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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 (94 votes) 
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ELCBK
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October 12, 2023 - 7:43 pm
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@ABitRusty said:  

A better thing would be to play the same tune and make a recording of yourself playing along to the 1st one and mix those together.

Thank you!  I'll have to try that.

 

...was thinking of multiple mono recordings. 

Phones (Android & IPhone) can be set to mono for listening with only one earbud (How-To Geek), but looks like I can only use my rear camera with the Video Pro features to set a recording to mono (Mic Options for Pro Video on Galaxy). 

I was kinda excited to explore this with sound/space, but I won't be able to see what I'm recording from where I'm playing.  ...Kevin's gonna hate me for asking him to help me try different phone positions, especially with 2 phones. 🙄🤭  'Shouldn't' be too much trouble once I find a good contrast.  

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October 12, 2023 - 8:27 pm
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1 thing you can try is set 1 to stereo and 1 to mono.   use the mono up vlose and set the stereo across the room.  mix in the stereo mic with a level a bit below the mono mic and add a small amount of reverb.  then take that reverb away and add a bit to the mono track.  Not alot.  just enough to where you think it sounds interesting the ba k it down a little.

see what you like with that method...maybe nothing maybe alot.   it may inspire to try something else.

set both to mono... put 1 mic above violin and one on the floor pointed up to the back and see what that does.

put 1 directly in front and 1 above and behind you pointed over a shoulder down to the fingerboard.

sometimes the things youll see said not to do are the things that come out sounding better to you.  just experiment.  go crazy with it.

Play the same tune over and over again experimenting.  youll forget youre learning a tune and learn it. 😉  may not sound that good but ive learned alot of them doing stuff like that.  especially when playing with backing.  thats kinda what my process and practice time looks like.  

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ELCBK
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October 12, 2023 - 9:23 pm
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@ABitRusty - 

GREAT - Thanks! 

Going to see if I can't pick a tune this weekend... start.

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ELCBK
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October 15, 2023 - 1:10 am
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I looked for a piece to use today, but it's clear to me - I need to stop everything else with music & just practice what I started for Halloween. 

I don't think I recorded anything for Halloween last year & I don't want THAT to happen again, even if it's nothing fancy... buckling down! 

...plus youngest Grandson's Birthday this coming week.

 

2219092375_eaedc4184b_b.jpg

 

I can't do this kind of 'buckling down'.

🤔... wow, the only way to control pitch would be by flexing the arm.

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ELCBK
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October 21, 2023 - 10:08 pm
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I got back to looking for a mini keyboard with drum pads.  Spent WAY too much time this last couple days, just trying to decide between a few of them!!!!!! 

Learned ALL about the features, pro's & con's, of the 3 mini Akai controllers, Launchkey & Arturia... unfortunately, there were specific things I liked about each - made it hard to decide.

Pulling My Hair Smiley

FINALLY, decided on the Akai MPK mini 'Play' - all because I can use it like the others (hooked up to DAW), BUT ALSO just on it's own... it has a speaker and can be used with batteries, so I can just fool around without my laptop. 

The Launchkey mini mk3 is the keyboard/drum pad controller I wanted (no speaker), but it's supposed to be pretty Ableton Live-specific.  Also really liked the Akai mini 'PLUS', with it's extra keys/notes & features (also NO speaker). 

I have noticed folks on YT switching from using Ableton Live as a DAW, to Bitwig (because it seems more user friendly).  AND, moving/sharing projects between Bitwig & Studio One, to take advantage of features specific to each - this is a fairly new thing made available! 

...down the road I'm still going to have to get a mic 'if' I want to do any audio editing of acoustic instruments. 

Expecting my Akai MPK mini 'Play' Wednesday!

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October 22, 2023 - 12:00 pm
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That one looks perfect!   really like that it has speakers and can use batteries.  Thinking youll have fun with this.

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Seems pretty versatile (and user friendly) in a small package--looks like a great find smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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My Akai MPK Mini Play arrived! 

It is  v e r y  quiet... okay for putzing around, but I may end up using headphones or earbuds.  I expected more volume (on it's own), a little closer to the Grandkids' toy electronic karaoke keyboard - will definitely need it plugged into something if I want to hear it while I'm playing my violin or viola.  

