Maybe I should have been a drummer....

Discussion in 'Technique and Posture' started by BusStopRatBag, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. BusStopRatBag

    BusStopRatBag

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    Owning a workstation, I'm pretty much a 1 man band. I recorded "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top the other night. I recorded a drum, bass, and keyboard section and I played the guitar sound on the playback. It never really occurred to me how hard I hit the keys when I'm not playing an acoustic piano sound. I was really lacing into my Motif. I was beating the keys like a snare drum.
    I do it a lot on clavi and Wurli sounds too. I also have a very bad habit of gritting my teeth to the beat. Sort of a dental metronome. Anybody else smash their keys like Pete Townsend smashing his guitar when they play?
     
    BusStopRatBag, Mar 12, 2016
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  2. BusStopRatBag

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    Rayblewit, Mar 12, 2016
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  3. BusStopRatBag

    zac staylon

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    I am on the reversed side of you my friend!
    I am a Drummer/Percussionist and I have a love for making the Keys sound "Guitaristic"! I also love big pads and impacting sound Fx.. So I understand where you are coming from with this!
    Piano, in itself, to me.. is very percussive! so it makes sense to feel the need to drum or groove! I appreciate your thread and encourage you to be whatever your heart desires my friend.

    -Z
     
    zac staylon, Mar 16, 2016
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  4. BusStopRatBag

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Actually the piano is officially classified as a percussive instrument.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Mar 16, 2016
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  5. BusStopRatBag

    zac staylon

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    Aha! Well now I see why I like it so much ;)
     
    zac staylon, Mar 16, 2016
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  6. BusStopRatBag

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Pianos work by hitting the stretched string, like a hammered dulcimer. Hitting equals percussion.

    Harpsichords work by plucking the stretched string, like a harp.

    Clavichords are unique, as far as I know.

    Organs work by passing air through pipes and reeds, like woodwinds. Accordions are too.

    Hurdy gurdies work by using a rosined wheel to repeatedly pull and release on a stretched string, like a violin and its bow.

    All in all, keyboard instruments are classified all over the field in sound generation, but connected by the way they're controlled by the musician.

    (I'm sure I've missed at least one or two.)
     
    Fred Coulter, Mar 17, 2016
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  7. BusStopRatBag

    zac staylon

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    I LOVE how you described each one of these and the way they work.. SERIOUSLY.. lots of questions ANSWERED! I'm always attempting to sound design for fun so this helps by allowing me to connect the dots in lots of places! <3 Thank you!
     
    zac staylon, Mar 17, 2016
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  8. BusStopRatBag

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    The last classification Fred missed is electronic. All the various electronic keyboards out there utilize some kind of electronic or electromechanical arrangement to provide an oscillator and then run it thru various filters and effects to achieve emulations of traditional sounds as well as create brand new sounds never before heard on this planet.

    In the electromechanical category you can include the Fender Rhodes and other old school electric pianos which get their tones from hammers striking an array of tuning forks which are then amplified and processed to achieve those ethereal bell like tones.

    Also in the electromechanical category you can include the classic Hammond Tonewheel which is a motorized spinning wheel with a magnetic pickup generating each note which is again amplified and processed to make music.

    Electromechanical keyboards are beasts to keep in tune and they weigh a ton to move when you're gigging so that's why in recent years the trend is toward purely electronic emulation of these instruments.

    Starting with the original MOOG Modular and progressing thru various forms of synthesis including the Yamaha DX7 and subtractive FM synthesis and Casio's Phase Synthesis from the 80's and 90's today we have mostly moved on to ROMplers.

    ROMplers are basically sampled synths with the samples stored in ROM and each note is stored as a digital sample of a real instrument.

    The quality of a ROMpler is mainly determined by the memory size of the sample and how much looping is applied to sustain a note.

    40 years ago a $50 Casio kid's keyboard like the SA-76 would have been magical compared to the state of the art at the time.

    Today though, we have monsters like the Kronos with literally gigs upon gigs of sample memory.

    Nowadays there are two major trends in keyboards. The ROMplers and then the Analog revival in which old school VCO's and VCA's are making a big time comeback.

    Both have their benefits and drawbacks and some interesting hybrids have come along in the past few years incorporating both digital and analog technology in the same unit.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Mar 18, 2016
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  9. BusStopRatBag

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Which is really sad since I've owned several of the items on the list that followed. I had a Fender Rhodes 88 in an early attempt at college. Moving it was "fun". Thanks for adding to the list.

    Just had a thought. What would a Mellotron be classified as? There were moving parts, but the sounds were stored on magnetic tape.

    Probably the fundamental lesson is that categorization of anything may not catch everything or be as clean as you'd like.


    Other additions:

    If I remember correctly, there was an attempt at making a fully polyphonic version of a bowed keyboard. The hurdy gurdy is a monophonic plus drones instrument. This would have a larger keyboard and the ability to play multiple lines and/or chords. It looked something like a harpsichord or piano, with a strings stretching away from the keyboard. It wasn't successful. This would have been classified as a string, like the violin, etc.

    Also, I think there was an attempt to make a keyboard version of Franklin's glass harmonica, which also wasn't successful. I'm not sure what this would have been classified as. It's similar to a violin in that there's a pull and release, but it wasn't a string that was producing the sound.


    It's amazing what people have invented to create music.
     
    Fred Coulter, Mar 18, 2016
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  10. BusStopRatBag

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Can't speak for the glass harmonica but the mellotron is not dissimilar to the hammond tonewheel arrangement using tape loops instead of tonewheels, so I'd have to classify it as electromechanical.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Mar 18, 2016
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  11. BusStopRatBag

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    And while we're on whacky classifications I also own an Akai EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) which I guess the classification is in the name :D

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Mar 18, 2016
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  12. BusStopRatBag

    zac staylon

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    You two are stellar..
    I have so many questions I want to ask about synthesis. I want to learn sound design on a whole new level and you two guys are like the masterminds!
    Incredible! 5 stars to Fred and Gary!! <3
     
    zac staylon, Mar 20, 2016
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