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location Illinois
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Apr
8
comment Why do we need note names like B♭, D♭ etc.? Why not use only A♯, C♯ and so on?
It's worth noting that with handbells, the C# above middle C will be played with the same bell as would the Db, but the former note would generally be played by one person's right hand while the latter would be played by the next person's left hand. Assigning each person's left hand to a note written on a "line" and the right to the note written on a "space" will ensure that each person in the middle of a diatonic scale will play two notes--one with each hand.
Apr
3
comment What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?
She might like my tuning. G-D-d-f-g#-b (bottom two strings reversed). On the top five strings one can easily play a major or minor chord in any inversion, or a root-position seventh chord; second-inversion chords (e.g. G-G-C-E-G) don't sound great, but just extend the first finger to the sixth string to get C-G-G-C-E-G.
Mar
27
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
@Archival: How many venues have acoustics such that the character of the house mix perfectly matches the character of the sound heard by the audience? If one determines that in some venue a woman's vocals need to be boosted by 1.2dB to counteract the fact that e.g. the material is more reverberant at lower frequencies, I would think one should change the house mix without changing the monitors. Boosting the vocalist's mic gain by 1.2dB in the monitor mix would likely make her sing more quietly, counteracting the desired effect (if the soloist wouldn't react to the monitor, why have them?)
Mar
27
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
Some types of audio effects induce an unavoidable delay between when the musician produces a sound and when it comes out the mix. If the audience hears sounds 100ms late, they're not going to notice, but a monitor mix which is delayed by 100ms would for many musicians be at best useless. They may be able to tune it out, but if that's going to be the case why bother with it. Better I'd think to have a zero-delay monitor mix, have a sound guy tell the musicians in rehearsal what they need to do for a good final mix, and have musicians perform so the monitor sounds like it did in rehearsal.
Mar
27
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
@Archival: Different musicians need different things to achieve their optimal performance. If Bob can give a decent performance given the house mix, and no other mix would improve things, and if Joe could give the same performance as Joe using the house mix, but could give an even better performance with something else, I see no reason to regard Joe as an inferior musician; I'd say that if practical he should be given whatever mix would allow him to give the best performance. BTW, another problem I'd see with using the house mix is delay.
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
...performing along with. If for reasons of tonal quality, one wants to take the sound of singer Bob up a third and Joe down a third, Bob should hear a mix that includes himself at pitch, the orchestra down a third, and Joe down a fifth, and Joe should hear a mix that includes himself at pitch, the orchestra up a third, and Bob up a fifth. Then if Bob and Joe each sing in tune with the pitch he hears for the orchestra, the audience will hear them sing in tune. I would not expect singers to be able to maintain reasonable intonation any other way.
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
@Archival: Many good musicians would find it very difficult to perform given a monitor mix in which they weren't included. If the sound of each musician is readily identifiable in the mix (e.g. because each is playing a different part), a good musician should have no problem with a mix that includes him the same as everyone else. My concern would be in cases where a mix contains two or more instruments that cannot be identified by sound. As for something like the detuning scenario, I'd posit that the musician should be given a mix which includes sounds that are at the pitch he should be...
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
...each might think he was flat and raise his pitch, so that both would hear that the player that had been flat was in tune, and the one that had been in tune was now sharp. Perhaps the ideal if the equipment could handle it (with digital technology this should be possible if the equipment designers wanted to provide it) would be for each player to receive a pair of mixes for the left/right ears in which the overall levels of the players matched the house mix, but the stereo placement heard by each player would clearly isolate his own sound.
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
In some cases, I would think musician may reasonably need to hear something other than the house mix. Suppose, for example, that two people are supposed to be playing in unison, but one of them is a little flat. If each player hears a mix in which his part is louder than the rest, the one who's playing flat would the only one for whom the loudest instrument in the mix would be playing flat, and would thus know that he was the one who needed to adjust. Otherwise, if both musicians hear the same mix, both might think the other was flat and do nothing, or...
Mar
25
comment Best method to learn to play barre chords?
