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Thread: E-Bow

  1. #26
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    How about the gizmotron?
    Oh yes! I like that!
    LOL

    (I chose the name not for the device but rather, for a term my old music pal used to use when something was heavily effected or processed.)

    But the actual, real-deal Gizmotron was going to be re-released, wasn't it? (Or did it already happen??)

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    Oh yes! I like that!
    LOL

    (I chose the name not for the device but rather, for a term my old music pal used to use when something was heavily effected or processed.)

    But the actual, real-deal Gizmotron was going to be re-released, wasn't it? (Or did it already happen??)
    I don't know haven't read about it. There was also a version for bass, which if I remind the review I read, was a bit of a problem.

  3. #28
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    Mad Fellaz "La Prima". E-Bow starting at 2:00.

  4. #29
    The new version of the Gizmotron was released in 2016.

    I haven't seen the new version, but I remember reading about the difficulties with the original units. In the first place, it was this big awkward thing that you had to mount on your guitar or bass, which a lot of people I don't think liked to begin with. There were two versions I recall reading, one had little teeth that acted as mini-plectra or whatever, but those tended to get worn down quickly. The other version used rubber wheels that didn't get worn down, but they actually sort of fretted the note, thus causing intonation problems a lot of times. Dunno if any of this has been fixed on the new version.

  5. #30
    Incidentally, I once saw someone had equipped a grand piano with essentially an E-bow for each string, and he had the whole thing linked to a lap top that selected which notes were playing at any given time.

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Incidentally, I once saw someone had equipped a grand piano with essentially an E-bow for each string, and he had the whole thing linked to a lap top that selected which notes were playing at any given time.
    I always wondered how an e-bow would sound with a banjo. If it works with a piano, I suppose it could work with every stringed instrument, with steel strings, like for instance a banjo.

  7. #32
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ A magnetic pickup is an absolute requirement for the e-bow to function at all. Bela Fleck could pull it off on his banjo.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    I always wondered how an e-bow would sound with a banjo. If it works with a piano, I suppose it could work with every stringed instrument, with steel strings, like for instance a banjo.
    Yes, you can use an E-bow on acoustic instruments. If you read my first post in this thread, I mentioned David Gilmour using an E-bow on acoustic guitar on the Pink Floyd songs Take It Back and Keep Talking.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    ^^ A magnetic pickup is an absolute requirement for the e-bow to function at all. .
    No it's not. The magnetic pickup has nothing to do with the E-bow. I've heard it varies from instrument to instrument, but you don't need a pickup. Again, go back and listen to the Pink Floyd song Take It Back. I also once watched the proprietor of a music store I used to hang out at play an acoustic guitar with E-bow. The guitar wasn't plugged into anything (in fact, I don't think he had electronics of any kind built into it), it was just an acoustic guitar.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Also, there's a lot of things you can do with the E-bow that you can't do with either the Fernandes Sustainer or the Sustainiac. For instance, if you push the drive channel down so that it actually touches the string, you get this sort of screaming sound. And there's also tricks like bouncing the Ebow up and down from the string, which sort of emulates a cellist or violinist bouncing the bring on their instruments.
    This Sustainer/Sustaniac......

    I saw a clinic from Jeff Watson - Night Ranger, sometime in the early '90's IIRC. I don't remember much and heck, I ain't a guitar player, except he was really cool, talked a lot about his pick which is a really unique pick and something like what you are talking about. I assume it's either the same thing or a similar outfit with another brand. I forget what guitar he played so maybe you can fill me in.

    Guitar clinics were so cool here in Vegas BITD. Like ten people show up so it was really intimate. Steve Morse w/ Dave LaRue was fantastic. I asked Steve why he had a different rig than he had on the High Tension Wires tour (this was the Southern Steel tour but had no name at that point so was called More Rock Than Rock by Steve) and he said it was from Japan and he couldn't get parts for it. It was like a key pad on his guitar that dialed up his sounds and I literally saw it as close up as one could get without grabbing his guitar.

    That was a lovely evening, relaxing with my feet up on the stage with a beer and the Steve Morse Band. Damn good band.
    Carry On My Blood-Ejaculating Son - JKL2000

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  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLoony View Post
    This Sustainer/Sustaniac......

    I saw a clinic from Jeff Watson - Night Ranger, sometime in the early '90's IIRC. I don't remember much and heck, I ain't a guitar player, except he was really cool, talked a lot about his pick which is a really unique pick and something like what you are talking about. I assume it's either the same thing or a similar outfit with another brand. I forget what guitar he played so maybe you can fill me in.
    Might have been a Sustainiac. In the late 80's and early 90's, Jeff played a custom Hamer guitar, and I know Hamer had several models with the Sustainiac already installed.

