Guide to Electric String Instruments
MIDI String Instruments
Only Zeta Music has a MIDI patent for string MIDI synthesis. Because of this, all MIDI string instruments consist of Zeta Music MIDI parts. Zetas Synthony ll contains 480 sounds and 11 drum kits that are compatible with General MIDI. Also included are 11 reverbs, 11 choruses and 42 variations intermingled to your liking and can evenfunction altogether at once. A great added bonus with the Zeta MIDI is that you can combine analog and MIDI sound synthesis, resulting in new and exciting creations. MIDI also allows you to input other MIDI software programs, so everything from sequencing and improvisation to music theory and computer music engraving is easy to undertake, minus any piano chops. Learn more at www.zetamusic.com
Electric String Instruments
With electric string instruments, there are several things that make them perfect for public string education applications. Eager string players have a wide range of contemporary music to choose from that is especially thrilling to learn on electric string instruments. You can find over 200 published charts at https://www.kuzmich.com/handouts/String_Publishers.aspx You can also discover fun, expert libraries courtesy of the Turtle Island String Quartet, RESQ String Quartet, and Modern String Quartet.
A great first step to becoming well-rounded with this music is to start out playing acoustically. Taking this route will have you better prepared for the electrified strings movement, and will make the entire creative process even more invigorating. Even though the amplification may seem confusing at first, it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, you can easily make a string quartet sound eerily similar to a full string orchestra. Not to mention, electric string instruments sound incredible, have modernized designs, and can bring a new level of creativity to a string player’s performance. Zeta Music and Yamaha are both leaders in the world of electronic string instruments.
Another bonus provided by electronic string instruments is the capability of including special effects within your playing. For a long time, guitar players have been the noticeable beneficiaries in this area of creativity, incorporating all kinds of techniques into their playing, including noise generators, phase delays, looping harmonizers and many more. However, string players can also use these kinds of cool effects to further broaden their musical horizons. A boomerang phrase sampler combined with a multiple—track foot operation can produce a magical and original composition. For more info, visit www.boomerangmusic.com Or, for a better understanding of the possibilities you can undertake when combining effects with electronic string instruments, check out www.mer.ka-ba.com/violinexamples/, where you’ll find great examples of “live” electric violin sound bites. For entry-level equipment, the Zoom GFX797 and PX3 are extraordinary. For intermediate-level equipment, you can’t go wrong with the Boss GT3, Boss GT5, Digitech RP7 or Digitech RP 14. For further wisdom on these effects including the latest and current sounds, take a look around at www.kuzmich.com/handouts/do.aspx and www.kuzmich.com/handouts/Special_Effects.aspx.
Electric Pickups for Acoustic String Instruments
With the use of a pickup, an acoustic stringed instrument can smoothly convert into an electric. Fishman Electronics provide a wide variety of high quality electric pickups. Combined with a pre-amp, a Fishman electric pickup can give you incredible sound quality minus the distortion, and at a very affordable price. Fishman pickups are very popular due to their amazingbalance and durability, making a great solution for a common issue faced by public school applications. You can learn more at www.fishman.com .Other affordable pickups designed for string, brass and woodwind instruments can be found through Barcus-Berry. For a professional level pickup designed for all string instruments, go with Barbera Transducer.