I ran through the 128 internal sounds & some of the other features - really like the drum pads!

Going to spend more time getting acquainted with it, but I'm concentrating on some cleaner playing at the moment - enough of a challenge. 

...it is kinda hard to resist a 'goblin' setting & another one that sounds like bones. 🤭🎃💀

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October 25, 2023 - 6:32 pm
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idk if it has a velocity sensitive kepad or not..but if it does it may have that setting low.  basically its a parameter that tells how loud to play a note when its played.   imitates how a real world piano would work.

 

i would think that setting wouldnt be hidden too deep.

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October 26, 2023 - 12:29 am
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@ABitRusty -

THANK YOU for getting me to take a 2nd look! 

🤔... thought I adjusted 'attack' for the keys - but didn't see that 'attack' was adjusted by the 2nd bank of controls, had to press the 'B' button, 1st... duh! 🙄 

Almost packed it up to ship back - thinking pretty silly if I had to plug it into my amp to hear it, but now I don't have to! (whew!)

All the sudden that 37 key Akai 'Plus' with the step sequencer started looking good to me, it's advertised as stand-alone - but I have NO idea how to hear it without the DAW or if it can be plugged into my Spark Mini (it doesn't have all the ports of the regular Spark amp).

Another part of the Plus’s evolution over other MPK Mini family members is the inclusion of an internal sequencer to add to the arpeggiator section.

Here you can program melodies and drum patterns on the fly with no computer connected, using 8 notes of polyphony per step and 16 notes per drum step. There’s auto-quantize with a range of settings including MPC Swing and the whole thing has a great vibe to it. 

I have to be careful what all I plug into my Spark Mini amp - it has priorities! 🤣 

Spark MINI accepts 3 different input ways (Aux In / Bluetooth Audio / USB Audio) to stream music, but please note that you can only use 1 input at a time. If the 2 or 3 of them are connected to Spark MINI at the same time, only one of the inputs will work properly. 

Aux In will be prior to all the inputs. The 2nd priority is Bluetooth Audio, and the 3rd is USB Audio. If your music input is not working properly, please make sure there is no higher priority input occupying.

 

I saw my 'Play' can be plugged into a looper!  Not sure if this will satisfy my craving for a sequencer, or just become another PIMA... more experimenting tomorrow.

 

 

omg... there's a Helicopter sound setting (but NO CAT???) & even applause... we can ALL use that!

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October 27, 2023 - 4:27 pm
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ELCBK said
@ABitRusty -

THANK YOU for getting me to take a 2nd look! 

🤔... thought I adjusted 'attack' for the keys - but didn't see that 'attack' was adjusted by the 2nd bank of controls, had to press the 'B' button, 1st... duh. 🙄 

Almost packed it up to ship back - thinking pretty silly if I had to plug it into my amp to hear it, but now I don't have to! 

All the sudden that 37 key Akai 'Plus' with the step sequencer started looking good to me, it's advertised as stand-alone - but I have NO idea how to hear it without the DAW or if it can be plugged into my Spark Mini (it doesn't have all the ports of the regular Spark amp).

Another part of the Plus’s evolution over other MPK Mini family members is the inclusion of an internal sequencer to add to the arpeggiator section.

Here you can program melodies and drum patterns on the fly with no computer connected, using 8 notes of polyphony per step and 16 notes per drum step. There’s auto-quantize with a range of settings including MPC Swing and the whole thing has a great vibe to it. 

I have to be careful what all I plug into my Spark Mini amp - it has priorities! 🤣 

Spark MINI accepts 3 different input ways (Aux In / Bluetooth Audio / USB Audio) to stream music, but please note that you can only use 1 input at a time. If the 2 or 3 of them are connected to Spark MINI at the same time, only one of the inputs will work properly. 

Aux In will be prior to all the inputs. The 2nd priority is Bluetooth Audio, and the 3rd is USB Audio. If your music input is not working properly, please make sure there is no higher priority input occupying.

 

I saw my 'Play' can be plugged into a looper!  Not sure if this will satisfy my craving for a sequencer, or just become another PIMA... more experimenting tomorrow.

