Attention all cellists! NS Design Artist and Berklee College of Music professor Eugene Friesen will be conducting his Creative Cello Workshop 2020. Join Eugene with his group of international cellists for this exciting 5-week online course starting Saturday, June 6th.
The NAMM Show 2020 Ultimate Jam Night is a concert that brings all the legendary and top musicians of the world to play music together on one stage. This year’s stellar performances included NS Artists Quartet405 with violinists Eliza James and Rebecca Schlappich Charles, violist Jayna Chou, and cellist Danica Pinner rockin’ their NXTa’s! Check out the amazing photographs of the show taken by NS Artist Noor Che’ree of Cookie Monstah Media.Continue reading…
Winter NAMM 2020 at the NS Design Booth has been lively with NS Artists and friends. Stop in to say hello if you’re in the neighborhood. Hall D #4729.
We have a number of great players at the Winter NAMM 2020 booth performing and demonstrating NS, including: legendary bassist Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon), violinist Daneille Turano, Marcos Varela – Grammy nominated Jazz artist and composer, Los Angeles’s favorite electric ensemble Quartet 405 with a special demonstration including Symphonic Planet, solo bassists Noor Che’ree, Chance Wilder Onody, Donald Waugh and much more!Continue reading…
NS Design welcomes cellist Maddy Herdeman to our roster of esteemed Artists. Maddy fronts the unique chamber rock band Mystery Loves Company. Maddy lends her powerful voice and robust cello technique along with Venezuelan born guitarist/songwriter Carlos Machado, clarinetist Alauna Rubin, drummer Danny Patterson and bassist Jeremy Dudman. Based in Houston, Texas , Maddy and Co. have carved out exciting live performances of their original songs combining timely themes of culture, immigration, science, and theology.
“My NS cello has a sleek design, powerful and warm sound and the unique frame strap system allows me to wear it and dance around the stage.” – Maddy Herdeman
Check out Mystery Loves Company’s single “Numbers and Lines”
NS Artist and esteemed bassist Tony Levin and his long-time band mates in King Crimson are embarking on their 2019 50th Anniversary Celebration American Tour. With his CR5M Upright Bass, Tony and the rest of the KC camp will be ploughing through their extensive history of fan favorites. Continue reading…
Welcome to the fifth edition of The Lyonn’s Roar, “Rhythmize Your Bow with Chop” by NS Violinist and Educator Julie Lyonn Lieberman.
Starting as what was called the “chunk” technique and made popular by the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, “chopping” has quickly become a fun and funky way for players to keep the groove moving. Bill Monroe’s fiddler Richard Greene (pictured below) further developed the “chop” technique into his own artful musical language.
Be sure to check out an excerpt from his guest appearance at the Strings Without Boundaries Summer 2016 Session in Seattle, Washington:
For lessons in how to develop this technique in your own playing, check out the Lyonn’s Roar – Fifth Edition “Rhythmize Your Bow with Chop”.
Go to Julie’s Strings Without Boundaries website page to learn more about contemporary and alternative string techniques or check out her book How to Play Contemporary Strings: A Step-by-Step Approach for Violin, Viola & Cello. Complete with video tutorials, backing tracks and a step-by-step approach including explicit notation, it will get you on your way to building new skills and techniques.
For more information about all of NS Design’s instruments including the NXTa Electric Violin that Julie plays and its eco-friendly, active yet battery-free features, and the affordable and road-worthy WAV Electric Series of instruments visit ThinkNS.com.
With much anticipation from fans and followers, NS Cellist Katie Larson and her Indie Folk-Rock band The Accidentals are celebrating their recent signing as Sony Materworks Artists and the release of a new album, Odyssey.
Here we go! The ODYSSEY Album Release Tour…Huge props to Ryan Slone New Frontier Touring for making it happen. See all the tour dates at www.theaccidentalsmusic.com #odysseyboldly
Posted by The Accidentals on Tuesday, August 8, 2017
The Odyssey Album Release Tour kicked off in New York City and continues with several dates throughout the US, continuing into Canada, back to their beloved Michigan and beyond. With many musical stories to tell along the way, be sure to check out a show and share their journey.
