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Readers' Letters: "The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!", and more...

A post by David Mellor
Thursday November 30, 2006
"The electric guitar has been the frontman-musician's instrument of choice since the 1960's. But here comes the instrument that is about to sweep it into history - the ELECTRIC BASSOON!"
Readers' Letters:

In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Andy Kemp writes...

I much prefer the sound qualities of the trebleoon to the bassoon, especially when heard in an ensemble- the squadroon. !!

RP response: Nice one. Many people wrote in suggesting that the logical bassoon was an April Fool's joke. Well it was in a way, but the logical bassoon does actually exist. However it isn't new - it dates from the 1960's and unfortunately didn't catch on. A shame really because progress in musical instrument technology should be something that is warmly welcomed. The 'oon', by the way, is a real instrument too!


In response to "When Jesus Came For Mama" by Michael, Loren Dean writes...

I would shoot this out to all the funeral parlors without hesitation.

RP response: You might just have started something...


In response to Professional Studio Monitoring, Jesse writes...

I believe what you are seeing Tony are Yamaha NS10s. They are white because of the materials Yamaha used to produce them. These monitors are supposed to be really accurate for determining translation on regular end user systems and are used for near field monitoring. The color of your cones doesn't matter, the accuracy of the monitor overall does. The difference is either related to the materials used or purely cosmetic. (KRK woofers are yellow, some Infinity home and car speakers are silver ect.)


In response to Mastering at home - a PRO mastering engineer says, "Yes you can!", Agustin Espina writes...

I totally agree with Jude. I've being working in the recording bUsiness in Venezuelafor about 20 years... Mastering my own stuff is ok for demo purposes, and maybe for tv or radio spots you produced and mixed... But if we are talking about complete projects, then we should consider the objectivity from an experienced master engineer. They work EVERYDAY on mastering, and they know how a great recording is supposed to sound... Besides, it's not only to make the track LOUDER, but to make the whole project sound like a solid piece. Some times you even have mixes from different engineers, then the master guy should be able to make them sound as close as possible... Take for example Kevin Metcalfe's work on BrIan May's CD "BACK TO THE LIGHT"... Different recording studios, different recording engineers, different mixes, even different years, but the CD sounds like the whole story is coming from the same source. So, always trust the ears of someone who knows how to do it... Our music deserves the best... Don't you think so? A.


In response to Analogue inputs - can you plug a bass guitar into MOTU's 8pre?, Jesse writes...

Yes you can. Depending on if your bass has active pick-ups or not would dictate how you would use the pads. Passive pick-ups should need no pad and I would suggest a nice gate (gate first, then compressor) plug-in as well as a compressor plug-in running on the channel/s you are routed to. With active pick-ups you may want to run the pad, but personally I have used no pads on this set up and I just use the volume on the bass to adjust the level. The more volume you try to crank, the more noise you will get. You can try using the gate for this (depending on the situation) or what I do, is I run a channel strip plug-in (Waves Audio Channel or similar) to boost the signal if needed. Or if you have an amp simulator plug-in, you can use it for this. I have my set up set to record the dry signal in case I need to re-amp later. Or I use a Line 6 X3 Live running in case I already have a sound in mind. as a general rule I try to keep all pre-amps ran at 3/4 volume to maximize output but to minimize noise. In some instances I have had to lower the volume but I never raise it farther than 3/4, except in very rare instances.


In response to Giant-killing $5 mic preamp - its secrets revealed, Jeffrey James writes...

I was wondering if this:

www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/DN06008-D.PDF

Would be a good candidate for the 5 dollar preamp. I want build the thing but don't really want to run in on batteries.

Is there a low noise +/-18v power supply that I could just buy somewhere for it? There has to be something that suits it well and is comparable to the low (or no) noise of AC power.

I was also wondering if a DC to AC converter would eliminate noise.

I think that there should be a forum or something dedicated to the construction of this preamp. So um... you guys should make that happen.

thanks,

~ Jeffrey James


In response to HOAG INSTRUMENTS reinvents the BLUES GUITAR, Ron Hoag writes...

I sold this prototype guitar about a year ago. It was my desire to have it played by a professional musician. I also, sold the K-max guitar prototype to a professional musician in New Jersey. They both reported back, how well they liked the sound and construction.

This may come to some as a surprise, these are the only two guitars that I sold to the public. I have made and sold some prototype models for manufactures, but they still have not decided to build them,(maybe they don't want to.)

I must say, after 40 years of trying to get this concept to the public, it is perpexing.

If someone would like me to build them a guitar or know someone that would like to do this on a large scale, please forward them, my web site. www.opticalguitars.com

Thank you, Ron Hoag


In response to "Feel so Close" by Jeanine Maningo, John Sapp writes...

