Amplifying your acoustic violin with acoustic violin pickups

Hi Chris, how are you?

I have a question which I don’t think is the best subject for the webinar tomorrow, but is very important. I recently broke my Fishman pickup, and I need a new one asap. I was wondering which removable pickup do you recommend for my acoustic violin. I am looking for a removable cause I just have one violin and I still play a lot of classical gigs, and these people usually have a problem if you show up with a pickup in your fiddle. I use a baggs para D.I. preamp, which pickup do you recommend?

Thanks. Looking forward to meeting you online tomorrow.
Abraços,
Luis

Hi Luis-

As you know, I really prefer the Yamaha VNP-1 acoustic violin pickup because  nothing else sounds as good to me.
I understand you feel a need to keep up appearances for people with prejudices about pickups.  I recently talked with Blaise at the Electric Violin Shop and he told me that you could have the Yamaha pickup fitted in such a way so that it’s almost invisible. Maybe this is something you could try to do incognito.
Otherwise I honestly couldn’t recommend any removeable pickup , (possibly a lavalier mic, but I can’t stand them, and they definitely won’t work for any “loud” environment, i.e., including drums, for example.)
Some people think that having a pickup on your instrument will compromise the ability of the instrument to project, but I think it’s something you shouldn’t worry about. I performed with a few different orchestras in the last year on my acoustic violin (without amplification-with the pickups and my fine tuners on the violin!)
I personally would rather be prepared to deal with amplified settings then avoid offending the occasional purist.
Your pickup is also an excellent advertisement.  When someone is looking for a violinist who can improvise, everyone who has seen you will remember that you have a pickup and they will be more likely to recommend you for the gig!
A good pickup also enables you to enhance your sound in the studio. You should play into a mic as well as the pickup, obtaining two separate signals, and then using a small amount of the pickup signal as an extra color to blend with your mic sound.
I hope this helps and I’m so glad you’re enjopying the Creative Strings Academy. See you on the (ustream) group calls!
all best
chris

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