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Thread: Do You Plug In and Amplify?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    3,765

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    After almost 50 years of playing guitar with electronics and a Crate Limo 10" 50w battery amp, then switching to ukulele 5 years ago and joining a 60 person seniors uke group, I made sure all of my ukes had a preamp and pickup, mostly that I installed with parts directly from China. After a while I realized I wasn't using the amp, and because I also took up the bass uke, which always needs amplification, I stopped adding the electronics to my ukes. Of my 8 ukes, 5 have preamps, 3 do not. I did buy an iRig HD when I participated in an online group recording session with the bass uke 3 years ago, but haven't used that since.

    Every-so-often the uke group has an open mic day, to which I bring two wireless mics on a single stand, one for voice, the other for the uke that usually does not have a pickup, works very well. The receivers are plugged into a small mixer with my Carvin MB15 that I use for my bass uke on those occasions (and larger gigs). I normally use a Phil Jones Double Four bass amp. I also have a Blackstar Fly 3 bass amp rig for practice at home and hanging on me for hospital gigs roaming from room to room.

    I also recently joined a Sunday afternoon acoustic group that plays in the park, no amplification allowed, giving me an opportunity to play uke rather than the bass uke. If I ever need to be amplified, I will use one of my preamp ukes, which can either be plugged in or miced as the occasion requires.


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos
    Last edited by kohanmike; 06-10-2018 at 05:28 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
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    3,398

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    Three of my uke have pickups - the Fluke has a B&B, the Donaldson has a K&K Twinspot, and the new Ohana has a MiSi. I plug in when I gig, or play open mic nights.

    My preference is to balance the pickup with a microphone - I think the two together makes the best combination, but I can go either way if that isn't an option.

    I need to use a preamp with the K&K, as it is totally passive, but the other two have preamps built in. The Fluke has a volume control, but the MiSi is controlled down the line.

    Everything gets plugged into a mixer, where I try and blend it for the performance space, and then into the amp. I use the same system whether I am playing solo, or with my trio.

    Any of the other ukes I play while performing just use a microphone.
    Ohana CK-65D * Ken Timms Soprano
    Moku MS-90S * Waterman G-I-T-D * National Triolian Reso * Bugsgear Aqualele * Donaldson Concert *
    Rosewood Vita Uke * Waverly Street #38 * Ko'Aloha Sceptre Tenor * Ohana Vita Uke * FireFly banjo uke
    Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele * Republic Concert * Fluke Tenor M22 * Kala KA-KTG-CT Cedar Top
    Cordoba 20TM * 1950's Harmony soprano *1920's era Stella banjo uke
    guitars and a 5-string banjo

    Am I done?

    ...naw...

    My YouTube Channel

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    1,386

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    Except for my Collings concert, all my instruments have MiSi pickups in them. When I was invited to play with the rhythm section ( electric bass, electric drum kit/ cajon and me ) of my group about a year ago I had a Yamaha THR5A which is a nice acoustic practice amp. As I play outdoors with no available electricity, I have to have a battery powered solution.

    The Yamaha didn’t cut it outdoors (it would have been fine indoors) so I bought a Roland AC33 which has worked out well. Lately my UAS has been converted into PAS(Pedal Acquisition Syndrome). I’ve been exploring a wide range of electronics. This is a difficult exercise for a Uke because pedals that get a great review for guitar, especially electric guitar, may sound poor for an acoustic instrument, especially a Ukulele. Many a pedal have come and gone from my board.
    Here is an early version of my small board:
    AD025DA5-076D-46E5-B721-D34A8F800C4B.jpg
    "All worthwhile things in life should be easy to learn but hard to master"

    Boat Paddle ML tenor - Red Spruce over Cocobolo
    Barron River 8 string tenor - All Honduran Quilted Mahogany
    Collings UC2 Concert - All Mahogany
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Baritone - Master Grade Ebony and AAA Red Spruce
    Beau Hannam Custom Tenor - Vintage Hand Rubbed Sun Burst all Tassie Blackwood
    Barron River Tenor - Sugar Box Maple and Alaskan Cedar
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Concert - Angry Owl Ebony and Cedar

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Michigan, US
    Posts
    238

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    Quote Originally Posted by hollisdwyer View Post
    Except for my Collings concert, all my instruments have MiSi pickups in them. When I was invited to play with the rhythm section ( electric bass, electric drum kit/ cajon and me ) of my group about a year ago I had a Yamaha THR5A which is a nice acoustic practice amp. As I play outdoors with no available electricity, I have to have a battery powered solution.

    The Yamaha didn’t cut it outdoors (it would have been fine indoors) so I bought a Roland AC33 which has worked out well. Lately my UAS has been converted into PAS(Pedal Acquisition Syndrome). I’ve been exploring a wide range of electronics. This is a difficult exercise for a Uke because pedals that get a great review for guitar, especially electric guitar, may sound poor for an acoustic instrument, especially a Ukulele. Many a pedal have come and gone from my board.
    Here is an early version of my small board:
    AD025DA5-076D-46E5-B721-D34A8F800C4B.jpg
    I don't recognize most of those pedals, and unfortunately the pic is too small for me to read the text printed on them. Can you please tell us what you're using?
    Margaret, classical guitarist gone uke crazy

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    600

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    Quote Originally Posted by hollisdwyer View Post
    Except for my Collings concert, all my instruments have MiSi pickups in them. When I was invited to play with the rhythm section ( electric bass, electric drum kit/ cajon and me ) of my group about a year ago I had a Yamaha THR5A which is a nice acoustic practice amp. As I play outdoors with no available electricity, I have to have a battery powered solution.

    The Yamaha didnít cut it outdoors (it would have been fine indoors) so I bought a Roland AC33 which has worked out well. Lately my UAS has been converted into PAS(Pedal Acquisition Syndrome). Iíve been exploring a wide range of electronics. This is a difficult exercise for a Uke because pedals that get a great review for guitar, especially electric guitar, may sound poor for an acoustic instrument, especially a Ukulele. Many a pedal have come and gone from my board.
    Here is an early version of my small board:
    AD025DA5-076D-46E5-B721-D34A8F800C4B.jpg
    I play my Loprinzi concert with MiSi pack-up at church. I have it hooked up to a tuner pedal that I use mostly as way to mute my uke between songs (getting it on & off the stand,etc.). What would be your suggestion as a first effects pedal to try out? Nothing too wild & crazy, but useful & fun.
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    Loprinzi cedar & rosewood concert
    Gary Gill concert scale tenor, Douglas Fir & Mahogany

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Near Lake Okeechobee, Florida
    Posts
    279

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    Quote Originally Posted by twokatmew View Post
    I don't recognize most of those pedals, and unfortunately the pic is too small for me to read the text printed on them. Can you please tell us what you're using?
    I recognize most of these. From right to left: Strymon Brigadier (delay), Strymon OB 1 (compressor & also boost), TC Electronic Sub n Up (pitch shifter), TC Electronic Corona (chorus), TC Electronic Ditto (looper), and LR Baggs Paracoustic DI (preamp to go out to a mixing board).

    About this time last year, I began putting together a pedalboard of my own, and Hollis and a few other UUers were very helpful. At that time, Hollis was switching to a new pedalboard and was using a Rockboard power supply.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    292

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    My input on this topic, is that I found bass guitar amps/speaker combinations give me the best sound. Sound is very warm and quite full. 5c

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by twokatmew View Post
    I don't recognize most of those pedals, and unfortunately the pic is too small for me to read the text printed on them. Can you please tell us what you're using?
    Quote Originally Posted by RafterGirl View Post
    I play my Loprinzi concert with MiSi pack-up at church. I have it hooked up to a tuner pedal that I use mostly as way to mute my uke between songs (getting it on & off the stand,etc.). What would be your suggestion as a first effects pedal to try out? Nothing too wild & crazy, but useful & fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by bacchettadavid View Post
    I recognize most of these. From right to left: Strymon Brigadier (delay), Strymon OB 1 (compressor & also boost), TC Electronic Sub n Up (pitch shifter), TC Electronic Corona (chorus), TC Electronic Ditto (looper), and LR Baggs Paracoustic DI (preamp to go out to a mixing board).

    About this time last year, I began putting together a pedalboard of my own, and Hollis and a few other UUers were very helpful. At that time, Hollis was switching to a new pedalboard and was using a Rockboard power supply.
    Thanks David for identifying those pedals on the first iteration of my small board. I think the only thing that remains from that board is the looper. Here is a photo of what I have squeezed onto my small board as of today (pedalboard Nano+):

    IMG_1629.jpg

    From right to left: TC Electronics polytune 2, LR Baggs Session DI Acoustic Preamp, Electro Harminix Nano PoG (Octaver), Keeley Caverns Reverb and Delay, Keeley Germanium Super Phat Mod (overdrive), TC Electronics Ditto looper. The reason for my changes have been to squeeze multi effects into scarce real estate and finding pedals that work better with ukuleles.