Nice recording. Would have been much better if the guitars were tuned though.


In response to When you are mixing, what is the first thing you should do? What is the last? (And what should you NOT do?), Lauro Rímoli writes...

I feel like to say something about what to do and what not to do in a mix.

I use to do the same like, organize the track in the same way, drums on left or top, percusion, bass, guitars, others instruments anf voices, main voices on last track.

after organized the tracks, I start on listen each track all way long in a good headphone, feeling the dynamic little noises, and marking points that have to be clean or problematic.

Is a good way for me too, get an FFT for each track, just checking with the yes what my ears feel.

after that things go much ease, whem I listen each track individuali I can go foward in the final mix.

What I dont do in a mix!

I dont like to try "miraculous plug-ins" even for experiments. Once I had recorded I got the texture, tune and dynamic envelop straigth on de instrument captation. If I got a material that I didn't record than I try simple but efecient plug-ins just to get the necessary.

I'm working like this for over 30 years and got good results (well my clients say that!) Ah , I never got the final judge myself! I like to ear others that are not involved in the project, and compare the felings and impretions!

thanks all for tips, hope could help somehow.

RP response: Thank you. We appreciate your input.


In response to George Martin *was* the Beatles, Barry writes...

I think the original melodies were mostly Lennon and McCartney and Martin put a heavy layer of icing on the cake. Was Martin around for all the classics McCartney wrote post Beatles?


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Edwin Davis writes...

Hi! You're right, the technology came with electric guitar hasn't had a huge change since 50's! But the fact is it has changed but in the kernel! & Kernel is where the sound comes out! we have many different effect processors that change the overal sound of E.Guitar!

But anyway, what we have called Guitar needs to have at least 6 strings, 21 frets by half steps & a body! any further specifics are choosen by the player who orders the plan to guitar factory! So you can see now we have 8 strings Guitar with angled frets & NO STRINGS!

I think we should wait maybe a 10 years to see a huge change in guitar technology!


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, João Lobo writes...

Good joke.

I'm not a guitar player but I'm pretty sure that the guitar will not be replaced by any other instrument and certainly not by a wind one as a major part of it's popularity comes from the ability to play and sing at the same time.

Weird way of presenting an evolution of a rather unpopular instrument. Do you own shares of a bassoon factory? A very good friend of Giles? Nothing better to do? (like me)


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Tuba Lungs writes...

Nice tribute to Giles!

Do the Brits celebrate April 1st too?


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Robbie Jay writes...

A bassoon is seriously un-rock and roll...

How can you hold a cigarette in your mouth if you are blowing this thing?

Any instruments are always uncool in a rock setting... No more rock and roll poses, and guitar face... just inflated cheeks and a chunk of plastic and wires jammed in your cake hole.

You'd look like a buffoon, playing live with an electronic bassoon. ;-p


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Jim Meck writes...

I suspect an April Fool's joke here. I received the email informing me of this article on April 1. The "oon" family of instruments? Very nice. But I also have worked in electronics and the idea isn't impossible. Don't let Les Paul hear you say the electric guitar is fading away...cheers.


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Steve L writes...

I didn't see a web link on where I can find out more. I see this revolutionizing the whole e-Bay music arena!

PS - It should have had a USB MIDI interface for a top-notch April Fool's prank!


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Pete Downing. writes...

If it it weren't April fools day we might have fallen for the 'Logical Bassoon' gag. I just can't somehow see Stevie Vai swapping his axe for it just yet, LOL.


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Thomas Fisher writes...

Is a g oon related? The ones I know of seemed to be lacking any kind of valving and or keyboards.

Tom


In response to "I need you through" by Jeanine Maningo, Steve L writes...

Beautiful vocal and and generally decent mix. One crucial element was overlooked...the guitars in the solo and following were painfully out of tune. Those tracks should never have proceeded to the mix stage. I played it again to see if it was my listening position relative to the speakers, but no...it was tuning (or accidental string bends pulling the chords out of tune).


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Lee Duffield writes...

April fools! You almost got me!


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, an anonymous respondent writes...

Hahaha!


In response to Why does Pro Tools turn conventional mixing on its head?, Josh Tays writes...

SSL has been a top mixing desk because of it's extreme flexibility and not necessarily top sound quality, Neve, for it's superior sonic quality and not necessarily it's flexibility (not to say they are limited consoles in any way). All forgotten in this was the far more flexible API console, which every point in the signal chain is patchable and reroute-able.

Now step in Pro Tools and not only pro tools, but the DAW in general, yes, there can be both hardware and software limitations, but none the less they are still far from less flexible than an analog console.

