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MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!

Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 06:57 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 07:46 AM
TheSnail 08 Feb 09 - 08:03 AM
Darowyn 08 Feb 09 - 08:48 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 08:50 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 09:05 AM
TheSnail 08 Feb 09 - 09:15 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 09:30 AM
TheSnail 08 Feb 09 - 09:34 AM
gnomad 08 Feb 09 - 09:37 AM
VirginiaTam 08 Feb 09 - 09:55 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 10:06 AM
TheSnail 08 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 10:58 AM
Leadfingers 08 Feb 09 - 11:15 AM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 11:21 AM
bubblyrat 08 Feb 09 - 11:41 AM
bubblyrat 08 Feb 09 - 11:42 AM
Darowyn 08 Feb 09 - 11:58 AM
Leadfingers 08 Feb 09 - 12:02 PM
TheSnail 08 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 12:43 PM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Feb 09 - 01:00 PM
michaelr 08 Feb 09 - 01:12 PM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 01:21 PM
Leadfingers 08 Feb 09 - 01:28 PM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 01:33 PM
Richard Mellish 08 Feb 09 - 02:38 PM
Ptarmigan 08 Feb 09 - 05:11 PM
Richard Mellish 08 Feb 09 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,PayPaul 08 Feb 09 - 10:16 PM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 04:58 AM
TheSnail 09 Feb 09 - 05:17 AM
Will Fly 09 Feb 09 - 05:47 AM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 06:01 AM
Will Fly 09 Feb 09 - 06:04 AM
TheSnail 09 Feb 09 - 06:22 AM
Darowyn 09 Feb 09 - 07:04 AM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 09 - 07:16 AM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 09:29 AM
Jack Blandiver 09 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM
Mavis Enderby 09 Feb 09 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 09 Feb 09 - 11:58 AM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 09 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 12:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Feb 09 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 09 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Phil Beer 09 Feb 09 - 01:05 PM
dick greenhaus 09 Feb 09 - 06:03 PM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 08:02 PM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 09 - 08:16 PM
Ptarmigan 09 Feb 09 - 08:38 PM
M.Ted 09 Feb 09 - 10:29 PM
katlaughing 09 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM
katlaughing 09 Feb 09 - 11:19 PM
Ptarmigan 10 Feb 09 - 05:00 AM
TheSnail 10 Feb 09 - 05:49 AM
Ptarmigan 10 Feb 09 - 09:12 AM
TheSnail 10 Feb 09 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 10:10 AM
dick greenhaus 10 Feb 09 - 01:30 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 09 - 01:36 PM
Ptarmigan 10 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 09 - 04:51 PM
Ptarmigan 11 Feb 09 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Feb 09 - 09:27 AM
matt milton 11 Feb 09 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Feb 09 - 10:46 AM
matt milton 11 Feb 09 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Feb 09 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,punkfolrocker 11 Feb 09 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Feb 09 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 06:57 AM

Don't these vile objects just make you want to weep?

Midi Concertina

Midi Bagpipes

Midi Saxophone

Midi Violin

I'm sure the likes of Stradivari, Wheatstone & all other creators of wonderful, natural musical instruments, will be weeping buckets in their graves now!

Granted, the Concertina still looks like a Concertina, but how long before that lovely old box shape we all know & love, becomes a shinny, gaudy coloured plastic or metal mockery of the original?

Can you honestly picture those Midi Pipes being played at a Burns Night?
Let's be honest, if Burns came back, I think we all know where he'd stick that Pipers plastic Midi Chanter!

Quite frankly, I really don't care how close they come to sounding like the 'real thing' they are just WRONG for me, on oh so many levels!

Take a look at this wonderful photo of a Mongolian Orchestra
Look at all these fascinating instruments, which took thousands of years of development, thanks to the efforts of countless musicians & master craftsmen instrument makers, to reach their stage of perfection. Is this how we are going to treat all art forms in the future?

Now picture that same orchestra, standing there, each with some vile looking modern, high tech Midi equivalent of their ancient & traditional instrument in their hands! Can we really say that would be progress.
{ No doubt the Chines Gov. would prefer the old ways to die out! :-( ... but that's another story, for another day. }

If that's the future of music, all I can say is ................... I'm glad I won't be around to see it!

Is this how we are going to treat all art forms in the future?
Maybe we should just paint a Smiley Face on the Mona Lisa while we're at it!

Here are another couple of options you might like to consider: New Improved Mona Lisa

But seriously folks, are the Colin & Rosalie Dippers of this World, really just wasting their time?
Should traditional instrument makers start packing their bags now & start training for jobs in I T? ............................................


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 07:46 AM

Oh My God!

It's worse than I thought! :-(

TOO UGLY!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 08:03 AM

Ah, but have you actually heard Bill Whaley play a banjo solo on the The Purple People Pleaser?


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Darowyn
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 08:48 AM

I disagree, and you are factually wrong on two of them.
The Yamaha wind controller is not a Midi Saxophone, it's a device to allow woodwind players to control a synthesiser with a control system which they are familiar with.
The Violin is simply a cutaway, solid body electric violin- and they sound superb.
My hat is off to the creators of the Midi-enabled concertina- Mr Wheatstone would have loved it, as one innovator to another. You will be able to play Hammond Organ licks without having to carry a ton of equipment (only slight exaggeration)
Imagine a bagpipe with no intonation problems, with drones that stay on pitch and with the choice of Equal temperament or just intonation and the option of sounding like Scottish War Pipes, Northumbrian or Catalan small pipes- you've got it!
You are an old luddite- that's all.
Get with it man!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 08:50 AM

Now I believe this would please people.

This is much more like it .... au naturale.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:05 AM

Oh sorry, my mistake, wind controller, synthesiser, whatever the heck it is, it looks CR*P!

Electric Violin! ... forgive me if I just can't stand to look at them, much less listen to them. OK for R & R bands, but just keep them to hell away from real music!

Midi or not, in my opinion they both just look horrible.

Er, when I pick up a Concertina, I want it to sound like a Concertina, not some bl**dy peely wally, wishy washy synthsised imitation of a real instrument. I certainly don't want it to sound anything remotely like a feckin' Hammond Organ. Saints preserve us, Satan himself would, I suspect, have more sense than to sit behind one of those monstrosities!

Sorry for beating about the bush. If I get my confidence up, I might speak my mind later! :-)

As for a plastic bagpipe that can sound like them all!

Have you no soul?


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:15 AM

Stanley Robertson plays electronic bagpipes and a MIDI concertina doesn't have to look ugly.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:30 AM

Now Snail, are talking about Stanley or the instruments?

Sorry Stanley, only joking. :-)
I've seen Stanley perform many times in Aberdeen & I know he can certainly tell a story alright.

As for his taste in musical instruments ..................................


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:34 AM

Just giving a little background information. Mind you, I agree with you about the "feckin' Hammond Organ" but I also agree with Darowyn tha Professor Wheatstone would have loved it.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: gnomad
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:37 AM

Divided loyalties here. My personal preference is for the unaccompanied, and unamplified human voice, but...

Every musical instrument, from the humblest knocking together of a couple of sticks to the mightiest organ, is to a greater or lesser extent artificial, and the first user of each of them has been an innovator. What has made the instrument acceptable is a combination of refinement, artistry, and the passage of time.

Most instruments can give me considerable pleasure when played well, so despite my Luddite tendencies I try to welcome such developments as these, though I do quietly relish the thought of a power cut. Just as long as we are not talking automatic drum machines, backing tracks and miming. A line has to be drawn somewhere, and that one is mine.

