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Emily's Journey Down The E/V Road!
Guess it was time to start this.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (84 votes) 
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ELCBK
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February 6, 2023 - 7:12 pm
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@Fiddlerman -

Thanks, I understand. 

Love to hear more about you playing EV with the Electric Fiddlers (?), when you lived in Sweden - or did you all have a sound guy taking care of everything? 

 

(A Tune A Week #26 - Sommarpolska)

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ELCBK
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No two ways about it, I'm always playing Viola & Violin with 5-strings, whether EV/EVa or acoustic. 

Bass Viola (?) - pretty sure they mean 'Cello' Viola. (lol)

When I 1st saw this last year, it didn't seem relevant to me at the time, because I wasn't ready to play electrically, hadn't planned on playing EVa & had discovered there was an Octave pedal - but now I'm VERY INTERESTED! 

"Playing Electric" - a conversation between Henrik Frendin & Mikael Marin!  (the Swedish Viola Society) 

Really sorry I missed this live stream - I would've asked a bunch of questions! 

They talk about gear they use, too!

 

Their 'teaser' to their live stream was so cute!

 

This is the live stream video.

 

Yep, Kevin's really gonna kick me out if I buy another instrument, but I still cringe at the thought of mutilating Mortimer to take Octave strings. 

A lot depends if Henrik or Mikael answer my question about what Viola Octave strings they are using, now that Sensicore doesn't make any!

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Gordon Shumway
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February 6, 2023 - 10:12 pm
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If you have electric effects, you don't need octave strings, unless you've already discussed that in the thread. And if you have acoustic, octave strings may sound crappy, but I'm sure you know that already.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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February 7, 2023 - 4:14 am
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@Gordon Shumway -

Discussed my situation many times in this thread.

Hope you don't mention that to maudmaud - she's been playing with Octave Strings on her 4-string acoustic violin for quite a few months now & she thoroughly enjoys them... posted great videos, too. 

 

In the last video I posted, Henrik shows a special 5-string electric Viola.  He worked with a guitar maker to design an electric Viola that could be bowed like an acoustic, because he dislikes a regular solid body electric Viola's 2-dimensional sound that can't be colored by bowing.   

I'm finding that my tank of an acoustic violin is PERFECT for EV (except I don't want to put Octave strings on it).  I haven't had enough body resonance to worry about feedback (unlike my Viola) - AND, I don't seem to have any issues with bowing, like I might with a solid body.  I really haven't heard anything bad sounding from my normal bowing - all after I walked on eggs to mind what everyone cautioned... it wasn't necessary.

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ELCBK
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February 7, 2023 - 5:40 am
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So, I'm waiting... in hopes I'll receive an answer about Octave Viola strings, from Henrik Frendin & Mikael Marin.

 

In the mean time, I've taken a new approach to finding what sounds I like from amp & pedal lineups. 

Still liking the patch designated "Spooky Melody", but instead of adjusting or switching out the effects pedals, I've kept the original settings for this patch & just switched between 3 different amps -"Blackface Duo", "Lux Verb" & "Plexiglas". 

These gave me surprising differences & enjoyed each for different tunes. 

Blackface Duo for lush, drawn out sounds for like "The Buzzard", by Old Blind Dogs - even "Snow Waltz" by Lindsey Stirling.  Lux Verb for delicate, light, quicker tempo tunes, sharper articulation - like some Reels & jigs.  Even though "Leaving Brittany" is pretty quick & nimble, I can't quite decide which of these two I prefer.  The Plexiglas amp has more gain & bass - more power at a lower volume setting, so this can really be cranked up if needed.  I played a few tunes with Plexiglas last night, but now I have a few of my pop ones specifically in mind - just couldn't resist having fun playing the Star Spangled Banner with a Hendrix patch!  It was still pretty mild compared to most of the JH patches - didn't want to blow out the speakers. (lol) 

Looking forward to trying out a few more amps with tunes later today, feeling close to choosing what to record. 😊

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ELCBK
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February 11, 2023 - 2:05 am
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It's after midnight so I can say I finally recorded a handful of tunes, yesterday - using my Mini Spark! 🤗

Only uploaded one to YT, so far - The Buzzard (also shared it in the Spring Party Thread). 

I was looking to see if there was a difference in letting the Spark app record on my phone vs my regular video phone settings & also, wanted hear how some of the different Spark App patches I like, sound recorded. 

Seems that, without adding any outside music, the Spark App just uses the video settings I last stored.

Took me a few minutes to figure out I couldn't hear a video playback on my phone unless I turned off the BT, but then THAT also severed my Spark App connection!  So, I'm disappointed AND not sure if this recording of "The Buzzard" is the App's default Solo Setting ("Silver Ship" patch), or if it reverted back to my previous 'Spooky Melody' patch setting (and I didn't realize it until I was done recording!). 😒 

The recording I did just prior, I didn't play as well, so didn't want to upload the whole thing & torture everyone further, but it definitely sounded like the "Spooky Melody" patch I wanted to record, in which I swapped out the 'Duo Black' amp for "Lux Vibe"

I'll make sure I download part of that 'Buzzard' video later today, for comparison.

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ELCBK
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February 13, 2023 - 9:54 pm
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I posted my other 3 videos I wanted to share. 

For Mominette & Absinthe (shared in the Open Mic Night Party Thread) & Leaving Brittany (shared in the City or Boat Party Thread) it's unclear which one of 3 patches I used, possibly 2 different "Spooky Melody" patch amps - guess I was too caught up in getting a decent recording. (lol)  I was happy to hear I liked the reverb, but the patch I used for Leaving Brittany wasn't so great for the A & E string tone (too bright) - and think my bass was even maxed & treble midway, or lower, on my violin pre-amp. 

I'm definitely going to have to record some short sound samples, all on one video for better comparison. 

The last tune I recorded was The Black Cat Jig (shared in the It's Time For a CRITTER Party! Thread).  I used a fairly subdued Rock patch called "Sweet Child of Min" (yes, 'min') that was fun - had to turn the volume down for the Plexiglass amp had gain maxed and there was also an overdrive pedal in this lineup.  I liked it! 

🤔... suspect I won't have to change my strings out as often, playing electric - hasn't bugged me (sound wise) that my E string is corroded under my fingering, yet.  Will have to see if, or how much difference, I hear when I do change it out.

...besides practicing, spent time watching a few very interesting TEDx Talks on creativity & these on Sound, today; The Architecture of Sound, The Beautiful Lies of Sound Design, How To Translate The Feeling Into Sound, and What Is Folktronica?

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ELCBK
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Got sidetracked - in a good way, yesterday! 

I was just going to record a couple samples, but ended up trying out many new patches.  This time, I was able to narrow more that would be useful for me - still found some fun, but really weird, ones I hope I can figure out a way to use creatively. 

Tried tweaking a handful, but ended up making them sound too similar in the process - might me telling me something, but I don't want to loose sight of my need for variety. 

So, in thinking about how to easily present some info on the amps & effects lineups used in the patches, I want to record samples of them for comparison, but I discovered one VERY ANNOYING feature of the Spark App! 

If I want to let the Spark App record a video of me playing, there is NO WAY TO PAUSE IT!  So, unless I use the Spark "Control" for switching between up to 4 presets, I can't leave the recording to find another patch to compare. 

Luckily, I can just use Kevin's phone to record & fool around with the Spark App separately on mine... #$@&%* it!  This way, I hope I also just show the camera the effects lineup along with each sample. 

🤔... just saw the Spark Amp Lovers site said Soundshed works for viewing the Spark App on a PC - will have to check it out*.  Also saw in the Positive Grid blog, Samsung DEX is supposed to work, but thought Kevin tried it - may need tot try again.

Looking forward to recording some small samples, hopefully later today. 

*Note: Forget Soundshed - you lose all the Spark App Graphics, defeats the purpose (to me anyway). 

 

"...what do y'all want for nothin' - a rubber biscuit?"

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ELCBK
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I can NOW control the Spark APP on my PC with Samsung DEX!!! 

WOO HOO! 

Samsung DEX - WORKS!!!  ...if my phone is connected by USB!!! 

 

I cannot tell you how high the temperature and voices rose at the beginning of this thread when Kevin originally tried to get this App to work for me!  It was like pulling teeth & don't understand why this all seemed to be such a hidden secret.

Had forgotten about the trouble we had because I needed to have 'location' turned on - didn't even think about retrying to sync my phone & laptop again after the App was working, plus don't think Kevin tried using the USB cable. 

What a relief! 

 

Now I won't need to borrow Kevin's phone to record Video & I should be able to get decent screen shots of the patches, with the settings I use for my sound samples! 🤗  I sure hope all this will help someone else, down the road.