First off, the multi-track DAW does not say, you may not use your favorite console, in fact, many studio owners still use their NEVE and pro-tools, logic, or nuendo. I know it sounds weird that the past and the future could possibly be so friendly with eachother, but they can. However, even better than just an analog console and tape machine, the DAW allows for the signal to go through the console and receive it's color, or, lets just say that you want absolutely none of said console's color on a specific track or tracks, well then it doesn't need to be routed through that console (not even one single resistor, transformer, diode, capacitor, nor wire).

A previous responder mentioned the possiblity to set up the DAW environment like a console and it's true, it can. That's right all of the SSL flexibility (and then some) without the sonic limitations of an SSL. Take into consideration the recall limitations of the SSL, sure there are flying faders or VCA automation, but when working on the most famous versions of SSL (G+ series, legendary for SSL sound) you are going to be working without the option for automation of any EQ, dynamics, and other effects. Granted one can pull up the saved settings via manual operation of the pots by referencing the color computer monitor and tweaking until each is in place. Don't forget this system depends on knowledge of text prompts when saving and recalling a session, which can very easily be deleted from the 3.5 inch floppy discs.

Now you may be saying, I have full automation on my SSL. Sure, you may, but then again, you're probably working on a J or later series, with VCA on every parameter. Not a bad thing, but as a general, not sonically preferred by most (not hard and fast rule, some people like Metallica, enjoy or prefer VCA's, or at least they used to).

I have to go to work, but I think this hits the tip of the iceberg against this argument. Sorry, there is so much more to be said, but so little time.


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Fernando Monreal writes...

I think you are crazy :smile: my nephew has 8 years old and play guitar even rock and he love it, and of course most of his friends wants to play guitar too, it is impossible to replace the sensation that an electric guitar give to a player, and even now lots of Thecno DJ´s still seduced by the sound of an electric guitar. Rock never gonna die but yes it is in evolution like all the other genre, originality is very hard to find on this days it doesn´t mind if it is photo, cinema painting or what ever you want. and your bassoon, still limited by scales, tones and harmonies, like the other instruments since Mozart, Bethoven or even before them. There are experiments with a twelve tone scale and much more but the result for the occidental ears don´t work, But if you tell me, that a DJ is a new way to youth to approch to the music i tell you yes a DJ can now have pleasure like a guitarist can have playing, but guitar coexsist with Djing and it ´s gonna be for a long time. Excuse my limited inglish hope you understand what i mean.

Regards.

f.


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Paul writes...

What a joke is that!

RP response: It's an April Fool's day joke Paul. Not as good as the flying penguins though.


In response to What's wrong with this picture?, David Hughes writes...

I might have assumed they were setting levels or laying a scratch track and the vocalist was making a minor adjustment to the microphone position.


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Sean Lowrie writes...

HA! Quite amusing. Forwarded this on to my girlfriend since she is a bassoon performance major. She also talks a lot about micing up bassoons for non-classical styles.

Learning bassoon myself for woodwind pedagogy. It's a very very fun thing, though I wish someone would figure out a way to support it that is actually comfortable.

Thanks for the amusing article, I will be Googling this wonderful new abomination!


In response to The electric guitar has had its day - here comes the ELECTRIC BASSOON!, Andre' P. writes...

Haha funny, must be another april fools joke. So show me when and where these geniuses are and I will gather the rotten tomatoes... who will have a first go at demolishing yet another attempt at taking away something that resonated in peoples hearts so much as the electric guitar!? Tomato anyone?


In response to Mastering for vinyl vs. mastering for CD, Ray Egan writes...

Hi

To what extent can I successfully master my home-produced tracks to be of the quality that, for example, music libraries would accept...."broadcast quality"...

Thanks

RP response: Easy - don't apply any master processing. Master processing limits what can be done later. If the library wants to apply master processing they can, or if the production company wants to apply master processing they can. Just write useful music and record it cleanly.


In response to "I'm constructing a home recording studio - do you have any recommendations?", Jane Caylor writes...

Hey! I found it because I'm trying to find Greg Noriega. He is on old friend from when we lived in San Diego. I'd love to reach him. If there's any way you could forward this on to him.

Thanks!


In response to "1-4 sorrow" by vixen, Gilbert Rivera writes...

i REALLY DO APPRECIATE SEEING ALL OF HIS NOTES AND EXPLANATION OF HIS WORK; ALSO THAT WAS SOME GOOD MUSIC.

A post by David Mellor
Thursday November 30, 2006 ARCHIVE
David Mellor has been creating music and recording in professional and home studios for more than 30 years. This website is all about learning how to improve and have more fun with music and recording. If you enjoy creating music and recording it, then you're definitely in the right place :-)
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