3 Best Reverb Pedals for Violin

best reverb pedal for violin

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From wild to mild, you can produce any sound that you can imagine with an electric violin.

If you want to warm up your tone or sound more like a guitar, there’s a reverb pedal that can do it. If you want your violin to sound like it’s being played in a massive cathedral…of course, there’s a reverb that can do it. But you’re not limited to a cathedral feel.

Heck, you’re not limited to keeping your sound on this planet and there are many violinists who use reverb pedals to create beautiful, haunting, and other worldly sounds that pair perfectly with the violin’s natural tones. This song from Victoria Yeh is a perfect example of this and while there are several factors that go into this violinist’s sound, the reverb pedal is one of the core components.

We’ll explain some of the basics of using reverb with a violin along with sharing our 3 favorite options with something for everyone. But if you just want to skip ahead and see what made the list you can check out our favorites here:

Best Overall
Electro Harmonix Oceans 11
Electro Harmonix Oceans 11
9.9
  • Feature-rich and extremely versatile at an affordable price
  • Violinists can opt for a natural sound (like Hall) or get very creative with a huge list of options
  • With some much flexibility, this is a great option fo the musician that can't decide
Best Delay Pedal
Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler Pedal
Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler Pedal
9.8
  • Even though it's a delay pedal, it can still create the reverb sound along with a lot more
  • Great for creating beautiful harmonies which can really enhance the violin's sound
  • Stylish retro design that people love or hate
Most Natural Sounding
LR Baggs Align Reverb Pedal
LR Baggs Align Reverb Pedal
9.6
  • Simple but beautiful sounding reverb pedal that enhances the natural tones of the violin
  • Stylish and minimal design looks great on your pedal board
  • Reasonably priced and easy on the budget

Why Use a Reverb Or Delay Pedal With A Violin?

Reverb pedals are probably the most crucial thing to improving that quality of your bypass pickup tone from your violin.

While violins naturally resonate when a note is in perfect tune, the tone of an electric violin are typically dry when the sound is going directly into the PA system or amp. The reverb pedal adds a little more resonance and depth to your tone, which makes it sound warmer and add a natural resonance to it.

In short, adding reverb to your violin will almost always make you sound like a better player, and this is true not only for the violin but just about every instrument as well including the bass.

However, with great reverb power comes great reverb responsibility. Adding heavy reverb to a solo violin sounds great but working it into a track with other instruments can create a muddy and disjointed sound. So while I’m a very big fan of the reverb sound with the violin, it’s something that needs to be used sparingly in ensemble settings.

Reverb Parameters To Know With The Violin

With the reverb pedals that are available today, it’s possible for you to duplicate the natural reverbations that you’d find in nature. As amazing as that is, it can also feel a little overwhelming so let’s break down the key parameters that the electric violinist needs to consider:

Effect Ratio

The effect ratio signifies the change in volume between the natural sound (dry), the reflected sound (wet), and the direct sound. No matter how much reverb is being used, more of the wet (reflected) sound compared to dry will make the violin sound as though it’s further away from the listener. The opposite is also true and using the dry sound will make the instrument sound closer.

I usually find that going for the wetter sound works best with the violin and enhances the natural and sometimes ethereal tones of the violin.

Decay

Decay is the amount of time it takes for the reverberations to die away to the point that they’re no longer audible. Mathematically, this usually ends up being roughly 60 decibels below the original sound.

As humans, we intuitively have a feel for reverb and already know that a larger room will create more reverberations. That’s decay at work and by adjusting the decay on your pedal, you can create the effect of playing your violin in a larger or smaller room.

With the violin, starting with the Hall setting is usually a good start. Not only is this a standard option for most reverb pedals but it gives your violin a very full sound with going over the top.

Pre-Delay Time

The pre-delay time is the time between the start of the direct signal and the start of the wet signal. It shows how much space is between the listener, the reflective surface, and the instrument.

When you consider that sound moves just under one foot per millisecond, then a 400-millisecond pre-delay would indicate that the listener and the instrument are in the center of a 200’ x 200’ room, since it’s the same amount as the time it takes for the sound to travel the 200 feet, bounce off the reflective surface, and head back to the speaker. I know, that might sound complicated but I’d suggest experimenting with setting and finding a sound you like instead of trying to break out the calculator.

Tone

Finally, we take a look at the tone. Tone works with relatively low-energy high frequencies that are often absorbed by the environment much faster than the low-end, so it makes the effect sound warmer and darker than the instrument itself. Great reverb pedals have tone control so that you can create an accurate tone effect.

When all of these parameters are put together, the tone, decay time, pre-decay time, and the effect ratio can stimulate any sized room and make the sound of the violin be anywhere in that room.

