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Spent time on my left hand movement, a lot of 4th finger & some vibrato. Wondered why I was having trouble at the beginning, but Mortimer needed some tuning - guess I got a bit spoiled with Rondos on the Viola! (lol)
Had time to go back over the Create a smart jam with spark amp and save it as MP3 video - great info about editing the track the Spark amp makes, because it makes mistakes like us humans! Glad I watched this - I'd pull my hair out if I lost a track I worked hard on to get just right!
Watched a couple videos about recording with the Spark.
This video, 3 Ways To Record Positive Grid Spark Mini Amp - had a lot of good info, but unless I'm confused, there's actually FOUR WAYS - he didn't talk about letting the Spark APP use the phone video & mic to record (which I will try).
Then... I hit the jackpot!
The Studio Rats YouTube Channel has just what I was looking for earlier!
ALL the above helped me clearly see what was happening - I'll have to go over again, so much info!
Two other Channels have Spark pedal info - GearGasms & Spark Amp Tutorials (not officially Spark, but from the owners club). Videos in both these Channels have info I might want to look at later, but honestly, they were hard to watch (so I only watched a little) & NOT because any of the info was over my head - lost my attention. 🙄
There are a couple other videos I didn't get to watch, but wanted to - on the BT Control (foot)... too late now!
...it's almost morning!
@elcbk in "The edge style..." video. I think i gravitated toward the lux when playing with biasfx. the american dream preset seems like another i messed with alot. mostly cleaner toned setups though.
if you havent looked.. there is sort of a forum area on positive grid website where people share their presets. Paul Davids used to have some of his on there. i havent looked in a while. I like alot of the ambient type setups vs overdriven styles. fwiw.
changed the rondos to a new set of tzigane. I remember the tzigane taking a while to settle in. I cant say this fiddle is gonna like them yet and may have to order the rondos and put the tziganes in case for spares. weird how that works. 1 fiddle sounds best with 1 type..another wont.
Thank you - knew about the Positive Grid Community - haven't spent a lot of time there, because I didn't want to sift through a bunch of extra stuff, but glad you told me about Paul Davids presets - I'll check them out!
First, is this the guy?
Now that know more about what these pedals do for some extreme sounds - I can avoid them. 🤣 BUT, since I'm learning how to adjust them (how to chose to use them), I'm not so sure I should be spending much more time listening to patches - there's just too many, especially on the Tone Cloud.
Been feeling more confident I can come up with something I like, but if I don't want to do post-production editing - I'm still not sure I should be playing all the way through a tune with just one preset, but it's all I can do at the moment. 🥴
Btw, just watched Electric Violin and Guitar FX?. It cracked me up - it's like a teeny tiny fraction of what I've been going through with virtual effects & patch preset tryouts!
Back to relating EV to Violin, instead of Guitar -
I like your idea of going with a minimal ambient tone patch for some of my tunes, but I suspect I'll be happier if I learn to use the Control, because I can cycle through my own presets - and, down the road, also control a backing track.
I want to spend time at Andy Reiner's Channel, but now that I know a little more I went back over Rebecca Farber's video. She makes mention she like likes to keep a reverb setting to use throughout a Violin piece. I've kept this in mind because you've always mentioned liking a little reverb, and I totally agree it sounds better - but knowing me, I'll end up sounding like Paul Anderson playing in Migvie Kirk!
BUT, I need to remember - just a POG pedal, alone, costs MORE than my Mini Spark amp with all the Spark App effects & functions!
Many rigs start at several thousands of dollars invested in pedals, alone.
Think I can see a way to adapt much of what Rebecca Farber does, just by using what I have available - I'll be keeping this in mind as I move forward (my brain is still working on it).
I can settle down now... I'm still letting all this sink in - played around a bit this evening, but I MUST try to sleep tonight... be nice if I could at least record some tones I like, but in the daylight, for once!
I've watched wonderful demos of Fiddlershop EV's and A/EV's - and loved Gibbles's video, Electric Violins - Will it Work or Is it Wack?, that shows what an EV can be plugged into for playing (besides a guitar amp)!
Don't you want to show us anything COOL about using the Violin with effects pedals?
