NS Design has launched an NS Instrument Registration Form on our website. Registering your NS instrument helps us serve you better if you need to request technical support from us in the future. When you complete your registration, we will issue you an NS ID number for your instrument that you can refer to in future communications with us.
Here is your IBMA 2019 World of Bluegrass Conference and Awards Recap!
Jeff Parker and the Company with bassist Tyler Griffith playing the NS Upright Bass at King’s in Raleigh, NC.
NS Design attended and exhibited at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Expo, Booth #315. Many NS Artists, friends and fans stopped in to say hello to NS National Sales Manager Tommy Wilson and NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett, who showcased a variety of NS instruments for attendees to plug in and pick, pluck, bow and strum! The Expo ran from Wednesday, September 24 through Saturday, September 28, 2019.
The NS Booth at IBMA 2019 was lively with visitors all week.
IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award&Collaborative Recording of the Year Award
IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award 2019 recipient Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers
More great news out of Raleigh, NC where NS Design Bassist Dylan Lawrence with Cane Mill Road just won International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Award for Band of the Year! Congratulations guys! Dylan plays the NXT5a Electric Upright Bass.
NS Design Bassist Dylan Lawrence plays the NXTa EUB.
Grammy nomination for The Moore Brothers Band
Big news from the NS booth at International Bluegrass Music Association attendees when Jake Moore showed up to share with our Artist Relations Manager, Corey Redonnett, that the Moore Brothers Band are now in the running for a few Grammy nods this year. Jake plays the NS CR4 Omni Bass with The Moore Brothers Band, Jubilee and Cane Mill Road. Congratulations!
NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett at the NS Booth at IBMA 2019 with Jake Moore.
We love seeing NS instruments represented so well in the wide world of Bluegrass! Congratulations to all the NS players on a great turn out in Raleigh this year.
October 12 – 14, 2018, Hallowell, Maine welcomes you to celebrate the craft of lutherie at the 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase at central Maine’s “New Orleans on the Kennebec”, with a gallery exhibition of Maine made instruments, craft demonstrations, and great live performances at auditoriums, restaurants, and pubs in the most charming, and rocking, downtown north of Portland.
Friday night’s reception at City Hall includes a meet and greet with Ned Steinberger, our keynote speaker and an internationally recognized innovator in musical instrument design and construction. He is an incredible example of innovative intellectual property producer who lives and works in Maine, and is part of an international manufacturing network.
The 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase is brought to you by the City of Hallowell, in partnership with The Harlow Gallery and Maine Craft Weekend, and funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Friday Night Welcoming at Hallowell City Hall
Keynote Speaker: Ned Steinberger, internationally recognized stringed instrument design innovator, City Hall Auditorium, 6:30 PM, with VIP reception at 5:30. General seating starts at 6 PM.
New from NS Design is the NXTa Radius Bass Guitar.
If you aren’t familiar with NS Design instruments, you should know the NS abbreviation stands for Ned Steinberger. The way I see it, Leo Fender introduced us to the electric bass and Ned Steinberger has taken what Leo has done and added engineering and innovation not only to the electric bass, but many other instruments produced by Ned and his great team at NS Design. Ned is the designer of the famous Spector NS basses. What Ned Steinberger does for any of his instruments takes years of research and development until everything is just right and his ideas and innovation are turning up in other manufacturers’ instruments later on.
The NXTa Radius is an innovative and engineering work of art, beauty, and tone to perfection.
Those who have been following his career know that Bakithi Kumalo joined Paul Simon’s band in 1985 and has performed with him ever since. His playing on Simon’s album Graceland became one of the iconic bass performances of all time. In February, Simon announced Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour, the final phase of his fifty-year performance career. Kumalo will accompany him on this tour, as he has for the last thirty years. He plays an array of NS instruments, including the CR5 RADIUS bass guitar and the NXT4 electric upright bass.
Last October we had the pleasure of capturing highlights of time spent between Bakithi and Ned Steinberger at Ned’s studio and workshop in Maine. In the course of their conversation, Ned shared his thoughts on instrument design and the relationship between designer and musician. Bakithi played and shared his own thoughts on Ned’s instruments, including some of his experimental creations.
This is a must-watch video for any fan of Bakithi or Ned, and fascinating for anyone who thinks deeply about music.
For more information contact:
Gary Byers, NS Design
NOBLEBORO, MAINE (January 23, 2018) – Ned Steinberger’s approach to the RADIUS series, as with every new instrument, has been to re-explore each facet of a bass guitar, leading to innovations that provide the player with amazing physical comfort, exceptional performance and unparalleled versatility. The new NXTa brings together the brilliant ergonomics of the headless neck and body configuration, the NS self-clamping tuning system, custom NS/EMG™ pickups, volume-volume-tone controls, and the battery-free Dual Mode Output electronics made for NS by Mi-Si™. Fretted or fretless, 4 string (NXT4a) or 5 string (NXT5a), the NXTa Radius Bass Guitar is beautifully crafted in the Czech Republic and is made from solid, straight grain maple, with maple face (Satin Black model) or flame maple face (Sunburst model).
Here is a top-down look at four key elements which set the NXTa Radius apart from other basses: NXTa Radius Neck
The headless, bolt-on maple neck has 24 frets, a 34” scale for the NXT4a and 35″ scale for the NXT5a, and a familiar 15” radius. A volute provides thumb reference at the nut. String slots in the aluminum headplate eliminate the need for a headstock with heavy tuning machines. Conveniently accessed from the top of the neck, the steel double-action reinforcing truss rod, gives both rigidity and precise relief control.
NS Diradial™ Body
The concave back profile provides a sense of comfort and stability against the torso. The front of the instrument is more tightly radiused, which, in with the general wedge shape of the body, creates a more comfortable orientation to the right hand. The configuration of the body cutaway provides easy access to the highest frets.
Perfectly balanced, the NXTa has no downward dip of the neck, for effortless left-hand freedom. Combined, the shape, balance and light weight (the NXT4a is just 7.8 lbs) make this instrument incredibly comfortable to play.
Dual Mode (Active/Passive) Output Electronics
The NS/EMG Radius features custom magnetic pickups with a radiused top and magnetic structure designed to optimally capture the full richness of tone from every string. The controls are a familiar Volume-Volume-Tone configuration. The Tone control is also a push-pull knob, used to select between the NXTa’s active or passive output modes. The active mode is battery-free; the special supercapacitor-based circuitry charges in 60 seconds to deliver active output for 16 hours from the time of the charge. The instrument is supplied with an AC charger which plugs into the guitar’s output jack.
Patented Self-Clamping Tuning System
Fast and simple, this self-clamping precision tuning system is integrated into the body of the RADIUS. Any standard single-ball end, full-scale bass guitar string can be used – simply rotate the knurled knob for a quick string change and to bring it to precise pitch.
Photos of the NXTa are available for press download at this link.
Founded in 1990 by noted instrument designer Ned Steinberger, NS Design also offers a wide range of electric bowed string instruments and accessories, including EU, CR, NXT and WAV series. NS Design is headquartered in Nobleboro, Maine. For more information, email email@example.com, visit http://thinkNS.com, or call +1 (207) 563-7705.
Performance by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED
NS Violinist Jason Yang follows his creative instincts into innovative musical territory. As a young classical violinist growing up in New Jersey, Yang enjoyed performing with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. He broadened his interests beyond classical music while at the University of Southern California, where he met musicians who sparked his interest in composing and improvisation.
Yang began composing, arranging, and teaching, and developed his own unique style. In 2007, he began playing the NS Design CR Series Electric Violin, which expanded his sonic palette and offered a new array of technical possibilities. Jason’s performances came to encompass a variety of genres, bound together by technological innovation and his deft, playful musicianship.
Yang is pictured here at NAMM 2017 with his composing mentor Mick Baumeister (left), and Ned Steinberger (right), founder and designer, NS Design.
In 2008, while still at USC, he started posting YouTube videos of himself from his dorm room jamming on the CR4 with various pedals and layering effects. Layering and mixing using the NS electric violin, his acoustic violin, and other instruments, Yang constructed an orchestral base for his music. The success of his YouTube videos raised his profile among a new generation of experimental violinists. Today, his YouTube channel has 198,000 subscribers.
At Yang’s workstation, pictured in foreground: NS Design CR4 Transparent Black Cherry High Gloss Custom Electric Violin displayed on the NS Violin Caddy; background: NS Design CR4 Amber Satin Electric Violin.
