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 Strawberry Noodles 
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Post Strawberry Noodles
As promised, I said I would post some examples of the Evolution Strawberry Guitar Kontakt plugin from Orange Tree Samples.

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Rocking with the Evolution Strawberry Guitar Kontakt plugin, and attempting to pour everything--including the Kitchen (Steve) Sink--into exploring the expressive capabilities of the rock distorted guitar. Guitar and drums only. Just short of 8 minutes.


Here is "Strawberry Noodles," which started out as my Strawberry Eruption and then morphed into 23 riffs and 43 arpeggios, played over drums. There's a lot going on here and different sections to love or hate. My personal favorite moment is at the 2-minute mark. That's a tasty riff. There's also some arpeggiating going on in lots of places and the whole originally-12 minutes was nothing but an improvised riff on chords in D melodic/harmonic minor. I cleaned it up and poured it into SoundCloud.

I actually slowed some sections down, because apparently two hands on keyboards can arpeggiate faster than one hand with the other picking on a real guitar. I didn't have the patch set up for tapping (ironically), so the faster sections could have been even faster if I would have used tapping parameters instead of fully-picked notes. I also tried to play as fast as I fricking could in a section or two, just to push the plugin to its limits. And sound like a guitar badass, which I really, really am not. But I am living vicariously through the Strawberry guitar.

The 8 minutes is a compromise between attempting to actually write riffs and a real song, play as fast as possible, and also demonstrate as many expressive techniques as I can throw at it. If this were my real Strawberry Eruption, instead of Noodles, it would need to be about 4 minutes tops, and god knows what would stay and what would go.

By the way, this firmly hits Sink's Law and Reason for Doing Anything Worthwhile #42: "Above All, Thy Must First 'Amuse Thyself!'" And by that yardstick, this was a blast and this will apparently also be my "Federal Worker Holiday Day Off Song" that I write on every day that's a Federal Holiday and I have off. This jam is on repeat as I work on my Stick collab tune!

Rock it out, down in Fractal Rock!

Strawberry Noodles
https://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1/strawberry-noodle


Me, Rocking it Out Post Apocalyptically
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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:44 pm
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
I put this up at icomposition.com to get some feedback. One fellow icomper "falconep" had this to say about it:

Quote:
Ahh! The 2:00 mark is like Antonio Vivaldi's "Storm" (a lot like how Vanessa Mae plays it on violin). Darn good Metal variation on a Classic. Thanks - Phil


So I had to pull up Vivaldi's "Storm" and take a listen. To be honest, I never found the part that he was talking about, but I did enjoy the tune again.



Vivaldi: the original speed metalist. Good stuff. I had in my head more Paganini actually, but I can hear what he's saying a bit.

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:18 pm
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
That was really cool, Steve! The samples sound fantastic, and the playing is awesome! Two things that make a great combination!

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Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:21 pm
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
Jayesskerr wrote:
That was really cool, Steve! The samples sound fantastic, and the playing is awesome! Two things that make a great combination!


Thanks, Scott! I appreciate you taking a listening and giving some feedback.

I worked on this and a few other "guitar" tunes this weekend, and I'm trying to shorten it up and tighten it up. It's surprisingly hard to get it down to under 6 minutes, and partly because it's got too many riffs going on and each one needs to be its own separate song. And I could easily spin out 4 different tunes from the riffs here. It's more just a "Look ma, I can play the gee-tar!" kind of Gee Whiz, that's a new thing that just happened.

The riff at the 2-minute mark, and then the Dmin, Bflat, Gminor, A Major chords taken to extreme arpeggios are the meat and cheese of this little collection of riffs and chords. Part of me is simultaneously discovering that guitar is both easier and harder to play on the keyboards as a controller. Some things are really easy, like arpeggios. Some things are really hard, like the string noise and kerchunks and random noise that makes a guitar sound like a guitar.

A lot of this Noodling has actually been a warm-up on the keyboards for 25 years or so--this is a very old chord pattern for my keyboard fingers. I think there's a pretty cool statue lurking in these half-formed rocks so far. A lot more chipping and carving away, and cleaning up, could make this a worthwhile tune. Or at least, good enough for making backing fractal animation tracks, which is always my low bar for deliverables for myself and the music.

I'll post the updated version of this, when it's complete and rocking. It's about 75% of the way there now.

I'm also going to get the Evolution Dracus next, with a focus on more metal and rock. And with a lower range, like the 8-string NS/Stick. It's also $179, which is cheaper than another electric guitar that I don't need and won't play.

I'm not sure where this guitar-emulating goes, and how it overlaps the Stick playing. I can also trigger multiple guitar layers with multiple different sounds and effects patches with my Stick playing, so that's pretty cool all by itself. Just having fun for now, and just another tool in the tool box.

I'll keep working on this one and post when it's complete! Thanks!

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:50 am
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
I'm thinking that the ability to emulate other instruments electronically knows no bounds...

At the end of it all, the audience doesn't care how it was created, or what went into it. Only that it was well crafted, and sounds good - both of these criteria are met by you - in spades in my opinion... you more than deliver, and what's really cool is that you play "real" instruments too, so there is an authenticity there that goes way beyond just simple "drag-drop" or "copy-paste" you are playing this stuff, and that is really cool...

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Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:14 am
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
Jayesskerr wrote:
I'm thinking that the ability to emulate other instruments electronically knows no bounds...

