Volume Pedal for Swells

Discussion in 'The Effect effect' started by Jmart1212, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talker

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    Just wanted to get some advice on volume pedals and placement for swells.

    Should I place it in the front of the amp or in the loop?

    My gut is telling me loop, but what do you think?

    Also, what are good models to go for and why?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-O-Master

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    I use a Mooer Slow Engine. It’s based on the old Boss Slow Gear. Great pedal for volume swells, violin or pedal steel type attack, and spacey atmospheric stuff. I have it near the front of my pedal board, but placement isn’t critical for me as I tend to use my pedals one at a time. And, at least for me, it works much better for those purposes than rocking a standard volume pedal like an Ernie Ball.

    Bill, tgo
     
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  3. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    I use my volume pedal pretty much only for swells or an overall mute. My Princeton does not have a loop so I run it after drives but before delay straight into the amp. Works great.
     
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  4. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    I use the new Ernie Ball with a tuner, visual display, loop and buffer built in. It’s light years better than the standard eb at stopping tone suck and the loop is awesome to put drive pedals in.
     
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  5. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member

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    I recently bought the Ernie Ball VP JR with the built-in tuner.

    It is placed in front of my modulation pedals and included in the effects loop with flange, chorus, echo & reverb, and after my drive pedals which are not in the loop.
     
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  6. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    You could try using an Ebow. They work best on HH guitars, though.
     
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  7. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I've got an old Dunlop volume pedal from the '80s. Used to put it in the loop, but some of my current amps don't have a loop so I'm just going in the front. It's the last thing in my chain before the amp.
     
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  8. TheWorldsAStage

    TheWorldsAStage Strat-Talker

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    I run mine in the loop, which is after the amp drive but before modulation, delay, and reverb. Nice violin swells from there.
     
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  9. telepraise

    telepraise Strat-O-Master

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    For smooth swells, the Ernie Ball VP was always the gold standard (other than a $300 pedal steel VP) but were famous for the dang string breaking and being a pain to replace. Luckily, they came out with a model with a kevlar cord.

    Where in the chain depends on the pedal. High impedance passive pedals generally go in the front but can be a tone suck like the volume control on your guitar. Low impedance buffered pedals can go anywhere but the buffer/preamp can possibly color your tone, depending on the pedal.

    I bought the EB VP 40th anniversary model which they claim can be used anywhere in the signal path, indeed the impedance of the pedal is not listed anywhere. I sometimes need an overdrive tone at a lower volume so I have my volume pedal after comp and OD, but before modulation and delay. Works for me.

    Edit: I see they now identify the impedance as 250k.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075N16X5M/?tag=strattalk05-20
     
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  10. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    For volume swells it should be in front of the amp, and the first thing in the signal chain. Just like your guitar's volume knob.
     
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  11. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member

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    According to this video, there are 3 different places it could go, depending on what exactly you want to achieve.

     
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  12. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talker

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    I think this might be the way to go, that or in the middle as other suggested. Thanks
     
  13. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talker

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    Ok thanks everyone, I have decided to experiment with a volume pedal in the front of the amp.

    I'm pretty sure this will be a passive Vp, right?... or would active be better?

    If so, what resistance value would y'all recommend?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
  14. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    In front of the amp has a drawback: You're reducing the signal hitting the pre-amp. If you're overdriving the pre-amp as part of your "tone", you just cut the input level.

    If your pedals are doing all the overdrive/distortion/etc sort of work it might not matter. But, if you can put it in the loop, you take it out of the pre-amp drive equation.
     
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  15. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talker

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    True, I just have to work on a new layout for my board
     
  16. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    I demo'd passive and active and went with the Ernie Ball MVP, which is powered and has a boost knob and minimum volume knob - I actually like to be able to hear just a tiny hint of signal in the off position to avoid any surprises.

    The biggest thing was the tone suck though - the passive had audible high-end loss compared to the powered version - even though I liked the sweep of the passive a little better as it was adjustable.

    As for pot value, you would only get the 25K version if you are running active pickups like EMGs and have the VP first in the chain - later in the chain and especially after any buffers it shouldn't matter.
     
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  17. StratAlchemist

    StratAlchemist Strat-O-Master

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    My reference for volume pedal work. Matt does it great. Love the Sugar Magnolia work.
     
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