    Guitar clinics were so cool here in Vegas BITD. Like ten people show up so it was really intimate. Steve Morse w/ Dave LaRue was fantastic. I asked Steve why he had a different rig than he had on the High Tension Wires tour (this was the Southern Steel tour but had no name at that point so was called More Rock Than Rock by Steve) and he said it was from Japan and he couldn't get parts for it. It was like a key pad on his guitar that dialed up his sounds and I literally saw it as close up as one could get without grabbing his guitar.
    It was German actual, made by a company called Shadow. I believe it was some kind of MIDI guitar interface. I remember him talking about it in Guitar Player back in 1989. He mentioned that it was German made, and that since they didn't have the budget the big Japanese companies had, they didn't do much Stateside advertising.

  12. #37
    Ah, I gots some details wrong. Memory, yeah. I thought I was on the right track with the Jeff Watson thing. Found this video from '86. I can't hear it as my comp seems to suck but it's pre the era we're talking about. Still might be a cool watch.



    You got me up and about a bit. I pulled my box of music mags because I needed to throw some crap out of my closet but I have some Guitar mags from that time. I don't see him talking about it in the ones I have. Man, I so had it in my head it was Japan.

    Did find some interesting stuff for other threads like the ZZ Top one. A few Billy F. Gibbon's articles. Cool to revisit the artists at that stage.
    Carry On My Blood-Ejaculating Son - JKL2000

    HODOR!

  13. #38
    One of two E-bow laden tunes from our MELD album, this is the experimental one. Sorry there are still hooks amidst all the criss-crossing time signatures .



  14. #39
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    No it's not. The magnetic pickup has nothing to do with the E-bow. I've heard it varies from instrument to instrument, but you don't need a pickup. Again, go back and listen to the Pink Floyd song Take It Back. I also once watched the proprietor of a music store I used to hang out at play an acoustic guitar with E-bow. The guitar wasn't plugged into anything (in fact, I don't think he had electronics of any kind built into it), it was just an acoustic guitar.
    Changing its proximity to a pickup will change its intensity, which led me to believe a pickup is required. I just tried it on my acoustic. In Harmonic mode it works great. In normal mode it doesn't work worth a damn. On really old models without the harmonic mode, a pickup was indeed required.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Changing its proximity to a pickup will change its intensity, which led me to believe a pickup is required. I just tried it on my acoustic. In Harmonic mode it works great. In normal mode it doesn't work worth a damn. On really old models without the harmonic mode, a pickup was indeed required.
    Possibly. I've heard it varies from guitar to guitar. I've heard people say that it'll work fine on acoustic guitar, but not so well on another. I've never owned an E-bow myself (keep saying I'm gonna get one, but other expenses keep getting int he way), so I've never been able to try it myself. BUt yeah, I imagine the pickups do enhance the effect. I don't know what setting Gilmour used on Take It Back.

  16. #41
    For the record, here's the Fred Frith track I mentioned at the beginning of this thread:



    I remember in that Guitar Player article I mentioned, Frith said when he was doing his "table top" guitar things, he'd sometimes rest the E-bow on the strings down by the bridge, and then stack books and whatever else on the neck, which caused weird resonances to happen.

  17. #42
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    This guy can master any kind of gizmo device he touches



  18. #43
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ Phil was my intro to the e-bow in the early 80s. After seeing Phil live, I had the pleasure of using a friend's e-bow a few months later.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  19. #44
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boceephus View Post
    Id be interested in hearing some of the best instrumental tracks featuring E-Bow.
    I wonder which track this was used on...
    3317899-31.jpg

  20. #45
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    FWIW, try aiming a functioning remote control at your pickups. Sometimes you can get really interesting results...

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    FWIW, try aiming a functioning remote control at your pickups. Sometimes you can get really interesting results...
    I'm not sure if the technology will produce the same results, but I remember back in the late 80's and early, remote controls put out signals that were audible if you held it up to the guitar pickups. I guess I must have been playing guitar and watching TV one day, and had the remote in my hand and pushed the button and I heard these noise come out of the guitar. One of the "universal" remotes we had a series of "dip" switches, which are mounted on the circuit board are set, and meant to allow you to select settings that aren't gonig to be changed too often. In case, they allowed the remote to be used whichever make of equipment you were using.

    By setting the switches in different positions you could get different tones. Usually, you'd get a "blip" at whichever tone that VCR/TV/whatever responded to. I thikn one or two were two notes, like E to F or whatever (like the intro to Jailhouse Rock), and I think some of them generated a continuous buzzing tone.

    But I recall reading that at some point in the 90's the technology changed, and I don't know if the new ones produce similar results.

    Talking about the vibrators, a few different people have used them with the guitars over the years. The guy from Janes Addiction used it one song. I think he said he had bought the thing for his girlfriend or something, and was showing it to someone at rehearsal (I guess he bought it on his way to rehearsal or whatever) and he had the guitar strapped on, and like I was saying with the remote, he heard the sound coming out of his guitar amp. I forget which song he used it on, but I think he said he'd use it with a wah wah and delay.