Well, I'm disappointed... and looks like I'm not the only one! 🤨
Turns out that Bias Fx 2 tones saved on Tone Cloud are NOT accessible to Spark App users! 🤬
They are 2 different Positive Grid Tone Clouds.
...I thought something was up - tried wording my search several ways.
Oh well, the Mini Spark is perfect for me, camped out on my bed - or if I ever go out & about anywhere again. (lol)
Since there's no Virtual Octave pedal available for me right now, I don't want to mutilate Mortimer to put Octave strings on. This is buggin' me - I need to figure out what I can use for a low F so I have a 5th lower, just move the rest of the strings over & get rid of the E.
...I'm outta here!
@elcbk I wasnt aware that spark users didnt have access or I wouldnt have brought up. Probably a good thing. Its another rabbit hole that can drain time.
"BUT, I need to remember - just a POG pedal, alone, costs MORE than my Mini Spark amp with all the Spark App effects & functions!"
yeah. Thats why when I went with a multieffects pedal and eventually biasfx. studioone has similar plugin built in called ampire..and now has some biasfx stuff i think. Sorta similar situation..theres an amp out there made by kemper i really wnated to try but decided a half off biasfx2 package on cyber monday a few years ago would be just right for messing around with.
all this talk has got me wanting to cycle through some more of the plugins. And maybe try the reverb pedals instead of the room reverb in studioone. 🤔
with what you have youre more than setup with great effects and shouldnt need anything else.
look and see if there is a PITCH SHIFTER type pedal in your spark presets. you may be able to mess with that and get what you need if it allows a -12 or +12 adjustment in the range.
Sorry, I should've been more clear, even near the start of this thread - there is NO true 'Octave' pedal emulated with the Spark App. Even with the JH Experience pkg, the "JH Octave Fuzz" cannot be cleaned up & only throws in higher tones - nothing lower (like I want). More on Roger Mayer's Octavia pedal back in Post 35.
I've seen many Spark users begging Positive Grid for a Pitch Shifter and Octave pedal!
Think the closest Spark has to any Pitch Shifting pedal will be a Mod/EQ 'Chorus' effect - which I like, but limited. Not sure what Bias Fx 2 has available that's different.
When I see a 'Pitch Shifter' is used in PreSonus Studio One, it seems to be used more for fixing bad intonation! Geez, it might as well play the violin for us, too. (lol)
I see I forgot to mention this GREAT Spark Effects List, from Spark Amp Lovers - links pedals to demo videos that show a few different settings!
...liking what I've learned about the 'Clone Drive' & 'Clone Chorus' pedals, still exploring more Mod/EQ & Delay pedal settings.
I see I forgot to insert the grawlix in that sentence. 🙄
I have to wind down for the evening, but wanted to mention a few things.
Still stuff I need to understand better so I can try to record something meaningful & not just sound like I'm a monkey pushing random buttons. ...try, anyway.
Spent more time learning about reverb & delay properties, today.
One video that was particularly interesting included an interview by Matt Bell with Martha Mooke on this topic (I've watched videos with some of her great playing).
Video is set to start with Martha Mooke.
- Martha has always kept detailed records of settings for each piece she plays with effects! ...I'm not so good with keeping records, it's like part of my past & I'm always moving forward - I really need to change my mindset.
- She says she normally starts with her pedals maxed out, then dials them back, as needed! ...I've been doing the opposite - need to rethink this.
- All the pedals she uses are multi-effects and stereo.
- Articulation can make a HUGE difference!
- She is always EXPLORING something new!
I've watched some videos on different topics at the Electric String Player YouTube Channel - some great sound comparisons! They also have a forum on facebook.
Many acoustic/EV violin players try to use reverb sparingly for a more natural sound, but there is natural sound in a concert hall, or a Church & can be pretty heavy!
Here's a quick overview of Pre-delay & why it's important!
Few more quick notes, since I'm failing to get my days/nights back to normal.
I didn't notice, at first, but 'The Studio Rats' videos don't completely isolate the pedals demo'd, the 'Spark Amp Tutorials' videos do (remember this Channel is NOT Positive Grid) - just wish they were a little more thorough. ...don't feel my questions could be answered there.
