, and why I have the setup that I do. In my situation, the Red Eye is really just performing DI functions, not as the actual instrument preamp. The Ehrlund preamp is performing that for me on the shoulder rest, then I go into the Line 6. Ehrlund is a very small, lightweight and great sounding preamp made in Sweden. It is pricey, about $250. 

You can plug standard sources like pedals into high impedance inputs as long as you don't overdrive the input. The Red Eye has a ton of headroom so I really don't. Plus, the Ehrlund has a volume/gain control so I can keep that under wraps will still getting a good sound. There may be clips online of me under Jamie Campbell and the Redneck Romeos, Back Country Roads band, or under my "stage" name Steve Fierz.

Oh, and BTW, I switch between fiddle, mandolin and keyboard, so that is why I don't want any belt pack or wires if I can help it. I just want to pick up the fiddle, quickly switch on the wireless and go. Sometimes I even play a little keyboard while holding the fiddle only to switch at a chorus. It took me years to develop this system that works for me and sounds really good. Only issue I have ever really had is if wireless is getting crowded and big festivals and there are drop outs. But I do have a wired backup system if needed.

Edited by - illinoisfiddler on 11/11/2018 18:02:00

Nov 12, 2018 - 7:13:45 PM

bees

USA

78 posts since 6/16/2016

Steve, I poked around and found a video with a fiddler playing with the redneck romeos ('original music') and if that is you in the video then your fiddle certainly sounds very good (your playing is great too). What I'll do is try out my line 6 into the mixer again and play with the mixer.

If that doesn't work then I'll try one of your preamps into the line 6 transmitter. I assume that with the Ehrlund you use your Baggs pickup and not the Ehrlund pickup and does the Ehrlund fit between your shoulder rest and the fiddle? I haven't found any dimensions on the preamp. The Schatten mini-pre is more affordable, how well does that work relative to the Ehrlund?

Thanks, Bob

Edited by - bees on 11/12/2018 19:14:59

Nov 12, 2018 - 7:36:55 PM

502 posts since 1/25/2012

quote:
Originally posted by bees

Steve, I poked around and found a video with a fiddler playing with the redneck romeos ('original music') and if that is you in the video then your fiddle certainly sounds very good (your playing is great too). What I'll do is try out my line 6 into the mixer again and play with the mixer.

If that doesn't work then I'll try one of your preamps into the line 6 transmitter. I assume that with the Ehrlund you use your Baggs pickup and not the Ehrlund pickup and does the Ehrlund fit between your shoulder rest and the fiddle? I haven't found any dimensions on the preamp. The Schatten mini-pre is more affordable, how well does that work relative to the Ehrlund?

Thanks, Bob


Bob--yeah, that's me playing. Yes, I am using the Baggs bridge, not the Ehrlund pickup. I have never been able to use a contact mic in the high volume situations I usually encounter in these bands.  But I do use the Ehrlund preamp. It is very small, lightweight, and sounds extremely good. The Schatten is a close second, and as you say, much more affordable. I just find the Ehrlund sounds better, and so I use that to justify the cost. And yes, it does fit on my shoulder rest. I have kind of an unusual set up since the Line 6 is zip-tied to one side of a Kun rest, and the Ehrlund is zip tied to the other side. I also use this preamp with my mandolin.

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