 

 

omg... there's a Helicopter sound setting (but NO CAT???) & even applause... we can ALL use that!

  

attack is a different parameter.. part of the "ADSR" midi settings.   I could share a link but honestly playing with them for 5 or 10 miutes will explain more than pages of videos.   just experiment.  NOW.. the trivk is finding what button to use on the keypad.   for that...easiest to look at the manual.

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October 30, 2023 - 5:21 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Thanx - I did figure it all out. 😊 

Jeez, I HAVE been having a lot of fun trying out things on the Akai 'Play'! 

I've started to get some good ideas in mind... need to start writing reminders/notes down.  Wish I would've ordered the Akai Play sooner, I'm too much of a newb to accomplish anything with it in time for tomorrow.  'Halloween' is just going to have to become my 'normal' state of mind. 

I did try to get more info on the Akai 'Plus', but looks like any way to use it & hear it (other than plugged into my laptop) ends up being pretty expensive, so if my 'Play' works well thru my looper - I should be okay.  Too bad Akai doesn't make a combination of the 'Play' + 'Plus'!  I'd be standing first in line for one, because I'd rather have the 37 note keyboard & the sequencer features close to my fingertips. 

Later this week I'll have alone time, so since I've made up my mind for sure to keep the Akai 'Play', I'll tackle registration & loading the software.

...had NO idea I'd have to deal with all this 'iLok' stuff, too!  Ripping Out Hair Angry Face Emoticons 

https://youtu.be/sbnmneNLu4Q

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ELCBK
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I still haven't done anything with the Akai Play - except play, but not 'for' anything in particular, yet. 

Just working on smoothing together what I wanted to record for Halloween - most of my practice has been acoustic lately, until the other day.  I'm not happy with the presets I have, so spent time seeing which would work better if I adjusted them, but I need to find new presets... really don't want to go thru a lot of sampling right now. 

Last night I had a weird sound come from my amp when the amp sound was turned all the way down & my Violin was just setting next to me!  I immediately turned the pwr off - unnerved be a bit. 

The only thing I could think of was maybe my Violin pre-amp batteries needed to be changed - had Kevin test them & yep, bad.  They've lasted a long time (I don't leave cables hooked up & turn all knob controls off) - just never expected THAT noise! 

I'll be doing an ops ck in a little bit.  

Not quite so overwhelmed looking at DAW tutorials now, but there is still a lot I don't think I need yet & haven't started learning about how to use 'key commands'. 

Took a closer look at 'Hooktheory' with their 'Cheat Sheets' - interactive scales, chords & chord progressions... really like them. 

Going to do a free trial of their composition/notation software 'Hookpad' - it looks like it might be the best thing for me right now, after all the trouble I've had with other notation apps/software - this might suit me better... less buttons to push. 🥴 

Plus, I am supposed to be able to drag & drop a midi file into Studio One. 🤗

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@elcbk hooktheory looks pretty good!

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ELCBK
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November 9, 2023 - 4:49 pm
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579892277d9cf0eb4d8f33a1bcb0c733.png

I have to admit, it's really nice to be able to understand something from just one video... instead of needing like 40!!!! 

Hookpad is definitely a simpler, more intuitive way for me to explore & learn with.  

 

 

...now back to fiddle practice. 

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Pretty mad at myself for not being prepared to play music on time for a Halloween recording this year... should've just recorded 1 tune for the Party & been done with it.  At least that would've been in keeping with the 'Party' spirit!  I really got too carried away, having fun trying different music for the season... couldn't even narrow down what I wanted to play until the last minute. 

Okay, I'm very close - just not quite ready to record what I've put together, yet.  Jeez, it's almost Thanksgiving! 😳 ...still making a few mistakes & not always in the same spots!  At least I'm more comfortable transitioning from tune to tune, rhythm to rhythm & getting in more of what resembles vibrato. 

I finally modified an amp & fx settings I think will work for the whole set of tunes I want to record.  Had to balance more bass with mid & treble, wanted a little reverb, but didn't want anything interfering or dulling my articulation - still going to sound like electric Violin!  I just don't want to have to switch or mess with any settings during this recording, having enough trouble just playing.  I'll do a screen recording of my final amp & fx lineup - may make a few more slight changes, first.