I use G-D-d-f-g#-b, (bottom two strings swapped vs standard tuning), which I call "flat-finger tuning". It gives two sets of easily-fingered major/minor/seventh bar chords a fourth apart. The useful melodic range is a lot smaller than with standard tuning, but some of the closer chord voicings are quite nice (e.g. an F7 chord is F-F-A-C-Eb, whereas in standard tuning it would be F-C-Eb-A-C-F).
Mar
20
comment How does fm synthesis work compared to additive synthesis, and how can I approach sound design with it?
@WheatWilliams: My point isn't that the Yamaha does FM synthesis better, but rather that because of digital aliasing effects it is totally unlike anything in the analog world, crude or otherwise. Incidentally, I wonder if the people who designed the DX7 ever played any arcade machines designed by Eugene Jarvis or featuring his sound board (Defender, e.g. debuted in 1979). The Jarvis sound board uses a 6800 microprocessor to generate waveforms by periodically adding various registers to other registers in a fashion conceptually similar to the Yamaha DX series.
Mar
19
comment How does fm synthesis work compared to additive synthesis, and how can I approach sound design with it?
@WheatWilliams: The digital FM synthesis used in the DX series was very different from analog FM synthesis. Among other things, the internal sampling rates were insufficient to prevent significant aliasing of some frequency components in the generated signals, and such aliasing ends up playing a significant role in the sound of many patches. Were one to construct an analog equivalent of what the DX is 'supposed' to be doing, its sound would be very different from that of the DX. [note: my experience is with my DX21, but I expect the DX7 is similar in that regard].
Mar
14
comment What is true bypass?
Good answer, though it's worth noting that some amplifiers may have input impedance characteristics that vary in "interesting" ways with frequency, and the impedance of a guitar's pickup may also vary. If a guitar is connected to an amp with non-uniform impedance, the guitar and amp can interact in ways which would not be possible if a buffer was inserted in-between. Such interactions may sometimes be desirable and sometimes undesirable, but it's essentially impossible to add a buffer without changing such interactions.
Mar
14
answered Why does my guitar sound more natural when plugged directly into a tube amp vs through a pedal board?
Mar
12
comment On a piano scale what is considered “middle C”?
The two examples represent the same notes but are not really equivalent. The example on the right would, by more common conventions, indicate that the right hand was to play the D and the left hand was to play the A. The alternative to cross-staff beaming would be for the treble cleff to contain an eighth-note D followed by a rest, and the bass cleff to contain an eight-note rest followed by an A.
Mar
12
comment Memorising the fretboard when using dropped tunings?
Not sure why you got the downvote. Basically, I'd think of having a dropped tuning as being roughly equivalent to putting a capo a "negative" fret, and a capo is just a convenient way of tuning up a guitar (albeit with the consequence of reducing the scale length). Incidentally, I've seen harpsichords and even a small pipe organ which could be rapidly switched between A415 and A440 by pulling out the keyboard, moving a spacer from one side to the other, and reinserting the keyboard, so the relation between "transposing" and changing reference pitch is a recognized concept.
Mar
9
awarded  Revival
Mar
8
answered How does sending MIDI over USB compare to using a dedicated MIDI interface?
Feb
12
comment How can I prevent loss of tuning when changing strings set from 0.11 to 0.12?
...if that makes the fifth string too quiet it will be easier for a luthier to expand the grooves to accommodate a larger string, than contract them to fit a smaller one?
Feb
12
comment How can I prevent loss of tuning when changing strings set from 0.11 to 0.12?
How can one avoid a "chicken and egg" problem when trying to select what kinds of strings one will want to use? On my acoustic guitar with my 'special' tuning, the fifth string (which in my tuning is the largest) sits up a bit high and plays a bit louder than the sixth string, but I'd like the sixth string to be about as loud as the fifth. Using a smaller gauge fifth string would likely make it less loud, but calibration probably will to. I don't want to make it too soft. Should I guess at having the guitar calibrated using a smaller gauge on the theory that...