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Everything posted by con_ritmo

  1. what kind of mics are you using? i wouldn't single-mic a piano in such a manner (from underneath) for recording purposes. if you have one condenser, i suggest just using it on its own for both the cello and the piano...makes things easier and the end result will probably sound better.
  2. the bottom line is it all depends. the ONLY rule is this: if it sounds good, it is good. hope and pray that you will get a lengthy soundcheck. make sure the eq (equalizer/tone controls) on the mixer is set to completely flat...if possible bypass the eq altogether. since it sounds like you're only using one mic it makes things more straightforward... during the soundcheck, stick one finger in your ear and plug it...with the other ear, walk around the room and listen. wherever it sounds the best, put the mic there. make sure you listen at all different heights too... you're listening for a few things: 1. overall tone of the soloist and ensemble. 2. balance between the soloist and the ensemble (and perhaps the audience...will they be quiet?) 3. balance between the "free field" direct sound (sound straight from the instruments) vs. the "diffuse" reflected sound (the echoey sound that comes after it has bounced off the walls, floor, ceiling, etc.) you can control #1 by where you place the microphone and where you point it. generally, if you point the mic at something, it will become brighter/clearer, and if you point it away, the color and level will change depending on the mic used. in regards to #2 generally whatever is closest to the mic will be louder relative to other sounds. if you like the level you're getting from the soloist but the ensemble is too soft, you can start raising the mic higher and higher off the ground (and vice versa). this evens out the distance between the different players. moving the mic farther and farther away does the same thing too but.... you have to pay attention to #3. the farther away you are from the source, the more echoey the sound is. if you want a detailed recording, you want more of the direct sound than you want an echoey sound. this is why you often see mics relatively close to the performers but really high off the ground. they're close enough to get a good direct sound, but up high to help balance the sound between all the different players. try to keep the mic away from reflective surfaces...because sound will bounce right off them and into the mic . The resultant sound may become hollow sounding. It may not sound funny in your ear, but it could very well sound funny in the microphone. if you have a pair of headphones, take a listen to where you put the microphone. if you have a helper have him/her move the microphone for you while you listen. that's about it. as far as sight-lines go...well that's a compromise that will have to be made. what's more important...a video without a microphone stand in it or a quality recording? if you look at tv broadcasts everywhere you generally see mics, mics, mics...in other words, people are used to seeing them. disclaimer: i've brushed through a lot of things, but hopefully this is as straightforward as possible.
  3. everybody has their own clock. some clocks are faster than others, but the bottom line is that you have to listen to your muscles...and work within your own muscles' clock. any other speed and you won't be playing at your optimum. from this viewpoint it isn't what you think the tempo should be mentally...it's what your body can do the best physically. i'd wager that heifetz simply had a faster muscle clock than others. in this business the name of the game is survival. and you aren't going to survive if you're not listening to your own body and being as efficient as possible. not being efficient, not listening to your body...can have a real negative cumulative effect. this isn't a "lets prepare for one or two solo concerts a year..." this is "i must play several concerts a month, every month, for the rest of my professional career." that is a whole different ballgame, and it may require a wholly different approach to your playing. as the quote goes, it's easy to get to carnegie hall. it's maintaining that level for the rest of your life that's hard. heifetz completely understood this concept of physical efficiency, i have absolutely no doubt about that. otoh, many who think that heifetz simply played fast just for the sake of playing fast...i question whether they fully understand... regards...
  4. nice, let us know how it goes. for $80...you really can't go wrong.
