Harvey Starr's Ztarr

Started by Elantric-fgn, January 14, 2010, 01:11:42 AM

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. . . the future ain't what it used to be . . .

Melvin C


   I absolutely love the Ztar I just can't afford to shell out the $2000.00 bucks for one right now. Maybe one of these days I'll sell an old Gibson to fund getting one. Nahhh maybe not! ;)



Les Wrote:

(from http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/midiguitar)

A couple of observations which might be of interest to this group:

FWIW, I'm almost done with my next CD which, I hope, will prove that
the Ztar can be used for electric guitar sounds- complete with, as
Richard Williams wrote:

Quote"Strings vibrating in air, Slides, harmonics, pick noise, bending the
neck, feedback etc etc etc are what makes a guitar a guitar, its what
makes one players style recognizable and different
from another. when you change from a string to a switch its more synth
than guitar."

Actually, there are just as many synth players who are just as
recognizable in their own right (Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson come
to mind) as any guitarist. And they don't have anything "vibrating in
the air".

My new upcoming recording has the Ztar cast in roles the guitar
synthesist usually has to avoid such as various lead and rhythm guitar
sounds and performing at speeds which have been generally accepted as
heretofore, impossible with MIDI guitar controllerss, all with feeling
and emotion which, till now, has been pretty difficult to evoke from
these sorts of instruments. Of course, I've been working on the never
ending journey of perfecting this approach along the way since I first
started with a Roland GR-700 back in 1985, thru a Synth Axe in the
later 80's and updated with my Ztar back in May 2007. And I can say,
that I believe, in the current moment, it may be impossible to perform
some of my recent compositions, such as "Lift Off" and "Warp Drive" on
conventional pitch to midi converters, their charms, notwithstanding.
Until I lay my hands on a YouRock model, I reserve judgement on it's
abilities and charms.

The kinds of points you and Richard make, form an example of what got
me interested in my latest project-showing that a key switch
instrument can be used, as an ordinary electric guitar with slides,
harmonics, finger and pick noise and feedback. What I discovered was
that my current experimentation both led directly there (with
customized sample switching and custom tunings in Native Instruments
Kontakt, Reaktor and Kore 2) and thru new doors as well. My new
approach opens the doors to pathways completely unavailable to the
electric guitar or, for that matter, to the typical guitar synth
approach. By way of example, I do not need 6 channels of mono mode
when recording to do my rhythm or lead parts from a Ztar. And I've
done this with musical results that are rock, not smooth jazz,
ambient, or the fusion type music we usually hear from the likes of
Allan Holdsworth, Robert Fripp (whom I admire, BTW) and others. All
this with sounds that one might usually turn to from a Strat, Les
Paul, etc. And with the Ztar's ability to tune each note (key switch)
to any note, in any order with any number of layers and or channels
adding up to 32, things can be both versatile, and complicated. But
I've made up my mind that this instrument is as much, my future, as
anyone else, perceives their own path.

I've been playing guitar since 1964 and guitar synth since my first
Roland GR-100 and 300 in 1982. I've owned and used, just about every
sort of Roland model since then and also owned and used a Synth Axe in
the mid to late 1980's. All required adjustments to style and
approach. What was on offer, even in those heady infant days, was the
opening of a new approach for those with the time to look for answers.
Even if one found an answer, the technology couldn't deliver what
might be in one's inspiration. But that's all changed with the Ztar.

As Robert Fripp noted, "we perceive our perceptions" . But he also
noted that his interest in the guitar synthesizer, is that a new music
might come along. This would have to be coupled with a new approach to
playing. I was prepared to accept that challenge. In contrast with
Richard's claim that only a vibrating string is "what makes one
players style recognizable and different from another" (which is quite
true with guitars), my aim here is to find something for me which is
different using 21st Century technology, merged with guitar
sensibility. Although my YouTube videos show the beginnings of the
possibilities at hand (and have been, kindly, acknowledged as such),
my next CD, I believe, will be perceived as a breakthrough of former
obstacles as well, I hope, of a new way to play guitar controllers,
just as any guitarist might play a typical electric guitar.

I'll keep the group advised as to the release of this new CD which
should be done for a March 2010 release.

Les Fradkin

. . . the future ain't what it used to be . . .