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View Full Version : Question about increasing sustain/adding control with effect pedals



papplehead
07-04-2011, 10:28 PM
So I just had a MiSi pickup installed in my Kanilea just in time for my band's first gig yesterday and I have to say, im really liking it. Having an active pickup without the weight of a 9V battery is pretty awesome since it keeps the weight down. The only problem that I have is that there is no preamp controller conveniently located on the uke to change volume or tone on the fly. This became somewhat of a problem when I was too soft for a soloing bit, or too loud for strumming. Even in between songs, I couldn't mute myself so that I could tune with my clip-on tuner.

I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation of a pedal or other electronic solution to this problem. In addition, I'm also looking to get a good reverb pedal to try to increase sustain for solos. Any good models that I should look out for?

Thanks!

OldePhart
07-05-2011, 06:32 AM
It's expensive and kind of bulky, but I can't say enough good things about the Vox Tonelab LE (LE only, the SE was not as good, nor is the newer XT or whatever it is). A simpler/cheaper alternative is an EQ pedal and a tuner pedal with mute but if you really want to add reverb, etc. then the way to go is a mutli-effects pedal of some sort. The Vox Tonelab and the Boss GT-10 are kind of at the top of the stack, but you can get multi-fx with fewer features for less than what an EQ pedal, tuner pedal, and reverb pedal would total.

John

olgoat52
07-05-2011, 07:28 AM
For tuning in a jobbing situation, I always used an A/B switch that my instrument plugged into. I used a Boss plugin style tuner off that. Hit the button once, I was muted and going directly to the tuner, hit the button again, I was going to the amp.

patico
07-05-2011, 09:45 AM
hi.
this is very common among electric guitar players.

a simple solution would be a Booster. so when you need a little extra volume for soloing, you activate the booster and get a bit more signal to the amp system.

i've seen paco de lucia en vivo, and he has no problem while tunning his guitar whilst everybody else (band, audience) waits.


this week should finally arrive a new uku for me with the same pickup. i already have a pedalboard so i'll be posting videos of the efeects very soon.

keep in touch

PhilUSAFRet
07-07-2011, 03:22 AM
I'm dying to find out how a Micro Pog octave generator pedal would work with a uke. Go up/down an octave, make 4 string sound like 8 string, etc.

kissing
07-07-2011, 04:12 AM
A very nifty, inexpensive option is the Behringer V-TONE Acoustic pedal.
It acts as both an Active DI as well as an instrument pre-amp.

I find it useful for ukes with no volume/tone control.

http://www.sweetwaveaudio.com/sales/76-191-large/behringer-v-tone-acoustic-adi21.jpg

It has a completely clean output, and gives you some good tone and volume options.

mustacheukuleles
07-07-2011, 04:44 AM
interesting! i only own one pedal but i really love reading about pedals and what they do. they're so rad!

OldePhart
07-07-2011, 06:57 AM
I'm dying to find out how a Micro Pog octave generator pedal would work with a uke. Go up/down an octave, make 4 string sound like 8 string, etc.

I have a POG and a POG 2 - haven't gotten around to using it with the uke yet but going to one of these days. The POG 2 goes down 2 octaves, has some cool triggered envelope stuff, and seems to have less latency than the original POG. Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to play around a bit...

John

Brad Bordessa
07-07-2011, 07:55 AM
I'm using an MXR 6 band EQ for a bit of a lead boost. It does exactly what I want and as far as I can tell, it is quiet.

As for reverb... It will get you an impression of sustain, but it's not really sustain you can ride like Santana. You need huge volume to do that. I was able to get my notes ringing forever through my friend's Fender Pro Reverb (maybe with a little gain from his Tube Driver). It was super sick. I would like to do some more experimenting with it. If it sounds good clean, I would use something like that for my main amp.

PhilUSAFRet
07-07-2011, 01:32 PM
A very nifty, inexpensive option is the Behringer V-TONE Acoustic pedal.
It acts as both an Active DI as well as an instrument pre-amp.

I find it useful for ukes with no volume/tone control.

http://www.sweetwaveaudio.com/sales/76-191-large/behringer-v-tone-acoustic-adi21.jpg

It has a completely clean output, and gives you some good tone and volume options.

Nice pedal, thanks!

savagehenry
07-07-2011, 01:47 PM
Just get a volume pedal, you can rock it one way to silence your uke, middle would be strumming and all the way down could be lead. It takes a little getting used to, but you can really control your volume pretty well with your foot.

OldePhart
07-07-2011, 03:00 PM
I'm dying to find out how a Micro Pog octave generator pedal would work with a uke. Go up/down an octave, make 4 string sound like 8 string, etc.

