FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Sloop John B partial cover - octave strings
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 29, 2019 - 3:35 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14601
41sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Interesting analysis Bill.

BillyG said 
The strings - probably due to their mass - take a bit of "work" compared to normal string to get the bow hair to properly engage with the strings - and short little 16th's etc can be"difficult" to get them to sound properly (like the bow is off the string, or on to the next note, before it has had time to react). 

I'm considering trying a viola bow with its extra stiffness and weight.........

I would even consider trying a cello bow. This would be a forth lower than a viola plus the short strings make it more difficult.

I can't get over how much that instrument sounds baroque with the octave strings.

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

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
April 29, 2019 - 5:17 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
42sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

WOW @Fiddlerman - a cello bow - LOLOL !!!   man, seriously, I'm not laughing "at" you - just laughing as I thought I was already a bit "out there" to try a viola bow !  LOL yeah, why not.....  Bring it on !!!!

I can't get over how much that instrument sounds baroque with the octave strings.

 Indeed - it is quite an unusual (or at least unexpected) response from a "fiddle" 🙂

Mind you, the underlying issue (as I see it) is the contoured resonance response from the normal sized violin body - the body and the air-mass inside simply are not designed to, and cannot, properly respond much, to frequencies below around 200Hz  (i.e. around G3) - and the low G2 is 98 or so Hz - a full octave down.

The resonance curves I have seen for a "normal violin" ( not measured by myself - only from other seen sources ) indicate that the 4/4 violin behaves like a (poor, but approximate) band-pass "filter" - like setting up a graphic equalizer on your stereo.  I.E. a "standard 4/4 fitted with octaves" will actually PASSIVELY significantly attenuate frequencies below the normal G3 (just because of the way it is built - that's the way it is), but, equally will amplify  (although not in a true linear fashion like a "real" EQ band-pass) frequencies between (around) 200Hz to 12,000Hz and then drop off rapidly again....

And THAT'S my current problem - the low low low strings just don't "sing" (well, they DO - but the energy goes into my chin and shoulder - I can feel it - it would normally go into the instrument to be radiated out....) - what I hear under my ear is NOT what the studio mic, 3 feet away, picks up.   Yup the "sound is there" and (probably posted about this earlier) - an inbuilt or clip-on bridge pickup/transducer would partly be the answer.  You'll see from earlier I "got the sound I wanted" (largely) when I installed the octaves on my EV.

I really am coming to think that the sound and response I personally would REALLY REALLY want on a 4/4 octave strung fiddle won't be totally resolved by using a viola or cello bow.   

I say that, but only partly.  YES indeed I can see the advantage of a heavier and stiffer bow, for sure.....  And I can well understand why the initial engagement of the bow-hair to the string would be better, faster, tighter, responsive - sure.... and that's because it seems that an "intentional while playing" heavier action by wrist or arm on a normal fiddle bow doesn't really work the way I want it across the range of playing dynamics...(heavy action on a normal bow seems to "crunch" and also is not good for the bow hair I would guess)

Soooo....   I'm still in the investigative phase here.

Here's an aside ( but related ) since I referred to my EV - we players often read stuff about EV's being "dead" compared to acoustics.  Well, of course they are without FX, and they don't have the complex body resonances.  It's also said they have no inter-string resonances - well - that is not true.  If your EV is "properly" tuned in perfect 5ths ( lol I can tell, THAT'S argumentative already ) you can easily hear the open string resonances going on -in fact - so much so that I have started to place a thin rubber band under the strings tight-up against the nut.  Just enough to dampen the actually FAR TOO present string resonances...  Now THAT is interesting as well....  sounds like a good reason for a separate topic....

Oh - I'm on a mission here - it's what I do - just ignore me!  🙂

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
April 29, 2019 - 5:55 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1142
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
43sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@BillyG and others.  I can definitely hear inter string resonance on my ev once I started tuning perfect fifths.  Help is coming in regards to string initiation upon bowing (please pm me with your address).  Black horse hair with dark rosin would be beneficial.

For a more baroque tone, try tuning a=434 to a=436.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
April 29, 2019 - 6:14 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
44sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@Irv - Hmmm, I do that from time to time ( drop the tuning a tad - even on normally strung fiddle....  always sounds good to my ear and "plays" quite differently for such an apparently small change ) - although, having said that, it's "by ear" and probably nearer a full semi-tone down from A440 - and it seems (to my ear) to be instrument dependent .... which I am also beginning to understand! What a journey !  Awesome.

Thanks @Irv - I'll message you

^5s

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
April 29, 2019 - 6:30 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 466
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
45sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Everyone I know who has ever played a violin with octave strings found them much easier to play with a viola bow. But I'm actually surprised you don't already have a viola bow, seeing as you're currently playing a heavy violin strung as a viola.

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
April 30, 2019 - 7:17 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
46sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Indeed, @AndrewH thanks for the feedback - you're right, I know it would make a noticeable difference.  

