2018-10-11 06:32:46

I never feel like I'm good at anything else but woodwinds, lol. But hey, doesn't mean I can't try eh?
But first, I'm gonna try and get myself a bawu before anything else.

My sskype : mars.bhuntamata, add away buddy. If you think you are crazy, I am as well. I may be even crazier, who knows.

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2018-10-11 06:48:28

@26 I play the oboe and the recorder too. tried my hand at the claronette but my music teacher at school thought I was best suited to the oboe. not unusual instraments, but my oboe kind of is. I found it on ebay when I was trying to find one to play again. got it for 100 quid. guy didn't know what he was selling. made from rosewood, gold keys etc and in it's original case. was made in 1879. I really need to get it checked out by a dealer because I think it's worth a fortune. but man it sounds beautiful.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

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2018-10-11 13:53:17 (edited by musicalman 2018-10-11 13:59:21)

Hmm. I exclusively play keyboards and while I've played with a few odd instruments, I haven't touched anything I consider too unusual or novel. I tried violin and guitar as a kid, and neither were successful. I have some Indian flute I believe, but I can't remember where I got it and the whole you blow into is on the side, not the end, so I never could get a good sound from it. I was oddly more successful with clarinet, but I had already picked violin as my school instrument and for some reason forgot about my encouraging first trials with the clarinet until years later. I wish I'd pursued it, or the saxophone. Maybe the flute too.

In the keyboard family there are a few instruments I'd like to check out, or have looked at briefly.

I've gotten to play on harpsichords a few times. I can't say I felt at home playing or listening to one but it was very neat. Also I played a broken down Rhodes electric piano, but it wasn't well regulated so I didn't like it much. would love to try a Whirletzer electric piano or Clavinet (the latter I am especially fond of).

There are two instruments I'd like to check out in the modern keyboard family. They are the Seaboard, and the Janko Keyboard. I've never seen any of these but one day I hope to at least give one of these a look.

The Seaboard is a new invention by the company Roli. A few years ago a guy at Guitar Center of all places was showing it off, and we just missed it, as my mom only found out about it the next day. I was kinda sad once I found out what it could do.

The Seaboard is made to play expressive and hugely controllable sounds. Its design addresses limitations of traditional keyboards.

Every traditional keyboard supports velocity (how hard you hit the key), and some also support aftertouch (applying pressure to the key after you've pressed it). Many have pitch bend and modulation wheels, as well as control sliders and knobs, which can add pitch fluctuation, vibrato and other effects. The major drawback though is that to manipulate these controls you have to take one hand away from the keyboard to move the slider, knob or wheel. Also, using these affects all notes at once. For guitars and some other instruments, this isn't very realistic.

The Seaboard still plays basically like a keyboard from what I'm told, but its keys feel different. I have no idea what the keys feel like or if they are even distinctive. But you are supposedly able to do not only velocity and aftertouch, but you can also do release velocity as well (how quickly you lift your finger from the key), and you can also slide from key to key, to slide from note to note. You can even slide in between keys/notes.  So, the keys must be pretty flat to allow it. You can even move vertically from top to bottom of the keys for even more effects. All of this is doable on an individual key basis, so you have a ton of control over individual notes without lifting your hands from the surface. I have heard there is an XY pad and ribbon controller too which I guess would behave like  global sliders on a traditional keyboard.

This videocovers all of this sort of.

I think you need Roli's software to use the Seaboard, or at least you get a lot of cool sounds with their software. The bad part of this is that I don't think it's accessible. At least I remember trying their Equator synth once and couldn't get it to install because of bitmapped dialogs, but that was ages ago. That's part of why I'm hesitant to look at a Seaboard, let alone get one. I'm also lazy so that factors into it lol. But I'm pretty sure, or at least somewhat hopeful, that even if their software isn't accessible I could still make it useful. If I had to install drivers with an inaccessible installer I may be in trouble, but otherwise I think I could manage. It's just transmitting midi messages after all. My best guess is that each note gets its own midi channel and the effects are accomplished by traditional midi messages. That being the case, with a bit of work I could see myself using it, though I have a feeling that jerry-rigging things with Reaper and my preferred synths would be a bit of a mess as opposed to Roli's synth which probably just works without hassle.

The other keyboard that attracted my attention is the Janko Keyboard. I read about it on Wikipedia. Then I read a few other things, but I can't remember how precisely my interest came to the Janko keyboard. For some reason I've wanted to check one out for a while.

The Janko keyboard is not an instrument really, it's simply a keyboard with a different key layout. It's been adopted on standard pianos before and could probably even more easily be made as a midi controller, though I've not heard of anyone doing it yet.

I may be completely wrong on this, but from what I understand, there are often 4 or 5 rows of keys in the layout. The bottom row contains a c whole tone scale. The notes would be C, D, E, F sharp, G sharp, A sharp, and then another C where the pattern of course restarts for the next octave. The second row contains the other six notes, which make up the C sharp whole tone scale. So all 12 notes of the octave are there, just distributed differently. It's a technically clever way of splitting the octave.

But there are often more than 2 rows. From what I understand, the third, fourth and any other upper rows are copies of the first two, and in fact when one note goes down, all keys that play that note will go down too. So all odd rows move together, and all evens move together.

Having multiple rows makes transposing easier as you can just move to an adjacent row. Because of how symmetrical it is, you would just play the notes as normal with a different starting point. no need to get a new key sig under your fingers. Also having more than two rows might mean I have the choice whether I want to move my finger up or down to get to a note. Hypothetically, at least, I would be able to make that choice often, depending on what I'm playing and what feels best.

