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location Illinois
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Nov
19
comment Do different synthesizers produce the exact same sawtooth (and square, etc) waveform?
@JCPedroza: Any device which tries to output a "perfectly" sharp edge is going to end up introducing distortion which will likely be affected by things like operating temperature, the impedance of the load, etc. I'm not sure to what extent analog synthesizers intended for musical use endeavor to make edges have the same slope for all frequencies, or to what extent they try to make the slope be proportional to frequency, since both approaches pose design challenges. BTW, I misread the earlier post as indicating that those traces came from analog synths; they seem curious as waves...
Nov
18
answered Do different synthesizers produce the exact same sawtooth (and square, etc) waveform?
Nov
14
comment Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?
@quickthyme: Everything depends upon the style of music. There are some styles where strumming 5-6 notes is entirely the right thing to do, and others where it's the wrong thing to do. If the styles one wants to play are those where 5-6 chords are appropriate, and one is capable of playing such the chords cleanly, the fact that they would be inappropriate for other styles shouldn't be an issue.
Nov
14
comment Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?
Saying "patently false" is a bit harsh, but I think it is fair to say that distortion generally requires using fewer strings, while cleaner sounds work better with more. I use chords of 5-6 strings almost exclusively (sometimes strummed as a group, or 1+4, or five individual notes, or three individual notes followed by the last two together, etc.) My reason for using an electric rather than an acoustic isn't that I want the "electric guitar sound", so much as that cheap electrics have better actions than cheap acoustics.
Nov
14
comment Octave clef: common usage?
@dumbledad: I've encountered SATB music written with rhythmically-homophonic SAT on a G-clef staff (all at pitch) and a rhythmically-different bass part on a F-clef staff. It's also common for publishers to simply omit any sort of octave marking when writing G-clef tenor parts. In most cases it will be obvious which octave the tenors should sing.
Nov
14
comment Is there any real-world difference between time signatures such as 4/4 and 8/8?
The question of whether a beat comes "early" or "late" is an interesting one. I find it interesting that "America" [Bernstein: West Side Story] is marked as "6/8 3/4", but some other pieces which with similar stress patterns are simply written as 3/4. Something like "Lion Tamer" [Schwartz: The Magic Show] is written as 7/4 (with a notation to subdivide it as 3/4+4/4), but the text would sound very awkward if an accent were placed on the second quarter-note beat, rather than an eighth-note later. Still, it might be reasonable to view the stressed note as being an "early" third beat.
Nov
14
answered Development of electric guitar - why not put a mic in front of a acoustic guitar?
Nov
14
answered Why is greensleeves considered to be in sextuple meter?
Nov
13
comment Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?
@Tim: I don't think so. On my guitars, the clearer sound is on the neck pickup. When I want to emphasize the bass strings, I use little metal bars to bridge the top four pairs of magnets on the humbucker pickups (softening the treble strings). The effect of adding the bars to the neck pickup is noticeable when the switch is set for the position I would describe as giving the "clearer sound". Maybe we differ in how we interpret "clearer" and "fatter"?
Nov
13
answered Note Flag instead of Beam
Nov
13
answered Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?
Nov
13
comment Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?
@leftaroundabout: If one tunes the G string on a guitar about a seventh of a semitone flat, flat, an open E chord can sound very nice with distortion (frequency ratios 2:3:4:5:6:8), vs. 2:3:4:5.04:6:8 with equal note spacing). Unfortunately, tuning the G string flat will cause almost every other chord to sound horrible.
Nov
11
awarded  Popular Question
Nov
3
answered What exactly are complex sounds in terms of audio waves?
Oct
23
comment When tuning a guitar, why is it only in tune for a moment?
A rather nice demo is to hang a piece of string so it hangs between two points with a slight sag in the middle, tie another piece of string to the midpoint of the first, and hang a small weight from the second, and start it spinning in a circle. The rotation will subside as the weight shifts toward swinging in a diagonal line, then the rotation will reverse, then the weight will swing on the other diagonal, etc. Something similar can happen on the guitar since the ends don't restrict vertical and horizontal movements quite the same way.
Oct
23
comment Playing guitar with webbed fingers
I use a tuning which makes it possible to play almost all chords on five or six strings using three fingers, and without having to have any fingers cross over the sounding portions of strings. Normally I use four fingers, assigning a finger per fret on four consecutive frets (index finger bars 3-6 strings) but I can play with any three.
Oct
23
comment What kind of a guitar can I play without thumbs?
How do the length of your left ring finger and index finger compare? With my preferred tuning, I can play almost any chord using any combination of three fingers on the left hand, or play behind my back, or do many other such things; depending upon the lengths of your fingers, it might also work for you.
Oct
21
comment Can turning on an amplifier without a connected load (cab) cause damage?
Transistor amplifiers drive more power into low-impedance loads than high-impedance loads, while tubes do the opposite (a short is zero impedance; an open is infinite impedance). Curiously, I seldom see any mention of this phenomenon in discussions of "tube sound", even though the impedance of a typical speaker will vary with frequency, and the way tubes interact with that varying impedance is very different from the way transistors interact.
Oct
19
comment Does a chord need to include its root?
YMMV means Your Mileage May Vary. At least in the US, when automakers advertise their vehicles, they include government estimates of fuel economy but then add a disclaimer that "actual mileage may vary". The expression "Your mileage may vary" derives from that.
Oct
18
comment Is “16va” proper notation?
@NReilingh: I wonder what Italians think of the usage? I have seen some scores where there wouldn't be much distance between an octave-down marking on the upper score and an octave-up marking on the lower score, so having different markings may be helpful, but brackets could probably do just as much to clarify things as would using 8vb.