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Everything posted by linarol

  1. i went to walnut hill in 1993 for 8th grade - i was in a suzuki program before and then saw how amazing some people were.
  2. this if off topic from the original post, but since everyone likes jargar A and larsen A, has anyone tried a full set of jargars or larsens? I see quinnviolins selling the d,g,c for jargars....
  3. for this reason i started looking into the american brands as alternatives to the pirastro strings i normally use. In the process I found strings that work MUCH better on my instrument. I found d'addario helicores cost half as much and they sound a lot better.
  4. i tried medium dominants and found them to be too bland. on an interesting note, i tried medium obligatos on the lower 3 strings and the stark A obligato and it seems to be doing much better. I bought the full set of stark, so I will try the remaining 3 strings soon, but so far i think the added tension on the A string seems to have helped everything as a whole.
  5. i often wonder if string tension, rather than materials used, is what makes a string 'work' well on a viola or not. interestingly, i usually tune to A=442 with my 4 medium obligatos, and when i decided to try A=440 i get more of the overtones back, which is what i was lacking i think. when i start practicing things sound good, however halfway into my practice sessions things get a little dull. i'm not sure if that's my ear getting used to the sound or the instrument. my viola bow has horse hair on it that is 1.5 years old too and i wonder if that has a play in the dull sound. it's my only bow made by a great french maker so i really hate giving it up even for a few days for a rehair. so many variables! the fact that strings have jumped in price over the last few years makes it very expensive to experiment as well. to the person who asked: my viola is 16.5 inches long, and the string length is 36.8cm (14.48 inches)
  6. lymond - that's an interesting setup i might try it...... are the spirocore D&A too harsh, is that why you use the olives? also, i checked quinnviolins.com and it seems they have different versions of the spirocores in silver or tungsten, what are the differences?
  7. did d'addario re-formulate the zyex strings for viola like they did with the violin strings yet? i'm anxious to try zyex v2. i didn't like the original ones on my viola - i tried them when they first came out, but maybe i didn't give them enough time AND it was a different instrument.... perhaps i was too averse to having hot pink wrappings on my strings....
  8. ok so right now i'm using a set of medium gauge obligatos on my viola, i like them but i kinda am looking for something with a little more edge, volume, brighter overtones.... i used to use evah pirazzis and they were nice, but i thought it was a little too much.... they have too much of a 'laser beam' kind of sound, and they are very expensive and don't last me much longer than 2 months (i practice several hours a day usually so strings wear out quickly). i guess i'm sort of looking for something in between evahs and obligatos..... my viola is 16.5 inch so i'm not sure if i should go past medium gauge, but i'm thinking heavy gauge obligatos might be what i'm looking for. anyone have other recommendations?
  9. did d'addario re-formulate the zyex strings for viola like they did with the violin strings yet? i'm anxious to try zyex v2.
  10. i found the viola i tried of his ok, but lacking. I found problems with the execution of the bridge - it was much too high, and was very roughly cut. I think if it was lower and more refined with the cut it would have had a much more open and resonant sound. It had an average sound as it was, but my 16.5 inch viola projected/resonated more than his 17 inch. The sound was rough, and unyielding. I found this particularly disturbing because I couldn't get more than one kind of sound from the instrument. A good instrument should respond to different bow strokes, this instrument only responded to loud forceful bow strokes. I think if he thinned the table a little more this would help.I also found some of the overall workmanship to be a little too rough for my taste. The purfling and the top surface stood out as being very, very rough, IMHO. A lot of the pictures don't reveal this, you have to look closely at the instrument in person to see this. When I discussed this with Manfio, he seemed very resistant to my concerns. As a player looking for a specific criteria, warning signs lit up in my head that this wasn't someone I could work with to get an instrument that fit my needs.
  11. I had pegheds in my viola, but I had them taken out and replaced with traditional pegs. I felt the pegheds were very nice, but they added a few grams of weight over wooden pegs and that means more work for the left hand. I didn't like how they were 'stuck' into the pegbox permanently either, or how I had to spend extra time cutting the ends of strings so they fit onto the metal part of the peghed. They were nice, but if you have nice wood pegs in an expensive viola and they turn well, you're not missing much. The only thing I regret is having them installed in the first place.
  12. linarol


    i was able to stop fidgeting with my bridge once i discovered pure graphite ... i use an artist pure graphite pencil that's labeled '9b' which is about as soft as they come. if you use pure graphite, you never really have to worry about adjusting the bridge again. because the grooves are slick, the string pressure pushes the bridge back automatically to perpendicular after tuning. normal #2 pencils have been recommended in the past to me, but normal pencils contain a mixture of graphite AND clay. the clay puts too much friction in there.
  13. linarol


    I don't think it translates because your ear is approximately 1-2 inches from the instrument. You're going to hear a lot of more of the details than someone who is sitting in a hall 30 feet away. At a distance you're just hearing the basic instrument. There was a discussion in the list archives about strings, and someone said something along these lines. The player can spend limitless amounts of time on trying different strings, but in the end, to the audience it sounds about the same.
  14. linarol


