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Tune It Lower
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1,114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How low can one go? I can't say, but I'm gonna find out. As some of you may know, my experimental extreme electronic project The Surfacing has ventured heavily into the implementation of softsampled guitar sounds, and at some point in the process of building these tables of thousands of multisamples, I came to realize that the physical limitations of the guitar & bass themselves really have no bearing on what we can deploy from within the mighty box. So, with a little lateral thinking, I give you our latest studio implement, [in Nathan Explosion voice] The Mariana Bench!:

:hber:


The purpose? Simple: Attach my trusty and sonically flexible workhorse of a guitar to a "bench" which could extend the practical scale out to the extreme extent of available string lengths to DI multisamples into the computer for future deployment via MIDI programming/playing. :devil:

With guitar notes, I'll be able to take thinner and, thus, less boomy & excursive strings and make lower notes than ever before. I've gotten down to G0 on the guitar itself, but the practical playable limit is more around A0 with a .125 gauge string and even then, it rattles around a bit.

On the bass side of things, well, We're gonna nab ourselves the .270 gauge :eek: monster of string that Garry Goodman makes and find the limit. I'm already using samples nabbed from a subcontra bass tuned down G#00 for my sub-bass reinforcement... gonna see where we can go from there... or at the least, build a more comprehensive table of sounds to cover the current range.
 

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is totally evil.
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88 Posts
God, I'm afraid to hear the results. But that still sounds pretty kickass. Rock on, my fellow Oregonian bro. You'll have to uh... try and give us some clips in the future?
 

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sawdust aficionado
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1,343 Posts
Very interesting. I didn't know you could get thinner strings that long. You may want to put some support beneath the neck at the headstock end.
 

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Mod Britannia
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7,233 Posts
Sooo, you're basically planning on making the audience quite literally shit themselves?
 

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Tune It Lower
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1,114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You may want to put some support beneath the neck at the headstock end.
Fuck that:


:lol:

Very interesting. I didn't know you could get thinner strings that long.
Not 55", no. :cool: That's a maximum scenario kind of thing, for flexibility's sake. For the guitar stuff, I'm looking in the .080 to .100 gauge range, for which I measured a "Long Scale" D'Addario XL nickel wound bass string that I had lying around to about 46" of usable length (since the notes aren't fretted, the tapered core hanging out below the clamp makes no difference), and I suspect I'll get another inch or two out of the "Super Long Scale" ones.

Garry can make a 60" long string?
Again... don't know. I know he makes them all to custom spec so far as the taper length goes, so I'll ask and see what he can do. Either way, his spec out to fit a 43" upright scale, so given the same few inches of through-body + wind/nut-to-peg excess, I've got 46" - 48" inches easily to work with... which, again, according to my string tension calcs get me WELL into the insane low ranges I've targeted.

Sooo, you're basically planning on making the audience quite literally shit themselves?
Diapers will be required at Surfacing shows. The strobes are for seizures, the infrasubs are so you shit yourselves. :D Marco actually has a book about the history of sonic weapons. I haven't read it yet, but yeah, we're definitely into the extreme ends of the spectrum.
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
IIRC Garry doesn't make his own strings anyway. I believe they're done by SIT. He just manufactures the ball ends.
 

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Tune It Lower
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1,114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Alright kids, Drunken Cybermetal Bob Villa here... :wavey:



...time for phase one of the Mariana Bench build:


I'm gonna warn you, this thing ain't really pretty. It was meant to be a cheap, efficient solution. In fact, The .270 Octave 00 string will cost more than the bench did overall. You want to see something pretty, look at this:




Important shit first, straight edgers look away at your Crabstance 2011 calendar:



Yup, scotch old enough to buy itself. :yesway: BTW, this stuff is Amazing. Younger Glenlivit's generally fall in the "Meh, decent." range of things, this is excellent, excellent elixir!



Classy crystal glassware is appropriate here.

Okay, on to actual work: The main run of board came directly from the neck blank for Marco (Cadenhead)'s Home Depot Build. Not so forgotten, simply repurposed: :D



The actual board length is 72" so there's even more length than I had initially planned. It's a very solid stack of maple, has decent density, and resonates well. It should do the trick.
:agreed:

The first thing that needs to be done, is to add a T-extension at the ass end of the thing to provide a place to anchor the strap hook pins to it:



Told you... ugly. :lol:

What's Marco doing during all of this you ask? Fappin' to Food Network ladies as usual?



Nope, he's diligently grinding notches into his OFR-7 basepate to install the Graphtech Ghost piezo saddles into that will later connect to the homebrew MIDI system we're concocting.

Next, I've got to fab up some brackets from angle aluminum to tie the two boards together:



Drill some happy little holes:



Holes are drilled for the wood screws:



Note how they're offset on the main board so they don't clash when screwed in from opposite sides. :cool:

Refill time:



A switch to the mighty (but "less special occasion" because of a more realistic price) Ardbeg 10.

Line this dog-ass lookin' thing up...



...And glue and give it the clamps:





Now, wait for the glue to dry for about a half-hour. What to do? Drink some more? Yup. Make the air duster and WD-40 69? Absolutely:



"How's it going over there mighty Marcoder?"


^
From MAKE MAGAZINE, br00talZ Edition.

Alright, waited long enough on this shit. Let's get to getting the Black Oar Of Doom strapped onto this puppy! Took off the strap hook here so I could use the existing holes to lock the sucker down. Got some longer screws with the same gauge and thread pattern to get through the board, and as you can see here I've dropped a couple lengths of small bar stock into the screw holes. They're cut just longer then the hole depths so they will leave a mark on the board where I need to drill the mounting holes. The electrical tape (I used the white tape, because the black tape is always getting used to do all the work) is to keep the pins from falling out and changing me like a lycanthope, into the Ryan that swears a lot.



Now, lay the sucker out and mark the holes:



And drill away:




I'll admit here that I had to do this twice, as the guitfiddle was not quite far enough back and not straight on with the board. :lol: I'll blame the booze.

Well, I somehow forgot to snap a pic of the holes being drilled in the T-extension, so yeah, imagine that with your imagination. Picture the chick from earlier in the thread doing it if it helps. :yesway: Anywho, here's the bad boy all bolted in:



I hacked the bolts of to length as well... after this pic was taken, of course:



Well, that's as far as I got over the weekend. I made a trip to Home Depot today to get some more pieces. I'm going to add a reinforcement plate on the bottom intersection of the two pieces of wood to further keeping it from flexing, and got myself four rubberized feet to make it so I can actually set it on my desk without tearing the surface all up.

"How are you doing over there, Marco?":




:metal:

Well, to be continued over the course of the week where. Y'all come back now, ya hear! Ryborg, signing off.
 

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I don't like it.
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11,071 Posts
Got any pics of the back side of that OFR7? I'm curious how it came out, also curious how many cutting discs he went through? And any final pics of the top side of the baseplate without saddles?
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
I'm still a little confused as to why you're mounting the whole Synapse under the string.

I would have just used the wood beam, an anchor for the ball end of the string, two pieces of aluminum angle as a "bridge" and a "nut" and then just mounted a pickup underneath the string, with the ability to move it around to capture the right harmonic overtones.
 

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Tune It Lower
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1,114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I'm still a little confused as to why you're mounting the whole Synapse under the string.

I would have just used the wood beam, an anchor for the ball end of the string, two pieces of aluminum angle as a "bridge" and a "nut" and then just mounted a pickup underneath the string, with the ability to move it around to capture the right harmonic overtones.
I got the same question over at sevenstring. Here's my answer:

Consistency... mainly. Originally, I was going to get a second EMG preamp & output and integrate it into the bench, then use the quick-disconnects to take the pups to the bench itself, however All the other multis have been taken from this particular, wonderfully tight-sounding guitar, so in order to keep everything consistent output/tonal wise, I've decided to to just strap it on. The resonant qualities of the body & neck of the guitar will be retained this way. Also, it's pretty easy to bolt the damn thing to the bench and have at it. :D Granted, this is only with regard to the guitar samples, that is (no matter how low they go). I believe this to be best so when the sampler shifts from, say, C#0 down to C0 (or wherever the switch-over is, guitar-to-bench as a source), there's no weird change in tonality.

As for the bass notes go, I'm not so sure we're going to use the Synapse. It actually gets a REALLY convincing bass sound on the neck pup with big, low tuned strings on it... so who knows. :shrug: Might work, might not. We may need to get a separate/bass oriented set of pups & preamp to get the bass notes working on it, and move them around to sweet spots like the Rail Bass. In any case, there's a second bridge system in the works (quite similar to how you describe) for that. :yesway:
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
I think there's going to be a tonality change regardless, because you're extending the scale length to such a great degree that the overtones are going to be all over the place. I don't think it's going to sound much like your Synapse at all, really. :shrug:
 

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Tune It Lower
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1,114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
^
We'll find out, I guess. The Synapse is solid maple, neck-through construction. It's quite heavy (way heavier than my RG2228 was) and basically yields a really tight tone... similar to a Studio LP, but more clarity and articulation, less "dark" if you will. I don't anticipate that changing too much attaching it to another big, heavy maple board. It's not a really a "body" sounding guitar like Strat or RG to begin with.

As for string length imparting a big change... perhaps. :shrug: Tension is going to be in the same relative range as the notes taken directly from the guitar itself, which is to say, not all that high, and certainly nowhere near bass-tight. The added scale length is simply to reach lower notes, not to achieve redonkulous tension. I will be trying different gauges at different scale lengths and moving the length in as I go up, in a gradient fashion.

You also have to keep in mind the application of the sounds here, too. They're all going through an array of high-gain amp sims & impulse responses, layered in parallel, then mixed with the usual group BUS eq., compression, and saturation that slick metal production gets. I think, worse comes to worse, and there is a big shift in tonality, I'll set it around the F1/E1 mark, where chords generally don't work anymore, and use that as the split point for the samples.
 

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Where?!
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2,632 Posts
Glenlivit...:wub:

I'll be really interested to see how the project pans out.:yesway:

Oh, and I second what James said...who's the lady in the green bikini?
 
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