I have heard the purple people pleaser in action (it was being a church organ on that occasion) and I enjoyed it. Like any innovation acceptability or otherwise is in the hands of the person wielding the novelty item. I would far rather hear a gifted player on one of these instruments than a hopeless amateur on a priceless Stradivarius, or some two year old with baby's first drumkit.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:55 AM

I have seen and heard one of those digital concertinas up close. I was not impressed.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:06 AM

Tam, I am not surprised! ;-)

As for Wheatstone loving it, I'm not so sure.

I love Mini Skirts, but I wouldn't be seen dead wearing one myself!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM

Ptarmigan

As for Wheatstone loving it, I'm not so sure.

Really?

I love Mini Skirts, but I wouldn't be seen dead wearing one myself!

Oh, go on. You'll never know until you give it a try.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:58 AM

OK

Aye Wheatstone was open minded alright, but I'm not convinced he'd mess around THAT much with his wonderful creation!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 11:15 AM

Wheatstone WAS also an Electrical Rngineer , and the Whetastone Bridge he invented is still a valid item in any Electrical School


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 11:21 AM

Aye, but could you get a tune out of a Wheatstone Bridge?

Is there a modern Midi version of the Wheatstone Bridge?


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: bubblyrat
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 11:41 AM

The point is---none of these modern gizmos sound any good when the power goes off.Acoustic intstruments,many of them the result of centuries of experimentation and developement,are aesthetically pleasing,both visually and aurally,whilst many "modern" ,electrified instruments look very sort of futuristic,space-age ,1950s Kitsch----in other words,rather vulgar.You won't see many cutaway,shiny,matallic- blue,twinkly plastic "Stradivarious", I dare say. But don't get me wrong---I am not knocking electro intstruments "per se"....I have recently "discovered " Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, and I think that their electric-bass player (Wooten ?) is SUPERB, as are his instruments (works of art in their own right ), but really-----a concertina is a concertina ; what IS the point of an electric,cut-down plastic one ?? Ugh !!And those miniature electic bagpipes----who is going to carry the generator, or the inverter and batteries,as the band marches out of Stirling Castle, eh ??? Poo !!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: bubblyrat
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 11:42 AM

Or ,indeed, METALLIC-blue,either.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Darowyn
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 11:58 AM

The internet is a bit static when the electricity goes off too!
Is that a reason for converting Mudcat to pigeon post?
The point of Midi is control and flexibilty, the point of electric instruments is control of timbre and a wider dynamic range.
Is is relevant ot say that although it sounds great, a Strad fiddle is no good because boring brown wood is out of fashion?
Like I said:- Luddites!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:02 PM

Indeeed Roger ! I wasnt there myself , but Irecall Jim Couza at a festival , in concert , when they had a power cut . Net result ? A forty minute (I THINK) set of songs and tunes on the hammered dulcimer in almost total darkness .
Thats a thought - What about a Midi H D ??   Yeuccch !!!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM

OK Ptarmigan, you were right about the mini-skirt.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM

They have the great advantage that you can turn them down.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:43 PM

..... & off!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM

"Thats a thought - What about a Midi H D ??"

Well, on the positive side, I suppose they'd save you one heck of a lot of tuning!

You could also turn down all that unwanted extra reverb too!
.... or up, if you really wanted to really annoy other folks! :-)

You wouldn't need to buy Hammers either, you could just use matches instead! :-)

.... & you wouldn't take up THREE or FOUR seats at your local Session!

Of course, you would sound like something your dog leaves behind him & look not much better, but hey, that'd be a small price to pay! :-)


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:00 PM

From: TheSnail - PM
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM

OK Ptarmigan, you were right about the mini-skirt.

From: Richard Bridge - PM
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM

They have the great advantage that you can turn them down.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:12 PM

Would it not be an advantage to be able to play in any key?


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:21 PM

You CAN Michael ... on an English Concertina! :-)

After that though, instruments have their Traditional key - F ... Bb etc & also so much music has been written especially for those instruments over the years, in those keys.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:28 PM

F and Bflat are no problem on MY mandolin . BMaj and C# are a bit of a pain though


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:33 PM

I'm thinking, BMaj & C# would be no problem to this guy!


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 02:38 PM

Hmm! Some strong views above, from the opening post onwards. I certainly wouldn't want to see conventional instruments disappear, but the midi ones can be complementary.

Some of the advantages have already been mentioned. Although you can play in many keys on a conventional concertina, unless it's a Hayden Duet you have to be clever, and change the fingering for every key. With midi you can transpose, change to a different octave, change the tone, and even change to a completely different sound.

I had a very brief go some years ago on a prototype midi concertina made by Steve Simpson. Being able to play a Carolan tune and have the sound of a harp coming out was fun, though also seriously confusing to the mind.

One feature that I DIDN'T like seems to be repeated by the current makers. There are conventional bellows, so you can only go in one direction for a certain time before you run out of air. I failed to persuade Steve to replace the bellows by some sort of spring, that would allow push/pull and change of pressure but without running out of air.

Anyway I'm not in the market for one at the moment, because a new conventional concertina from Colin Dipper should be ready for me any day now . . . .

Richard


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 05:11 PM

Richard, perhaps one of these little beauties will tempt you to swop your Dipper!

Is this a Harp, Lute, Guitar, Harpsichord .... whatever it is, it certainly doesn't sound like a Concertina.

Is this supposed to be a Violin, Viola, a Cello or a Double Bass? The notes say Cello & Bassoon, otherwise we would never really know, would we!

Here's one that's pretending to be an Accordion!

Ha Ha this one even thinks it's a Concertina!

In the good old days, at least you knew by looking at an instrument, what it was going to sound like, but now ???????????

I sometimes hear Fiddlers trying very, very hard to make their Fiddles sound like Bagpipes & I ask .......... WHY?

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 06:17 PM

Dick said
> perhaps one of these little beauties will tempt you to swop your Dipper! <

The description of the Wakker concertinas from one of the above links says "The instruments can generate data over two channels (layers) simultaneously. This means you can combine two different sounds at the same time."

I take that to mean a maximum of only two notes at once. Is that right? The YouTube demos of the Anglo are consistent with that: more-or-less Irish style, mostly one note at a time, with an occasional bass. That's not my style. I don't do a Peter Bellamy or Robin Madge with fistfuls of notes, but I do play chords a lot of the time.

> Is this supposed to be a Violin, Viola, a Cello or a Double Bass?

The samples may be from one or other of those but the articulation remains that of a concertina -- quite different from a bowed string.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,PayPaul
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:16 PM

I'm please to provide this to you all. I'd have to say that all this bickering back and forth about the merits or demerits of acoustical instruments vs electronic instruments is like the arguments that photographers have about Nikon vs Canon or Film vs Digital. It's not about the instrument as gnomad so aptly pointed out it's about the player. I've seen some really bad photographs put out by people with the "best" equipment. It's an apples vs oranges argument and a question of qualification rather than quality of the music. Electrical instruments aren't necessarily always trying to emulate acoustical instruments and there are those who are simply used to amplify an acoustical sounding instrument.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 04:58 AM

Sorry PayPaul but we already had a link to that, back in the 5th post!

I have to disagree too, it is all about the instrument, its appearance, its sound the whole idea of it pretending to be something it is not.

In my opinion, if it has this so called magical ability to sound like any instrument it likes, then why don't they construct it to look like nothing that's ever been made before, or perhaps looking like bits of all instruments & so let it look like the Bastard it really is!

As it is, it degrades all the instruments it impersonates! :-(


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 05:17 AM

What does a concertina look like? It's just a box with buttons on the ends. OK, it's got the bellows but there is no clue from the outside where the sound is coming from. Could be a load of highly trained wasps. I've heard it described as the first violin synthesizer.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 05:47 AM

When I was at college (1963), a fellow student brought in an electric guitar - I think it was a British-made copy of a Strat, probably a Watkins (remember them?). Another rather snooty student said, very sniffily to her friends, "THAT's not a proper guitar". Hmm.

Plus ca change - plus c'est la meme chose...


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:01 AM

College in 1963 !!!!!!

Geeez, your even older than me! :-)

At the end of the day though, it's all about opinions & I'm expressing mine here.

Aye Snail & I suppose a Piano is just a box with a load of keys, so what kind of synthesiser is that then?


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:04 AM

Sometimes I think I'm older than everybody... :-)


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:22 AM

Ptarmigan

Aye Snail & I suppose a Piano is just a box with a load of keys, so what kind of synthesiser is that then?

Harp.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Darowyn
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 07:04 AM

Have a look at the names of the stops on a church organ.
Obviously it was intended to be an analogue orchestral synthesiser.
The great triumph came from the fact that a church organ is a rubbish synth, but a brilliant instrument in its own right.
It's the same story with the Moog Synth, or the Roland TR808.
They all start out as a poor copy, but become a whole new set of opportunities for people who don't dismiss it out of hand because:-
-it's new.
-it's doesn't look the same.
-it's the wrong colour.
-they can't afford the time or money to learn anything new.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 07:16 AM

My electronic bagpipe:

Travels with an electronic bagpipe


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 09:29 AM

Hey Jack, it never ceases to amaze me, the lengths a Piper has to go to, to disguise the fact that he is indeed a Piper.
Mind you, sneaking off in disguise, to foreign countries is a bit extreme though isn't it?
After all, there are still a few wild, isolated areas of the UK you could go & hide in, aren't there! :-)

Darwin, some new things are obviously more easily accepted than others.
For example I'm quite happy with the Square Concertina despite the fact that it doesn't "look the same".
At least it is an honest instrument, not pretending to be something it isn't!
I've no problem with colour either .... as long as it's black! :-)
No, just joking, there are some gorgeous old Concertinas with a variety of beautiful rare wood veneers.
As for being prepared to spend time & money on something new, I've only recently taken up the English Concertina, after 35+ years playing many other instruments, & I've spent a small fortune on 2 gorgeous old Wheatstones, so believe me, I'm always up for a 'worthwhile' challange!

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM

Mention must be made of Neil Brook's MIDI hurdy-gurdy...


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:39 AM

I couldn't resist this:

Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan - PM
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 11:21 AM

Aye, but could you get a tune out of a Wheatstone Bridge?

Is there a modern Midi version of the Wheatstone Bridge?

Have a look at the Hyperbow! This uses strain gauges arranged in a Wheatstone Bridge circuit to sense the strain in a violin bow as part of the input to a electronic musical interface. More details for the brave here: PDF link (77kB)

To answer the original question though - if they were to exclusively replace acoustic instruments then yes, I'd weep. But, if used in their own right, by creative musicians, I really don't have a problem. But then I've been known to like "unreal" R&R music too!

Cheers,

Pete.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:58 AM

I `ad that Professor Wheatstone in my cab once. It was just after `is daughter `ad come up with a way of brewing coffee.
`e said, "Jim, could you take me up the old Royal Society please.
         I`ve just done all the `ard work on me Bridge and I`m gonna
         present a paper."
I said, "D`ya reckon the old scientific world`ll take it on
         board?"
`e said, "Yeah, No doubt about it. I don`t expect any RESISTANCE!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:02 PM

Jim .... Say Cheese!



:-)


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM

`ere Ptarmigan, I said "Cheese" and all I got was

"GOOGLE, error, could not find URL" (whatever that is when its at `ome). What`s going on `ere then?


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:24 PM

Jim, it worked OK for me on Preview! .... ?

OK Try this link:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_jTcvNh2wMBs/R0dswSM-y0I/AAAAAAAACmU/AzqtsRk8ztg/P1350700.JPG


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:44 PM

Brave New world indeed. In the non-ironic sense that Miranda first used the expression in The Tempest.

Looks and sounds very enjoyable. It's not going to drive out real concertinas, so where's the loss?

But it'd really need to be able to play a lot more than two notes at a time.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM

Ptarmigan, you`re `aving a laugh. I done it three times, lost two fares now me supper`s going cold. I`m gonna take an aspirin and try it again later.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 01:05 PM

Just passing through. There are upward of 150 musical instruments here in the studio. Two thirds of them are acoustic. At least 25 acoustic guitars here alone!! In amongst all this stuff there is a Midi trigger drumkit, A midi fiddle and a midi guitar system. There is a lovely acoustic piano and several midi keyboards. There are several pre midi electronic keyboards. The idea that any modern instrument is a travesty of something simply does not hold up in terms of creative efforts. I'm not a very good piano player and I tend to prefer recording performances rather than absolute manipulation. (Not that there's anything wrong with that either!!) The midi guitar allows me to turn in piano performances which are beyond my keyboard skills. This is not cheating, its not wrong and above all it enables me to realise what's in my head. If the initial posters comments held any kind of truth, no music would ever have evolved. We would be chanting and banging stones together. (Actually, thats quite a nice idea. Excuse me while I step into the garden). I doubt if the vihuella virtuosos ever said this about the guitar. I bet they embraced it. Viol players certainly revised their skills on the upstart violin. I'm reminded in all this of Michael Mails cumudgeonly comments (beneath the greenwood tree) about the demise of the serpent and the increasing prevalence of of harmoniums. I would however agree with the original poster about the look of some modern instruments but not, repeat not, about their use and function.


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Subject: RE: A Brave New World!
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:03 PM

Migod! What'll come next? Possibly....an electric guitar?


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:02 PM

Ah the good old Electric Guitar ... the instrument of Satan & the Anti-christ!

:-)


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:16 PM

There are upward of 150 musical instruments here in the studio. Two thirds of them are acoustic. At least 25 acoustic guitars here alone!!

Phil, we've already got a thread about OCD and hoarding here...

Now, if you collected woodwind instruments it'd be a different story. I can't have much more than 50 of them, and think how much less space they take up than guitars do. Besides, I'm not really buying new ones any more. Just a Turkish kaval this year and it really is different from anything I've already got, isn't it? See, I can stop any time...

We would be chanting and banging stones together. (Actually, thats quite a nice idea.

Now there's an opportunity for somebody, the MIDI stone.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:38 PM

The Midi Stone!

With an idea like that Jack, I think I know who is 'Stoned'! :-)


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:29 PM

The synth guitar, though it has been around for a long time, has never really caught on, though each new iteration is held up as the instrument that will finally break through. My "vintage" synth has tracking problems that still exist in the latest instruments, and which require a rather different striking and fingering technique than either acoustic or electric guitar--

Mr. Campin has indicated that the synth pipes require different finger techniques as well, so the future of these instruments is far from certain.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM

My Rog says they'll never be able to synthesise the *skin flute*! B-a-d Rog!

I didn't like the sounds of the first link, but the later ones all sounded intriguing and fun. I love the old instruments much better for looks, feel, etc. but in the case of people like my brother, the classical composer, midi can be a godsend.

Now, if you really want to know what I and Night Owl, both would like, take a look at This Wild Guitar-like thing and, then go kewl your jets listening to the Aquaharp. Both only virtual, but, as I said, N.O. and I would both love to have the real deals in our homes. We find them fascinating to watch and fun to listen to.

Thanks for the midi hurdy-gurdy link. Kewl!


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:19 PM

P.S. LOVE the Hippo Patrol on the HG midi!!


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 05:00 AM

How many people buy their kids one of THESE

instead of one of THESE?

You want a photo of a 'Skin Flute' .... you got one! check it out ...IF YOU DARE! :-)


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 05:49 AM

I think the Pink Oboe is the sort of thing that Ptarmigan is objecting to.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 09:12 AM

Does a Pink Oboe have anything to do with SAX?


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 09:19 AM

Gosh! That's a big one.

Does rather show that an instrument doesn't have to be MIDI to be in execrable taste.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM

I don't think you all know what MIDI is for. MIDI is for composers and arrangers, it's not for listening. If you want high-quality, realistic listening, go for mp3, a CD or (some say) a vinyl LP.

MIDI may not sound as good, but it gives you power over the music. With MIDI, you can compose a tune, download a tune, change the key, change treble to bass and back, write new lines, change the meter - as I said have power over the music.

I recently did all that with two pieces by Giavanni Gastoldi (d. 1622). My friends and I had a great time playing those pieces last Sunday.

When I'm trying to write out a tune I've heard, I have no trouble getting the notes, but the timing can be very tricky. MIDI is just great for that. I enter the notes, tell my computer to play it, and if it's note right, I try another timing until I have it right. I bet a lot of people have that problem.

Some MIDI sounds are nicer than others. My favorite is Recorder, and my least favorite is Violin.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:10 AM

To be slightly more exact, MIDI is a digital musical interchange format that allows synthesiser to talk to synthesiser - or anything with MIDI technology built into it. It can also be used to aid composition and arranging.

It's one of the few copyright-free technologies and has been incredibly useful in all sorts of musical areas since the mid '80s.

I still like the pink saxophone.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:30 PM

Essentially, MIDI is TAB for electronic instruments.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:36 PM

Leeneia, what you are calling MIDI is actually the standard General Midi sounds from your particular Soundcard.
The Midi protocol is actually the set of instructions to select a sound, choose a note, play it, stop it etc.
If you don't like the sound of Midi as you play it, then you need a Midi Synth that produces sounds you do like.
If my Midi devices (Roland, Yamaha and Emu rack synths plus numerous software synths) sounded worse than an MP3, they would have been in the skip years ago.
Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM

Beauty is in the EAR of the behearer!


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:51 PM

What about the accordion? Doesn't it have buttons on it to try to make it sound like different instruments? Same idea here.

Do you even know what MIDI is Ptarmagin? It's a language used to control parameters on a computer to generate sound.

You then use the controller in conjuction with a synth or a VST, to make the sound. YOu can pretty much get a VST of any instrument in the world, even the jews harp. Lots of them are actually created from sample recordings of REAL instruments. So if you have a MIDI concertina, connected to a VST of a concertina made from REAl sample from a REAL concertina, doesn't that mean that you are playing a concertina?


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:14 AM

"So if you have a MIDI concertina, connected to a VST of a concertina made from REAl sample from a REAL concertina, doesn't that mean that you are playing a concertina?"

Oh yes of course it is, just like adding midi sound effects to THIS, would be like the real thing too!

If you can't see the difference, then this is my Answer


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:27 AM

The only link I clicked on is the link to the MIDI concertina. I don't know why the owner modified it, but here are some possibilities.

Suppose he has sounded out a dance tune, which he plays with muscle memory. (If he's done one, he's probably done many.) Now that the concertina is connected to the computer, he can use music software and tell it to 'listen' to his playing. If he plays carefully, he will get a good MIDI file of a tune.

The same is true of a tune he composes himself.

Once he has the MIDI file, he can change the key to suit a different instrument. He can put it in bass clef to suit a cellist. He can put it in alto clef to suit a violist. He can put chords on it easily when he can see the dots and sticks. He can e-mail it to friends so they can hear it. If any friends have music software, they can get it as a MIDI file and do all the same things.

And sure, the sound of the concertina may not be all it should be. That's not the point. The point is to get the power to be creative and to have a good time.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:52 AM

Phil Beer: "The midi guitar allows me to turn in piano performances which are beyond my keyboard skills. This is not cheating, its not wrong and above all it enables me to realise what's in my head"

thing is though, presumably the MIDI gutar does not plug in to an *actual* piano. It plugs in to a MIDI-capable electric piano or synth or computer running a piano sound.

