Microtonal metal?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by The Omega Cluster, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    That's what I'm hoping :lol: I've been coming up with some inlay ideas to help. How did it feel from a physical standpoint having the frets so close? It's something I've never experienced without them also being at the top end of the fretboard (i.e. a regular guitar at the 24th fret) and thus suffering from stiff sustainless strings anyway. I'll use mandolin wire and certainly test it out before doing anything expensive!
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Once the frets get closer together than the width of a fingertip, I just mash my finger into the frets themselves. It's not as painful as it sounds :lol: and I can get a decent clear stop that way, but my main problem up there is getting disoriented. If you have inlays, you have to make them really small or else have them bisected by fret slots. Beyond that, I believe it's a real pain for whomever levels off all of those frets.

    Do you mind if I ask who you had in mind to do the work? We have a guy here in the USA (you're probably familiar with him) who does work like this super cheap, and I've worked with him a couple times, and I've personally had good luck with him, but he's had a few very vocal critics in the past. There's another older guy up north who, I guess, does the work through some sort of proxy, but I've ordered from him before as well, and he's done excellent work fast, and is fairly priced, and then there's a guy out west here who charges and arm and a leg, and also doesn't respond to phone calls or emails very well, so I cut my contacts with him. I can also recommend not to use Carruthers Guitar Works in California. My business with them was not at all a pleasurable experience, but, oddly, they seem to have a good reputation; I'd say maybe I was unlucky, but my dealings with them were very thorough and lasted several years of headache, so I really don't think it was a fluke. But I'm sure you'd much rather stick with someone in the UK.
     
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  3. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    I know what you mean about mashing the finger haha, I refretted a harmonic series board with a few very close frets but it was a very amateur job at the time. I am aware of whom you speak, had some chats with him previously. He definitely has quite an attitude but seems a reputable businessman for sure. If I wasn't dabbling in luthiery myself I'd probably go that way with a Strat or something. I'm inclined to get more practice in and do a cheap build myself, though with how busy I am a conversion of an existing cheap guitar may be a better idea to get something in my hands to experiment with faster. If I like it, I do have in mind a full build from a high end UK builder who hasn't previously dabbled in microtonal fretting but I'm sure could do a great job !

    I've really fallen in love with 31 EDO on the computer. I avoided it for a long time due to its size but in the end it's just so fantastic for retaining a potentially completely normal sound with excellent buzzy tuning whilst also of course opening up more extreme microtonal gestures and a rich palette of intervals
     
  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    By the way - I listened to your most recent release last week Bostjan and very much enjoyed it! Very entertaining lyrics too haha
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I know exactly what you mean. I started out on the computer as well, with the harmonic series, 17-EDO, 19-EDO, 22-EDO, and some different JI tuning sets. I bought my first micro guitar from Jon Catler, was blown away by how good it sounded IRL compared to the computer. After that, my dad helped me build some three string guitar prototypes with different tunings, and I comissioned Thomas Knath to build me a bigger, more customized microtonal guitar with a longer scale length and extended range, but he passed away, and then I commissioned Carruthers and they never started my project, then I found a local guy who said he'd do it and I ended up with an unplayable mess, then I was moments away from commissioning a Strictly 7, when the company started falling apart... phew, it was a long painful ride, but "you know who" came through for me with a guitar and a bass, and honestly, he didn't do everything flawlessly, but everything that really mattered was done very well, so I was really happy with how it turned out, and the price was right, too.

    My own work has been thrilling to do, but less thrilling to play. I think I can do fretless pretty well, but fretting a 31-EDO or 34-EDO or anything around that level takes a great deal of patience to get it done properly. I think I'd draw the limit of utility not much beyond that. 36-EDO is something I've wanted to mess with on a "real" instrument (as opposed to a synth), since it cuts 12 into thirds, or 38-EDO, cutting 19 into halves, but the law of diminishing returns always stops me.

    Hey, thanks so much Tom! I'm really flattered.
     
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  6. Necris

    Necris Bonitis.

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    Most likely not, I lost all interest in compiling tracks into an Album/EP/Demo/etc. years ago; the last time I did was in late 2014 (non-microtonal) and I've since removed that from the internet along with the majority of my "completed" music.
    If I produced something I felt was worth fleshing out then when it was complete I'd record the guitar and bass properly (mic'd amplifiers - which I find much easier to work with) and put in the work to make the programmed drums sound natural (unlike in those clips), but I'd probably end up with the wall of noise production anyway since I've always gravitated towards that. Unfortunately, I no longer play drums since playing was aggravating my tendonitis terribly even with significant technique work so it's unlikely that anything I record will have real drums in the future - vocals will also most likely be absent on anything I record in the future because I don't feel I have anything of value to say and therefore vocals would only be a detriment to the music; but I was having fun playing with the microtonal choir oohs. :lol:


    I wasn't posting here actively for quite a while. I was using loopbe and scala to retune guitar pro, but it was inconsistent at best - sometimes it just refused to work. So I'm back to just hand writing things out.
    Not 31EDO, but my Guitar and Bass are in 33EDO, so what I did is mark off 11EDO on the side of my fingerboards and use that for reference.Not really useful to you but the general idea of finding an MOS or another subset and marking that for reference is probably your best bet.

    Aside from some attitude issues (that got him banned from this site) the guy you're talking about guy in the USA is nice enough, but his luthiery skills are a bit lacking and you get what you pay for - the instrument will probably function; although not always, such as was the case another poster in this thread and a guy on facebook I was in contact with, but even if it works it will almost certainly be rough around the edges in a very literal sense - he doesn't bevel or round off his fret ends. For the money you could buy the tools to do it yourself.
     
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  7. InHiding

    InHiding SS.org Regular

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    I just listened to a few songs from vol II. It's sort of hypnotizing at moments. Very interesting. I got a bit of a Buckethead feel sometimes too.
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Thank so much for taking the time to check it out, and thanks for the kind words!
    I listen to a lot of Buckethead. I'd like to imagine what he'd do with a few different tunings.
     
  9. The Omega Cluster

    The Omega Cluster n00b

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    Except this is not the Fibonacci sequence.
     
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  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    *Linear recurrence sequence seeded by 5 and 7.
     
  11. The Omega Cluster

    The Omega Cluster n00b

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    Oh, then it has to be a G series. Fibonacci only starts as 1 and 1 or 0 and 1. The G series takes the general concept of adding the two prior numbers to form the next one, but any number can be chosen.
     
  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I picked up the bad habit of referring to any binary linear recurrence sequence as a "Fibonacci" sequence from two professors I had who made the same generalization.

    But anyway, the most popular Indonesian gamelan tuning is "slendro" or 5-EDO. It's the smallest widely used equal temperament. Other gamelan tunings are typically unequal, so, really, it's the smallest equal temperament that is culturally meaningful. Some different cultures tune xylophones to 7-EDO, and 7-EDO is really the smallest equal temperament which can effectively construct a pentatonic scale. 12-EDO, obviously, is the most widely accepted tuning by far. 19 and 31 were the only two number of notes to compete with the standardization of 12 per octave during the Renaissance, and, incidentally, 19-EDO and 31-EDO are meantone tunings with a third comma and quarter comma, respectively. The next meantone approximates are 43-EDO and 50-EDO with 1/5th comma and 2/7th comma. All of this gobbledigook means that, historically, the equal temperaments that have the most significance and also been best approximates to pentatonic and diatonic scales from the idiom of Western music are 12-EDO, 19-EDO, 5-EDO, 7-EDO, and 31-EDO.

    I just thought it was interesting that those fit into the form F1=5 F2=7 Fn>2 = Fn-1 + Fn-2

    Maybe it means nothing, yet 50-EDO predicted as the next number in the pattern also behaves the same way.

    And that's not to discount that you can get some very consonant intervals from 17-EDO, 22-EDO, 24-EDO, 27-EDO, 29-EDO, 34-EDO, etc. - but - if you play with these tunings enough you can run into some characteristic limitations in certain applications, plus 34-EDO is a subdivision of 17-EDO, and 24-EDO is a subdivision of 12-EDO, and neither of them offer improvements on the intonation of the fifth. The intervals in 34-EDO are not really a significant improvement over 31-EDO, except that being an even number, 34 offers a better tritone.

    They're really all just different palettes for painting different types of pictures, though.

    TL;DR 31-EDO is pretty cool and bostjan has a bad habit of misspeaking.
     
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  13. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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