“The Accidentals draw inspiration from just about every kind of music you can think of, but it really doesn’t matter what you label them as long as your label contains the word ‘great’.” -“45 of the Best Up & Coming Rock Bands to Check Out in 2017,” GoodDeedSeats
Katie Larson along with bandmate Savannah Buist, violinist/vocalist, are both multi-instrumentalists, and combined with the talents of singer/songwriter/drummer/percussionist Michael Dause, The Accidentals provide an edgy and energetic soundscape that renowned musicians have noticed and that audiences around the country respond to.
Photo credit: Max Sharp
“The musicianship and delicate preciseness to their music is unparalleled to anything else we’ve heard from talents of this age.” Raves from the Ann Arbor Indie Music Examiner
This hardworking young trio have toured extensively as supporting acts and have also joined the stage with some of the greats. The list is both diverse and impressive: Martin Sexton, Brandi Carlile, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Keller Williams, Andrew Bird, Dar Williams, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Rusted Root, The Wailers, and so on.
“Displaying a genre-hopping range of influence and some smart songwriting skills to go with their abundant musical chops.”-“SXSW: 7 Breakout Acts”, Billboard Magazine
The Accidentals first single released from Odyssey is called “KW”. Check out an exciting live version of “KW” from Founders Brewery featuring Katie moving and grooving with her NS CR Cello and NS Frame Strap System. In Katie’s own words: “The NS Design cello and harness system are so versatile in design and tone that they lend themselves to any situation; jazz jams, symphony concerts, outdoor music festivals, theater shows, house concerts, punk clubs, etc. I’ve used it in every situation and I’ve never had this much fun playing cello.”
To find links to their new album, tour dates and much more about The Accidentals visit their website: http://www.moreaccidentals.com/
For more information about the NS Cellos Larson plays and the entire family of NS instruments, including our newly released affordable and road worthy WAV Cello Series and the new high-performance Eco-friendly active NXTa’s, visit ThinkNS.com.
Welcome to the fourth edition of THE LYONN’S ROAR, “Electric Technique: The Same . . .or?” by NS Violinist and Educator Julie Lyonn Lieberman.
Whether you’ve just unboxed your new NS Violin, plugged in your acoustic for the first time, or are just ready to unleash into new territory on the instrument you already love to play, these exciting iNSights will take your playing to another level and help you stand out in any performance setting.
Chord connection fills, textural ghost notes, chopping techniques, and incorporating guitar and horn like riffs to electrify your string sound, Lieberman highlights a range of suggestions for expanding your violin’s voice using several alternative techniques.
This fourth edition includes a bonus interview with violinist Papa John Creach of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Papa John is an exciting and unique violinist and performer that understands how to truly stand out on a stage. In the interview, he talks about how to “Get Down, Get Dirty and Give it some Guts” on your electric.
How else do you achieve these techniques? Attend a summer program that will help you build new skills, there are quite a few to choose from. Check out Julie’s book, How to Play Contemporary Strings: A Step-by-Step Approach for Violin, Viola & Cello, with its video tutorials and backing tracks, it’s a sure way to gain skills and have some fun. Visit her website for more information on all her books, DVDs and courses. http://julielyonn.com/
For more information about all of NS Design’s electric violins and electric violas and the new eco-friendly, active yet battery-free NXTa Electric Violin, or the affordable and road-worthy WAV Electric Violin visit ThinkNS.com.
NS Bassist Bakithi Kumalo is back on tour with Paul Simon this summer playing several dates around the country throughout the month of June. The tour kicked off June 1st in St. Augustine, FL and ends at SummerFest in Milwaukee, WI on June 30. Don’t miss it! Tour and ticket information can be found here: http://www.paulsimon.com/news/paul-simon-announces-us-summer-tour/
Joining him with an NXT Electric Cello is fellow multi-instrumentalist, composer and tour mate Mark Stewart who has been recording and touring with Paul Simon since the late 1990’s. Stewart is also one of the All-Star musicians in Bang on a Can, awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year and heralded as “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Mark is also a member of Steve Reich & Musicians and the comic duo Polygraph Lounge with Rob Schwimmer and in 2013 was in a year-long residency at MIT in the Glass Lab teaching students to design and create a glass orchestra.
Photos: Bakithi Kumalo and Mark Stewart in rehearsal for tour with Paul Simon.
