How to's

  1. How To Get The Most Out Of Your Katana Amp Using BOSS Tone Studio & Footswitches

    Katana 50 effects panel

    We love the BOSS Katana amps and there are three pretty solid reasons we recommend them:

    1. Unlike with many electric guitar amps, the Katanas' acoustic preamp setting allows them to sound great with violins, violas and cellos
    2. They are extremely affordable for their wattage, huge speaker size and expansive feature sets
    3. They include a powerful suite of editable digital effects!

    The first two are pretty self explanatory. If you're in the market for a gig-worthy amp under $200 then the Katana 50 is simply unbeatable; if you need 100 watts of power for larger venues or to compete with your bandmates and cut through the mix, then the Katana 100 is just a ridiculous value at well under $400!

    While it's clear the Katanas would be winners even without them, the onboard effects push these amps over the top, allowing you to perform with a full palette of effects using only your instrument and amp--no expensive pedal board required.

    The free BOSS Tone Studio software lets you edit effects and load them into your Katana amp. And although you can switch between effects by turning knobs and clicking channel buttons on the amp panel, you don't want to have to set your bow down and tweak settings in the middle of a song! That's where BOSS's FS-5L and GA-FC foot controls come in to turn the Katana amps into viable live effects processors. Read on to learn how it works and which one you need with your Katana 50 or Katana 100 amp.

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  2. FCTR: Stage Monitoring

    From Classical To Radical is an Electric Violin Shop video series geared towards teaching classical strings players how to go electric in popular styles. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for future FCTR video notifications. Click here to see all posts in the FCTR series.

    Electric violins produce almost no sound of their own. Combined on stage with other amplified instruments, you will need some way to hear your own playing above the noise. The above video outlines three ways to monitor your sound, which, depending on your live sound setup and the venue, you may use just one of or more than one in combination.

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  3. FCTR: Gig Etiquette and Cable Coiling

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  4. FCTR: Connecting to Sound Board or PA

    Signal Chain

    Signal chain is the path that the signal takes from your instrument to speaker (where it's heard by an audience) or sound board (where it's mixed with the signals from other instruments before being amplified to an audience). Your signal chain can become long and complex as you add in multiple effects and preamps but the the basis of any signal chain for a musician using a PA is:

    1/4" In from instrument > DI box > XLR Out to soundboard

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  5. MIDI Violin Recording & Notation

    Beyond being able to call up any sound or instrument imaginable during live performance, MIDI violin is a highly useful tool for recording and notating music in the studio.

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  6. How to Reduce Bow Noise [Video]

    In this video Matt uses a pre-recorded electric violin track in Logic Express to demonstrate methods for reducing unwanted bow noise in the recording studio. By applying a high pass filter, the noise of bow changes and bow tracking is greatly reduced. In addition, a low pass filter reduces the high piezo sound. Finally, a generous reverb smooths the violin's tone out nicely in the mix.

    All of the techniques described in the video as being effective for reducing bow noise in the studio will also work in a live setting.

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  7. Using the Roland GR-55 for MIDI Violin Performance & Recording

    **UPDATE** ZETA violins are now compatible with the Roland GR-55 using the ZETA 8-pin to 13-pin MIDI cable (sold separately).

    We get lots of calls and emails about MIDI violins. MIDI options for violins have been around for decades, but were only compatible with synthesizers that are now obsolete and only available on the used market. Also, latency and slower triggering made these MIDI violin systems less than ideal for most performers.

    We are pleased to announce that we now carry two violins that are compatible with a high quality, available and currently produced MIDI synthesizer. The Fourness Fuse, with its newly calibrated 13 pin MIDI jack, and Cantini violins, with their proprietary 8-pin to 13-pin adaptor cable, have passed our in-house testing and are for sale on our site for use with the Roland GR-55 synthesizer.

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  8. How to Intonate a Fretted Instrument

    String players are used to intonating their pitch by ear relative to other pitches they are playing, however when you take up a fretted instrument, pitch becomes absolute.  This takes the guess work out of finger placement on the fingerboard, but without properly intonating, you'll find even well-tuned open strings impossible to play in tune on across strings and up the fingerboard!
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  9. Sound Design Tips for School Orchestras

    developed by Scott Laird and Julie Lyonn Lieberman for the Bollywood Strings Project

    I. Sound design for acoustic orchestra with electric violin (step by step instructions) II. Sound design for acoustic orchestra and audio accompaniment III. Special Effects IV. Glossary of Terms

    For these setups, you will need some or all of the following equipment:
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  10. How to Use Looping and Loop Pedals to Practice, Perform, Teach and Improve Musicianship

    Christian Howes by Christian Howes (re-blogged with permission -- click here to view original post)

    Music tip – “How To Use Looping and Loop Pedals”

    Creative Strings Academy - Learn improv and try a FREE one month trialI received a question...from a Creative Strings Academy member about “how to use looping and loop pedals” to practice and develop more music in his life. Here is his question and my answer below: “I was wondering if a looper of some kind could help fill in the gaps for me as a bassist. As I understand it, I see you building tunes for the ground up. You lay down a bass track, then some comping and maybe some harmony and then practice jammin’ with the loops. Can you do that with jazz standards as well? Thanks again for the inspiration and ideas. I know I would need some kind of bass pick up and…?” My (short) answer:
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  11. 'Playing Outside the Box' with Daniel Bernard Roumain

