• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • More Rhythm Options

    Jannuary 31st, 2020
    jammer, music, tech  [html]
    Few instruments do a good job as the only rhythm instrument in a dance band; in my 2014 sample I only saw guitar and fiddle. I can't play guitar for dancing anymore because of my wrists, and the piano has to give up a lot in exchange for its large range. A goal I've had for a long time is to figure out how to get the same full sound from something built around a mandolin.

    As a rhythm instrument, the way I play it, the mandolin has a percussive bite and drive that's hard to get with the piano. This drive contributes a lot to the dancing, and is something I really enjoy about a mandolin-piano rhythm section. Take away the piano, though, and everything is high frequency.

    I've played with a bunch of ideas here for augmenting my mandolin playing:

    Recently I tried a new combination:

    • Whistle into a microphone to select bass notes, trigger the bass notes with foot pedals.

    Here's a video:


    (youtube)

    I'm running my standalone pitch detector which translates the whistling into MIDI, with pitch bend to send fractional pitch. I tell my MIDI router what key and mode I'm in, and it listens for I, IV, V, and either vi (minor) or VII (mixo) by picking the nearest option. I have this driving both a bass that's triggered by the foot pedals, and an atmospheric droney pad that just runs. I have the pad set to only change notes on a pedal tap, however.

    It's not as flexible as the bass whistle, because I need to choose in advance what key and mode to play in and it only does four bass notes, but it also is much less likely to make weird awkward noises when I screw up slightly.

    Comment via: facebook, lesswrong

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Some reasons to work on productivity and velocity

    A common topic of discussion among my close friends is where the bottlenecks are in our productivity and how we can execute more quickly. This is very different from what I see in my extended social circles, where people commonly say that velocity doesn…

    via Posts on Dan Luu October 15, 2021

    EDT with updating double counts

    I recently got confused thinking about the following case: Calculator bet: I am offered the opportunity to bet on a mathematical statement X to which I initially assign 50% probability (perhaps X = 139926 is a quadratic residue modulo 314159). I have acce…

    via The sideways view October 12, 2021

    Meditations on newborns

    [Content: death.]I wrote most of this a couple of months ago when Nora was a newborn, but the first few months are not that conducive to finishing blog posts. New babies put you into a liminal period, both in your own experience and in how others treat yo…

    via The whole sky October 3, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact