Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Electric mandolin interfacing; what approach to take?

  1. #1
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,906
    Blog Entries
    5

    Question Electric mandolin interfacing; what approach to take?

    I've decided to take the plunge and begin using an electric mandolin with one of the bands I play with.
    I'll be keeping it 8 string and if it seems to be working out I might get an electric violin.
    We've oscillated between various acoustic through electric tendencies over the years & one of the main singers is "keen to make a bit more noise" over the next while.
    I'm keen to experiment with sounds beyond my normal preference for fully acoustic mandolin & fiddle.

    I have a cheapy 1970's thing which works really well as an over driving noise maker.
    However I wanted to have a good quality input source to play with that sits nicely as a mandolin, so I've taken the plunge & ordered an Eastman ElRey, which will take a while to arrive, meaning I've got time to mull over choices.


    I have access to various amps (Marshall / Vox / Ibanez/ Laney / DanArmstrong) and pedals, interfaces etc which I will use to experiment with sounds. However I want to end up with a new, clean & simple set up as I'm not really keen to go lugging shedloads of kit about with me. A big part of why I like miked acoustic set ups is the simplicity & ease of set up.

    I'm tending towards buying a single unit pedal board, maybe something like the Zoom G6 or Line6 POD Go.
    But I only have experience of pedal-chains which seem to end up like Heath Robinson contraptions, or weighing in like a small car.
    I know people have commented online about the Zoom feeling a bit lightweight, but I'm no metal stamping monster on stage, so light is good for me. I've watched a good few YT vids about weighing up between options so know there's no one size fits all, but I value the experience of mandolinists & fiddlers on here & know we have a slightly different view of the world than most, so I thought I'd plug-in to the mandolin hive mind here & seek some different perspectives;


    If you were starting from scratch in terms of interfacing electric mandolin, what approach would you go for? What would be the upsides and downsides of your current approach that would make you change to your desired "from scratch" ideal?

    1 : DI & just use whatever the desk has available? maybe getting on the slippery slope of .....

    2 : Pedals & pedal boards? plus 2a: How to stop them becoming a multi headed hydra? - what do you actually need?

    3 : Multi effects foot boards with expression pedal? (G6/POD Go etc)

    4 : Guitar amp modelling via a fondle-slab & bluetooth foot control pedal. (iPad /phone etc.) I own an IK Blue Board)

    5 : Use a favourite amp that gives the one ot two tones you want?

    6 : what have I missed?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas.


    Eoin
    Last edited by Beanzy; May-27-2023 at 10:40am.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: Electric mandolin interfacing; what approach to take?

    Same situation with a louder band has me using a Gibson EM200 8-string electric. After some experimentation (still on-going) have settled on using an EHX OD Glove (OCD clone) overdrive pedal and a Sonic IR cab sim with DI out. This gives me just enough compression and dirt to use the Volume knob for tone changes without having to 'dance' at any time. So the board can be tucked away since space is a premium.
    I tried using a bigger set of pedal, POG, delay, phaser but just did not find myself needing the different tones. Having a range of overdrive on the volume knob is all I needed to get through the set.

  3. The following members say thank you to Michael H Geimer for this post:

    Beanzy 

  4. #3
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,906
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: Electric mandolin interfacing; what approach to take?

    Thanks for the outline Michael.
    I think the simplicity of your set up is where I'd like to end up eventually.
    From what I can see knowing your own sound and what it takes to achieve that is key to simplicity & a relaxed involvement with the tools to get there.
    I know from my younger years playing bass with bands in university & during early work years in London, the guitarists were always turning up with their latest pedal experiment. I got away with the Boss chorus/flanger & distortion in various configs and was always interested in what they were after & whether they actually knew the end result.

    In thinking back on that time I realise that away from the acoustic mandolins, I'm now in their position. Seeking 'something', but not yet having the first hand experience of enough experimenting to be able to define whatever would become the sounds I would be happy to define my playing. It's very much a creative feedback loop using new instruments and sounds, with one suggesting directions and those directions suggesting further experimentation in their turn.

    So, as I'm a long way off having a definition of what I really want yet, I've gone for the Zoom G6 board.
    There was an 'open box' one on offer from Scan for 100 less that the RRP so I took that plunge.
    My thinking is that it'll let me explore & confuse myself for the first stages, while limiting the cost to the 260 I've laid out for the g6.
    As it's all in one, then there's minimal physical complexity & I don't have to worry about balancing output/input levels between effects, it removes another thing that could trip me up. ("is that the 'overdrive' or am I overdriving it?")

    Now all I need is the Eastman to arrive so I can get started with the sonic experimentation (including the immature stage of "wooo! look it can go all weird")
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •