Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: First World Problems

  1. #1
    Registered User gspiess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    190

    Default First World Problems

    I've dealt with sound techs in the past with the typical issues of getting a strong signal, getting the right mix in the monitors, feedback, hums, etc... But yesterday I experienced my first issue with a video tech.

    I was playing my Pono octave in a large church that has live video streaming. The Pono has a gloss finish with a light Spruce wood, so under the bright lights the glare was completely washing out the picture. Every time I'd stand at a certain angle it was like I was shining a mirror at the camera.

    This was during the rehearsal, so they eventually moved some lights around and changed the camera angles, but it was a new experience. The guys were nice about it and seemed very professional. I'm surprised they didn't say anything about the glare coming off my forehead!

    Pono offers a satin finish - I'll need to consider that next time.
    Being right is overrated. Doing right is what matters.

    Eastman 815v
    Pono MND-20H
    1960 Silvertone Archtop

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,625

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Similar experience: I owned, briefly, a Johnson Asian copy of a National tri-cone resonator guitar, made of chrome-plated brass and very shiny. I was playing it at a memorial tribute in a large auditorium with bright stage lighting. I noticed a patch of light reflected from the guitar into the audience, and the persons where the light hit were all shielding their eyes or turning their heads away. I made a brief apology, finished my song, and got off stage.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  3. #3

    Default Re: First World Problems

    A few years ago, I was playing guitar and song leading for an early morning mass. The sun was streaming in and reflecting on my guitar. I noticed a bright patch being reflected into a student's eyes. He was an ornery (but loads of fun) kid, so I just kept flashing him every so often. He had no idea that I was doing it on purpose until after the service when I said "Kind of bright in here?"

  4. #4
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,464
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: First World Problems

    In my TV/studio experience, most video tech people have been much more interested in video quality than in audio quality and they meticulously applied angled and diffused light whenever appropriate to avoid glare. I wished they were as concerned about audio quality.

    And yes, they always used makeup on the extended foreheads.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [Our recent arrival]

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: First World Problems

    I guess i will have to take that into account with my aluminum upright bass.

  6. The following members say thank you to Nevin for this post:


  7. #6
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,464
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    I guess i will have to take that into account with my aluminum upright bass.
    Is yours an Alcoa or a Pfretzschner? (I've got an Alcoa.)
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [Our recent arrival]

  8. #7
    Registered User gspiess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    I guess i will have to take that into account with my aluminum upright bass.
    I regularly team up with a guy who has a metal upright bass, but he painted his. It apparently was made for the Navy bands around WW2 - does that sound right?
    Being right is overrated. Doing right is what matters.

    Eastman 815v
    Pono MND-20H
    1960 Silvertone Archtop

  9. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Is yours an Alcoa or a Pfretzschner? (I've got an Alcoa.)
    Pfretzschner

  10. The following members say thank you to Nevin for this post:


  11. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by gspiess View Post
    I regularly team up with a guy who has a metal upright bass, but he painted his. It apparently was made for the Navy bands around WW2 - does that sound right?
    I think that story has been debunked. They were made in an attempt to make instruments that didn't crack when you took the a hot club to a cold winter night. Plywood became the material of choice for building a more robust bass.

    Sorry for the post derail.

  12. #10

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Makes me think of those "mirrored" pickguards that were popular a few years ago. In a night club you could reflect the spotlight into the face of the boyfriend of a cute girl, just to mess with him. Of course, in church that behavior would be considered uncouth...

  13. #11
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,464
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by gspiess View Post
    I regularly team up with a guy who has a metal upright bass, but he painted his. It apparently was made for the Navy bands around WW2 - does that sound right?
    [Warning -- an off-topic moment...

    Actually there is some history about these in the late 1920s and early 1930s...

    Aluminum was more valuable than gold in the later 1800s... By the mid 1920s as aluminum was becoming less expensive and easier to produce and work, both Alcoa in the USA and Pfretzschner in Germany took up musical projects with it. The aluminum double bass was sort of the crown jewel of these projects, particularly targeting the school orchestra and marching band market because they were comparably weather resistant.

    But the two companies went very different directions. Alcoa went with a completely aluminum build, with parts of the body hand welded together; aside from the fingerboard, the bridge and the tailpiece, the only really structural wood was an internal wooden support in the neck and the sound post. Pfretzschner went with a complete wooden infrastructure and sheet aluminum screwed to that structure, with a completely wooden neck.

    There are rumors that they were produced for various armed forces groups or built by Ford, etc. These are not historically accurate. Alcoa and Pfretzschner were the only production builders of these, as mentioned, primarly targeting the educational market.

    Alcoa made about 500 of these from 1929 until 1934, of those there are probably about 200 surviving today and about 100 actually in use. Pfretzschner numbers are not well known. Aircraft builds for WW2 scavenged most of both of these.

    Today aluminum double basses are primarily liked for Rockabilly and Psychobilly music, although a fair number of us who own them also use them for general roots music including old jazz and bluegrass. My Alcoa is pretty well known among the local bluegrass community; as it is setup it has excellent volume and tone for these genre.

    I am aware of only one known builder of aluminum double basses today, Private builder "Ali Kat" custom builds these to order in Australia.

    Worth mentioning, our own co-member here, mandolin and other-instrument builder/luthier James Condino, is probably the world's expert on these aluminum double basses. He has handled more Alcoa and Pfretzschner double basses than anyone.

    ... End of off-topic moment.]
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [Our recent arrival]

  14. The following members say thank you to dhergert for this post:


  15. #12
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: First World Problems

    Generally a good light tech should be able to avoid that with diffusion and properly focusing the lights. It's generally an easy problem to solve. Since this sounds like a running gig, I would talk with them a bit and maybe even have a "light check" before the next show to make sure they have the lights set properly to avoid the issue. Shouldn't really take too long to fix
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  16. #13
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,625

    Default Re: First World Problems

    I've had a wood-painted aluminum bass fiddle, which I think is a Pfretzschner, for a couple decades now. Bought it from banjo maven Jim Bollman, when he used to co-own, I believe, the Music Emporium, then in Somerville, now in Lexington MA.

    Use it as a general-purpose bass, for country dances, bluegrass/old-time, etc. Often been tempted to strip off the paint, following the example of Everett Allen Lilly with the Charles River Valley Boys, but haven't as yet. As of now, it's not highly reflective.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  17. #14
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,464
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: First World Problems

    The shiny polished aluminum double bass concept is very popular and they are very beautiful that way. It's a huge amount of work though. So much work, that on the market a polished Alcoa is usually around 2x the price of one that is not polished.

    My Alcoa came to me with a thick powder-coat aluminum-color finish which was done during its restoration, looking like aluminum that hasn't been polished to a complete mirror finish. It's a good looking finish and very solid. It also doesn't get hot in the sun, and it may have something to do with the more wood-type tone that my Alcoa delivers. It's still somewhat reflective though; I've had it in the studio and the light techs were able to handle it.

    My mandolin has its stock satin finish, although it's somewhat polished now from years of playing it; at least as far as I know, it's never been a glare problem in the studio.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [Our recent arrival]

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •