No matter how nice your acoustic violin is you might be surprised at how much simpler it is to achieve great amplified tone using a purpose-built acoustic-electric instrument as opposed to a pickup. There are several advantages of acoustic-electric violins as compared to using a pickup or in certain amplified settings, as well as some circumstances where an acoustic-electric may not be the optimal tool. In this video Matt outlines some of the pros and cons of acoustic-electric instruments compared to using pickups or solid-body electrics.
It’s that time of year again, when thousands of string teachers, students, artists and product exhibitors descend on a city to commence the annual American String Teachers Association Nation Conference. This year the location is Tampa, Florida. If you are an electric player in attendance or a teacher interested in incorporating electric instruments and eclectic styles into your program, here are the sessions and exhibitors we recommend at the conference…
Just introduced at NAMM 2016, Yamaha’s stylish new offering meets entry-level competitors head-on with regard to price point and quality.
The selection among solid-body electric cellos is a bit more limited than that of electric violins but cellists nevertheless have several great options to choose from. There are several important factors to consider when shopping for a solid body electric cello, including:
- Physical points of reference
- Pickup, onboard electronics and the resulting tone
- Number of strings
- Headphone jack/preamp for practice
- Fretted or non-fretted fingerboard
We will outline these important factors and help you figure out which features are most important for your needs and ultimately narrow your selection to the best cello for your needs and budget.
At the Heart of the violin world, Violinist.com founder Laurie Niles sits down with Christian Howes to discuss the start-up and success of one of the largest communities of violinists across all styles and experience levels. Scroll down to listen in on:
- The exciting early days of the internet and the evolution of violinist.com as a medium
- Characteristics of violinists and the violin community
- Bridging the gap and finding common ground between beginners, teachers, elite players…
- Things that are working in the business of classical music
- What the classical vs creative violin communities share alike
- much more
Violinist and electric violin historian Ben Heaney (deltaviolin.com) posted a short but very high quality studio recording to YouTube of the original production prototype Fender electric violin from 1958. The recording is an extraction of the violin track from a professional album recording session Heaney played on. Heaney, tells us "in the video you get to hear the instrument through a Fender twin mic'd front, back and overhead ambient. No further processing or EQ but with some verb."
At the intersection of story telling, philosophy, and old time fiddle music lives Joe McHugh. Scroll down to take a journey! Listen and discover:
- How to recognize and employ story telling in everything around us
- Envisioning silence as a canvas. “It’s all silence”
- The violin as literary symbol and bridge to other dimensions
Christian sits down with four of the hottest young Creative Strings players to discuss practice techniques, exercises, moving between various fiddle styles, and more. Listen in with or without your instrument to develop specific practice strategies and gain tons of insights into your own creative musicianship including:
- Conceptual approaches for practicing and structuring improvisation
- Tricks for better internalizing harmony
- Connections between fiddle styles and jazz
- Tone production across different styles
- Dexterity exercises
- Playing faster
- Rhythmic exercises away from your instrument
A new tool for bowed strings players! The Electro-Harmonix C9 Organ Machine transforms your instrument into a convincing full body, electric organ. If you play in a band without a keyboard player and have been searching a way to cover organ parts with your analog effects, look no further than the C9. The C9 has these nine different classic electric organ tone settings, which consist of various Hammond, Farfisa, Vox, Clavioline and even Mellotron-style tones:
- Tone Wheel [classic rock organ w/ chorus]
- Prog [prog. rock tone i.e. Emerson Lake and Palmer or Yes]
- Compact [The Doors "Light My Fire" tone]
- Shimmer [U2]
- Lord Purple [Deep Purple]
- Mello Flutes [Mellotron, e.g. The Beatles "Strawberry Fields"]
- Blimp [Led Zeppelin]
- Press Stone [The Beatles "Let It Be"]
- Telstar [clavioline]
In episode 9, our own Duncan Monserud joins Christian to discuss a comprehensive range of topics concerning strings amplification. Among the many topics discussed are:
- Common misconceptions about electric bowed string instruments (04:00)
- Different means of amplification and the advantages/disadvantages of each (08:53)
- Microphones vs. pickups and the different types of both (10:05 - 31:33)
- Solid-body electric instruments (31:34 - 38:48)
- Amps, preamps and PA systems (39:48 - 51:35)
- Effects pedals and multi-effects (51:35 - 55:29)
- The many uses of phrase looping (55:57 - 1:00:16)
Beyond being able to call up any sound or instrument imaginable during live performance, MIDI violin is a highly useful tool for recording and notating music in the studio.
We are thrilled to reintroduce the NS Design WAV violins. WAVs have been off the market for quite some time while NS relocated and retooled production, but now they're back and they're better than ever! With better quality components all around--improved tone and volume pots, more durable chinrest hardware, finer wood, nicer finishes, a higher quality custom case, and now with NS electric strings included--the new WAV violin is the real deal, sporting a professional look and beautiful new tone.
In this video Matt uses a pre-recorded electric violin track in Logic Express to demonstrate methods for reducing unwanted bow noise in the recording studio. By applying a high pass filter, the noise of bow changes and bow tracking is greatly reduced. In addition, a low pass filter reduces the high piezo sound. Finally, a generous reverb smooths the violin's tone out nicely in the mix.
All of the techniques described in the video as being effective for reducing bow noise in the studio will also work in a live setting.
**UPDATE** ZETA violins are now compatible with the Roland GR-55 using the ZETA 8-pin to 13-pin MIDI cable (sold separately).
We get lots of calls and emails about MIDI violins. MIDI options for violins have been around for decades, but were only compatible with synthesizers that are now obsolete and only available on the used market. Also, latency and slower triggering made these MIDI violin systems less than ideal for most performers.
We are pleased to announce that we now carry two violins that are compatible with a high quality, available and currently produced MIDI synthesizer. The Fourness Fuse, with its newly calibrated 13 pin MIDI jack, and Cantini violins, with their proprietary 8-pin to 13-pin adaptor cable, have passed our in-house testing and are for sale on our site for use with the Roland GR-55 synthesizer.
In episode 8, Christian gets down to business--music business that is--in his interview with Tiffany L. Goodman of Goodman Artists. Tiffany has been representing artists in jazz, classical and world music since 2009. Topics covered in this information-packed conversation include:
- the importance of video in your marketing
- tips for building a presence with photos, a website, and social media
- the difference between a manager and agent
- tips for cold calling and using your network
- how to develop and maintain an agent-artist relationship
Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 7 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 2)Episode 7 is part two of Christian Howes's interview with conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. This half of the interview explores more concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:
- Fundamental elements of totality of the sound
- Balance, playing in ensembles, tempo, tone
- Teaching and conducting
It's that time of year again when thousands of string teachers, students, artists and product exhibitors descend on city to commence the yearly American String Teachers Association Nation Conference. This year the location is Salt Lake City, Utah. Due to staffing at our shop (two new babies born into the EVS family--congratulations Susie and Ted!) we are unable to be physically present at ASTA this year, however through our good friends among the teachers, presenters and exhibitors we will be there in spirit! If you are an electric player in attendance or a teacher interested in incorporating electric instruments and eclectic styles into your program, here are some of the events we recommend at the Salt Lake City ASTA conference...