Our Favorite Reverb Pedals For Violins

Now that you have the basics of reverb under your belt, let’s look at some of our favorite options.

Best Overall:  Electro Harmonix Oceans 11

Best Overall
Electro Harmonix Oceans 11
  • Feature-rich and extremely  versatile at an affordable price
  • Violinists can opt for a natural sound (like Hall) or get very creative with a huge list of options
  • With some much flexibility, this is a great option fo the musician that can't decide

The Electro Harmonix Oceans 11 is a multi-reverb pedal that features a long list of sound options which makes it a clear choice for the best overall. In other words, just about every violinist will be able to find a sound that they love if they take the time to experiment with the 4 knobs and other settings.

However, for those just getting started with reverb, you can stick with the basics using the Hall, Plate, or Spring settings and these will all create reverb sounds that will feel familiar. As you continue to get used to the pedal, you have other more unique settings like REVRS which reverses the sound of the usual reverb. Jimmy Page claims to have invented the reverse reverb sound so that could make you more or less interested.

Even though it’s focused on the guitar, you can check out this video for a better idea of how this reverb pedal functions and a great overview of all the available options:

With dozens of options but all the basics, the Electro Harmonix Oceans 11 is that reverb pedal that can grow with you as you experiment with different sounds. It also comes with an affordable price tag that makes a good starting point in the world of violin reverb.

You can take a closer all the options, read more reviews, and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Best Delay Pedal: Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler Pedal

Best Delay Pedal
Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler Pedal
  • Even though it's a delay pedal, it can still create the reverb sound along with a lot more
  • Great for creating beautiful harmonies which can really enhance the violin's sound
  • Stylish retro design that people love or hate

I know, this isn’t exactly a reverb pedal. In fact, it’s a delay pedal which means it repeatedly plays back the same notes. This can, however, create a reverb-like effect which is why it’s earned a spot on this list. It also helps that you can do a lot more than just reverb with this pedal including creating beautiful harmonies with yourself using the looping function.

You can see this action in the video below and even though it’s not technically reverb this pedal still creates a beautiful full sound:

While I love this delay pedal, the biggest downside is that it’s huge. And a little ugly. But I’m not as concerned with the retro-green color as much as the fact that this thing is the size of at least two (possibly 3) other effects pedals. That means it takes up a lot of premium space on your pedal board.

However, that’s more of an issue if you’re using this for other instruments where you’re more likely to have a wide of effects pedals. With the violin, you’re more likely to have a smaller range of effect options but of course, that’s not true for everyone and the size of this pedal could be an issue.

If you have the room, it’s worth checking. You can read more reviews, check the specs, and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Most Natural Sounding: LR Baggs Align Reverb Pedal

Most Natural Sounding
LR Baggs Align Reverb Pedal
  • Simple but beautiful sounding reverb pedal that enhances the natural tones of the violin
  • Stylish and minimal design looks great on your pedal board
  • Reasonably priced and easy on the budget

There are many situations where a violinist doesn’t want to create a wild, spacey, or overtly electric sound. Instead, you may want to just want to add simple reverb to their sound in order to balance out their sound. This is especially helpful if you’re playing smaller venues with an audience where natural reverb can all but disappear.

Most reverb pedals can handle that situation, but the LR Baggs does it especially well. You can hear exactly what this sounds like with a violin in this video:

Again, it’s a great choice for violinists that want to keep a natural tone but enhance their playing or adjust to the venue but adding reverb.

The minimalist look of this pedal means that besides the volume and bypass footswitch, the only controls are decay (the length of the reverb) and the reverb (the amount of effect being added to your sound), and tone. The reverb is introduced as a side-chain, which means that the original dry signal passes through the unit untouched, and the reverb control simply controls how much reverb ends up added to the mix. The tone control affects only the tone of the reverb itself.

Unlike many other reverb pedals, this pedal is designed to be mono-only, with no stereo outputs. The minimalist look of the LR Baggs Align Reverb also means that there are fewer functions and features than other pedals – it only focuses on a simple, fairly dense, and rich-sounding reverb with only a little bit of modulation.

For some violinists, that’s going to be a deal-breaker and for others, that’s going to be very appealing. Whatever camp you fall into, you can check out more reviews, take a closer look at the spec and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Closing Thoughts

Reverb makes just about everything sound better, including the violin. Reverb is pretty much hard-wired into the human brain and we’re always responding and reacting to reverb- even when it’s at the subconscious level.

That makes it one of the most fundamental effects you experiment with when it comes to perfecting your violin’s sound. It can enhance your sound in live settings to make up for a reverb loss due to the venue or help you create a truly unique sound.

The choice is yours but no matter what you choose I can’t wait to hear the music you make!