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Old 03-12-2006, 11:05   #1
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The Musician Onboard

I've been spending a lot of time in front of the music stand lately and not enough sailing. So here's is my question for the group: Do you play an instrument on board your boat and what is it?
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:44   #2
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I don't, but I have two seperate friends that do. One plays Acoustic guitar and the other a keyboard.
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Old 03-12-2006, 12:23   #3
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Carried a keyboard, guitar, clarinet, harmonica. Older daughter is now paying her university tuition by forming a jazz combo and playing local restaurants/bars.
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Old 08-12-2006, 22:28   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pura Vida
I've been spending a lot of time in front of the music stand lately and not enough sailing. So here's is my question for the group: Do you play an instrument on board your boat and what is it?
I picked up a Taylor Baby, but it just doesn't have the tone of a full sized Martin.

One instrument that I really like, and I play a lot on the boat, is a strum stick. http://www.strumstick.com/

They put out a great tone, are suprisingly versatile, and hold up very well under harsh conditions. With only three strings it's a lot easier to keep them in tune as well. And they take up very little space.

I thought about bringing my Telecaster and Fender 25w amp when I *really* go sailing, but I honestly don't know if I'd ever be in a place to play it.

The other thing I like about the strumstick is that with my Martin or Telecaster I feel bad if I set it down wrong, or Heaven forbid actually but a ding in it. With the strumstick, I don't care as much.
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Old 09-12-2006, 00:21   #5
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I keep a full sized acoustic on board and play it regularly. My favourite spot is the foredeck on a close reach, letting the boat dictate the rythm. There is no better place on earth to play!
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:20   #6
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The strum stick sounds like an interesting idea. And I have to agree it is hard to beat mixing sailing and music. A buddy of mine with a much bigger boat keeps a keyboard, guitar and banjo on board. But I am always bumping into things with a guitar. I'm a mandolin player for the most part and have an inexpensive Fender that I take sailing, it makes me feel bettter knowiing that I am not beating up an expensive instrument and the sound is pretty good. One thing I have to admit is a keyboard is really versitile and generally easier to handle.
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Old 09-12-2006, 13:48   #7
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When I circled Vancouver Island summer before last I brought my lap harp. I'd built it from a kit (Music maker kits, the Limerick) the winter before, and was trying to teach myself to play. It was the only time I was able to practice regularly.

Mind you, being the embarassed beginner I anchored far away from everyone else and practiced below with the hatch down, but it was kinda nice.

The harp is too big below when sailing with crew, and only comes on solo ventures.

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Old 09-12-2006, 20:12   #8
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Learning to play the ukelele which is fun for me. Madam says thats fine but thinks two boats might be a good idea,.
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Old 10-01-2007, 16:03   #9
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Thumbs up What about recording?

Crazy idea here, but what about recording on a boat? I have a studio at home where I do all of my stuff. I've always thought that I would have to give that up when I finally moved aboard. But with all of the digital, computer-based stuff available now, it's looking like a more plausible idea.

Laptop for recording and mixing
Small audio interface w/preamp
Mic
Acoustic guitar
Keyboard/MIDI controller

Basically, I could use loops for the drums and bass via MIDI or loop. I honestly don't think it would take up as much room as originally thought. Any thoughts? Anyone else recording out there? I can't think of anything better than writing and recording a song while sailing through the Caribbean!! Of course you wouldn't get production-quality due to the acoustics but recording in the cockpit or foredeck (with the ambient ocean, natural noises in the background) could produce some nice sounds.
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Old 10-01-2007, 16:23   #10
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Had a Baby Taylor but....

Had a Baby Taylor but got rid of it for the much more robust, better sounding, and marine friendly, Martin LXM. This guitar is absolutely amazing for the boat! It is made of a composite that looks like wood but is more like Formica in thickness. Because the composite is inert to moisture in the air the guitar stays in tune. The composite is very strong and therefore they can use a very thin top back and sides which makes it resonate and sound like a much larger guitar. This thing actuall has some low end punch to it. Even the neck is multiple layers of wood llaminated with epoxy. This guitar stays on my boat and rerely goes out of tune. I got sick of bringing my Santa Cruz, or my real wood Martins out on the water because they are so finicky with moisture. The size of this guitar is perfect for the boat!!!


