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Thread: A Few More Sound Samples From the Purple Guitar

  1. #1
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    A Few More Sound Samples From the Purple Guitar

    These are mainly for Dave Hawksford...just a few samples of some of the guitar sounds that are built into the purple/black sparkly Variax guitar he painted for me. (Although I've gotta admit, the paint job didn't really change the sound but it looks a lot cooler, lol.) All the parts on these were played on the Variax, and this only represents about 5 of the 50 or so different instruments programmed into it. Bear in mind these samples are just quick and dirty ad lib things that were not really rehearsed, so they have their fair share of rough spots. Definitely not ready for prime time. All of these will sound best through good stereo speakers or headphones. They will probably sound pretty bad through your laptop speakers.

    First up, here's a little sample with banjo, acoustic 6-string, acoustic 12-string, and two Fender Telecasters battling it out for the title of "Sloppiest Guitar Player in Town". That's what happens when a rock guitar player tries to play bluegrass.

    Hoedown

    Next, here are a few excerpts from Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. Both parts are played on the Variax version of a Fender Stratocaster. Now that I actually own a couple of Strats, I can say the Variax model is close, but a real Strat sounds better...

    Comfortably Numb Excerpts

    And lastly, here's the second version of the song I posted the other day in this thread. This the two separate tracks of the chords, and two more tracks of a "cello" sound. This will now be the "bed" for some lead guitar parts. All of these were on one of the Variax models of a Strat again, but with a different pickup selection and effects than I used for Comfortably Numb. (I'm still playing around with ideas for the lead parts. I figure I'll continue posting "progress pics" of this song as it develops. If there's any interest, I could post some samples of the various earlier stages that led to this mix.)

    Oriental Dream - Bed Only No Lead

    Stay tuned...I'll post more progress examples of Oriental Dream as I come up with them, and if you guys want, I can post sound clips of the various parts that got me this far on it. Sort of like progress pics on a woodworking project, but with string bending instead of nail bending.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    NICE ! Thanks Vaughn.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
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    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  3. #3
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    Vaughn you a very talented person like so many others on this forum. Those are cool sounds and it makes it even cooler to have met the person playing them. Pink Floyds music just never ceases to amaze me. I kinda put their creations in the category of the great composers except for more modern times.
    I had to go look up all sorts as a result of your new musical toy post and the guitar. Now i have a list of questions as usual I feel so stupid. There are many things one reads but somehow they still need clarification to make sure one has understood what one read. And here i thought i understood english. Oy Vey.


    Ok so this Variax guitar if you wish you can set it so when you pluck those strings out comes banjo sounds right? Then you can lay down a banjo track on your tascam deck and save. Then switch to I dunno lets just say lead guitar or bass and lay another track down. Then combine both tracks and we have a song. ?

    As to the Tascam recording side of things

    Why did you not choose to use one of the software recording studio packages say like Audacity or even Mixcraft? Not that i have been able to get those to work for me.

    I will ask my other stupid questions in my own thread, i also tried to have a go as some noise making this weekend and i dunno... each day i feel more like my brains have leaked out.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Sounds great Vaughn!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    Nimble fingers, nimble mind. Wonderful sounds. Really liked the Pink Floyd.

  6. #6
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    A Few More Sound Samples From the Purple Guitar

    Rob, to answer your questions, yes, the Variax changes sounds with the twist of a knob. (Although bass guitar isn't one of the choices.) The reason I went with the Tascam is because I've not been able to get the software approach to work satisfactorily on my laptop. I've also been reminded this weekend how much faster and more intuitive it is for me to run a multitracker than a mouse when I'm trying to mix down the results. I can go into more detail in the other thread.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Bear in mind these samples are just quick and dirty ad lib things that were not really rehearsed, so they have their fair share of rough spots. Definitely not ready for prime time.
    I can only dream of the day I could be as ROUGH as you my friend.
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  8. #8
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    OK Rob, I see that the other thread was about MIDI, so I'll continue my answer about multitracking here.