So, the Spark App Reverb pedals ALL have the same 6 knobs for adjustments - NO Pre-delay. I'm seeing the differences in these pedals help bring what I learned about IR's into focus - they each help give a different feeling of room type & size acoustics (like a small Room or big Hall).
But what about Pre-delay (without going into PreSonus)? None of the Reverb pedals have a 'pre-delay' knob - I'm forced to try the 'time' settings or even look to the Delay pedal for adjusting.
• This is where I begin to realize I can't look at the pedals as individual or separate, but sometimes in groups, e.g., 'Delay & Reverb' or 'Mod/EQ, Delay & Reverb' - maybe even include 'Comp/Wah'!
I watched videos on what's important when starting out using a Looping pedal - TIMING, COUNTING TEMPO... and here I am 'feeling' it & not using a metronome or even counting (lesson learned)! 😔
What I can tell so far about Looping with the Mini Spark & App - ONE track can be looped, but I think I can loop a multi-track recording and switch between a couple of them by using the 'BT Control'. If I want to layer as I go, I have to use PreSonus - I'm still trying to get my head around playing with the Spark App AND PreSonus at the same time... if that's even possible.
In THIS video, a Looper and Distortion pedal are used with the Spark 40 - of course I was thinking Looper & Octave pedal! ...but I gave my Spark 40 to my Brother.
Want to mention Andy Reiner & Rob Flax have had a Looping Masterclass in the past, hopefully they will do it again.
My Brother had sent me a Looper pedal way back when I first got my Spark 40 (that I never used). Kevin's been trying to help me find it... this may take a while. 🙄
try inserting a delay pedal right before the reverb. not sure on what units will be graduated across the dial but somewhere 15ms to 30ms a good start for settings. Alot of times the predelay can also be tied to whatever bpm is selected on the track and adjusted for different note length repeats. but figured since this is a real worl device that option probably not available.
I havent felt like predelay made as big of a sound change as how much of the reverb is being mixed in, room size setting, or decay. You may also want an eq after the reverb and pull back on the very low end...possibly even top end. sometimes in reverb the lows sorta get saturated for lack of better description and everything feels muddy.. best just to explore and see what works for what youre wanting to get.
Yes, there's one Delay pedal in the App that I can easily adjust by bpm or milliseconds, but I can't put EQ after Reverb - can't change my effects line-up order in the Spark App.
Surprised almost all the Reverb pedal presets are midlined. I was under the impression guitarists were usually concerned with 'cutting through a mix' - thought these 'sweet spot' presets might take that into consideration, but only one is preset with a 'low cut' higher than the 'high cut' (the Ambient pedal).
I also noticed some of the amps in the Spark App have the Bass completely turned down to nothing - was kinda surprised that one of my favorites is like this.
Finally, found & watched a VERY BASIC tutorial for PreSonus Studio One 5!
Seriously... this video is very easily understood - great place to start for anyone (like me) who doesn't know about using cross-platform DAW's. Not sure when, or even if I'll start using it, but I wanted to learn more about what it does & how it works.
So, I've been waffling back & forth between whether or not it's better to try to only hear what comes out of my Spark amp, or more of Mortimer. I've read and listened to a lot of opinions on the internet & YouTube - many violinists want to hear only what comes out of an amp & some don't seem to mind hearing 50/50 violin to amp.
Realistically, I'd need a solid body EV to only hear the amp effects. To be perfectly honest, it just doesn't make sense for me (in the house) to crank up my amp so loud I don't hear myself playing - or even go to a lot of trouble to record with a mic placed right in front of my amp, if it's not what I hear.
I'm pleasantly surprised I don't mind hearing myself & the amp 50/50, or even more of my Mortimer - this may seem weird, but it's almost like I'm playing along with someone else this way & I LIKE IT!
Never thought about all this when I bought my Acoustic/EV... still think a straight up EV might be in my future.
That said, I believe my strings make more of a difference because I do have an Acoustic/EV & hear it. I like what I have on, but don't think a lot of synthetic-core strings fair well with a bunch of changes in tuning, which I'd like to do. So, I'm seriously contemplating Rondo's on this Violin, maybe in lieu of octave strings. They have been amazingly stable for me on Viola, but the cost is stopping me - too hard for me to justify on this violin with the A string I want a much higher priced option.
Not so sure strings matter as much on a solid EV.
Anyone with a solid body EV, see a big improvement with different string brands?
Took a moment out for pure inspiration - not so sure it's completely what I want, but yeah... EV can definitely sound like an electric guitar!
Was looking for a violinist playing Harry Chapin's "Cat's in The Cradle" (1974) & ran across Dorian Cheah!
Dorian started playing very young, ended up at Julliard under Dorothy DeLay...
So, he shared a lot of GREAT info - right up my alley, but he's using Ableton.
I went back over Dorian's Project 31 video, yesterday - and found a few things very interesting.
1st) was when he said he likes 'distortion' - feels "it fattens the sound". I believe there are other ways to 'fatten' the sound, this is just his personal choice - I'd like to explore this more, cause I think there's a fine line between 'fattening' and 'noise'.
2nd) his effects line up. Dorian said he likes to add "a little reverb", but his 'reverb plug-in' is WAY more than a 'reverb pedal', it's almost like FOUR pedals in one - Comp/Wah, Mod/EQ, Delay & Reverb. Not sure if these are Dorian's notes or just the Valhalla plug-in's description, but reads "Concert Hall: Slow attack, low initial echo density, chorused modulation, dark tone".
So, he used a virtual Marshall amp, the Valhalla Vintage Verb plug-in and an additional Delay & Wah pedal plug-in. Wish he would've shown exactly what he adjusts on settings, but cuts away.
3rd) how he thinks about using his bow to sound more like an electric guitar. Finishing a bow stroke lighter & near the bridge for what might be an unwanted acoustic sound - reminds me of other effects in the Scratch & Squeak 😖 How NOT To, or How To? Thread - might be worthwhile for me to go over some of those bowing techniques.
I also spent some time, yesterday, listening to sound differences of emulated Spark App amps played on guitar. I better make a note to record myself playing each, to keep a reference - but, for immediate gratification, this video was readily available!
Just The Spark Amps with Reverb - GearGasms
Y'all may think I'm nuts - for watching GUITAR videos to learn to use my Electric VIOLIN, but I need to understand how these iconic sounds are made!
I listen to differences in; sound color of the fast, short runs & staccato notes vs long notes, type of delay & reverb, if chords sound muddy, and how much distortion I hear, etc...
This "7 Famous Guitar Intros That Will Give You Chills" video (from Music is Win) shows WHY & HOW some specific Spark App patches are PERFECT for achieving certain feelings I've loved in some classic Rock!
...had forgotten there's links to some GREAT videos & info in the Live Looping with DAW? Thread - I'd like to go over this & refresh my memory... maybe next week.
AND, I need to start thinking about backing tracks.
Great Popular Sheet Music With Backing Tracks! Thread
Creative Use Of Backing Tracks Thread
Had also forgotten about Martha Mooke playing VIOLA!
🤔... the more I listen to her & what I've been experiencing with my 5-string plugged in, I can't hear an advantage of playing a solid Electric Viola over an Electric 5-string Violin! Feeling better about my purchase decisions, but I have no way to compare the 2 side-by-side - my Viola is only acoustic.
@Gordon Shumway -
Sorry, almost missed your posts!
🤣 Thanks - LOVE the videos!
Have NOT heard of John Cale - a very talented, well-rounded multi-instrumentalist/singer, composer & record producer! GREAT article I read about him in the L.A. Times - John Cale at 80, on collaborations old (Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, David Bowie) and new. I've watched some of his videos - didn't find any insight into what equipment/settings he uses, so not really helpful to me if I can't learn how he produces his sounds - unless you know of any pertinent interviews, tutorials or workshops he's done?
Of course I know the violin can sound like electric guitar - just starting to look into the finer details.
...think there's a lot taken for granted, especially by people like me, who never learned to play electric guitar and there's some forum members didn't grown up with the legendary music of the 60's, 70's & 80's and don't understand how important gear was to producing identifiable sounds.
When I started all this I thought an amp was just an amplifier, etc...