    Reeves Gabrels used one when he was in Tin Machine, also, but he actually used it to play the guitar. I guess the vibrator sets the strings in motion, so it's a bit like playing with a bow or glissando guitar or something like that.

    But there's lots of things that make noise that the pickups can pick up. I know back in the 80's, Steve Stevens said he got the ray gun sound on the solo in Rebel Yell with a Lexicon PCM-41 delay, but years later he said he held a toy ray gun up to the pickups. He said he had Hamer making him a guitar with the ray gun electronics built into the body, but it didn't sound the same. There was something about having it come out of the cheap tiny speaker in the ray gun and going into the pickups that changed the tone.

    You can also hold a radio speaker or whatever up to the pickups and get stuff that way. Somewhere I've got a tape where I did that ages ago. I had gotten one of those delay pedals with the looper function, and you was making loops with radio signals and such, doing that. I try holding my Furby up to the pickups, but instead of it picking up his voice, it picked up the mechanical sounds the servos inside the toy made, these sort of Godzilla noises.

  22. #47
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    FWIW, try aiming a functioning remote control at your pickups. Sometimes you can get really interesting results...
    I'm not sure if the technology will produce the same results, but I remember back in the late 80's and early, remote controls put out signals that were audible if you held it up to the guitar pickups. I guess I must have been playing guitar and watching TV one day, and had the remote in my hand and pushed the button and I heard these noise come out of the guitar. One of the "universal" remotes we had a series of "dip" switches, which are mounted on the circuit board are set, and meant to allow you to select settings that aren't gonig to be changed too often. In case, they allowed the remote to be used whichever make of equipment you were using.

    By setting the switches in different positions you could get different tones. Usually, you'd get a "blip" at whichever tone that VCR/TV/whatever responded to. I thikn one or two were two notes, like E to F or whatever (like the intro to Jailhouse Rock), and I think some of them generated a continuous buzzing tone.

    But I recall reading that at some point in the 90's the technology changed, and I don't know if the new ones produce similar results.

    Talking about the vibrators, a few different people have used them with the guitars over the years. The guy from Janes Addiction used it one song. I think he said he had bought the thing for his girlfriend or something, and was showing it to someone at rehearsal (I guess he bought it on his way to rehearsal or whatever) and he had the guitar strapped on, and like I was saying with the remote, he heard the sound coming out of his guitar amp. I forget which song he used it on, but I think he said he'd use it with a wah wah and delay.

    Reeves Gabrels used one when he was in Tin Machine, also, but he actually used it to play the guitar. I guess the vibrator sets the strings in motion, so it's a bit like playing with a bow or glissando guitar or something like that.

    But there's lots of things that make noise that the pickups can pick up. I know back in the 80's, Steve Stevens said he got the ray gun sound on the solo in Rebel Yell with a Lexicon PCM-41 delay, but years later he said he held a toy ray gun up to the pickups. He said he had Hamer making him a guitar with the ray gun electronics built into the body, but it didn't sound the same. There was something about having it come out of the cheap tiny speaker in the ray gun and going into the pickups that changed the tone.

    You can also hold a radio speaker or whatever up to the pickups and get stuff that way. Somewhere I've got a tape where I did that ages ago. I had gotten one of those delay pedals with the looper function, and you was making loops with radio signals and such, doing that. I try holding my Furby up to the pickups, but instead of it picking up his voice, it picked up the mechanical sounds the servos inside the toy made, these sort of Godzilla noises.
    To this day, I'll play guitar while watching TV. When I stop to fast forward through commercials, the remote will induce interesting noises through the guitar pickups.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    To this day, I'll play guitar while watching TV. When I stop to fast forward through commercials, the remote will induce interesting noises through the guitar pickups.
    I play the guitar a lot while watching TV, but unplugged. I don't seem to plug my guitar in much anymore these days.

  24. #49
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I play the guitar a lot while watching TV, but unplugged. I don't seem to plug my guitar in much anymore these days.
    I used to play unplugged, but found I was developing bad habits and bad tone. Plugging in keeps me squared away. BTW: I play and watch through headphones, so no neighbors banging at my door.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I used to play unplugged, but found I was developing bad habits and bad tone. Plugging in keeps me squared away. BTW: I play and watch through headphones, so no neighbors banging at my door.
    It's not even bugging other people, it's just...I dunno, it's been a long time since I've plugged in regularly. My old practice has an headphones out, but then I gotta go find a pair of headphones with 1/4" plug. That's actually not bad, the real problem is I already have tinnitus, and I'd prefer to not make it any worse (which is a problem since i got addicted to listening to music on headphones again, thanks to the computer, media players, etc).

    I also feel like anymore, what's the point? I'm probably never gonna be in a band, I'm never gonna make records or play concerts or do any of the other stuff I thought I was gonna do when I grew up.

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