I guess the reason I haven't bothered (yet) - it *is* on the list - is that "my viola phase" is/was largely of an investigative nature - and it was just another sound arena to experiment with - rather than being my primary instrument voice.

These things (my plans, experimentation etc) unfold in their own good time ( ! ) - and at the moment (with the transition to octaves) - my preferred response from these strings is actually on the EV (shock, horror!)   And admittedly, that's with equalization applied to stop all those higher harmonics from making it sound like a chainsaw.  On the EV, it seems that the bow just doesn't matter as much - oh, sure, there is still an initial slow response but nothing as marked as I find on the acoustic - well - for obvious reasons.  Although I prefer the string response on the EV (response to bowing, articulation etc), I still prefer the actual sound from the acoustic.   Which is understandable.

🙂 Yeah, you've convinced me, I'll be placing the order tomorrow !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
starise
Members

Regulars
April 30, 2019 - 11:44 am
Member Since: September 9, 2016
Forum Posts: 121
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
47sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I'm impressed with your investigations. Interesting to read what you find. 

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 1, 2019 - 2:29 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
48sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@AndrewH - meant to say in my earlier post - just so we're talking on the same wavelength - my viola-strung 4/4 actually uses standard violin strings not viola-specific strings.  I just removed the E, moved G, D, A up a notch on the nut & bridge, and installed a C designed for use on a 5-string violin (so I have the viola range, if not the timbre)

I did actually try a viola C, and it was largely unplayable with the violin bow (well, I exaggerate, but it was not easy at all and extremely "hard-work" - let alone the difference to the other strings) - the 5-string violin C was much more effective (understandable).

Having said that, on such a sturdy/heavy instrument with poor response, I have no doubt a viola bow (even on the normal violin strings, on that instrument) will offer an improvement, and I now have one on order !   Of course, it WILL make a difference on my violin octave strings instrument. Thanks again for your feedback 🙂

[ P.S. I've put a bid in on ebay for a 16" Stentor 1505 "student" style viola - details all check out with the seller, it's "well used", no cracks or open seams, a single owner, comes with case, but without a bow, appears to have what I would call, nothing more than minor cosmetic blemishes (small dents, surface scratches etc).   I'm getting it ( well, if I win the auction ) just to get the experience of the actual instrument !   I've put a bid limit of 1/10th of the current new price, so it's no big deal if it's not up-to-par - indeed if it needs any repair/setup (nut, bridge, SP, pegs, tail etc) I would manage to sort that myself.  Hope I win the bidding, fingers crossed !]

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 2, 2019 - 1:14 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
49sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Oh well, I've been out-bid on the viola, but only by a couple of UK Sterling-equivalent dollars.  I never get involved in the bidding-wars-game, but I'll keep an eye on the latest bid in the last few minutes of the auction, and if it's still within 10% of my first bid I'll maybe take a chance.  You HAVE to set yourself a limit!!!

Viola bow should arrive tomorrow or Friday....

Just an observation on the octave strings - the low G2 happily resonates against G3 on the D. If I vibrate the G3 - I occasionally get a buzzing sound as the open G2 which is happily doing its own thing, contacts my fingernail as my finger on the stopped G3 rotates (or pushes left-wards) slightly towards the G2.  Easily sorted, I just need to be more precise.   It's just "marginal" and I guess due to the larger sympathetic vibrations on the heavier string - never happens on the normally strung fiddle 🙂

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 3, 2019 - 11:39 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14601
50sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

BillyG said
Oh well, I've been out-bid on the viola, but only by a couple of UK Sterling-equivalent dollars..............

Good luck next time Bill. 

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

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 3, 2019 - 11:45 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
51sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

🙂 @admin - yeah - I just wanted a cheap, but usable "real" viola rather than my "fake 4/4 fiddle" one - oh - something will come around - usually does  !!!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
June 18, 2019 - 3:33 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2964
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
52sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

More on the octave strings - about to try an experimental light-weight tailpiece - I won't repeat all the detail, it's here, in the Lovers' Waltz thread - https://fiddlerman.com/forum/s.....z/#p100874

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 424
Currently Online:
131
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming Ferret, HDuaneaz, vibaviattigala, zpilot, Rafael Gonzales, ACDSherlockian, NiloiV, jose6ph, Kody
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2673
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Kevin M.: 1969
damfino: 1933
cdennyb: 1814
TerryT: 1726
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 26177
Moderators: 0
Admins: 8
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 58
Topics: 7981
Posts: 99504
Newest Members:
NikitaJarak, ErnestTwils, Torrent_Hit, cvfywappukr, georgenl60, alejandraal16
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 14601, KindaScratchy: 1737, coolpinkone: 4169, BillyG: 2964, MrsFiddlerman: 1, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, SimplePressHelp: 0, peopleshost: 0