The NS Blog

  • Meet Wytold

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    If you’ve never seen him, this video is a great example of what NS Design Artist Wytold Lebing is all about.

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    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.

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    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 Insight: Highs & Lows

    NS Insight: Highs & Lows

    There’s a reason why professional bass players love the big, punchy low end and the glistening highs & harmonics of an NS Bass. Here’s what’s going on:

    Human hearing is naturally strong in the mids (roughly between 1 and 5 kHz, the vocal frequency range), but drops off at higher and lower frequencies. Most instruments, including basses, have a matching problem producing sound: strong in the mids but tapering off at both ends of the sound spectrum where a great deal of important tone content resides. This is usually compensated for with equalization, boosting the highs and lows, suppressing the mids. However, that signal processing comes at a price: loss of quality and clarity.

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    How are we different? One of the features of every NS bass is the Polar™ pickup system. Unlike an ordinary pickup, the Polar pickup doesn’t lose sensitivity above or below the midrange. The piezo technology embedded at the base of bridge harnesses the entire range of frequencies your strings produce – with full fidelity, and full force. And your ears can definitely hear the difference.

  • Good Times at Merlefest

    Honoring the memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of the legendary Doc Watson, Merlefest is a four-day outdoor festival that features the best of old and new in Country, Bluegrass, Americana and Folk music. Music lovers from all over the country flock to the hills of North Carolina to attend this event for four days every spring.

    From our booth near the main stage this year, we loved hearing Scythian get the crowd moving with their danceable blend of roots folk, infused with Eastern-European gypsy fiddling. NS Cellist Larissa Fedoryka kept the groove heavy under these virtuostic exciting band of musicians.

    We also enjoyed seeing many children so excited to try NS’s electric bowed instruments, proving how fun and exciting these instruments are for anyone to play.

  • Scenes from Musikmesse 2015

    NS Design exhibits every year at this international gathering of musical instrument manufacturers and distributors in Frankfurt, Germany. This year, visitors to our booth were excited to try our RADIUS bass guitars, and expressed great enthusiasm for the electric guitar prototypes we had on display.

  • James “Hutch” Hutchinson – Bridging Musical Worlds

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    Iconic bassist talks to FBPO about his three decades with Bonnie Raitt, plus a whole lot more you may not have known

    By David Sands

    April 8, 2015

    James “Hutch” Hutchinson has been cooking up music with blues-rock legend Bonnie Raitt for over three decades. It’s a relationship the bassist cherishes, but his musical hunger has led him in a lot of other directions too. All over the map, in fact.

    While he’s made some amazing records with Raitt, like the triple Grammy-winning Nick of Time and 2012’s best-selling blues album Slipstream, those albums are just flavorful morsels in the stew of a life richly lived.

    Read the full interview at http://forbassplayersonly.com/james-hutch-hutchinson-bridging-musical-worlds/

  • “Astounding to say the least” – MusicPlayers.com review of CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar

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    “A gorgeous work of art” might be one way to describe the NS Design Radius when you first remove it from the custom-shaped gig bag, especially when coated in the Amber Satin finish of our review instrument. We couldn’t help but be impressed by the workmanship, fit, and finish of our review instrument, the five-string CR5 (a four-string version, the CR-4, is also available). Featuring a flamed maple top mated to a solid maple body, and with a beautiful edge binding between the top and back, the bass has classic beauty, yet the body shape has subtle, modern styling.
    The name Radius is indeed fitting, as everything about this bass is sculpted and curved. The body itself has a soft curvature not only on top, but the rear of the instrument is slightly concave as well (to provide more contact with your body according to NS Design).

    Read the complete review at:  http://www.musicplayers.com/reviews/bass/2015/0415_NSDesignRadius.php

  • Strings Without Boundaries – Summer Sessions

    NS Design Artist, Educator, Violinist and Composer Julie Lyonn Lieberman is proud to announce her popular Strings Without Boundaries sessions for 2015. Pairing educational opportunities for amateur and professional players in a highly exciting and positive environment, exploring traditional and contemporary musical styles for string players. NS Design is excited to have NS Artists Charles Yang (violin), Dr. Gregory Walker (violin) and Lisa Liu (violin) joining Julie at select locations.

