by C-String at electricuke.com
HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!
See? Electronic FX are more than science. They tell stories. In this example of “Hello!”, a delay processor could be used to liven up the story by adding the audio illusion of an echoing voice in a canyon. Likewise, we often use our ukulele rig's electronic audio FX to spice up a story. But, it is our BASIC ELECTRIC UKULELE SOUND that is the backbone of the tale being told in our instrumental performance.
Before you switch in the boldly stated individual special FX with your pedal or group of pedals, you should always set your BASIC ELECTRIC UKULELE SOUND. This is the sound that is produced by plugging the electric uke directly into your amplifier and adjusting the tone (or equalization) but adding no or minimal other processors (effects). You are adjusting the tone to produce your best possible “clean” or most often used and usually also less processed of your amplified ukulele sounds.
Of course we've already crossed over that fuzzy line that exists somewhere between “unprocessed” and processed electric ukulele sound because we've put in the EQ! So, as you now consider, in a performance there is rarely even such thing as an “unprocessed” electric uke. Many players will also prefer a touch of overedrive or compression as a part of their BASIC ELECTRIC UKULELE SOUND. Some players even include time based FX such as reverb, chorus or delay as a part of their basic or characteristic sound. If you play in several musical styles, you need to develop multiple quickly accessible “BASIC” playing sounds with your equipment. Perhaps for rock, jazz, blues, metal, electronic, urban, folk. Since you play the electric ukulele, there aren’t limitations.
It is important to create your basic playing tone though because that will be the sound that you fall back to frequently; at least in a live playing session or jam session. This is also good advise for those who sometimes want to hear a good amount of the electric ukulele’s tonal characteristics in between the times that more extreme effects are applied to the signal. In some playing instances though, perhaps such as when recording a psychedelic song or when playing only obtuse late night numbers, a clean sound may never be needed!
Now you can add all of the other FX on top of your electric ukulele's finely adjusted BASIC ELECTRIC UKULELE SOUND.
It useful to think of the effects that we play through as being “processors”. As I described my method of building my sounds, I’ve already applied three processors to my signal just to achieve my basic “clean” sound. compression, EQ, and overdrive. When I want to stand out in the performance or when the entire band is ripping in a SIIICK and mutated fashion, not only might I increase the amount of the three processors that I’m already using for my basic sound, I might add additional processors as well. Maybe some delay or some filtering effects!
Processors that are useful to electric ukuleleists fall into to three categories: dynamic, filtering and time-based. My BASIC ELECTRIC UKULELE SOUND includes a dynamic processor (compression), a filtering processor (equalization) and hybrid processor (overdrive). Delay is one example of a time-based processor.
There is so much more to this processing thing and we haven’t even gone weird yet!