On Tuesday, June 28, I was in Pittsburgh, PA, at Duquesne University, representing NS Design at the Strings Without Boundaries Workshop. This is a great workshop each summer and I was really pleased to be there. As part of the day, I gave 3 presentations.
First, I had the opportunity to speak with the teacher-track students at the conference. This was essentially a Q and A session and we touched on the topics of recruitment for school programs using bowed electrics, the importance of good monitoring for dynamic performances, setting up electric ensembles, and the differences between active and passive instruments. Next, I gave an elective session for students on the nuts and bolts of amplification. Here, we covered some of the same topics for a totally different set of students. These included monitoring, speaker size, speaker placement, use of DI boxes and preamps and other amplification-related topics. Finally, I finished the day with an elective session of effects-processing. In this session, we really got into the nitty-gritty of reverbs, time-based effects (delays, chorus, and flangers), filter effects (phasers and wah-wahs), harmonizers and pitch shifters, looping, and distortion. We covered a bunch of vocabulary and parameters of all of these great effects as well as practical uses of all of them. If you would like to see some of my sessions on effects, check out thelessonroom.com and search “electric violins”.
All in all, Strings Without Boundaries is a great event and if you are interested in expanding your improvising and alt styles skills, I highly recommend this event. Special thanks to Julie Lyon Lieberman and Stephen Benham for inviting me to be part of the faculty this year!