Now there are some very realistic-sounding piano sounds out there. But even so, a keen pianist can tell the difference. there are things you can do on the piano that synths just can't model.

Generally speaking I think I can tell when a real piano is being used on a recording: synth piano sounds (even meticulously sampled ones) tend to sound slightly tinny and trebly. For one thing you're missing out on a microphone having been placed near resonating strings within resonating wood (even if the sounds were initially sampled in this fashion). It's a subtle difference and the majority of listeners probably couldn't care less.

Violin being my main instrument I feel much more strongly about synth sounds. they do a reasonable job of replicating the attack of the sound, and will fool many of non-violin-playing listeners in long slow notes, but a synth emulating rapid violin playing sounds *terrible*.

I'm not even a fan of the top-of-the-range electric violins. They're very useful ? sometimes essential ? for live playing as they totally minimize feedback and allow you to compete with loud instruments like drums. But I'd never want to record with one. They have a different sound to the natural voice of a violin. They sound kind of smoother, fatter, more glissandoey. Can't quite explain it. But I can hear it.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:46 AM

whats the problem !!???

there are instruments many of us would dearly love to own and play,
that are just far too expensive [and/or huge]
to ever dream of aquiring.
But at least with midi and well recorded & programmed
high quality sample sets,
we can at least work and create music
with very reasonable close aproximations/facimiles
of classic Hammond organs, vintage analog synthesisers, mellotrons,
portative organs, Cathedral organs.. etc..

so even if they may not sound 100% accurately like the 'real things'..

I'm not complaining..

the more and varied affordable creative musicains tools, the better
as far as I'm concerned..

Its modern technology being used for something trulypositive & benign for a change..


now as for mobile phones.....


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:16 AM

"classic Hammond organs, vintage analog synthesisers, mellotrons,
portative organs, Cathedral organs.. etc.."

those instruments tend to be among the more convincing among synthesized sounds.

Probably because they're emulating instruments triggered by keys (just as synths are) and sustain and repeat in (I'm guessing here) wave-form shapes that lend themselves better to synthesis. And some of them ? vintage analog synthesisers ? are of course synthesisers anyway. There's a certain amount of like-with-like.

But trumpets, saxes, violins, pianos... they just never sound quite right to me. I'd rather they'd just used a properly artificial synth sound.


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:34 AM

yeah.. totally agree..

anything complex expressive, or naturally entwined with 'human' sounds..
like harmonica and flute..

and most 'plucked' strings

can sound quite dire on most basic
'home keyboard/cheap soundcard' general midi soundsets..

and not entirely convincing on the better most expensive
mega gigabit 'pro' sample collections..

but.. there are still technological advances to be made..

and even now 'movie sountrack' composers employ state of the art
orchestral sample sounds
most audiences would not be able to distinguish..

maybe even many classical music buffs mighrt be surprised how often
they have not reaslised what they were actually listening to..


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,punkfolrocker
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:01 PM

other factor to keep in mind..

many of the cloned/sampled instrument emulations
that sound sterile
and not entirely convincing
when played & heard in isolation..
can still be employed quite effectively
when carefully arranged and mixed into a recorded track
to bolster and blend with similar 'real' instruments ..

same can be said about digital guitar amp emulations
like Pod and vox valvtronix etc..

..just more good modern tools for cash restricted recording musicians..


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Subject: RE: MIDI Instrument Voices: A Brave New World!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:19 PM

one of the earliest examples that just fired up some electricity
in my stagnant brain cells..

aparently Billy Fury needed a good slap bass sound
to make his 1st LP sound more like authentic yank rockabilly..
but couldn't find any credible sounding brit session players..

so they recorded the parts played on electric bass
and mixed in the sound of another player slapping the muted strings
on a stand up acoustic bass in time with the electric.

..and that would have been about half a century before
'convincing' bass sample Vsti instruments
became easily and cheaply available..


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