Here's a demo I threw together really quickly with the POG 2 during lunch today. Keep in mind that the POG 2 is a very complex pedal that takes a lot of "tweakology" to get the best performance for a given instrument range and music style. I've used it to get everything from 12-string guitar sound to "organ swells" using acoustic guitars and electric basses. This is the first time I've tried it with a uke, and I didn't have time to tweak it, so it doesn't sound near as good as it can, though it will give you an idea of where you can go with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN3JEUUentI

John

marymac
07-07-2011, 03:20 PM
Here's a demo I threw together really quickly with the POG 2 during lunch today. Keep in mind that the POG 2 is a very complex pedal that takes a lot of "tweakology" to get the best performance for a given instrument range and music style. I've used it to get everything from 12-string guitar sound to "organ swells" using acoustic guitars and electric basses. This is the first time I've tried it with a uke, and I didn't have time to tweak it, so it doesn't sound near as good as it can, though it will give you an idea of where you can go with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN3JEUUentI

John

Cool! Thanks for the demo John! I like the Electroharmonix pedals. Haven't tried the POG2 but it looks/sounds cool.

Brad Bordessa
07-07-2011, 07:57 PM
Here's a demo I threw together really quickly with the POG 2 during lunch today. Keep in mind that the POG 2 is a very complex pedal that takes a lot of "tweakology" to get the best performance for a given instrument range and music style. I've used it to get everything from 12-string guitar sound to "organ swells" using acoustic guitars and electric basses. This is the first time I've tried it with a uke, and I didn't have time to tweak it, so it doesn't sound near as good as it can, though it will give you an idea of where you can go with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN3JEUUentI

John

I hear "In Repair"! Sweet.

PhilUSAFRet
07-08-2011, 04:16 AM
Cool! Thanks for the demo John! I like the Electroharmonix pedals. Haven't tried the POG2 but it looks/sounds cool.

Which Electro Harmonix pedal would help a uke sound very much like a mandolin?

OldePhart
07-08-2011, 06:58 AM
Which Electro Harmonix pedal would help a uke sound very much like a mandolin?

I don't know that you can really get there. There are significant differences between a mandolin and uke, some of which could be overcome with retuning or what have you, but others that couldn't.

A mandolin is tuned in fifths - with the right strings you could tune a uke in fifths.

All four string courses on a mandolin are unisons, not octaves. So a good chorus pedal would probably do better than an octave pedal in that regard.

A mandolin is a very tightly strung steel-string instrument that has a very sharp attack and very little sustain (it "barks"). The carved top also accentuates the higher frequencies even more so than a typical uke body. Simulating this "bark" would probably be the hardest. It might be possible to get there with a combination of effects, but I don't know what combination would be a good starting place.

Edited to add: The instruments are really different, as are their typical role in a band. The mandolin, because of its bark and short sustain, is actually a rhythm instrument, while the ukulele is more suitable for harmony and melody.

John

PhilUSAFRet
07-08-2011, 09:51 AM
Wow, what a great, straightforward explanation......one I've been looking for for quite a while. Just more evidence on how great Ukulele Underground is. Thanks again. Originally had my eye on a Danelectro chorus pedal, great price, great reviews before I started looking into this octave generator.

papplehead
07-10-2011, 01:00 AM
Thanks for all the great info I really appreciate the feedback. I looked around at my local music store at the pedals there and as of right now the one that I like would be the LR Baggs Acoustic DI with tuner.
http://www.amazon.com/LR-Baggs-Venue-Direct-Box/dp/B002LFCDPM
It has the basic features that Im looking for as far as control goes, plus a boost for those solos.
Its a little bit pricey, but I figure that the separate parts would come out to more anyways.
Im liking the price of the Behringer V-TONE pedal a lot more, but im not exactly sure how much control that would give on the fly. I wonder as an alternative, if I coupled that with a volume pedal, that might be a more cost effective way to solve my problem.
Also, that POG pedal sound super sweet. Im sure that you could do some really interesting things with that.

Brad Bordessa
07-10-2011, 08:17 AM
Thanks for all the great info I really appreciate the feedback. I looked around at my local music store at the pedals there and as of right now the one that I like would be the LR Baggs Acoustic DI with tuner.
http://www.amazon.com/LR-Baggs-Venue-Direct-Box/dp/B002LFCDPM
It has the basic features that Im looking for as far as control goes, plus a boost for those solos.
Its a little bit pricey, but I figure that the separate parts would come out to more anyways.
Im liking the price of the Behringer V-TONE pedal a lot more, but im not exactly sure how much control that would give on the fly. I wonder as an alternative, if I coupled that with a volume pedal, that might be a more cost effective way to solve my problem.
Also, that POG pedal sound super sweet. Im sure that you could do some really interesting things with that.

My friend has a Venue. It's really cool as a preamp. However, if you already have the MISI, you've already got a preamp built into the pickup. The Venue does do the EQ, tuner, and boost thing, but you'd be re-doing the preamp stage. If you can turn off the preamp, great. But if not, I've found that double preamp stages really dull the signal.

Just something to consider. The Venue is good chunk of money to be dropping if you can get by with a clip-on tuner, and a boost/EQ pedal (and if you really feel you need a mute, an A/B/Y box or a volume pedal).

I can't tell you the perfect solution, but I've found that the MISI in my 'ukulele is pretty much perfect right into the PA. It would suck to buy something you don't need.