    You're essentially right about how the process works. In over-simplified terms, you play a part and record it on a track. Then you rewind to the beginning, and record another part on a different track. Rewind once again, and you mix the two together to get a song. It can actually be a lot more complicated, and even with an 8-track recorder, you can end up with more than eight different sounds mixed together. Here's a more typical scenario for what I've been doing:

    For starters, the pedal board that I'm running my guitar through (the one I had at Burning Wood) splits the guitar signal into stereo. this helps "fatten" the sound. So keep in mind that for this example, all the guitar signals use two tracks at once - one for the left channel and one for the right.

    1. I record a basic rhythm guitar part using tracks 1 and 2. Track 1 is the left channel and track 2 is the right.

    2. While listening to tracks 1 and 2, I record a second rhythm guitar part on tracks 3 and 4.

    3. Next, I listen to tracks 1 through 4 simultaneously, mixing them together and recording them on tracks 7 and 8. So now, tracks 7 and 8 are my combined rhythm guitar parts, and I can use tracks 1 through 4 for other things. this is called "bouncing" the tracks.

    4. While listening to tracks 7 and 8 (the combined rhythm guitar parts), I record a lead guitar part on tracks 1 and 2.

    5. Next, I repeat the process, recording another lead guitar part on tracks 3 and 4.

    6. At this point, I can play tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 together, adjusting the volume and tone of each, and "bounce" the results to tracks 5 and 6. So now I have two rhythm guitar parts and two lead guitar parts all mixed together and occupying just two tracks.

    7. I can continue adding other voices (different instruments or vocals) and bouncing things around until I have all the different parts recorded that I want.

    8. As a final step, I'll play back all the recorded tracks together, adjusting the volume and tone of each, and record a stereo mix of the results. That's called the "mixdown", and mixed result is usually send to a separate recording device and called the "master". (In the case of the Tascam, there's a partition on the hard drive that's dedicated for storing mixed-down masters without using any of the available tracks, so no separate recorder is necessary.)

    Does that help explain the process?

    Here's another, somewhat simpler scenario. For the "Hoedown" sample, I didn't bother with recording the guitars in stereo. Here's what I did:

    1. Record the banjo on track 1.

    2. Record the 12-string acoustic guitar on track 2 while listening to track 1.

    3. Record the 6-string acoustic guitar on track 3 while listening to tracks 1 and 2.

    4. Record the first lead guitar on track 4 while listening to 1, 2, and 3.

    5. Record the second lead guitar on track 5 while listening to 1, 2, and 3. (I chose not to listen to the other lead part in this case. Other times I might, though.)

    Now I'm ready for the mixdown. For each track, there's a "pan" knob that lets me control how much of the track is heard from the left speaker and how much is heard on the right. It's like the balance control on your stereo. Each track can vary from all the way to the left, to the center, to all the way to the right, and all points in between.

    For this particular mixdown I set it up this way:

    Banjo - in the center

    12-string acoustic - to the left about 80%

    6-string acoustic - to the right about 80%

    Lead guitar 1 - to the left about 50%

    Lead guitar 2 - to the right about 50%

    Then, while playing the 5 tracks simultaneously, I recorded the master while adjusting the volume of each track as it played. For example, at the very beginning, the banjo is louder than any of the other parts, but once things get going, I reduced that volume and increased the volume of the lead guitars. Then to emphasize the different lead parts and different times, I raised the volume on that lead track while reducing the volume of the other one. If you listen to the "Hoedown" sample you should be able to hear what I'm talking about, especially if you play with the balance control on whatever device you're listening to it from.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  9. #9
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    How in the heck is a guy supposed to get any wood working done when there is a thread like this to look at?

    Enjoy,
    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Sounds great Vaughn!
    I appreciate the compliments from you and the others, but I listened to these again today on a different set of headphones, and was appalled with several things. The playing is still a lot sloppier than I'd like. (Although it's improved a lot in the last 6 months.) Also, the tone still needs a lot of work - it was real bright and brittle sounding. Plus, there is some occasional distortion in the right side due to running things too hot, causing some pretty bad clipping. I didn't notice these problems when I listened through my good AKG studio headphones or my little M-Audio powered studio monitors. It illustrated to me that it's important to listen to the final mix through a variety of speakers and headphones. That's why most good recording studios have a variety of speakers to run things through in the control booth. When we did our record, I remember they had high-end studio monitors, nice home stereo speakers, cheap Radio Shack bookshelf speakers, and even a 6"x9" oval car radio speaker in a dashboard mockup.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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