  5. cmsunday, what is your maximum budget? i recently did a quck writeup on microphone choice here: http://www.maestronet.com/foru...R_FORUMVIEWTMP=Linear ideally you're going to want a small-diaphragm condenser with a flat-frequency response. the bottom line for a cheap mic would be a $40-$50 behringer ecm8000. http://www.musiciansfriend.com...s/Wireless?sku=270400 it has a flatish response (doesn't color the sound as much as others), and because it is an "omni" microphone it picks up sound like the human ear does. however, even with this bargain-basement price, you're still going to have to purchase a 1. microphone preamp to power it, and then use an 2. interface to connect that to your computer. this means more $. you can purchase an alesis usb multimixer which will both power your microphone and send it to your computer via usb: http://www.musiciansfriend.com...ound/Mixers?sku=630166 mixer cost= $150. (disclaimer 1: i've never actually used one of these...) so now you are looking at $200 minimum and you still need to buy a mic stand and a mic cable. however, the microphone is about the best deal going for what it offers...and now you'll have a cheapish mixer which you can use in the future. you could buy one more ecm8000 and have a stereo (2 mics=2 ears = stereo) setup for recording. so that samson with the built-in usb...which you listed for $80...is about as costeffective as you are going to get. (disclaimer 2: i've never used one of these either) with that mic, you just plug it straight into the computer via usb and you're ready to go. it isn't an ideal mic to record a violin though...and the way samson's usb interface works, if you ever want to record in stereo with it...unless you jump through a lot of hoops...you're out of luck. mono only. really though at this price point you're just looking at something which works....not necessarily something which is going to sound good. if you do your research you'll find another microphone that people recommend alot is the oktava mc012. well, i don't recommend those anymore. the cheap oktava mc012's that you'll find aren't really russian-made oktava's, they're chinese copies (even the ones you find at guitar center....) And the REAL oktava's aren't inexpensive anymore...so they are no longer a killer deal. wading through all this muck, really you want to foresee what your uses will be. if you have any inkling that you want quality, then spend the extra $$$$ now and not later. if this is just a one-off "i want my students to get a rough idea..." ok maybe the above choices might work out. but then you may just be better off buying a small mini-disc/mp3 recorder that can be used for other things as well.
  6. nickia, one should be able to support the violin without any hands. resist the temptation to hold the violin by clamping down on the chinrest. rather, with the violin resting on your collarbone...you lightly set your chin on the rest and pull back with your head...almost like you were trying to gulp and swallow your violin. that will not only support your violin without you clamping down...but it will also raise the level of the scroll. the action is down with the chin and back with the head. furthermore, if you lean back while bending at the waist (you can practice by leaning back against a doorway, wall, countertop, etc.etc.) you will also raise the level of the scroll, your collarbone will support more of the violin's weight, the violin will fall back towards you (vs. away)...and more importantly you will adjust the center of gravity of the violin in respect to your posture + solidify the bow's position on the string. now then, you can also use your hand not so much to solely support the violin's weight...but to act as a small buffer when needed...and to raise the scroll even higher...like when you're playing on the g-string (good isaac stern trick to get that rich, powerful tone out of the g-string) the more you use your hand as a buffer, the more you will build up your left arm muscles to the point where it all becomes negligible. which part of the hand that is used depends on your left-hand's form and which style of thumb placement you use (thumb alongside the neck, underneath the neck, and all points inbetween.) i am a thumb alongside the neck guy (so that the thumb is pointing vertically up, one of the russian pedagogues made all their students do this..)...it is a very natural and ergonomic position for the hand and it completely frees your hand up for the vibrato motion...plus it helps prevent your fingers from having something to pound against=even more relaxed hand.... when necessary, you can use your chin to add support to the violin when shifting down, etc. with the correct execution and the requisite amount of time...this all becomes second nature...everything is balanced, and you can be free, loose, and utterly relaxed. regards.
  7. if one can play loud, playing soft shouldn't be a problem. if one can play soft, that doesn't mean one can play loud. in regards to the comments on "choking" the sound, higher positions, etc. 1. for a given amount of weight into the bow...if you are choking the sound, simply maintain the same amount of weight and increase the bow speed. instant fix. 2. as you move up in hand positions, the string length shortens. so, to get that string vibrating and to maintain a nice sonorous sound...increase the bow speed in the upper positions. edit: squeaks come when you lose sufficient contact with the string. cutting the amount of weight into the bow (less weight/dropping elbow/uncurling bow hand fingers), using less bow hair, using slower bow speed, changing your contact point (away from the bridge)...can all decrease your volume. analyze your method of tone production...make sure it comes from a more horizontal pulling/pushing motion rather than from vertical weght pressing. you can always adjust depending on the tone color you want...like using a fast bow speed but away from the bridge...etc... but really all that stuff is mainly for ensemble work, not for your solo/concerto repertoire.