At the end of it all, the audience doesn't care how it was created, or what went into it. Only that it was well crafted, and sounds good - both of these criteria are met by you - in spades in my opinion... you more than deliver, and what's really cool is that you play "real" instruments too, so there is an authenticity there that goes way beyond just simple "drag-drop" or "copy-paste" you are playing this stuff, and that is really cool...


You rock, Scott! Thanks for being the Nicest Guy in Show Business! (Suck it, Tom Hanks and Keanu Reeves!)

But aside from the nice things about me, this is what I really agree with:
"At the end of it all, the audience doesn't care how it was created, or what went into it. Only that it was well crafted, and sounds good."

Amen, brother! No one knows how anything was made, and can barely even pick out individual instruments, other than "drums and some guitars." And they don't care how the guitars were played or miked or recorded, as long as what they are hearing sounds good to them.

An interesting case of that would be the opening chord of "A Day in the Life" that musicians have been arguing about for decades. Literally last week they discovered by frequency analysis that there's a low F played on the piano that has three of the strings under that F hammer slightly out of tune with each other. And Paul plays a D and George an F chord or something. Anyway, that piano F was just discovered. The Beatles themselves had no idea--the song was done in a day and people just did a bunch of stuff and forgot what they did.

It's all about the songwriting and however you get there is all good (except plagiarism of course. And even a little bit of that is sometimes okay, especially for jazz, and covers of course.)

I looked at the Evolution Dracus some more last night. After purchasing the Evolution Strawberry from Orange Tree, I had twice the amount of dollars spent in something called "Orange Points." The points I made from Strawberry when applied to the Dracus made it only $123 bucks, instead of $179. I pulled the trigger and downloaded the 17 gigs of it last night and set it up. A little over a hundred dollars was too good to pass up (he rationalized to himself....)

Fortunately, I think that was a wise purchase: Dracus is even more awesome than Strawberry, and has "$10,000 worth of effects processing!" as the label says. It also has a lower range down to F# below the E of a regular guitar, and more palm mutes, and up to 3 different squeals, and new divebombs. It's really engineered to be the hard rock, heavy metal, GO-TO guitar for Orange Tree Samples. It also has an all-harmonics mode, and an all-tapping mode, and then you can mix those harmonics and tappings through another patch and trigger them with velocity or MIDI controller notes, or specific notes or key ranges, and sprinkle them all through the regular patches.

I just barely got into it late last night and I plan to play more with it as soon as possible! It's gonna rock a lot harder and better than the Strawberry, which already rocked pretty damn hard for my tastes. I don't really need to even run the sounds to any outboard processing, other than maybe a plugin on the Guitar Aux channel to shape the summed sound from all the individual guitar tracks feeding into it. The onboard effects are really good. The automatic expression algorithms, such as knowing when to move your hand back to the "home" position depending on the chords you're playing, and then make a scratching sound of the hand moving back into position, are subtle and powerful, and you can dial up or down all that string, hand, and fret noise stuff.

The simplest little things sound so cool with this plugin. My limits are merely my imagination, and not so much my technical ability to pull off perfect pinch harmonics on command (fricking pinch harmonics! Man I love them way more than I can play them!) The all-harmonics with 3 squeals Super-Steve Patch is already underway! And forget about my sweep and tremolo picking! I can do the tapping stuff, but not as fast on Stick or guitar as I can on keyboard. And scales are definitely gonna go faster on the keys than on guitars, although I've spent a lot more time on my fret scales than I ever do on my key scales. Now that I think about it, my scales probably ARE faster on Stick than piano, believe it or not. But I'm not a scalar run player, usually.

I also don't bend much, and that's something that I'm working on with my Sticking AND my keyboards. It really makes the sound on the Dracus patch, and the tremolos sound real and more than just an LFO on top of it.

Not far enough in to the Dracus to give it a full review but it's gonna be pretty awesome, I can already tell. The HollowBody Blues and the Steel Strings also rock, according to Jeremy Cubert. I may regret not getting the whole guitar package for a grand but I'm happy with the Strawberry and the Dracus for just a bit.

I'll share the shortened-up version of Strawberry Noodles and then the Dracus very soon!

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:54 am
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
Any purchase that gets one making music and being creative is a wise one in my opinion. Whether it's an actual instrument, or a bit of software or even a new album that inspires, that's important. (Just my opinion) :D

Sometimes the things we purchase may prove to be a total dud, but the takeaway can be the experience of trying to get 'it' to jive with one's workflow. The experience can then carry over and allow us to make more informed decisions for the future. (Again just my opinion)

You are busy making really cool music, and you have found a way to make new music leveraging the skills you already have. Awesome, man! Keep it going!

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Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:28 am
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Post Re: Strawberry Noodles
Presenting "Strawberry Jam," a 5-minute condensation of "Strawberry Noodles." I cut and cut and then spliced and smoothed, and altered some BPMs, because what's the point of doing guitars in MIDI if you're not going to mess with them granularly? A tweak of the drums here and there and some NEUTRON loving in a mini-master and here it is. Hopefully no longer a "look ma, I can play guitar" song but hopefully just some rocking out with a distorted guitar and drums. From 12 minutes down to 5 and I could have done a shorter version but I just couldn't cut anymore sections. :oops:

https://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1/strawberry-jam


And now on to the DRACUS!

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:07 am
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