Because there is less horizontal distance between octaves, you'd likely have a wider reach compared to a traditional keyboard, if huge chords are your thing like they are for me. The only real disadvantage I can think of off hand is, apart from the obvious learning curve, you can't do white or black key glissandos like you can on a traditional piano; instead you get whole tone glissandos which are kinda odd. Also crowding may be a problem with so many rows of keys being interconnected. I'd have to see it of course before I knew what was going on.

It might sound like I have this whole Janko thing figured out. If my understanding of its layout is correct, then yeah I've been pondering it a lot and have a somewhat complete technical understanding of what it is. But don't worry, I'm still trying to figure out how people can learn to play actual pieces with a system like that without getting completely tied. It would almost be like trying to interpret old novels which are written much differently. Hmm, reminds me of trying to read Shakespeare. Couldn't do it in school to save my life, so I have a feeling trying to play a Janko keyboard would feel like that for a while. Apparently people can learn it well though.This is a really cool video about it. Unfortunately we're not getting the whole idea because a lot of it is visual, and this is where I wish I could see. Lol. But, it's pretty interesting, at least to me.

I hope a midi controller for this layout eventually happens so that I can mess with it in a keyboard setting. But I suspect since the layout isn't at all well-known, and most people understandably don't want to do a 180 and become proficient with a completely new system, I doubt it will attract any widespread attention.

So yeah. If you're still with me, then apparently you must love keyboards. Yay, or something.

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2018-10-11 18:11:58

Man, if it was in my possession I would never let it go. Something as ancient and beautiful as that isn't suppose to be worth a fortune. I probably wouldn't even dare playing it in fear of breaking or something.

My sskype : mars.bhuntamata, add away buddy. If you think you are crazy, I am as well. I may be even crazier, who knows.

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2018-10-11 19:53:26

Gotcha. Sounds like the Kambodian one is similar, but different. The entire body of the erhu is made from wood, with a snakeskin serving as the top which is where the erhu gets its unique sound.


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2018-10-12 01:32:37

I have an autoharp, which is a really rare thing these days. I just can't play it

2018-10-12 03:44:16

Lol, something kinda funny that involved instrument happened to me yesterday.
I met and had a chat with two (was suppose to be four but the other two didn't come) vietnamese friends. We had a share about what we liked and didn't. I mentioned my obsession over wind instrument, then I somehow was in a joking mood so I told them we should get together and have steaks at the back of our university some time. I'd pay for their food, but in exchange, send me a Vietnamese flute when they get to Vietnam. I meant that to be a joke but they was totally into it for real. So in the end, we made a "food for flute" deal, lol.
Probably my fortune to get more instrument or something. Nothing I'm serious about. I just find it kinda lolable.

My sskype : mars.bhuntamata, add away buddy. If you think you are crazy, I am as well. I may be even crazier, who knows.

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2018-10-12 18:18:43

At Mata, I have the same problem. My roomate says I should buy my own so we can play together since she wants to learn it soon. I guess you need to study some ancient Chinese art in order to apply to go abroad with the Confucious institute, and I guess learning how to play this can count toward this requirement.

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2018-10-12 19:12:11

Someone gave me a practice chanter about one month ago, as she had not been using it for a very long time. For those who don't know it's what one generally use to learn bagpipe, though in comparison it resembles a flute, and sounds one octave lower than a bagpipe. I may get an actual bagpipe but I'm a bit bugged about something, it's that some notes seem to have a different value depending on the bagpipe you play. It seems especially true for the note that would be written as C, but would sound either like C sharp or D. So far I have know idea how to make it sound like C sharp, so maybe there is a fingering I've missed (which would surprize me), or there is something that I just don't understand yet (which is quite likely I guess, as I just tested if I could play a few things). I hope it really doesn't differ depending on the instrument, as having to own several bagpipes and change depending on which song I want to play would be a bit expansive for me.
I would also be interested in a kabylian flute, or whatever it's called, that can sound quite a bit similar to the flutes used in Irish folk music, to the point I wonder how much it's actually different.

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2018-10-13 15:19:59

I just got back from the walking street in my city, and guess what I got! I never thought I'd see an Ocarina here in Thailand. They had some there, the four note holes and the eight note holes sculpted clay Ocarina. I bought an eight holes one because I figure it'd be easier since the fingering is somewhat similar to Thai flute I'm use to. It's a fine one indeed.

My sskype : mars.bhuntamata, add away buddy. If you think you are crazy, I am as well. I may be even crazier, who knows.

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2018-11-12 02:03:15

I got some thumb pianos this week. Here's a demo for anyone who might be interested. They're cheap and fun to play.

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2018-11-12 14:01:08 (edited by an idiot 2018-11-12 14:06:14)

I actually have  the Mbira, from zimbabwe.  while Iā€™m at it, I also have a djembe from mali, in west africa,  native American pan pipes, a Didgeridoo,  a  slit gong  from somewhere in Africa,  another small native American flute,  and probably a couple smaller things that slip my mind.

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2018-11-12 15:43:43

Quite a collection there. I wonder how native american flutes are played.

My sskype : mars.bhuntamata, add away buddy. If you think you are crazy, I am as well. I may be even crazier, who knows.

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2018-11-12 16:23:49 (edited by an idiot 2018-11-12 16:25:14)

Well, some are Pan pipes. A few others I have played are kind of like recorders.

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2018-11-12 20:10:00

I'm interested in the recorder like ones actually, because the fingering is similar to Thai flute which I'm use to and have been playing for 12 years. Pan flutes? Not really.

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2018-11-12 20:35:37 (edited by an idiot 2018-11-12 20:38:39)

I see. Pan flutes have a nice sound, but are hard to play, and I'm not very good.

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2018-11-12 21:11:17

I own a broken Isan tribal panflute here. Never played it well even before it broke. Let alone now.

My sskype : mars.bhuntamata, add away buddy. If you think you are crazy, I am as well. I may be even crazier, who knows.

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