  8. If you would ever like to learn how to play without a shoulder rest, I'd be happy to show you...and that is a genuine offer. And to reiterate my initial post, "I'm not promoting one way over the other."... A field such as performance is a funny thing, one can be the most brilliant academician and yet achieve so little in art. Regards.
  9. As for Oistrakh there are countless videos and pictures showing his violin OFF the shoulder and ON the collarbone. quote: Originally posted by: SteveLaBonne By the way, I'm a violist, and you have no idea what I'm capable or incapable of doing. Wrong again. I know you are a violist who typically practices on average one hour a day and cannot play without a shoulder rest. The "one hour a day" reference is an insight towards one's playing ability and is not meant as a putdown. I apologize for the earlier sweeping "violinist" reference. quote: Originally posted by: SteveLaBonne I'm willing to believe there are real playing advantages (greater postural freedom) to playing without a rest if you can do it comfortably (I can't). quote: Originally posted by: SteveLaBonne I'm not an anti-shoulder-rest zealot- I use one- but if I could get rid of it and still play comfortably, which I've tried unsusccessfully to do, I would. So again it's quite fascinating that you now choose a more negative standpoint vs. the "no shoulder rest" method using choice words/phrases as "delusional", "hypocrisy", "hobgoblin of small minds", etc.etc.etc.
  10. quote: Originally posted by: SteveLaBonne That, my friend is a rest- a rigid object . And the distinction you draw is largely delusional anyway; the real difference is that a bridge-type rest doesn't mute the sound...There's long been an awful lot of hypocrisy on this subject... Delusional? Hypocrisy? I find it fascinating when a violinist who is currently INCAPABLE of playing without a shoulder rest makes wholly negative remarks over said method. The difference in a shoulder rest vs. a pad is the manner in which the violin is held and supported. 1. no shoulder rest/small pad The violin rests solely on the collarbone. Some violinists use a pad as a *small* buffer. However, the violin will still rest on the now padded collarbone. The point of contact on the violin is the rib/endbutton area...where the chin rest (depending on the type) is already clamped onto the instrument. I mention this as a counter to the "sound-dampening" claim. And sound-dampened or not, we would all love to have the "muted" sound of Oistrakh or Heifetz or Francescatti or... 2. shoulder rest The sole contact point is NOT the collarbone. _______________________________________________ And THAT is the tangible difference. I won't go into discussing the effects of this difference. That has already been widely debated...and is best left for inperson demonstrations... As we all know, there are top players on both sides... There are also violinists from both sides that are abusing their chosen system and implementing it incorrectly. Since the current trend is for students to have shoulder rests...those students who are using them INCORRECTLY are locked into a position where their bow-drawn angles/weight distribution are compromised. I will mention that you now have a legion of students with shoulder pads that are being taught by a generation that plays a violin without. And therein lies another problem. Regards.
  11. there is a fundamental difference between a shoulder rest and a pad that is inserted say underneath the jacket...or an anti-slip material over the jacket. that said, i use neither. in the master classes zukerman was referring to the use of such pads when necessary...but to lose the shoulder rests...
  12. nickia, i think there may posssibly be issues in your violin-holding posture. i can't say for certain since i've never seen you play....but i'm safely assuming. i too have a "long" neck which is ~2.5 the thickness of the instrument...so i'm guessing it's a similar length as yours. i use no shoulder rest...but do use a 35mm high sas chinrest. i can also play for an extended period of time with a normal chinrest/no shoulder rest too...but for absolute relaxation reasons i use the 35mm. anyways with this setup i'm good for your typical countless-hours-a-day-every-day amount of playing. read: i can play all day no problem. so for you to have a shoulder rest at maximum height, plus a 34mm chinrest, plus 2 different sets of foam...and STILL not be able to play more than 1 hour. hmm. i wish i could help you out, but things of this matter are quite complex and should be done in-person. as zukerman was telling everyone, including the david you refer to...lose the shoulder rest, it can be done. i'm not promoting one way over the other...but with all the height-equipment you're sporting on your violin...and not being able to play over 1 hour... i'd safely guess there is something incorrect happening.
  13. yes...playing with the bow arm (vs. the left hand) is the way to go....always. don't worry about "things being obvious..." even some top soloists commit "obvious" errors.... and then you have those accomplished players that go back and relearn how to play the violin from the start...when they realize that their (incorrect/limiting) methodology of playing was limiting their potential... as for rhythmic groupings...one time where you will keep the beat with the left hand is for those extended slur passages. in order to keep fast passages nice and neat...one should always have rhythmic accentations...even if you're the only one who can hear them. 5. as always keep the left hand fingers down...on the string or floating just above the string. any higher and everything is compromised...timing (finger has farther to travel), intonation...etc. 6. also, the left hand finger moves only from the base joint/knuckle. everything else (the fingertip joint and the middle joint) remains loose and completely passive. 5+6 will help with the situation at hand too...
  14. stillnew, you're on the "right" track! ultimately... 1. think with the right hand/arm and 2. keep the beat with the right hand/arm. 3. accent each rhythmic grouping (right hand/arm) to help keep things in sync. it may be each beat, it may be every other beat, it may be once per measure. it all depends. however, it may help to first accent each beat. and then as you get up to speed start accenting every other beat. so if the piece is in 4 you actually think of it in 2...or even 1...depending on how fast you want to go. as you get up to performance standard these accents become something internalized...and not necessarily played for everyone to hear. again it all depends. 4. and always use as much bow as is possible/viable. the vast majority of students use wayyyy too little bow vs. too much. so i wouldn't worry about shortening your bow strokes at all.
  15. i don't know about waiting one whole day to cycle between fast and slow... but you have to practice fast every now and then to check yourself for the proper playing technique... what works practicing slow may not work at a fast tempo.
  16. what skiingfiddler said. i currently use a sas chinrest myself...which i purchased from quinnviolins. before that it was a yehudi menuhin chinrest from holland...that one was fully adjustable in every way, height, tilt, and rotation...too adjustable though as the position would constantly shift over time.
  17. quote: Originally posted by: Rosin Could you explain what you mean by poor solo technique? there are ways of playing which might be passable when you're in an ensemble...but are wholly unacceptable for solo work...where you truly need optimal (and effortless) tone production... even when zukerman says "yes, you have it...that's right...that looks perfect..." there are still some major differences (vs. his modelling) and holes in their right hand/arm technique.... their right hands are not matching up to what they are accomplishing with their left hands... and then there's the mental approach which needs to be tweaked...
  18. i must say, andre rieu puts on a great show...he consciously selects the music and scripts his show for his audience. different audience=different show. i saw him just this past Christmas...and he catered to the american public...lots of christmas carols, some broadway, american patriotic music...and even a pop song. complete stage and lighting effects, lots of scripted gags and props. good fun to be had by all...it was a very tough and reserved audience at the beginning, but by the end of the umpteenth (scripted) encore they were all cheering, dancing, on their feet, making tons of noise. ...for me it was an excellent lesson in showmanship. if he comes to your area i highly recommend to see the production... contrast that to 10 years ago when he just showed up w/his orchestra and played waltzes without any theatrics. he's come a long way as an entertainer...that is his niche and it's working very well for him... btw, the tickets were given to me as a present. i would have never gone if they weren't given to me for free...but now i'd probably pay to see him if he came in town again. heh.
  19. very true...and this is the reason why, at least once a year...it's a good idea to enter a period where you break everything back down to the basic mechanics...kind of like annual playing maintenance... if you observe the video though, it is clear that the violinists were not suffering from bad habits...they just had poor solo technique. why the hesitation on the name for the "big-name soloist"?
  20. if you click on the "load external player" link, it'll open up real player in a different window and you can fast forward/rewind/etc. i was very shocked at how the students lacked proper solo technique. BUT that makes for better general teaching purposes...although it would've been better to have different levels of students so that you could've seen zukerman's insights at different levels...not just fundamental technique...which was blazingly obvious.... still, i'm sure it helped (or I HOPE it did) make those students realize that they all need a different teacher...for sure. i liked the "who is your teacher?" question by zukerman. OUCH.
  21. which was why i was a devout pirastro user for as long as i can remember. not any more though...
  22. fwiw while i love the sound of pirastro's evahs and obligatos...i find the physical playability/pull/modulation of the thomastik's to be better. the tone may not be better (perhaps a tad worse), but they play A LOT better. because of that i prefer vision titanium over evahs...
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