I need to charge everything & see if I can enhance my screen shots, need to take a break - got a few other things to attend to & my head is reelin'... or valsing. 🤭 

 

...only took 69 posts to figure things out. 🥴

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ELCBK
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February 28, 2023 - 12:37 am
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https://violinoutlet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/glasser-aex-carbon-composite-acoustic-electric-5-string-viola-4.jpg

Last week was BAD for EV 😔 - afraid my head wasn't in the right place after a couple of my Grandkids were attacked by a large dog, but I got to spend time with them today (1st time since one came home from hospital) - they're doing pretty good, but of course I'm worried about PTSD. 

Anyway, change is in the wind - ordered a low F string for Mortimer... going to toss the E string!  Hope I don't need to change out my other strings for a bit, but the the D & A are getting close.

I did spend the week learning & practicing a big handful of new tunes - Swedish, Irish & 🐔🐈🐇🐦⚓, PLUS I got swept away in childhood memories by playing along with tunes of the '60s (BLAST FROM THE PAST - '60s For Strings! Thread)! 

 

TOMORROW - back to some EV fun with my Mini Spark! 

- Emily

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Mark
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February 28, 2023 - 4:21 am
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ELCBK

I'm glad the grandkids are doing better after the ordeal, one of my grandsons fell off some monkey bars and broke his arm just above his left wrist, he is making the rounds of Dr.s to see what all needs to be done and who's going to do what.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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ABitRusty
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February 28, 2023 - 11:51 am
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oh no @elcbk. thats horrible about grandkids.   so good theyre able to see you today!  Thats some scary news and hopefully no long term affects from it.

  

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ELCBK
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February 28, 2023 - 2:12 pm
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@Mark , @ABitRusty -

Mark, breaks are not to be taken lightly - I hope your Grandson heals quickly! 

Btw, I should mention we are a large dog-loving family, which helps and everyone seems to be dealing with this well, so far - hard to tell, but with 7 little kids I don't want anyone's fears/feelings overlooked. 

Concentrating on music this last week definitely helped me keep MY dark thoughts at bay. 😞 

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ELCBK
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I was having trouble getting in gear today, but I think I might've just found 

My HERO - a Violinist, a Fiddler!!! 

Geoffrey Castle - having fun with a 6-string EV, WAY before I found Jesus Florido playing one!  And we're talkin' from Classical to Rock, and everything in between!

Not done with Geoffery! 

Playing Outside the Box! 

 

RHYTHM IS KING!!! 

Can't believe he was allowed to play a violin in marching band! 

I hope ALL YOU YOUNG FIDDLERS go bug your school band departments, NOW!

Seriously thought about a 6-string, but Sensicore quit making the lower & octave strings, so I chickened out. 😞 

 

...noodling away on 5 strings with my Mini Spark! 🤭 

Back to PRACTICING!

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Fiddlerman
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March 2, 2023 - 2:37 pm
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@elcbk - We had a sound guy whenever the audience was big enough, or someone else was paying for the sound guy.
We did a lot of concerts where we mixed our own sound, but there was a lot of fighting over the balance. LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ELCBK
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March 2, 2023 - 7:22 pm
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WOO HOO! 

FCGDA! 🤗

Being lazy, I just left my A string on it's peg & moved the ball end over to the E spot, so the D string is using the E peg... want to know how many times I tried tuning the wrong string?  🥴 (lost count) 

Funny, used to think my C string looked big compared to the rest of my strings - not anymore! 

 My-Oh-My 🤔... what should I record first?  

Maybe I better make sure everything stays in tune long enough to record something, first! 

p  r  o   c   r    a     s     t      i      n       a       t        i        o         n 

...just realized how much I count on learning and practice playing along with Fiddle tunes that use the E string!  Sounds kinda ridiculous that I'll have to switch over to my Viola to learn Fiddle tunes, now. 🙄

 

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ELCBK
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I've run into a little snag, since I changed my strings... 

Moving my strings over, I didn't take into account how the shape of my bridge was set for bowing certain sizes of strings - and I was too excited with all the 'newness' to take too much notice. 

Thought maybe I was just having trouble because I was trying to figure out the best way to bow the new low F string.  I was also playing more on the C string than usual.  The string grooves seem okay and I really don't want to change the top curve of my bridge - in case I want to return to a normal set up of CGDAE strings. 

I'm trying to keep focused & not to get discouraged, but it's awful tempting right now to run back to playing 'Edgar' - and to think just a week ago the Violin was much easier to play than the Viola, for me! 

BUT EDGAR IS ACOUSTIC ONLY!

My dilemma: clean bowing is NOW VERY DIFFICULT on my C & D (2nd string in on both sides), because their thickness and new positions on the bridge make them almost right in bowing line with the strings on either side! 

