I just discovered spectrogram viewer on Audacity and my vocal sweeps inadvertently drew some violin arches and a content-looking long-haired chubby-faced girl with my voice (lower right)!

spectrogram of voice

I love spectrograms! Half my lifetime ago, I would watch my favorite songs on the Winamp spectrogram for hours.

So I guess it should surprise no one that last week I had a wonderful time at Oberlin Acoustics Workshop this year, learning, hanging out and doing bridge rocking frequency taichi with brilliant minds and people I admire!


Bass bar + architectural rendering tutorial

Back to school! Thankfully, I found my bass bar more or less the way I left it nearly a month ago. It’s all done and glued in now. Definitely not perfect, but a decent first attempt, I think.

fitting a violin bass bar with tension

This little animation explains the ridiculous challenge of the bass bar. You aren’t fitting it to just plop down and sit perfectly (though some people do?), you have to put it under a little tension. This means gradually over-cutting or lifting the ends of the bass bar, but still making sure the entire bar will make contact if you are pressing it into the plate. But you have to make sure that the way the bar contacts doesn’t twist your plate either! Just a few things to worry about. There’s probably only like a million other things too.

I glued up the bar yesterday and snapped some photos.

bass bar rendering tutorial - take a picture like it's a perspective

Those clamps. That bar. Those little cleats. The straight grain accentuating the topography of the spruce. All this inevitably leads me into….

Architecture RE:lapse

Did you know that I was once a great master of Photoshopping horribly underdeveloped models into magical architectural wonderlands? I exaggerate only as much as an architectural rendering does. People ask me how I do it. The methodology is very very simple, but making a good rendering requires some pretty well-developed eye judgment. Kind of like violins… That said, let’s take the above photo and make a rather ridiculous rendering lacking in good judgment.

1. Get you a nice sky

bass bar rendering tutorial - add sky

2. Add some green stuff

bass bar rendering tutorial - add green stuff

3. Busy things up with scalies and texture

bass bar rendering tutorial - add people and some random lines to make it more building-y

4. Fluff it up with some filters and highlights

bass bar rendering tutorial - fluff it up with some filters and fix it with shading!!!

Other notes: I am a heavy user of Multiply, masks, brush and pattern presets, and Flickr. I am a very light user of layers. Keep that file light.

And remember, if anything’s looking off or ugly, or if something’s underdeveloped, or if you’re too lazy to solve some particular detail, you can always just FIX IT WITH SHADING!