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Pedals with instruments other than guitars


Phil O'Keefe
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We all know how much fun effects pedals can be in combination with electric (and even acoustic) guitars, but what about other instruments?

 

I always feel kind of bad for bassists because there are a lot fewer pedals specifically designed for bass than for guitar, but at least there are some... but what about other instruments like wind instruments or keyboards?

 

Wind instruments are harder, since they're strictly acoustic - you have to mic them, then process that - for live use, that means a mic, preamp, impedance converter, etc. It's obviously easier in the studio where you can use aux sends and plugins or hardware (with suitable impedance and level conversion when using pedals).

 

Keyboards are probably the easiest and maybe even the most common non-guitar application for effects pedals. No level or impedance conversion needed - just plug them in. But even though there have been some classic uses of effects on keys (tremolo / autopanned electric piano, wah pedals used with clavs, phasers and auto-filters used with various keyboards, etc. etc.) I can't really think of any pedals that were specifically designed for keyboard use - can you?

 

Do you use pedals for anything other than guitar, and if so, what are some of your favorite approaches? What pedals are you using, and what are you plugging into them, besides guitar or bass?

 

 

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Almost any chorus pedal will help fill out the sound of those cheap electronic home keyboards - the type with the built-in speakers that sell for $100 - $200 or so. It's amazing how much better these little keyboards sound with some chorus and running through a decent speaker system.

 

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Almost any chorus pedal will help fill out the sound of those cheap electronic home keyboards - the type with the built-in speakers that sell for $100 - $200 or so. It's amazing how much better these little keyboards sound with some chorus and running through a decent speaker system.

 

So true!

 

Big companies like Korg and Roland knew a long time ago that chorus was a great way to improve the sound of a keyboard - the use of chorus on the Roland Juno series and on other early 80's synths like the Korg Polysix really helped fill out the sound of those early single-DSO / VCO polysynths.

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Last band I was in with a keyboard player, He used a Morely Bad Horse Wah with his electric piano when we played a band tune called Up on Cripple Creek. He nailed that song to a T. Chorus, Echo, Reverb are all good on Keys. I use a poor man's Rotary Speaker pedal on my keyboard to get a Leslie sound on organ settings. Sounds pretty good considering. I modified a Dano Rocky road so it has a larger external pedal jack and it does overdrive like a Hammond amp.

 

I used to work with Sax Players allot. My one buddy did the whole electric sax Climax Blues Band thing with a clip on mic and pedal board. He got some decent tones too.

 

Of course midi can be used for most anything, especially drummers. In a studio adding effects to any instrument isn't hard.

 

I electrified my violin so I could run effects. I first tried a guitar pickup but the arch of the strings was too high to get a good output. I then installed a Piezo bridge and I got much better results.

 

Those newer electric violins are killer sounding for running through a guitar amp. They have a built in preamp and solid body which make them adaptable to pedals. My buddy bought a custom made 6 string fretted fiddle that tunes like a guitar. He's gotten pretty good at playing it considering he has no formal training.

 

Here's a video of one being used for metal music. Pretty wild stuff.

 

 

 

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This might be my last post before Irma brings alligators to my doorstep.

 

I use effect pedals on everything. But lately I've enjoyed using them to process my Eurorack. I have an ADDAC module that allows me to easily integrate guitar pedals with synth level audio. This way I don't use up valuable HP real estate on effect processing modules.

 

I[ATTACH=CONFIG]n32056086[/ATTACH]

Edited by Fender&EHX4ever
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This might be my last post before Irma brings alligators to my doorstep.

 

I use effect pedals on everything. But lately I've enjoyed using them to process my Eurorack. I have an ADDAC module that allows me to easily integrate guitar pedals with synth level audio. This way I don't use up valuable HP real estate on effect processing modules.

 

I[ATTACH=CONFIG]n32056086[/ATTACH]

 

Stay safe. You in Florida? Matching levels can be tricky with line/instrument etc.

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Stay safe. You in Florida? Matching levels can be tricky with line/instrument etc.

 

Yes, hunkering down in Orlando. Whole state is all nerves, even inland.

 

Agreed on level matching, though I've had great results with the ADDAC module. Got some really snarling sounds recently using the EHX Hot Tubes pedal (version with actual tubes).

 

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I haven't been on HC for quite a while, but I play my electric violins through my Helix. I still like LR Baggs preamps, using a Gigpro preamp, as well as a Digitech Drop for sub octave. The Helix is the first processor that I've owned which didn't constantly remind me that it was designed specifically for guitar. The amp models are there, but with the impulse responses that I use, I don't need the amps. It's also the first processor that allowed me to record DI for acoustic violin sounds from my electric violins, which is a dream come true. I mostly run a clean chain, with LA2A compressor, delay and reverb, but there are a lot of cool synth effects that I've been able to use for pads, as well as the best cello emulation I've ever heard. Chorus-style ensemble effect is done by patching two sets of dual parallel delays, both with short single repeats(less than 50 ms) and very slight pitch modulation.

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