It's absolutely amazing how something so subtle can make such a HUGE impact on playing!  The original strings were already close, not only the distance between, but also the bowing levels, so it's really asking me a bit much to control even tighter bowing tolerances - especially with the extra effort needed on the lower strings.

I probably need to find a skinnier A string, maybe even a single wire A string. 😖  I'd also have to try to find a thicker C string (slim pickings) - because there's NO OTHER F string choices to switch to.  I'm at a point I wouldn't mind changing all my strings out (except for the new F string) - and if I'm playing with my Mini Spark I don't think I have to be quite so picky about brand/tone, just size.  Not keen on the idea of trying all Visions, but will look at them.

 

Just went over my Having Fun Experimenting! Thread, where I tuned down my 5-string VIOLA, "Edgar", first 3 half steps/tones, but then I tuned the C string all the way down to F#2 (3 WHOLE steps/tones!!!) - with surprisingly good results.  This may be a better alternative for my Violin, except my Violin has strings closer together than my Viola. 

...great, now I'm going to have to try tuning down my Violin C string before anything else - to see if I just want to go back to the original strings, but tuned down. 

*PAUSE*

Okay, DID IT!  Tuning down to F#2 IS feasible, but that's the limit - any lower, it's too sloppy to stay in tune.  There's no buzzing on the fingerboard or against other strings but can't get much volume out of it, not like the Vision F2 string. 

So, if I was going to stay permanently tuned down, I would definitely want to switch to higher tension strings (brighter/more focused) - would mean added researching on strings. 😒 

I don't have a 'before' photo & you can't really see from these photos that I basically have 2 bowing planes - the 3 lowest strings (F,C,G) almost line up, and the 3 highest strings (G,D,A) almost line up.  You might at least be able to see that my current A string (1st on RT) is closer in diameter to my middle string (G) - which I needed thick before the string switch.  It's not too hard to see that the low F string (1st on LFT) is much thicker than my next string (C) & could stand to be lowered, but I'm not having any buzzing on the fingerboard - so I'd like to keep it that way, especially if I switch back. 

It probably depends on if I decide to permanently keep the F string - lowering a tiny bit will probably be the easiest fix.  One way or another, I'll probably need to change something - in the meantime, I'll just keep torturing myself... maybe I'll get used to it (stranger things have happened). 🙄

I still have the option of raising the C & D string bridge slots.  The 'normal A slot' (which is now D) has always been too low for my liking, because my 'warmer' G & D strings are larger than some brands.  I've read about different ways to fill in a string slot on the bridge, like here: Repairing A/E string notch on bridge, but I'd really like to figure a way to try something temporary, first - maybe self-adhesive plastic (tomorrow I'll check, probably have something amongst all my stuff). 

Hope I made some sense... suggestions are definitely welcome! 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/98/3f/82/983f829235c70a0fdcb47c2e55f599ef.png

20230302_194005-2.jpgImage Enlarger20230308_000055.jpgImage Enlarger

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ELCBK
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March 8, 2023 - 3:02 pm
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I DID IT! 

FIXED THE PROBLEM! 

 

CLEAR SHIPPING/PACKING TAPE! 

Two layers, largest of each: approx 3mm X 5mm, applied over the bridge (like the parchment protector for an E string), under the 2nd strings in from each side! 

Actually, made 1 layer smaller under each string for less overall bulk, but hopefully enough surface area of the larger to make sure the string pressure doesn't just pop them off.

OMG!  HUGE DIFFERENCE! 

 

🌞  Happy Dance  🌞  Happy Dance  🌞  Happy Dance  🌞 

 

...okay, now I can finally get back to having FIDDLING FUN with my Mini Spark amp! 

Time will tell how long this 'temporary' fix lasts! 

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/74/45/76/7445767e2715bd2491971d6b601aa880.jpg

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Gordon Shumway
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The C string doesn't look too bad, but it does look as though the right hand side of the bridge is too straight (it might be worth getting a luthier to make you a better one).

Out of curiosity I just bought 4 titanium bridge protectors. One of of those under your D string might have helped.

Failing that, everyone should save their used violin E string sleeves - you never know when they might be useful.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

Thank you for your suggestions. 

Let me know how the titanium protectors work out for you - I believe you need to glue them on.

I've never been able to use a plastic E string protector for anything other than it's intended string - and never had one stay in shape well enough to consider reusing it. 

 

My little pieces of heavy duty, clear shipping/packing tape (made by Scotch) seems very durable, still working great - quick/cheap/convenient use of materials, no damping of sound & easily reversed! 🤗

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