    Raftergirl, to answer your question is difficult. When you play at church are you plugged into your own amp or the church’s mixing desk? If your amp, does it have any inbuilt effects. Answer these questions and let’s continue the conversation.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by hollisdwyer; 06-11-2018 at 12:30 AM. Reason: reload photo
    "All worthwhile things in life should be easy to learn but hard to master"

    Boat Paddle ML tenor - Red Spruce over Cocobolo
    Barron River 8 string tenor - All Honduran Quilted Mahogany
    Collings UC2 Concert - All Mahogany
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Baritone - Master Grade Ebony and AAA Red Spruce
    Beau Hannam Custom Tenor - Vintage Hand Rubbed Sun Burst all Tassie Blackwood
    Barron River Tenor - Sugar Box Maple and Alaskan Cedar
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Concert - Angry Owl Ebony and Cedar

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    600

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    Quote Originally Posted by hollisdwyer View Post
    Thanks David for identifying those pedals on the first iteration of my small board. I think the only thing that remains from that board is the looper. Here is a photo of what I have squeezed onto my small board as of today (pedalboard Nano+):

    IMG_1629.jpg

    From right to left: TC Electronics polytune 2, LR Baggs Session DI Acoustic Preamp, Electro Harminix Nano PoG (Octaver), Keeley Caverns Reverb and Delay, Keeley Germanium Super Phat Mod (overdrive), TC Electronics Ditto looper. The reason for my changes have been to squeeze multi effects into scarce real estate and finding pedals that work better with ukuleles.

    Raftergirl, to answer your question is difficult. When you play at church are you plugged into your own amp or the church’s mixing desk? If your amp, does it have any inbuilt effects. Answer these questions and let’s continue the conversation.
    I'm plugged into the mixing board at church. I'm starting to play a little bit at other venues and will probably get a larger amp than my little Blackstar Fly combo at some point. Just wondering what a good starting point would be for an effects pedal?
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    Loprinzi cedar & rosewood concert
    Gary Gill concert scale tenor, Douglas Fir & Mahogany

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    1,386

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    Quote Originally Posted by RafterGirl View Post
    I'm plugged into the mixing board at church. I'm starting to play a little bit at other venues and will probably get a larger amp than my little Blackstar Fly combo at some point. Just wondering what a good starting point would be for an effects pedal?
    Before I offer any advice I am required by law (the Consumer Protection Act 1992 & the Metal Health Act 2007) to give you this warning: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”. Once you start acquiring pedals there’s no turning back, lol.
    So I might start with a DI box/Acoustic Preamp like the LR Baggs Para DI or the LR Baggs Session. These will allow you to plug into any mixing desk anywhere and control your own sound as they have EQ, feedback control and avoids ground loops. No “effects” with these but they do allow you to really tweak your sound in the room, any room/space.
    You might also consider a simple looper that would allow you to lay down a backing track ( maybe a chord progression) and play melody over that. They are a lot of fun and not too expensive.
    An Octaver is a great addition. It will allow you to shift pitch both higher and lower. I can highly recommend the EHX Nano or Micro POG. They work particularly well with a ukulele (recommended by both Jake and me(lol)).
    A Reverb, Delay and Chorus should be looked into. Go to a music store and try these things out. See which of these appeals to you. Jake has a nice Jam Delay Pedal on his board. These are Very good but are expensive. I’m very happy with my Keeley Caverns combo Reverb/Delay pedal.
    Lately I have been exploring distortion pedals as I have some songs that I regularly play that work well with those. I currently have a Keeley Super Phat Mod on my board and another in the post(a Keeley Red Dirt mini).

    Hope that this gives you something to think about.
    "All worthwhile things in life should be easy to learn but hard to master"

    Boat Paddle ML tenor - Red Spruce over Cocobolo
    Barron River 8 string tenor - All Honduran Quilted Mahogany
    Collings UC2 Concert - All Mahogany
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Baritone - Master Grade Ebony and AAA Red Spruce
    Beau Hannam Custom Tenor - Vintage Hand Rubbed Sun Burst all Tassie Blackwood
    Barron River Tenor - Sugar Box Maple and Alaskan Cedar
    Hoffmann Lutherie - Concert - Angry Owl Ebony and Cedar

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