Archive for May, 2008
For those who record their own music tracks, whether for fun, professionally, or in the hopes of starting a new professions, a music sequencer can play a vital role. The definition of the term has changed over time and with the development of new technology that is now standard in the music industry, such as the musical instrument digital interface or MIDI.
The changing definition of the sequencer
Since the production of electronic music was first started, sequencers were any devices which recorded information from electronic musical instruments and then played it back to the mixer, musician, or composer. For this reason, sequencers have always been a vital component in devices such as drum machines, keyboards, synthesizers, digital pianos and even music software.
Today, the use of midi sequencer data has cast the role of sequencers in an entirely different scenario. The synced data from the MIDI when read by the sequencer is an important step in a composer’s journey towards putting together an overall piece of music; the use of the MIDI also allows a substantial amount of time to be cut out of the process of creating a specific sound and making sure that vital pieces are not cut out simply due to human error.
Choosing a sequencer
As advanced technology, sequencers are not cheap and not all are created equal. Generally, a music sequencer can be purchased built into workstations or as part of an assemble-yourself project. There are some important things to keep in mind when selecting a sequencer.
1) Is the sequencer right for your musical style? Mixers, engineers, and producers will ensure anyone that piecing together a composition which involved a multitude of musically voices is every bit as intricate as writing the music in the first place. Putting together a piece is a work of art unto itself, not unlike assembling a mosaic, only with tone instead of tesserae. Putting the piece together requires a certain feel to the process, even though to the untrained eye the feel may be about a bunch of lines and graphics on a screen. Therefore, potential buyers of sequencers should make sure they are comfortable with the feel of the sequencer they invest in.
2) Is the audio sequencer user friendly? Like any hardware, sequencers come in varying degrees when it comes to ease of use. Advanced mixers might enjoy the challenge of figuring out various layered functions on their investment, but others may prefer a straightforward approach to the mixing process. Keep in mind here that as a general rule, more complicated processes will yield higher results in the end. User friendly features will include items like the graphics interface and the ease of selection (ie, just a click of the mouse, or do you have to push a combination of buttons on your keyboard?)
3) Is this model reliable? Like any piece of technology, sequencers are prone to bugs. Some companies have just been more successful in preventing bugs from messing up the reliability of their sequencers than others. Some of the names that come up time and time again in terms of reliable sequencers are Cakewalk and LogicExpress as well as yamaha sequencer.
All sequencers will need to be used in tandem with samplers. The compatibility between your music sequencer and your sampler will also be a major consideration in your purchase.
1. Play the guitar
2. Inspect for cracks, dents and scratches
3. Test the neck for strength and twist
4. Sight the neck for straightness
5. Check a bolt-on neck’s alignment
6. Inspect the nut’s shape, slots and action
7. Check the fret condition and height
8. Make sure the truss rod works
9. Check the bridge and tailpiece
10. Check the tuning keys
11. Make sure the hardware is secure
12. Check the electronics
If you follow these steps, your questions about what to look for at ‘guitar sales’, ‘how to buy a guitar’ or ‘how to buy a bass guitar’ will be quickly answered. The rules for either are the same.
Here some more excellent tips on how to buy a guitar, when investigating a guitar for sale, from Dan Cross:
Have patience – do not decide you HAVE to buy the guitar that day. Plan on taking at least two trips to the music store.
Maintain control – You are in charge! Don’t let music store salesmen intimidate you.
Research – The web is a great place to find info on guitars. Use it to your advantage!
Get help – if at all possible, recruit a friend who plays guitar to help you choose an instrument. If not, don’t be afraid to ask music store employees multiple questions.
You do not have to be an expert guitarist to get a good deal on a good guitar at a guitar sale. What you do have to be is a disciplined shopper.
For many guitarists, especially novices, trying out a guitar in a music store can be an intimidating experience. Invariably, there are several other guitarists in the store who feel the need to show off their skills on the instrument, by playing all their most impressive licks. Understandably, this can be scary, but you’ll need to focus on your goal – finding the best instrument possible, for the least money.
Scan the store until you find an instrument that appeals to you. Make sure you are given a good stool, and a pick (although I suggest you bring one you’re comfortable with). If you’re looking at electric guitar sales and playing an electric guitar, make sure you’re plugged into an amp similar to the one you plan to use. If you’ve only got a small practice amp at home, don’t allow the guitar to be plugged into a Marshall half-stack through a rack of pedals.
The first few times I tried out a guitar in a music store, I remember playing very quietly so no one would hear that I wasn’t very good. A perfectly natural instinct, but in retrospect I’ve realized it was the silliest thing I could have done. In order to really hear the tonal qualities of a guitar (either electric or acoustic), it needs to be played at a reasonable volume. Do not be afraid to strum the open strings hard – listening to the guitar’s sustain, and keeping an ear open for problems like buzzing strings. If you’re having a hard time hearing (due to other guitarists in the store, etc.), ask to play the guitar in a separate room, or in a quieter part of the store. It should be noted I’ve been in music stores where owners glared at me for turning up the guitar a little, or strumming an acoustic vigorously. My solution to the problem – I hand them the guitar, say thanks, and take my business to a store that allows me to find out what the guitar sounds like before I buy it. I urge you to do the same… these people are obviously not very familiar with the way guitars work, thus not the best stores to deal with anyway.
Let’s look for a moment at guitar makers and manufacturers and which are at the top of the heap. Probably the 3 most widely known and respected guitar makers are Martin, Gibson and Fender guitars. These manufacturers have been a huge part of the industry for decades and their reputations speak for themselves. Martin guitars however, are slightly different than Gibson guitars or fender guitars in that they don’t make electric guitars, per say but only acoustic and acoustic-electric models. Hopefully, before you start hunting down the guitar sales in your local area you’ll learn these simple steps. For more information, visit this article at Guitar Sales.
There are many different ways to approach guitar tuning. We’ll touch on a couple of the more effective methods on how to tune a guitar. Not necessarily the most popular as some methods, though extensively used, are considered ‘bad habits’ rather than genuine, effective guitar tuning alternatives.
The guitar standard tuning is as follows:
STRING – 6th String (bottom, bass, low) NOTE – E
5th String – A
4th String – D
3rd String – G
2nd String – B
1st String (top, treble, high) – E
Tips For Any Guitar Tuning Method
First, lets cover a few things that every player should know when taking the proper approach to guitar tuning and how to learn to tune guitar.
Learn to attach the strings to the machine heads properly. Never try to tune down to a note. Stretch the strings and tune up to the note. Tuning heads have a certain amount of ‘play’ in them so make a couple of deep bends and then fine tune the string. Before tuning a suspect string, check it against both adjacent strings to determine which string is actually out of tune. The string you suspect may not even be the culprit. When tuning a guitar with a vibrato arm, tune the string, give the arm a good shake, stretch the string, give the arm another shake and fine tune.
Veterans of guitar playing will already know these things so if you’re a beginner and just learning to play the guitar, you’re already ahead of the game if you implement these practices into your routine. For a great tool visit Guitar Tuner.
Here’s A Quick Method For Guitar Tuning
Tune the treble (high) E string to an A440 tuning fork by holding your finger on the 5th fret, then tune the open B string to the open treble E string – listening to the interval of a fourth. It’s easy to hear the fourth in that register.
Play the A note fretted at the 2nd fret of the G string, and compare it to the open treble E string – you’re listening for a perfect fifth interval.
Fret the 2nd fret E note on the D string and compare it to the treble E string open. Double check this by fretting the E note on the 14th fret of the D string.
Now tune the 7th fret harmonic on the A string (an E note) to the open treble E string.
Finally, tune the 5th fret harmonic on the bass E string to the open treble E string.
This is a simple guitar tuning method that works well.