    i like the wittner plastic hypoallergenic chinrests, particularly because of the unique mounting system. the barrels are positioned in a very intelligent way and instead of the cork padding bearing all the pressure, the barrels bear the weight of the head. this also helps with tigthening as i barely have to tighten it for it to stay on. the cork width is very thin and has a small footprint on the instrument. i find chinrest barrel pressure is the biggest factor with changing the sound on the violin. i think this is one of the only chinrests that seems to have applied structural engineering. unless you place metal barrels on a standard chinrest in just the right way, they aren't going to fit as well as the whittner does. putting this all aside, i think this is one of those nit picky things that a player can hear and fuss about, but when it comes down to it, the audience won't notice the difference in sound. from that perspective, i just try to use what's comfortable, make sure not to overtighten the barrels, and leave it at that.
  15. well i certainly don't feel this is too complicated for a 'violin forum'. The people on here have spent numerous hours describing the complexities of varnish, bridge carving, etc, why would this conversation be any different?For myself, I work in the IT business on the side and know quite a bit about music editing and computers in general. I've also done recordings of my own music groups prior to this. I never really dealt with the math of a scenario likea true sound engineer would, but I just rely on experimentation until it 'sounds right'.I was hoping to get extra detailed information by posting here, but if people are going to say 'no this is complex for you to handle' that just defeats the point. So, you said two omnidirectional mics would work. Well you're in luck because that's what I bought. There was a 2-for-1 deal with those usb laptop mics. I was planning on using extension usb cables so they are not right next to the computer, picking up hard drive spins, etc. Up until now I was just considering using one, but I suppose that would work.
  16. thanks for your response. I don't really have any specific questions, but I'm looking for any advice since I have no clue what I'm doing. my situation is i'm not really trying to produce recordings that parallel telarc or deutsche gramaphone (sp?) , i'm just trying to make some decent, solid recordings that I can post on the web or hand out to friends/family etc. That doesn't mean I'm trying to let quality slide by, I'm just looking to make a solid recording on a minimal budget. The only reason I bought an omnidirectional mic was because it was on sale at soundprofessionals.com (disclaimer: no affiliation to this company). This mic is a usb stick that's designed with laptops in mind, so I thought it would be a good entry level start. You can see them at http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/category.cgi?item=SP-USB-MIC-PRO I also have a marshall electronics mic ( http://www.mxlmics.com/Comp_Recording/drk/comprecord.html ) . This mic works ok. I have yet to compare it to the usb ones I bought, because they are still en route via fedex. I do have larger rooms in my home that I could use for recording, do you recommend them? I have one family room with a hardwood floor, and some couches which act as natural sound aborbers. My bedroom has so much fluffy carpeting/bedding, etc that it naturally deadens all the sound. Any more advice would be appreciated.
  17. Over the next few months-years-whatever, I'm going to doing my own personal recording project. I have a omni directional microphone/duo core macbook. This will all be solo viola music. The room size is rectangular around 12 by 7 feet. Also I was thinking of putting gut strings on my instrument since this will be up close recording. Right now I use a full set of medium dominants, before that I was using evah pirazzis. Any suggestions?
  18. i'm curious to know from those of you who have seen these instruments in person if there are signs of warping where the strings were originally mounted on the table? is that why they are repositioned to the traditional setup?
  19. While searching on google I came across the website www.violinistinbalance.nl and it's got me thinking about posture and how it seems most commercial chinrests are not adequate at all. It makes you wonder why so many people put up with the traditional styles.
  20. i tried an SAS once, it was too high for me. i thought the whole hardware mount was ridiculously uncomfortable. i would try to make my own, but i've never worked with wood before and i don't own any tools. i did some research at one point and gathered a complete list of tools i would need and it came out to around $200 for all the sanders, saws, etc. in short, it's almost a bigger headache (for me at least) to build my own. for $200, i could get someone else to build one.
  21. Hello all - I bought a really wide lower bout viola (at the widest it measures 262mm). It's very 'tertis' like.If you can imagine, the lower bouts are broader, and extend further out before going upwards to the f holes. My problem has been finding a chinrest that matches this broader curve. All kaufman style chinrests I've bought match the outline of a less-wide lower bout. Guarneri style chinrests are even worse..... there is about a 1/2 inch difference between the edge of the lower bout and the lip of the chinrest where the cup is.The problem this creates is that the lip of the chinrest is farther in, making me have to push my neck slightly farther in. While I can deal with it, it does get uncomfortable after awhile. I know this is the issue, because I have a kaufman on my 'regular' sized viola, and I feel perfectly comfortable. On violin, I feel totally comfortable using almost any chinrest... perhaps because violin is a standardized size, and all the chinrests are designed around that.If anyone can direct me to a vendor that would be great. Also, if anyone has links for really high quality chinrests, I would enjoy looking at those. I've bought enough of those $20 'made in india' chinrests to know I can't put up with them anymore.
  22. i think the reason we stick to traditional, is because the traditional way has been proven to bethe best way to create the best instrument. the main reason we stick to tradition is because there has been little room for improvement.however, i think there is going to be a point where man develops a synthetic material that operates better than the traditional pine, ebony, maple.it might be very hard to do, and it might be 300-400 years from now, but i think it will eventually happen.players aren't as 'tradition-driven' as one might think. take a look at violin strings. the majority of people use synthetics now. why? because it has thebest advantages. is it the most traditional material for a string? no. same thing with instruments. players will use the best tool for the job.
  23. krug, a lot of people don't understand the specialized left hand technique when not using a shoulder rest, which is why he was confused you were able to shift etc without one.i had a masterclass with herbert greenberg (former concertmaster of baltimore symphony)and when asked about shoulder rests he simply said 'the shoulder is not designed to support the violin'.i think he was getting at the idea of the collarbone being substantially stronger than the fleshy part of the shoulder.this could be of importance for people who have damaged their shoulder muscle structure.i don't know if this is of any help, but i find the dmitri dounis exercises extremely helpful in developing a relaxed technique.
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