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49 votes
Accepted

What is this metal M-shaped device for?

It's a clip that you use to hold music books open on the stand, like so:
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
44 votes
Accepted

What's this w-shaped ebony item from my grandma's violin case?

It's a mute. It clips onto the bridge. Damps the sound. This is the traditional type. There are others: https://nolaschoolofmusic.com/blog/a-guide-to-violin-mutes
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.6k
32 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

Well, every mic you toss into the mix also adds more ambience, a bit of feedback from PA and monitors, and will pick up sounds that aren't really supposed to be heard at all, like breathing. Now, this ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
31 votes
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Is redundancy used when live recording important performances?

So, I work in live production, specifically in audio. With very, very few exceptions the mics themselves and the mic cables have no immediate redundancy other than someone being ready to deal with a ...
CrypticSound's user avatar
25 votes
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What is the purpose of this concert equipment?

They are called "Stage monitors". Basically they are speakers so that the band members can hear themselves and their fellow musicians more clearly. When the stage is big, it is hard to ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Are large displays bad in a recording studio?

And 87% of statistics are made up on the spot too ;) I've never heard such tosh. In a home studio the least of your worries is going to be reflections from a couple of screens. What about the windows, ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
22 votes

Do I need 88 keys to produce film soundtracks?

No, you do not need 88 keys. You could produce film soundtracks with 0 keys- everything can be programmed nowadays. Of course, many prefer to record MIDI, and 61 keys will be sufficient at that. How ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,732
20 votes

Guitar for a patient with a spinal injury

summary: five-string banjo, open G, barre chords, light strings I jammed with a musician at a folk festival who had suffered a stroke and could no longer make proper chords, but he was able to use a ...
Wayne Conrad's user avatar
  • 1,450
18 votes

Guitar for a patient with a spinal injury

I wanted to add this alternative invented by a music teacher in Sweden to help students with disabilities be able to play the guitar. Depending on the way the lever is pressed (left/right/upright) ...
user1884905's user avatar
16 votes

What is the purpose of this concert equipment?

Adding to the existing answers - monitor or foldback speakers - so-called because they literally fold the sound back to the band. Often, especially in open air gigs, the sound is fed to the audience ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
15 votes

Do I need 88 keys to produce film soundtracks?

88 keys are very useful if you intend to PLAY the keyboard in a pianistic style. Otherwise your 61 keys will be fine. I wouldn't be surprised to learn of a modern soundtrack composer who didn't use ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.6k
14 votes

How can a snare's activation be made quieter?

To directly answer your question, you need to control the snare's lever arm so that once you get past the point of most resistance, you're not pushing it too fast. In other words, push on both sides ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,732
13 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

Never understood why any mic needs to be live when not in use. Every mic I use on a gig will be equipped with an on/off switch, and it's expected to be used. My own vox mic is only ever on when I sing....
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
13 votes

What do the labels on drumsticks (5A, 7B, etc.) mean?

I have found the following information on this website: The letters will tell you the weight of the stick( A, B, S or D): A (orchestra) is the lightest type of stick out there. This was the type of ...
Olli's user avatar
  • 1,191
12 votes

Is redundancy used when live recording important performances?

There are several youtube videos showing live setups for large bands, and you'll see that there is a LOT of redundancy in there. Thinking of Billy Joel's keyboard player David Rosenthal - he has two ...
PeteCon's user avatar
  • 1,920
12 votes

Guitar for a patient with a spinal injury

In my teens, my best friend suffered a gunshot injury at C5C6. He had virtually no finger control. But he figured out a way to play with the guitar in his lap like a slide guitar. He would barre open ...
Canna Chris's user avatar
11 votes

Guitar for a patient with a spinal injury

There is a device called the “Chord Buddy” and other similar devices that are branded differently. It clips on the neck of the guitar and has 4 buttons that enable the user to play 4 different chords ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
10 votes

Is it advisable to use hand grippers to train for barre chords

It turns out that strength is not what is needed to improve your ability to finger barre chords, or any chords. It's mostly about precise placement and using the minimum amount of force to hold it ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the function of the black strip on the lower horn of a Fender Precision bass

On older Fenders, it's below the strings, later ones it's above, then it disappeared entirely. It's a finger/thumb rest. Back in the 50s/60s you'd rest your fingers there & actually play with ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
10 votes
Accepted

Mysterious plastic tube arriving with double bass strings

This was posted by Bob Gollihur of Gollihur music, a reputable bass dealer in the US on a bass forum: Got an official response from Thomastik on the other board: Re: Plastic on Thomastik I love ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
9 votes

Are large displays bad in a recording studio?

I feel like most non-home studios—and I suppose any home studios that can manage it—put everything “engineer-facing” in a separate room from the actual mics. Computers, mixing board, screens, etc. I ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 17.9k
9 votes

Guitar for a patient with a spinal injury

Slide guitar Blues musicians have played slide guitar since the birth of the genre, and it's also a major part of the sound of country music. It's also often used in rock. Playing with a slide ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,802
8 votes

Does the microphone gear/setup used to record vocals determine the output quality of the music or does the mixing and mastering?

I think the heart of the question is, which is more important: gear or skill? The answer to that question is skill is more important. Skill is the product of training, practice, and experience, and ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 57.1k
8 votes
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How far can 9's be tuned down?

There are two limiting factors: the lower string tension the more likely they are to buzz on the frets. You can: raise action play lighter, using a softer pick ignore/tolerate it the lower the ...
user1079505's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Guitarist and Bassist as only Bandmembers - Rhythmsection?

Bass players can be quite percussive in their playing, taking over some of a drummer's role. However, keeping just as a duo, why not re-hash the numbers you want to play? You certainly won't make a ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
8 votes

Are large displays bad in a recording studio?

There are plenty of counter-examples in pictures on other answers. But I think it's important to go back to refute the OP's friend's misconception directly. He says that large flat surfaces cause ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,802
8 votes
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Should my drum sticks be the same size?

I'm sure someone, somewhere, will come up with a valid reason to have different sticks - but general convention is that they should be a matched pair. See How to Choose the Best Drumsticks for Your ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
7 votes

What type of trumpet should a beginner use?

First thing to do is find a teacher who can explain things a bit to you. And you absolutely will need a teacher or you'll give up in complete frustration. Obviously you don't want a medieval ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar

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