Saturday, 2 June 2012

SEX AND VIOLINS, new violin technology

As a musician I find my self looking at new inspiration in the form of music but nowadays those music sub genres are either mix of this and that. One genre  mixed with another makes a new piece of music, which for some reason makes it fresh.

Time goes on and the humble musician has to compete with past successful songs, as well as the current songs. I try not to think of it that way as I get a headache with all the competition. I just make a little niche for my self and that is little folk like songs with electro beats because I don't have a backing band.
My formula is simple. Say what I am thinking of, a little self deprecating thoughts about the situation that I am in. But I think it kind of works when you compare those auto-tune songs on you tube, which sings about all sorts of things. The main thing is to include a hook and some form of music to go with it.

For me I love strings and cool drum beats, a simple orchestra sound organised in a cool riff or something with a nice groove pattern usually turns my ear.
But now I am turning towards technology to get new sound of string, ever sings the midi violin I thought that would take off and make a cool range of sounds and the expression from these sounds would be excellent.
I think my first hero at the time was Jimi Hendrix with his ability to create feedback sounds that would extend the guitars expression. Laurie Anderson was another hero because of the electro sounds she would employ.And that she would experiment lots of sounds that would make her tune stand out.

My humble music started off with a home built valve amp and a dodgy electric guitar, I managed to get some kind of feed back when I boosted the gain, but got a lot of mains hum. plus I had to box the collection of dangerous electronics to protect me from dying.
Now I turn my turned my attention to violins because you can group the sounds to a orchestra like effect.
Its also a challenge to make them sound musical with out making them go out of tune.
When I first heard about Zeta violins I thought they were the best thing since slice bread, I managed to buy a special pick up which was to be used on the bridge of the violin and would actually help reduce the feedback.
Its kind of sounded less of a violin but more of a electric instrument, but was better then a piezo pickup I used to have. This was musical birthday card speaker ripped out and glued and electrically joined to a amplifier.
 The zeta range would have these picks up in their beautifully designed violins, but also a midi pick up to go to

a controller which can convert the notes to midi information. More or less in the designs gets kind weird and crazy, but the technology hasn't really change for the electrifying the sound. It was expensive to buy £2000 worth of midi equipment for the midi violin. But now with a bit of luck you can find one at half the price.
And then recently I heard about the K Bow which is something similar to the Zeta midi violin. It uses a special attachment to the bow and the receiver to the fingerboard. It somehow uses the violins box as a way to express the output. Its hard to describe but when I first saw this thing I fell in love with it but then again I saw the price tag and thought hmmm I can always dream. $3,800 for a violin expression tool is a bit too much I can always hope this technology might go down in price so people like me can have a go. Either way I'll just keep watching the videos and drool over the sounds

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