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Topic: GPO& me, Meditation

  1. #1

    GPO& me, Meditation

    Today I am very much in the mood of making a fool of myself.

    Samples are funny and useful, but music is supposed to be played by real instruments, as Garritan himself encourages to.
    Well... "played" sounds as such a big word here as I am not much of a violin player. Trust I will get better, I am just at the very beginning.
    I wanted to share this with you, "Meditation from Thais" with GPO in the back and me at the (electrical) violin solo.


    I love and hate that violin line, it is so far away from technical perfection, and hate that violin sound. Thought that the silent violin is a great way to begin as it lets you practice without hassling (too much) the neighborhood, but the sound is a big compromise, even if I tried to throw almost every known trick at it to make it something somehow more decent.
    On the other hand... things wouldn' t have changed a bit even in case Perlman's "Soil" itself would have been on my shoulder, so...

    Hey.. it' s just to have some fun...

    UPDATE 11/11/11
    Since I brought this up in the first place, I thought about updating it (trying NOT to bring it on top of the threads... I hope this will work this way).
    I got those gut strings I was talking about in the last post, so I took another recording of Meditation and have the impression that sound is really much better, warmer and richer... and also my vibrato is somehow starting to show. Ok, big words... "starting to show", literally.The recording was a mess, I had actually to stop a few times 'cause the strings are so new and so... "plain gut" that they were actually de-tuning while I was playing...

    Last edited by sec2; 11-11-2011 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2

    Re: GPO& me, Meditation

    Hey no worries. How long have you been playing?

    And stop apologizing!!
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  3. #3

    Re: GPO& me, Meditation

    I am not apologizing.... I am just mocking myself as I generally like to do

    Exactly 6 months. No, really, I am kind of satisfied, considering that I am doing it all by myself and can not get much of a guidance. No "bowing" friends, never even touched a bowed acoustic instrument, a "real" violin I mean. I am no absolute beginner as I am a decent piano player, a more than decent guitarist and have a good-ish knowledge about music in general.
    Good thing is that I have the impression to know where I have to focus, and know that it takes time and patience. It is a "strange" instrument and I am very much at the basics.
    Ah... and I have to get an acoustic one as soon as possible. Dynamics and sound are pretty different....
    Very nice experience though, strange it might be but very pleasant and rewarding. Compared to a piano or guitar it is kind of a "dumb" instrument, you can do little more than producing a melodic line (though a very rich one), but its mechanics are charming. This is a tiny evocative and inspirational instrument that immediately puts a spell on you.

    Hey, thanks for replying.

  4. #4

    Re: GPO& me, Meditation

    Not knowing the differences between an electric violin and an acoustic, I'd say you should be very pleased for only playing 6 months. The range you're playing in is higher than most beginners and I thought I heard a touch of vibrato on a couple notes.

    Anyway just kidding about apologizing. Thanks for putting yourself on the line so to speak.

    AND nice rendering of the background. I assume that was you're doing with GPO.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  5. #5

    Re: GPO& me, Meditation

    Standard midi file but my tweaked up rendering. Thanks, I like it too, with all those harmonic masses smootly swinging up and down.

    Difference between electric and acoustic? Not much when the electric is not amped. I mean, it makes a kind of a toy sound, but sounds like a violin and you can handle the tones with much more care and they feel more natural. As soon as it goes into an amp, everything is boosted and the dynamic range gets very narrow. You have to be very smooth to avoid excessive attack noises and general harshness. Everything gets metallic, unnatural and boomy and I personally feel some "pain", I am not comfortable with it.

    My range is actually better than that. I am studying Corigliano's red violin Caprices and they are veeeery wide on the keyboard. Ironically, a situation like Meditation is what puts me in trouble more than most others. Where I am not planted and comfortable is in expressive, sustained notes. It is difficult to be always homogeneous while pulling that bow across one string, my vibrato has a very narrow (read almost none) amplitude and Meditation's melody is not classically linear mostly in seconds, it has lots of jumps so it requires a lot of concentration in order to play in tune. Strangely, I am much more at ease in fast narrow phrasing. Coming from the guitar, the keyboard of a violin seems to be turbo boosted. Airy, small, an octave between first and fourth finger....
    Now... I have a recording here... look, it is not GPO but let's say that the only commercial samples' set in it is GPO's harpsicord.... so it qualifies


    The 1st movement of Estro's second concert, Vivaldi. This is a mess, there are light and heavy spiccatos, lots o f tremolos, trills, fast, fast tight phrasing.... still I sound better in there. Not good (... I apologize again! ), but better.
    More important, when I play a piece like Meditation I am tense and concentrated, when I play this one I have a heck of a good time.

  6. #6

    Re: GPO& me, Meditation

    This is fascinating, Sec2. I know for sure I've never heard a post here before with someone playing an electric violin--!

    And I think it's great that you're sharing a glimpse into your rehearsal studio. To me that shows you know you're among friends, and we can appreciate the progress you're making as you teach yourself that incredibly difficult instrument.

    Tell us more about it - So it's an electric violin, you plug it into your interface? Or is it wireless? How's it work?

    And the GPO backing tracks were luscious--tell us more about those too!


  7. #7

    Re: GPO& me, Meditation

    Randy... good ol' plug into any device able to handle sound. I never use the amp, I either plug it into my E-mu interface or, more often (I am lazy...), right into the line-in PC plug to Sonar through asio4all. That's why you hear noises and crackles, the quarter plug on the violin is not bad, the 1/8 is just good for practising with headphones.
    Sound apart, it is just like an acoustic violin, the structure is the same. It has a piezo pick up.. these are usually harsh on sound, but let you use the same strings you would use on an acoustic violin. Nut-bridge-saddle triangulation works the same way. Mine has a strange neck, more parallel to the body than modern violins (kind of a baroque setup), but this is not a problem. I've actually carved my own bridge (after 5 failed attempts) as the original one did not satisfy me and changed the tailpiece with a hill-type boxwood one in an attempt to alter sound balance and above all to have the possibility to install plain gut strings which I ordered but have not yet come.
    For practicing, not amped, it is a really great instrument. It reproduces accurately the dynamics of a real acoustic, without being loud so you can play without worries; in my specific case you keep the wife happy which is always a good thing. Just move to the next room and play, you won' t be disturbing anyone.
    Amped... well, that's another story. I mean ... the violin is an instrument that should never be amped, its sound changes dramatically. Even an acoustic one. In this case, it is probably even worse because the only sound you get when you amp it is by the piezo. As with any instrument, if the player doesn' t like the sound he/she produces then we have trouble. As for me, I hate electric signals, I have the same problems with my electric and piezo-acoustic guitars: I always use them unamped. Plus, when you use amplified instruments you get somehow alienated from the sounds you produce. Relationship with an acoustic instrument is way more simple and direct, gives a finer control on the sound.

    Sharing with friends? Yes, this was the idea... even if I still feel a kind of a stranger in here.

    No real mistery about those back tracks. You folks are way more expert and skilled than me. Gpo was backing up only in Meditation. This was a standard midi file. I just multiplied the parts, assigned to proper instruments and designed individual volume envelopes aiming at creating different "personalities" among the homogeneous sounds, so to try to enrich the harmonic masses. Ah, and external plug-in for convolution reverb, absolutely a must.
    If you recall the discussion we had a few days ago, you should easily realize which samples I used for the Estro rendition.

    Thanks for chipping in!


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