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Posts posted by scordatura

  1. scordatura "I probably could have gotten more out of each instrument if I did more warming up/practice one each one. I felt though that the one take method might illuminate the playability of each"

    not quite

    some violins "grow" more unplayable as you play along while others the opposite, until they reach an equilibrium of some sort.Then you can have a better assessment.

    most violins i've seen are in the first category

    You might agree if I rephrase it. As you play an unfamiliar instrument you learn to manage or minimize the problem spots or the differences from the instrument you are used to playing on. Much depends on your skill level and reflexes. Some players (even good ones) do not know what to do on an instrument that is different than theirs. Some players have the talent to instantly get the most out of any fiddle. Every violin has some weaknesses or playing characteristics (99% do). It could be a wolf note, strident E sting, hard to get a pure tone, great at full voice not good for soft playing, etc.

  2. Well the player was me...

    Without much warm up I tuned the three violins and did one take. I also wanted an audience perspective on the sound vs. the mike up the f hole that we are accustomed to hearing on recordings. I probably could have gotten more out of each instrument if I did more warming up/practice one each one. I felt though that the one take method might illuminate the playability of each. Playability is really important to players. There are also instruments that have more flexibility and easier to play on than others. Some like the great ones (Kreisler del Gesu for instance) encourage you to do more and open sound and interpretive doors that you did not think were there.

    The instrument that I play the most on is the A.S.P. Bernardel. So there is some bias there. That being said, I think I am pretty good at adjusting to instruments on the spot. Perhaps not as much as Elmar Olivera though. At any rate it was a fun experiment and got me away from teaching for a few minutes.

    Notice that I did not use “scordatura” tuning…except for a few uncentered notes ;)

  3. I'm with captainhook - I don't hear an extraordinary sound, although I think it does sound nice. Where can we hear a sound clip of the original Betts?

    To be fair, I bet the violinist would like to have another take at the Kreisler. Sometimes playing in a radio studio can be strange. Sometimes you do not even have much room to play and the acoustics are purposely very dry.

  4. 1. Why in the world would you think that the Chinese are using CNC machines for the majority of their work? CNC machines are expensive and slow compared to a healthy person with hand tools. The Eastman factory has CNC machines, they aren't used on violins though. CNC machines are used there for routing out the inlays for guitars and mandolins. In this situation a slow CNC machine can compete with a skilled person doing the same thing.

    I was told by an Eastman Violin salesperson that the owner wanted to keep Chinese crafstmen employed. It was not about hand vs machine. It was about the owner giving a viable business to the people.The salesman was with Eastman for a while and heard this from the founder/owner. He would know.

  5. One thing I found interesting was that no arching correction was done to the CNC Betts copy at Oberlin. Building in deformation is a mistake in my opinion.

    BTW when I visited the LOC there was a plaster cast there for one of the violins. When I asked about it, Morel had given it to the LOC. I am not completely sure but I think it was for the Betts. Hmm...I wonder if there was any arching correction done?

  6. Don't forget that if it's slow to take on humidity when sealed up, it'll be slow to dissipate humidity through that same moisture barrier as well, and that may not be a good thing if it's exposed to high humidity for awhile.

    True but anyone who is storing an instrument in extreme humidity conditions for an extended period of time is asking for big problems!

  7. datura,

    This increased stability need not be the result of coating both surfaces.

    Coating both surfaces is the rule in the rest of the woodworking world. I know a number of contemporary makers who do this routinely....One thing to consider is the effects of central heating on the instrument.

    Who is listening in? David, Marilyn,Kelvin, PG, Kevin, Guy, MD, Bruce, Greg, Melvin...do you guys coat the inside of the box? Why or why not? Some of you have seen a lot of classic instruments opened up.........

    on we go,


    Hey Joe.

    The slowing of quick humidity changes via a coating would result in less cranky players. For a variety of reasons I have owned instruments that are really susceptable to changes in humidity. Nothing is worse for a player than when you have an important performance and the instrument goes south on you. Some instruments go soggy (unresponsive) in high humidity and conversely get scratchy and fussy when they dry out. This sometimes is in spite of active humidity control efforts! Others tend to be quite stable in a variety of environments.

  8. In my brief aquaintance, Rene's direct expression of his perceptions flowed as easily as his humor.

    During a 2005 critique session in the auditorium at Oberlin, a year after the photo above, he said to the player of balsa #4, "...it has a lack of concentration which would allow more for you to sculpt....you may bring a big sound, but I don't think you can do much with that sound...Am I right?"

    Those words have pushed my program since then and still ring loudly in my head. 

    Very insightful Doug. It was nice to meet you at the VSA convention. Having played one of your instruments recently, I felt like I could do things with the sound. I have to say that your violin was nothing like I would have imagined when you opened up the case. Despite its radical Picasso-like design the sound was sonorous. I particularly liked the sculptural intent and the carbon fiber. Despite what some might feel, string instruments need to have eye candy in addition to sounding great.

    I had a couple of brief interesting experiences with Morel sound post adjustments. Back in the day he had the reputation of being “the” guy to do your sound post adjustments. At the time I was trying to work out my own theories. I remember the twinkle in his eye more than anything. RIP Rene.

  9. My question to the doubters (soundposts or violins with soul aside) is....have you ever played a great strad or del gesu? If you did do you have the skill to tell what is great sound and playability? I bet I know the answer to that...except burgess that can play concertos with a sawzall :)

    BTW not all Strads and del Gesus are great sounding instruments.

  10. What strikes me after watching the video is as a player I understand and agree with most that was said. With a few exceptions, the best violins that I have played on have been strads and guarneris. I wish I could post some stories about some of the players and violins in this video but I cannot...

    As someone who is involved in making, I want to believe that this is fiction.

  11. Funny this came up. I was a few days ago looking at the website and realized that I live about an hour and a half away. It sounds like I better make an appointment before I decide to travel there!

  12. Chet,

    If your son takes the Viper out on the track have him go with a well run club. Meaning no passing zones except for straightaways, etc. And that he have an instructor ride with him. I have seen too many cowboys driving well above their skill level only to wreck or worse. The problem is that you get going and try to push more and more. That is when things go wrong. One has to abide by the 8 tenths rule. Never go for more than 8 tenths of max speed. Easy to say, hard to do. Another thing is that you should never go on a closed road course without a roll cage. Many do it though.

    Never track a car that you cannot write off as a complete loss. No insurance will pay. Eventually everyone wrecks. There is a saying, "There are two kinds of racers, those who have hit the wall and those that are going to hit the wall."

    I would suggest autox (autocross) rather than road courses. It is a coned course in a large lot. The speeds are controlled and it is an excellent and safe way to drive hard and improve your driving skills. It is much more intense than one would imagine.

    Drag racing is a whole other situation...

    I had a 'vette when I was a kid... Good thing it was a Chevette or else I probably would have gotten into trouble.

  13. When older people get laser eye surgery done, they will sometimes have one eye corrected for reading, and the other for long distances, and the brain then adapts which eye is dominant for each situation. The lens of older eyes looses some of it's elasticity making focusing close a chore.

    Woodcarvers will frequently look-up and stare at something far away, to give themselves a break from focusing close-in all the time.

    I tried monovision correction with contact lenses. I could not get a good balance between near and far distances. We tried a number of lense types and strengths. I was doing this in preparation for possible lasic (laser) correction. I am really glad I did not get the laser eye surgery!!!

    You could of course just get distance correction and wear reading glasses but isn't the idea to rid oneself of the damn glasses.

    Getting old sucks other than the incresed wisdom or is it confusion...never mind. Speak up what did you say? :lol:

  14. I assume this is feature applies when viewing, not when uploading?

    Yes. I was just addressing the images that may have already been uploaded. I completely understand why you want posters to optimize their images for web viewing. I used to administer a forum. We put a size limit on uploads if nothing else for storage/bandwidth issues.

  15. If you use Internet Explorer 8 or 9 it will automatically resize the image to fit in your browser window. If you click the image again it will undo the resize and display in the original size. That is unless you have disabled this feature.

    Disclaimer - no endorsement for Microsoft, Windows, IE or any other name you care to attach to the aforementioned products ;)

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