Martin & Company > Guitars > Choosing Your Martin > Series > Standard Series > D-28

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Old 10-01-2007, 16:34   #11
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Wife is buying a new harp as I type.
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Old 10-01-2007, 17:01   #12
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Hi Frost,

I to have a home studio and also do mobile recording. When I'm just doing a small job, rather than haul the big kit (32 channel digital mixer, rack mount audio workstation, monitor, keyboard, foldback speakers, outboard rack yada yada yada) I use an M-Audio Omnistudio USB interface onto my laptop.

This gives me 2 mic pre-amps and 2 line inputs with foldback mixing etc. in a package that goes into the laptop bag.

Quality is very good (noise floor is only a coupla dB higher than the full digital rig and well within acceptable standards). Unfortunately, the Omnistudio has been discontinued but the M-Audio MobilePre USB is also pretty good although it's only two inputs not four and doesn't have as many whistles and bells.

I've used this kit for everything from recording vocalists and instrumentalists in their own home to a 60 voice choir in a cathedral. In fact, it's my first choice gear 'cos I only haul the big stuff out on the road when I can't do the job with the stuff I can carry in two hands!

The solution to the acoustic environment aboard aboard a yacht would be the same as always in crap acoustics - kill 'em! Virtually all professional vocals these days are recorded in vocal booths with dead acoustics (odd things to sing in, takes a bit of getting used to) and instruments can be recorded in dead environments sucessfully too. Then it's down to some careful use of post-processing to put life back into the recording

Spare sails in their bags would make excellent acoustic absorbers as would foam seat cushions etc. A forepeak or aft cabin could be easily transformed into a recording booth for a few hours

Biggest prob, I reckon, would be acoustic interference from external sources. Halyards tapping, noise from other boats, waves slapping on the hull etc. It's bad enough in the home studio (I'm currently being driven crazy by the new neighbours Dobermans who live in a kennel in the garden and bark all ****ing day from dawn 'till dusk), I dread to think of the problems afloat! The up side is that time is not gonna be too pressing. If it's too noisy today, go sailing instead and try again tomorrow!

This is good 'cos now I've got another thing I can do when we bugger off and leave the world behind! Mind you, it might not suit she who must be obeyed to have to keep quiet for hours at a time whilst I'm recording!
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Old 10-01-2007, 18:15   #13
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Good info Bru. I'm currently running a PreSonus Firepod into my Mac - 10 very nice preamps built-in. May be a little larger than some of those mini interfaces, but should still be small enough to stash out of the way when not in use (Firepod = 1RU). I guess the Vberth would be a good (but tight) place to deaden and record, especially if that area has a closing door. Mostly what I use my studio for is to help me write so sound quality won't be the major factor while cruising about. Good news is I won't have to leave it all behind and I have a feeling inspiration might strike while I'm out there - maybe a few more 'happy' songs to go along with my typical emo-ish stuff I usually write .

Glad to hear there are others out there with the same thing going on.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:58   #14
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I bin thinking 'bout this somemore

We're probably gonna buy a fairly small centre cockpit ketch (either a Westerly Pentland or a Seadog 30) and I reckon I can get things set up to turn the back cabin into a mini-studio and back into a cabin again PDQ

I can get the Omnistudio and a coupla other bits of 19" rack gear that'd be good to hang onto into one of my 4u or 6u Gator flight cases which wouldn't take up too much room. Add the laptop, a coupla twin boom mic stands and a small collection of mics and that's the technology side done

Find some means of hanging seat/berth cushions over the cabin sides and the double quilt we'll use on our berth at night from the deckhead and drape a couple of spare sleeping bags (which we'll have aboard for guests)down the front bulkhead. Chuck a sail bag (full of sail!) or clothes bags into the corners to act as bass traps and that should sort the acoustics

Only remaining challenge is studio monitors, I use a pair of mains powered near field monitors in my home studio which would be small enough but the power consumption will have to be factored in to the boats electrical system 'cos I want to use wind/solar as much as poss and stay clear of expensive marina berths with electrical hookup. We won't have space or money for a weasel genset and I don't like running propulsion engines as generators 'cos it ain't good for them!

Only time will tell whether this'll be practical as regards external noise pickup and onboard social interaction!
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:33   #15
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Sully, What kind of harp is you wife getting?

As for back up and midi players has anyone tried a product called Band in the Box. It may be more appropriate for plalyers who need to practice than as a recording tool. Also has anyone used a recording program called Reason?

Finally I'm really excited about the use of carbon fiber in instrments. This may tick off the purists but it is far more stable than wood and is unaffected by the humitity. I have been looking at Rigel and Weber mandolins and the carbon fiber instruments are in the same price range.
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