So I was going to post in my blog about a violin I 3D printed and built, and then realised that this is a community waiting to happen. So I created a discourse forum. A place for people to share knowledge on how to build electric violin cellos and anything in between.
Electric violins today are usually heavier than their acoustic counterparts, 3D printing and carbon fibre makes it possible to print lighter violins with complex parts. Instead of spending a lot of time carving them in to heavy wood. The need is growing since nearly all music today is amplified. After all it takes more than a decade of practice to become an “ok” violin luthier.
The challenge is, that while modern instruments have been developing effects and new sounds, acoustic violins have been acoustic for the past 400 years. The years perfected acoustic violins, but this specialisation does not fully translate to electric violins, furthermore it makes it hard to top the rich sound of an acoustic.
Recently we achieved the ability to rapid prototype, plus we can learn from other instruments, such as electric guitars. Which have been creating amazing sound modelling techniques. With them I hope we can create new instruments. This is why I created the community.
There is already quite a long list of designs out there, shared in thingiverse mostly, but with little documentation on how to build them, and there is a lack of tests with pickups.
Pickups are am issue
Today, all available violins in the market use a piezo based pickup, this is because piezo pickups sense sound, they are mechanical. They were naturally chosen because they deliver a more acoustic sound, called electro-acoustic. Electric guitars use magnetic pickups, which have a more clear signal from the strings, but lose the acoustic sounds, which is compensated with amps and pedals. I have been playing with those too on violins, it might work. I know it was tested and abandoned around early 2000’s, but things have changed since. There are many more ways to experiment.
I hope that this forum will grow to be a larger community. At the moment I am the only one posting stuff, but I can already see traffic.
Comments, threads and more are welcome.
Would love your comments below.