    DBR Strumming 'Bernadette'We were pleased and honored to once again have composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) in our shop 11/15/12 for a streaming webcast workshop called "Playing Outside the Box with Amplification and Effects".  DBR covered a lot of ground in his talk and had the opportunity to use some equipment in our shop that really impressed him.
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  12. Bridgid Bibbens at EVS

    April 4, 2012 at Electric Violin Shop Bridgid Bibbens at EVSWith the spring storms and late notice keeping people away, the staff of Electric Violin Shop and Bridgid Bibbens got a rare chance to hang out and talk. The workshop turned into a roundtable about our favorite things – electric violins, amplification, and effects pedals. We captured some moments on video, and think you will find them helpful on various topics.
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  13. How Can I Tune My Violin Like a Guitar?

    By Ted Hardin Any guitarist who has heard Jimmy Page draw a bow across the strings of his Les Paul in the Led Zeppelin song "Dazed and Confused" has wondered about the possibilities of trading their pick for a stick. The promise of seemingly infinite variation of string attack and virtually limitless sustain was solely the dominion of those who played classical strings before that particular moment in music history, and ever since then guitarists have wanted a better way to emulate the sound of a violin. Here is the Electric Violin Shop conversion for a six string violin to be strung like a guitar and still have close to proper string tension. Some of the strings end up having greater than normal tension, and some less, but all are close enough to be safe for the instrument and still provide good tone.
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  14. How to turn your violin (or viola) into a 'chin cello'

    Now, we all know that most violinists chose their instrument in part because they cherish the singing high melody you can play way up on the E string, and that violists chose their instrument because they got confused on instrument picking day...I'm sorry -- couldn't resist. At any rate, most of us high strings players are generally pretty comfortable and satisfied in our respective tessitura. But from time to time, at least I and I'm sure most of you, have wondered what it would be like to dig into that low cello C string and rumble the stage a bit, though we violinists (1st violinists, especially) would never admit jealousy of another string instrument aloud. We at Electric Violin Shop would like to save high string players the potential embarrassment of being caught sampling a cello after rehearsal -- hey, we've all done it once -- by letting you know that your own violin (or viola) can rumble the low notes. And those J.S. Bach cello suites you've been searching for a violin transcription of? Well, polish up your bass clef reading and play them at pitch! How, you ask? Well, there are two fun, easy ways...

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  15. An Innovative Recording Method

    EVS customer and NS Design NXT bassist Grant Emerson recently shared with us an mp3 of his band Delta Rae's song "Deliver." [Listen to "Deliver" here] I was struck by the "acoustic authenticity" of his arco bass tone, so much so that I felt compelled to inquire about his recording method. We at Electric Violin Shop are already aware of just how great the NS Design NXT-series basses sound, especially for passive instruments, but there was something additionally special about Grant's almost cellistic bowed tone. Grant was kind enough to accommodate my curiosity with his explanation of an even more unique and innovative recording method than I imagined.

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  16. Amplification vs. Sound Reinforcement

    Great Tone At Any Volume

    by Blaise Kielar

    OK, I must confess I've got a license plate that reads PLAY LOUD. And, one advantage of loud is that it tends to inspire creative dancing. However, I am not a fan of too-loud concerts. If attending a rock show, I'll wear earplugs that filter anything above a comfortable decibel level. My favorite events are those that approximate unamplified musicians in a place with great acoustics. As more string players go electric, how do we preserve the tone we love?

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  17. Worry-free Fishman Pickup Installation


    How do you reassure the Assistant Concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony that her violin will not be harmed by a temporary pickup for a rock show? In the case of Karen Galvin, she came into our shop and EVS founder Blaise Kielar showed her how to install a Fishman V-100 transducer in such a way that nothing touched the wood of her precious instrument.  She was so well heard in rehearsal that Blaise took one to the show for the viola of Katie Wyatt.
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  18. Plugging In For the First Time

    Electric Violin Rig Setup Guide

    In order to play your instrument using an effects pedal and an amplifier you will need two ¼ inch instrument cables.  If you are not using an external effects processor, skip steps B and C.

    A) Locate the output jack of your new instrument.  Connect the instrument cable to your instrument.  This end of the cable may have a right angle connector, which can help to keep the cable out of your way while playing.  This, of course, depends on the placement of the output jack on your instrument.

    B) For use with effects processors, connect the other end of the cable into the INPUT jack of the effects processor.

    C) Connect one end of a second instrument cable to the OUTPUT jack on the effects processor.  If your effects processor has a stereo output (two outputs labeled L (mono) and R, use only the L/mono OUTPUT jack.

    D) Connect the other end of the instrument cable into the INPUT jack on your amplifier or mixing board.

    Once all your cables ends are connected, set the volume level on each to zero. Next, turn each piece of equipment on.  Turn up the master volume on the amplifier half way and the amp’s instrument channel up a third of the way.  Finally, raise the volume on the effects processor and the violin.  Doing this will prevent loud sounds that could damage your speakers or your ears, at least until appropriate levels are determined for future use.

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