Watch: Paul Simon‘s debut performance at Austin City Limits with “Wristband” from his album Stranger to Stranger. The album is described by Andy Greene of Rolling Stone as “an experimental album heavy on echo and rhythm that fuses electronic beats with African woodwind instruments, Peruvian drums, a gospel music quartet, horns and synthesizers.” A great showcase for Kumalo’s talents, who opens this funny song playing his NXT Upright.
Watch: Bass Musician Magazine Interview with Bakithi Kumalo in which he describes how he got his start on stage at just 7 years old playing a Gibson bass in his uncle’s band in South Africa; his ultimate respect for finding the tone, the most influential bassists for him and his willingness to share lessons he has learned along the way to a successful career playing his music for audiences around the world. And at 22:00 in this interview…see and hear the slap sound technique he’s having fun with these days on his CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar, it’s a real treat and is as fun, adventurous and masterful as Kumalo himself. Enjoy!
More details and features for all the NS Basses that Bakithi plays along with our new eco-friendly NXTa active series EUB’s, Omni’s, Cello’s, Violin’s and Viola’s featuring battery-free electronics are found at our website ThinkNS.com.
For the cellist venturing into the world of the electric, this instrument offers the combination of design, performance and affordability exceeding any other instrument in its class. Compact and light, the WAV cello is a pleasure to travel with, but in terms of features and performance, this instrument is no lightweight. True to the NS tradition, the WAV captures the essence of an acoustic, yet opens up an exciting range of new possibilities. It’s a pleasure to play!
WAV4 – 4 string (CGDA) WAV5 – 5 string (FCGDA)
Compact and Light Weight
The WAV cello is incredibly easy to travel with. WAV4 – 4.5 lbs; WAV5 – 4.7 lbs. 37″ long. Length: 37″. Width: 5.5″.
Maple Neck and Body
For rich tone, strength and visual grace.
Expertly Graduated Fingerboard
Rosewood, asymmetrical relief for easy playability, even in the highest positions. Intonation referenced with cascading dot markers.
Battery-Free NS Polar™ Pickup System
The great natural sound of our piezo-based passive pickup system. Volume and Tone controls; Pizzicato / Arco select switch. The WAV delivers beautiful, full-bodied tone, no batteries required.
Adjustable Truss Rod and Bridge
Tweak the string heights and neck relief to suit your music and playing style.
Padded Gig Bag
For the instrument, stand and accessories. Goes anywhere, anytime.
The WAV Cello is available now from authorized NS Design dealers. Visit the dealer locator on our website to find a dealer near you. To learn more about the WAV Cello and our other NS cello models, visit the Electric Cello section of ThinkNS.com.
Welcome to the third edition of THE LYONN’S ROAR, “Get The Best Tone On Your Electric,” with highlighting iNSights into Choosing an Electric Instrument, Amplification and Effects, and Strings and things by Julie Lyonn Lieberman. Check out this informative article that covers all the bases of Electric String Instruments:
This edition features a special interview with Fan Tao, Director of Research and Development for D’Addario Orchestral Strings.
Check out this informative article and the many videos of Julie demonstrating the use of multiple effects units and changing strings on the NS Violin.
Learn more about all the amazing electric bowed string instruments NS Design offers at ThinkNS
NS Design’s founder and instrument designer Ned Steinberger was invited as a featured speaker at the Skidompha Library “Chats With Champions” series this past month in co-sponsorship with Sherman’s Bookstore in Damariscotta, Maine.
In the talk titled “Trial, Error and Invention” Ned discusses the evolution of his life’s work from his childhood passion for woodworking, early career as a furniture designer interested in ergonomic design challenges and the path that ultimately unfolded for the state-of-the-art innovations he brings to the musical instrument world.
Ned describes his forays into business, his early collaborations with Stuart Spector, meeting Les Paul for the first time, and the trials and tribulations of his process for finding the optimal sound potential of an instrument as it relates to its design and construction.
Guest guitarist, David Martin provides examples of the sonic variations and technological advances that make Ned’s instruments so exciting and versatile for players and listeners alike.
The Levin Brothers Band are on tour now. With bassist Tony Levin and his brother Pete Levin on keyboard along with fellow bandmates sax player Erik Lawrence and drummer Jeff “Siege” Siegel, the band have select dates on the U.S. East Coast and in South America this Spring.
Playing the classic retro sound of the Afro-Cuban influenced jazz referenced from Tony and Pete’s childhood this combo is sure to please!
Click here for a recap of Tony and Pete’s appearance at the NS Design booth during Winter NAMM 2015.
For more information on the Levin Brothers visit their website at: http://thelevinbrothers.com
NS Artist Abi Loutoo is a prodigious cellist and multidisciplinary artist. Her performances combine movement and music with an energy that excites the eye, ear and heart.
At only five years old, after piano failed to spark her interest, Abi started playing the cello. Within five years she had played for Robert Cohen and appeared on television with Yo-Yo Ma in a Master Class at the World Cello Congress.
Studying both dance and cello simultaneously gave her unique insight into how each artform complements the other. “I learned how dancers and musicians feel music differently. The beat divisions in music can be perceived as the human heart while the cello is the instrument closest to the human voice.” Her combinations of the two are deeply felt, as is her belief that each discipline depends on the other. “Every dancer should take up an instrument and every musician should go to dance classes—the two need one another to survive.”
The NS Design NXTa Electric Cello is the perfect instrument for Abi to combine her two loves. The NS cello with the Frame Strap System frees the player from the stand or chair. The mobility has allowed Abi to explore the connections between her music and her dance in ways that would be impossible with a traditional cello.
Likewise, the ability to experiment with amps and effects pedals has broadened her artistic horizons. Her rig is simple, a VOX AD30VT and an amp. The versatility and portability of this system mean more opportunities for her career: “I wanted to make myself a part of any type of band in any genre, be able to travel easily without sacrificing sound quality, have a more ergonomic set up, be able to combine movement with playing and last but certainly not least, help protect the environment.”
In much of her work and life, Abi commits to improving the environment. The capacitor system in NS Design’s NXTa Cello gives her the power of an active pickup while eliminating the need for on-board batteries. “NS Design is at the forefront of string instruments. The eco-friendly charge of the NXTa, along with its clear tone and portability, make it a must have.”
As might be expected of such a diverse talent, Abi’s influences span the musical spectrum. “I love playing hip-hop fusion with many different genres—be they electronic, R& B, jazz, soul, hints of classical, or gospel. As long as I am playing music, I’m having fun!”
Now recording and performing under the name “Abi-L-ity”, Abi is currently at work on a new EP. She just finished a project with DWayne Saint Orbin Bennett. She also continues to work closely with band mate Eddy Bayes, and is in collaboration with Joni Fatora, The Gallactic Effect among other artists.
For more information, news and videos of Abi’s work and collaborative efforts, visit her website www.abi-l-ity.com.
“Watching For Foxes make every song feel like it’s that half-triumphant, half-weary, all-around cathartic march up the hilly knoll towards the unknowable-yet-still-hope-splashed horizon, as if every song were the build up to the closing credits of the indie-arthouse film of the story to your life. ” – Jeff Milo (Detroit Free Press, PASTE) – DEEP CUTZ
Check out their video from Session LIV performing the single “Bad Kids”:
“Arguably the band with the most buzz…This folk-rock ensemble out of Grand Rapids has crafted a cinematic showcase of emotion packed with as many memorable hooks as it has moving, existential passages.” – REVUE MAGAZINE
“We love playing music together and we want this to be our entrance into doing music for a living; we work really hard at what we do. Our songs yearn to be heard, to tell our stories, and inspire others to do the same.”
Kartes moonlights as a teacher and shares his passion for music with his students at the Triumph Music Academy in Grand Rapids, MI. He also has time to run a multimedia design company two9two. He plays the current model of the NXT Electric Cello with an NXT Cello Tripod Stand and for added mobility during performances he uses the Frame Strap System. NS Design’s recently released version is the very popular NXTa Electric Cello and is part of the comprehensive NXTa eco-friendly active series instrument line.
Catch Watching for Foxes Spring Tour from late March through May 2017.
The NXT Series Goes Active and Stays Green!
With the launch of the new NXTa series, Ned Steinberger and NS Design herald the introduction of battery-free, high performance active electronics for the full family of NXT instruments. These include the violin, viola, cello, Omni bass and double bass. The new capacitor-powered custom circuitry, designed for NS Design by Mi-Si Electronics Design, integrates with the NS Polar Pickup System to provide two distinct signal output modes, bringing the convenience, versatility and performance capability of the NXT to another level.
Operationally, for Active mode, the user plugs the supplied charger into an AC outlet for 60 seconds to power the circuit for up to 16 hours of performance time. The instrument can then plug straight into any amp, low or high impedance, no direct box necessary. Since there is no signal loss over the full frequency spectrum of the instrument, the fundamentals of every note remain clear and strong, even with extra-long cables.
In Passive mode, as with the original NXT series, the NXTa can be used with an amplifier with a high impedance input, or with any amplifier using a direct box. In either mode, an important facet of the NXTa circuitry is “eco-friendliness” and convenience. NXTa instruments are still “green” and battery-free, eliminating the hassle and cost of batteries while helping protect our environment.
Michael Ioffe, co-founder of Mi-Si (www.mi-si.com), comments “We are very honored to work with Ned Steinberger. We feel that we share the same design philosophy, it’s all about elegance and simplicity.” At the heart of all Mi-Si products is Mi-Si’s patented, battery-free technology which utilizes supercapacitors rather than conventional rechargeable batteries as energy storage elements. Mi-Si minimalistic design philosophy results in clean sound, high power efficiency, low weight, small dimensions, and elegant, environmentally friendly solution to onboard amplification.
Created by Ned Steinberger, the NXT family of NS Design instruments, along with the advanced CR series, is crafted in the Czech Republic. Ned’s instruments are distributed worldwide and have become a mainstay for countless professional artists around the globe. For more information about our instruments and the players who use them, visit thinkNS.com.
The NXTa will be available in September 2016
If you’ve never seen him, this video is a great example of what NS Design Artist Wytold Lebing is all about.
Wytold has excited audiences with his unique artistry at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Strathmore Performing Arts Center, and a host of other venues. His recent performance with the National Symphony Orchestra was highly acclaimed by the Washington Post, and he’s now featured in an excellent new TEDx talk.
As an educator, Wytold teaches both classical and exploratory cello. Along with hip-hop artist Chrystylez Bacon (who partnered with him on the Prelude video), he frequently travels throughout DC, VA, and MD offering ‘Classical Hip-Hop’ educational programs to elementary, middle, and high school students.
About the NS Cello
This instrument is designed for ease of performance in every sense. It’s light. It’s compact. The entire fingerboard is accessible and comfortable. The best part is when you start playing… at the heart of every NS cello is the Polar pickup system, which delivers an incredibly acoustic, feedback-free signal to whatever gear you use. Its full-bodied tone is also perfect for effects like looping, distortion or any other kind of signal processing.
The NS Cello includes a Tripod Stand, with the option of an Endpin Stand for more conventional style playing, or the Frame Strap System which Wytold uses. Along with the CR6 which he plays, 4 and 5 string models are available in both the CR and NXT series.
Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass: NS Design has an instrument for you. Explore here.
NS Design is proud to announce the appearance of The Levin Brothers at our booth at NAMM 2015 – January 21 – 25 in Anaheim, CA. The Levin Brothers are, of course, bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Stickmen, etc.)—who is this year adding the NS Cello to his repertoire—and his brother Pete Levin on keyboard. The Levin Brothers will certainly be bringing the “cool” swinging grooves to the NS Booth this year and we can hardly wait!
Be sure to check out their self-titled debut album and upcoming tour at thelevinbrothers.com/
Tony Levin is featured in the September 2014 issue of Bass Player magazine, showcasing Tony’s new work (with an NS Cello!) on the forthcoming Levin Brothers Jazz CD. This intimate article journeys through Tony’s long-time association with NS Design and his enviable and disparate musical journey. Harkening back to the “Cool Jazz” Tony and older brother Pete (keyboards) grew up on, this release features 15 melodic-driven be-bop swinging tunes, featuring veteran heavy weight drummers Steve Gadd and Jeff Siegel, saxophonist Erik Lawrence and guitarist David Spinozza. Levin Brothers brings a myriad of references from Tony’s inspiration from Oscar Pettiford, to the pizzicato driven Latin tinged “Havana,” to a cover of King Crimson’s “Matte Kudasai”.
Tony’s diverse performance schedule continues throughout 2014, with a Levin Brothers upcoming jazz release in the Fall. This September he tours with the refreshingly reformed and possibly “final” version King Crimson, after which he joins Peter Gabriel’s “Back to Front” tour in the UK in November and December. Don’t forget to check out Tony’s tour dates and photolog.