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Author: Chris Fitzgerald

“Old School Quality, Modern Sound” – Ear Trumpet Labs Nadine Mic

Ear Trumpet Labs is a microphone company based in Portland, Oregon that markets its products using the following words, which can be found on a card in the envelope that accompanies each microphone: Look great, sound incredible Hand-built microphones combining distinctive retro-industrial style with professional sound tailored for live use. How well they succeed at both of these things is obviously subjective, but in this review, I will attempt to provide both information and audio sound files that will hopefully give the reader more information to go on, with actual sonic results. At First Glance When I was younger,...

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The Four Seasons: Aging Gracefully as a Bassist Part 1 – Setup

In The Doghouse by Chris Fitzgerld Any double bassist who has been playing for a number of years will be familiar with the basic axiom that as the seasons change, the bass changes with it. In the winter, when the humidity in the air is very low, the wood of the bass contracts, causing the strings to draw closer to the fingerboard. In the summer, when it is very humid, the wood expands, causing the strings to move higher away from the fingerboard. The effect that these changes have on us as players is inescapable; regardless of whether the string tension of the bass actually changes or not, the amount of perceived tension that we experience as players raises and lowers with the strings. When the strings are higher, it not only makes it more difficult to stop notes with the left hand, but also affects the perceived tension we experience in our right hand both with the bow and pizzicato. When the strings are lower, it is easier to stop, pluck, and bow the strings, but this easing of perceived tension also affects the power and tone of the sound produced. Most players find a basic string height and setup for their bass that works with their musical conception and then adjust the string height accordingly as the seasons change. In the US, this is most commonly done...

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When a player approaches a new bass for the first time, there are a lot of criteria that come to mind as important aspects of its viability. The most important of these is the sound of the bass, but this is tied together with other parameters, such as playability, ergonomic comfort, responsiveness, esthetics, and practicality. In this article, I will detail my experience with one of master luthier Nick Lloyd’s hand-carved basses, affectionately named “#34” – a violin-cornered instrument with a flat back and a removable neck, making it a suitable instrument for air travel. Nick drove down to...

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