Not sure what's going on with me, but right now I have absolutely NO desire to record anything if I can't play without obvious mistakes.  ...not letting myself slide on this.  Once I can play cleanly in practice for 2 days straight (meaning EVERY time I play the set), I'll be ready to record.  This is my priority at the moment, but my practice time is not going to change.

I've worked hard this year on quite a few aspects of playing & I'm happy with the progress I've made.  I'd like to get a few last recordings finished so I can totally focus on improvising & learning how to record multiple tracks - didn't want to do it until I got to a certain 'comfort' level of playing (sounds kinda vague, but I did have something in mind). 

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November 13, 2023 - 7:56 am
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same feeling.. havent had a couple of hours to sit and do anything.  maybe tonight.  itll be with mistakes and all if any made.  im sure there will be at this point.

looking forward to what you come up with.

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I got a good full 3 hour practice in today. 🤗  ...just hate that lately it feels like I need an hour or more just to get really warmed up! 

Had to switch to a different amp (& pedal line up).  It's been hard finding something to fit my medley of mismatched tunes, but the good side of this is now I have a 'default' setting I like & can start playing anything with! 

I'm using a modified "Blues Ark" Spark amp patch - just replaced the original 'Rhythm' setting on my Spark amp with it.  Did a screen capture of my current 'default' settings - tried many patches, many combinations & tried different settings on this amp & all the pedals that came with this lineup (and others).  Settled on removing some of the pedals from the lineup, then maxed out the Gain, Bass & Volume on THIS virtual amp.  Didn't check any levels in PreSonus (not going there yet) - just going by what I hear, for now. 

Modified-Blues-Ark-amp-patch_remastered.jpgImage EnlargerVolume & Guitar (instrument) volume maxed on the amp itself & so is my violin pre-amp volume and Bass - just a little treble (mid-range mixed in, no control knob).  I didn't know this was going to end up as a 'short', with no way to enlarge the image!  So, I included a photo of the amp/settings for this patch. 

 

Still not sure I'm completely settled on all my bowing & phrasing for what was supposed to be my Halloween medley.  Took me a long time to get vibrato in where I wanted, especially on the lowest strings.  I enjoy having to switch gears playing different tunes - not sure why the ones I'm using now are challenging, but they are.

So sorry, NO recorded sound for this yet, shouldn't be much longer - need a little more work on this before a 1st video.  Haven't decided if I'll work on backing (as a whole) afterwards - or just work on variations & backing for some of the individual tunes. 

Looking ahead, if nothing else, my New Year's goals will start with work on backing/multiple tracks & learning to use PreSonus. 

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With all the wonderful talk on the the forum this past week, I am reminded to focus playing on the finger pads & NOT the tips! 

Darn, I had started to work on changing this a while back, when I started wearing a 'practice glove'... then got sidetracked. 😔 

So, my practice today (not as long as yesterday) was playing slower & deliberately focusing on just that - playing more on the pads of my fingers... with vibrato, too. 

Jeez, tomorrow I better double check to make sure my wrist & arm aren't getting all out of wack in the process! 🥴  

 

...with Thanksgiving so close, today seems like the perfect time for a few extra moments of reflection on how much I appreciate forum members! 🥰 

 

cde1e06049b4dc488bf20b004107b81e.jpg

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Readin about your settings and such it's very interesting indeed. I have never used a virtual amp its a new concept to me. I have 2 amps one is an Alligator 30 watt, superb amp, which we used to put through the mixer and out through a Marshall set up, I started out with a vox ac 30, but it was too heavy and temperamental, we used to practice in my first band upstairs in a hairdressers, because the vox 30 was a valve amp every knock it got made it go off, so I  got the one I now put the violin through which is a Roland 40 watt cube, really can't recommend this amp highly enough, it has chorus, flanger, phaser reverb and echo built in as well a an eq system and various presets.

If you thought of getting a physical amp you can't go wrong with this.

I am looking forward to hear the type of sound you get with the virtual set up, very intriguing he technology now available.

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