After college, Jason found increasing success as a professional musician. In 2012 he joined Madonna’s MDNA World Tour as her violinist. He continues to collaborate with dancer and performance artist Lil Buck, who also tours with Madonna. Lil Buck and Yang have also performed together on The Colbert Report, and recently at TED2017, in the premier of a performance as MAI: Movement Art Is, co-led by dancer/choreographer John Boogz. That work, “A Dance to Honor Mother Earth”, combined dance, spoken word, and Native American song and music performed by Yang on the CR Violin.
Performance by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Watch the full performance here:
Jason has played the CR Violin for almost a decade. In his own words, the instrument is “hands down the best electric violin available … sound, response, design, build quality, dependability.” Jason goes wireless in his live performances, with a wireless pack in to his CR, and wireless in-ears for monitoring. He uses Boss pedals and loop stations for his effects.
Here’s another example of what Jason does so well, in what he describes as: “Spontaneous 100% freestyle jam of Moonlight Sonata. With a lil’ bit of distortion…” in a video post with fellow Movement Art Is collaborator, John Boogz:
Recently Amazon.com approached Yang to host his own live streaming channel on their online streaming service TwitchCreative. Growing out of TwitchTV, which originally focused on live-stream gaming, TwitchCreative has channels for music, cooking, painting, and crafts.
Jason’s live shows feature jamming, requests from among his 14,000 followers and guest appearances by other artists he hosts from his living room studio. Some of the most popular streams include work with ChewieMelodies, The Luck, Cellist Mariko, and several collaborations with his sister, pianist Pauline Yang.
For more information about the CR Series Electric Violins that Jason plays and the entire selection of NS Bowed Electric Instruments, including the new Eco-friendly and battery free NXTa or the affordable and road-worthy WAV Series or to see a selection of our Custom CR Series Finishes, and available accessories for the NS Electric Violin, please visit our website: ThinkNS.com.
For those of you returning to school this September, put fiery bounce in your bow by developing your “chop” percussion techniques on your violin, viola, cello or upright bass.
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:
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.
The Odyssey Album Release Tourkicked 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 theAnn 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”, BillboardMagazine
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.”
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.
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.
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 inBang 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 Interviewwith 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!
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.
Jacob was awarded 2017 Grammy Awards in the Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella category for “You And I” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier) and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for “Flintstones” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier).
Here is what some of Jazz’s greatest legends are saying about Jacob and his amazing vision and gift!
“I’ve never heard anybody like that before, his talent is just frightening.” – Quincy Jones
“Herbie Hancock says he’s an incredible pianist, Nathan East says he’s a fantastic bassist and Quincy says he’s an amazing singer who can it high notes like Michael Jackson but also has an incredible deep bass.” – Billboard Magazine
“The 21-year-old’s one-man show defied both natural and long-established music laws, as he conjured any sound his imagination fancied on a variety of live-sampled percussion, keyboard and stringed instruments which were looped sonically and visually. This was topped by his multiplied vocals across a four-and-a-half octave range from bass to mezzo soprano creating a thick wall of layered rhythmic and melodic sound and images that swirled together to form an electrifying symphonic stew of breathless jazz, funk, pop, electronic, a cappella and more.” – Billboard
“The split screen YouTube videos that brought Jacob Collier to fame are feats of extraordinary talent and ambition. The byzantine arrangements, on which Collier plays every instrument and sings a choir’s worth of vocal parts, are astounding enough when delivered from his home studio in North London. So to attempt to recreate these arrangements live, seems near Icarus-like in aspiration. Yet in his solo show at the Brooklyn Bowl, Collier flies uninhibited to dizzying musical heights, delighting an audience attentive to his every note.” – London Jazz News – Review of Jacob Collier at the Brooklyn Bowl
Jacob Collier and his One-Man Live Show Creature is a truly amazing musical experience, performed live using looping and harmonizing technology. Check out this live video from a performance of his original composition “Don’t You Know” Live @ Village Underground, London.
Jacob plays the NXT Electric Upright Bass. NS Design’s new NXTa EUB is part of the eco-friendly NXTa active series instrument line. With many models and versions to choose from, the NXTa series is an extraordinary option for a variety of players in any performance setting. thinkNS.com
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 of Mi-Si with NS Design’s Ned Steinberger and the new NXTa Active instruments
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.