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    SUMMER PROGRAM FOR TRADITIONAL  & CONTEMPORARY STRINGS:

    ATLANTA — WISCONSIN — SEATTLE
    June 22nd     July 27th           August 17th
    Where 21st century technique meets tradition, creativity and style
    Darol Anger (WA), Paul Anastasio (WA), Matt Turner (WA & WI), Lisa Liu (WA), Randy Sabien (WI),Judy Hyman (WI), Gregory Walker (WI), Martin Norgaard (GA), Andy Reiner (GA), Aaron “Von Cello” Minsky (GA), Katherine Irwin Thomas (GA), Bert Ligon (GA), Charles Yang (GA), and Julie Lyonn Lieberman (GA, WI, & WA)…

     

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    Artwork by Christos Karapanos
    Strings Without Boundaries creates a sharing environment for amateur through professional players as well as students and teachers of all ages and backgrounds.
    We focus on string technique and repertoire from American and world traditions, creative musicianship in all styles, and technology-enhanced approaches. In addition, we offer teacher-training and optional clock-hour and Graduate credit.

    Learn more about these exciting sessions at:
    http://www.stringswithoutboundaries.com/

  • NAMM 2015

    The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) annual conference in Anaheim, California, January 22nd – 25th is a major gathering for manufacturers, distributors and dealers in all things music. At the NS Design this year, we were honored to have performances twice daily by the Levin Brothers, featuring renowned bassist/cellist and NS Artist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, etc.) joined by his brother Pete Levin on keyboards. Crowds gathered repeatedly to enjoy their performance, which harkened back to 50’s and 60’s-era cool jazz.

    Making headlines at the show, NS Design was excited to introduce the new WAV4 RADIUS Bass Guitar in slick metallic red, blue and matte black finishes. Crafted in Indonesia, these basses feature the same ergonomic comfort and styling as their popular CR series relative. Players had fun experimenting with the different sounds the RADIUS can create by blending the output of the magnetic and piezo pickup. Also garnering attention were the reintroduced WAV violins with an eyecatching new transparent black finish.

    Two US Custom RADIUS electric guitars also debuted at the show, thrilling headless enthusiasts and traditionalists alike. Featuring dual humbucker magnetic pickups and piezo pickups, these guitars won respect for their musical potential, and for their styling, ergonomic comfort and innovative tuning systems.

    As in many NAMM shows past, we were delighted to reconnect with our many friends in the industry and on the stage. It was a special pleasure to visit with our endorsing artists at the show, including such noteworthy players as Hutch Hutchinson, Rob Wasserman, Simon Huber, Lisa Liu, Gary Kuo, Chance Wilder Onody, Hal Henkel, Yorgis Giorecelaya, Yvette Devereaux, David Strother, and Noor Cheree.

  • The Levin Brothers to perform at the NS Design booth! (Hall B, #5860)

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    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/

  • From the Maine Sunday Telegram: In Ned Steinberger’s studio, the violin gets an electric makeover

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    Rock stars have played his electric guitars. Now the Maine instrument maker creates electric violins, cellos and violas.

    BY BOB KEYES STAFF WRITER – Maine Sunday Telegram

    NOBLEBORO – Ned Steinberger designed electric guitars for Sting, Peter Gabriel and Eddie Van Halen.

    More recently, he has designed electric violins, a viola and cello for clients closer to home.

    In a risky move that might rankle traditionalists, the midcoast-based DaPonte String Quartet began incorporating the odd-looking electric instruments into its performances this year. For its holiday concerts this week in Winter Harbor, Boothbay Harbor and Newcastle, the classical music ensemble performs on the Steinberger originals exclusively.

    For Steinberger, the son of a Nobel Prize-winner in physics, the bowed instruments represent his latest effort to advance stringed-instrument technology. Read the full article…

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    Read more about NS Design instruments with the DaPonte String Quartet’s Holiday Concert Series.