Author Topic: Acoustic Instruments  (Read 2758 times)

petekelly

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Acoustic Instruments
« on: August 09, 2010, 12:46:20 PM »

I'm not sure if this topic has been discussed before, maybe some time ago ?

Anyway, I've just restored my Classical guitar. By 'restoring' I mean that I've put some new machine heads on it, put on some new strings and given it a general clean-up. This guitar is now 25 years old (Cuenca Model 40, if anyones interested) and sounds great. It was bought for me in 1983 and I played it intermittently since then.

As someone whose material is almost entirely 'electronic' in the way its created and produced, I found returning to this acoustic instrument to be
an enjoyable musical experience. Just playing it with my fingers and feeling the resonances of the notes and chords through the body and hearing the subtle (and not so subtle) variants in tone and volume was quite 'grounding' in a way. I would imagine playing a real grand piano would be quite a thrill for a keyboard player.



jkn

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 06:56:36 AM »
I am very lucky and have a wonderful Yamaha upright piano in my house.   I worked at a music store for 6 years - and after I had left, they took this piano in on trade and sold it to me at cost - as the owner knew it would be perfect for me (and he was a very very nice guy).

Yes, playing a 9' grand is an amazingly different experience from playing my piano or even a baby grand.  Grand piano's are typically much heavier in action from uprights.

I also play my trumpet - and have an acoustic guitar (actually it's my wife's - she got it when she took a month or two of lessons when she was a teenager...)
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sraymar

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 08:00:24 PM »
I've got a Yamaha classical guitar that's about the same age as your guitar which was also a gift although I took the original back to the store and traded up for one that cost another $40, money well spent. It has rosewood back and sides, all wood binding and rosette. The only upgrades I have to make are new strings now and then. No operating system to upgrade or go obsolete on me.

By contrast, I've got an old Turtle Beach Pinnacle soundcard ('96) with a Kurzweil rompler/sampler on it but alas its an ISA card, a piece of ancient history now. Perfectly good card, no PC available to use it on. It would be cool if somebody made an ISA to PCI converter of some sort. I've also got an old Atari STe('91) with a whole meg of RAM but the floppy drive went belly up, good luck finding one of those that actually works. The Yamaha classical just keeps on ticking but you have to tune it periodically but it seems to stay in style over the years.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 08:06:32 PM by sraymar »
Ambient isn't just for technicians!

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Seren

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 04:28:33 AM »
and when you think of the long history that some acoustic instuments have had and still being played it is amazing.

No plugs or sockets needed.

I'm more of a drummer for acoustic instruments (frame drums not sets) though i was recently given a native american cedarwood flute (unfortunately not pentatonic so some learning needed). Used to have a chinese vertical flute many years ago.

This is a drum I and friends use

Scott M2

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 08:18:09 AM »
Is that a communal drum/coffee table?   8)

Seren

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 02:32:34 PM »
Is that a communal drum/coffee table?   8)

Yes, we've had 10 people sitting around it and playing. recently were filmed/recorded playing outside in a field for a DVD being made by a local artist to celebrate a particular location and it's history.

Done a number of spots at charity fairs and got a lot of interest, including children joining in. It does seem to mesmerise people.

I have recorded som sounds, non drumming, from her for my current project.....

Seren

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 02:38:18 PM »
another drum

and one of my favourite acoustic instruments

michael sandler

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 03:32:33 PM »
I've got a Yamaha classical guitar that's about the same age as your guitar which was also a gift although I took the original back to the store and traded up for one that cost another $40, money well spent. It has rosewood back and sides, all wood binding and rosette. The only upgrades I have to make are new strings now and then. No operating system to upgrade or go obsolete on me.

By contrast, I've got an old Turtle Beach Pinnacle soundcard ('96) with a Kurzweil rompler/sampler on it but alas its an ISA card, a piece of ancient history now. Perfectly good card, no PC available to use it on. It would be cool if somebody made an ISA to PCI converter of some sort. I've also got an old Atari STe('91) with a whole meg of RAM but the floppy drive went belly up, good luck finding one of those that actually works. The Yamaha classical just keeps on ticking but you have to tune it periodically but it seems to stay in style over the years.

That's what I hate about making electronic music, wading through wires and software configurations and computer connections. Some people love that, but to me it's a barrier you have to hack through to get to the fun of making music. If there was a way to make sounds like a synthesizer or an electric guitar on an acoustic instrument, I would do it that way instead. I know acoustic instruments require maintenance and technique too, but for me at least it's not always that feeling that this isn't going to work unless I get a degree in electrical engineering.

MikeS

sraymar

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 05:04:08 PM »
That's what I hate about making electronic music, wading through wires and software configurations and computer connections. Some people love that, but to me it's a barrier you have to hack through to get to the fun of making music. If there was a way to make sounds like a synthesizer or an electric guitar on an acoustic instrument, I would do it that way instead. I know acoustic instruments require maintenance and technique too, but for me at least it's not always that feeling that this isn't going to work unless I get a degree in electrical engineering.

MikeS

I fall into the geek camp myself. I'm sure I could've been an even more amazing guitarist with a vast deeper knowledge but electronic and midi headaches opened up a huge vista for me as a composer that I wouldn't have done otherwise. Even though some electronic instruments(I.E. Seer Systems Reality) and computers have a short shelf life they work well with acoustic instruments. You don't need a degree just the will to read the manual and articles in magazines and on the internet which I love to do repeatedly. Just reading articles has triggered the need to turn on the synths which has in turn pulled alot of sound and music out of me. Still when I think of the major roadie duties I've had to do to play live I'll think, "sh*t, all I had to do was carry in that light classical guitar!", but it wouldn't have been quite the same.

Steve

« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 02:56:16 AM by sraymar »
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 10:35:37 AM »
I recently got a cheap 12-string acoustic guitar.  Cheap, as in Mitchell is the brand ($250) and I had to look for who they actually where.  I found out that they are the "house brand" for guitar center.  It was the guitar that was outside the acoustic guitar room.  After getting it, I had a month long battle with the pick guard and then finally just pealed it off the guitar, looks a lot better without it.  Anyway, the way things have been going lately, it's really nice to have it.  It sounds quite good, but I really have to work at it.  It seems to be turning me into a better guitar player.  I actually have started to pull out the sitar as well lately.  (of course, that's not electric)
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petekelly

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Re: Acoustic Instruments
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 03:43:26 AM »

It's quite amazing how a good instrument (acoustic and electric) can hold its value.

I sold two really good guitars and an amp to buy a computer 10 years ago, which was virtually worthless 3 years later, if I'd spent the same amount of money on a quality acoustic guitar, it would be worth a lot more now.

Regarding my classical guitar, I really like the Woods (Red Cedar top) used that give it its tone. I recently went to a large music shop and looked
at some really high quality classical guitars. They were works of art as well as fine musical instruments, the inlays and exotic woods used were
quite stunning.

Here's a rosette detail pic of mine:



cheers
Pete