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Rosin Ramblings


Andrew Victor
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For some, they are still evil :) I have never met a carbon fiber bow I liked tonally. Of course dynamically, a few makes can be extremely good, but to my ear, they all have a sonic signature I find unappealing compared to any wood bow, particularly when played on fine violins. Maybe all those good violinists who use them do not possess a really refined ear. As a matter of trivia, are you able to name any recognizable players using carbon fiber bows for important venues? Of course the latter qualification is to mitigate the mention of plain endorsees, as it was demonstrated here not long ago that even well known players are known to succumb to the temptation of acting as an endorser of a product, without actually using it when and where it counts.

My guess is that there are very few if any big name players using CF bows, but I am emotionally prepared to be proven wrong. :)

I don't think indeed that Perlman, Mutter or Vengerof are using glasser fiber bows in concerts. However they are quite above the rest of the players. Now, for example my first teacher, who did play in professional orchestras for most of his life (that is about 50 years playing) and who'd agree that Pernambucco bows are still unmatched, is not afraid to use synthetic bows. No doubt he is not the only one. And these synthetic bows won't stop improving like synthetic strings did. And Perlman still probably uses dominant :) ....

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Being only a beginner (4 years practice) I still however believe that testing different strings, different bows or different rosins is part of the learning. So I did try yesterday this Andrea rosin. I know some will disagree but even for a beginner the difference with my Hindersine rosin was really clear. With 1 or 2 bow passages on the block or rosin the amount of sound I could get from my violin was really much higher. It's too early to say more but there is a clear difference. Whether the difference in price justifies the difference in volume is another matter!

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Being only a beginner (4 years practice) I still however believe that testing different strings, different bows or different rosins is part of the learning. So I did try yesterday this Andrea rosin. I know some will disagree but even for a beginner the difference with my Hindersine rosin was really clear. With 1 or 2 bow passages on the block or rosin the amount of sound I could get from my violin was really much higher. It's too early to say more but there is a clear difference. Whether the difference in price justifies the difference in volume is another matter!

+++++++++++++++

My guess the difference came from rubbing it hard or soft.

Being more expensive the rosin, it is human nature of you to use less That is exactly what you need:

less rosin.

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+++++++++++++++

My guess the difference came from rubbing it hard or soft.

Being more expensive the rosin, it is human nature of you to use less That is exactly what you need:

less rosin.

I really paid attention to bow as usual and did compare with another similar bow with my usual rosin. But the difference was so obvious that I could hardly be mistaken. But again is it worth the price (afterall a block could last 1 or 2 years which means few pennies a day) ? As for the rosin I usually rosin my bow once a week (sometimes even forget) and practice about 1h-1h30, 6 days a week. I am not a heavy user... :)

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  • 2 years later...
This article was written as a reaction to this thread, I think. It addresses how the properties of rosin affect the sound from a bowed string instrument using state of the art simulation software on the subject. The author has developed the software himself and he took his PhD on the subject a few years ago. He is a former double bass soloist and professor.
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On the matter of artific1al bow hair:

I used nylon hair in the past.

It stretches more than horse hair.

And -

Other players gave me strange looks when I got the sandpaper out

and roughed up the hair. It needed sanding every month or so.

From Tom Quinn's informative post, and other remarks, Rosin may be more

important for Cello and Bass players than for violins. We have a "Rosin is rosin"

violinist, but not a a Cellist.

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This article was written as a reaction to this thread, I think. It addresses how the properties of rosin affect the sound from a bowed string instrument using state of the art simulation software on the subject. The author has developed the software himself and he took his PhD on the subject a few years ago. He is a former double bass soloist and professor.

thanks Anders, maybe you can persuade the author to start posting on MN.

this subject is very important because thats where the violin sound it all begins,in the bow/string interaction,

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thanks Anders, maybe you can persuade the author to start posting on MN.

this subject is very important because thats where the violin sound it all begins,in the bow/string interaction,

I have tried, several times. He may read the posts. But he prefer to contribute to the discussion by posting the questions or comments he receives with answers on his site. He now have posted three answers on his discussion site, so you see the format.

The benefit of doing it this way is that the material does not become so fragmented. And he controls what information get out and not. I can see his point and consider a similar approach. It will at a later point become easier to put the material into use in an article on the subject. Or even at some point a book, as he writes.

Participating in discussions here may some times lead into some dead ends and somewhat meaningless exchanges of opinions. Some posters are not particularly constructive either. But there are some who really are, so I am sorry too that he, and other specialists, does not want to post here. Another example is Claudia Fritz.

Some of these researcers are introverts, maybe that is a factor too. I do not know.

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  • 10 months later...

Knut Guettler, the author of the article about rosin i linked up to a while ago, http://www.knutsacoustics.com/files/Guettler-How-does-rosin-affect-sound.-2011-SRJ_Vol_II.pdf died suddenly last sunday.

 

I am very sorry that we do not have him among us any longer. His website with all his articles and works was aimed at bridging the gap between musicians and acousticians, making it possible for anyone to read the current knowledge and discuss these themes with him directly. The final aim of that page and work was to write a book.

 

http://knutsacoustics.com

 

He wrote several articles on themes we discussed here on the MN. The last one he wrote, I think, was on starting transients: http://knutsacoustics.com/files/Onset-transient-times-Rev.2.pdf.

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  • 6 years later...
On 9/26/2009 at 11:33 AM, IBK said:

I have a great formula for rosin the I make: Gum Rosin, nothing else, no coloring, no bee's wax and no motor oil. It is long lasting, applies easily, grips the string and is not overly soft.

I have made two different cakes of rosin. one from tears of spruce trees from Crestone Colorado. It turned out black as the night. And not a hard rosin.

I just finished making another cake from white pine from Indiana, collected in the heat of the summer. Upon distilling the volatiles and cooling off, it is hard, but still waaay too sticky to apply. I cant figure it out. Ive heated it twice now and it just starts to smoke. When I pour it up and make a cake, it still is sticky to the touch when fully dry. I am trying to make a ‘hard’ rosin. I am playing a Jouhikko of sorts. Black horsehair bow, with twisted black horsehair for strings. I find rosin types make -all- the difference. loud, quiet, smooth, growly, sharp attack, or smooth. 

If anyone knows what I might be missing ingredient wise or temperature or something else, I would love some help. 

thanks

Playful Rabbit

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2009 at 2:02 PM, Johnmasters said:

Some people have found that 0000 steel wool works well to clean strings. Wipe in one direction only so as not to loosen the windings. Blow off debris from the varnish.

Here is something else that occurred to me about the heating cycle of rosin. Heifetz always used gut middle strings. OK, they have a large diameter and maybe that was 100% of it.

But also there is no metal winding which might conduct heat faster than pure gut.

I would caution against using any grade of steel wool to clean dirty strings as oil is used in the manufacturing process of steel wool and will eventually wind up on the strings.

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