Herve Senni Virtual Band N°1: The A-Team – New musical direction

1 0
Read Time:6 Minute, 7 Second

The A-Team

The virtual Band concept is a new approach to writing, playing, and producing music.

I am a guitar luthier and avid guitar collector. I have built 100s of string instruments and modified many time all of them. After that, I became an advanced electric guitar builder, especially in guitar electronics. I have created those instruments to try every electronic modification possible with string instruments.

Customs Guitars

I started with custom strats, then guitars in kits, testing every possible pickup’s wirings each time. As a result, each instrument has been modified many times. After modifying tons of Stratocasters and guitars of all types, I became an electronic builder of advanced Stratocaster pickguards. I sold tons of them on eBay France, Reverb.com, and my sites. Finally, the difference in wirings is not enough to make a considerable difference in how you play the guitar.

Search for new sounds

So, my search for new sounds on the six strings turned to an end. I tested everything. I could spot many different wirings that sound cool, Wiring that makes a difference. But, the difference in sound wasn’t enough to sound and play differently.

I tested every possible pickups wiring on countless strats or Les Paul. It sounds closely the same.

The most crucial part of the electric guitar sound is the effects

The real difference in playing comes with different instruments and different tunings. My search for a new way to play led me to explore all the stringed instruments I could find for sale. So I bought a bunch of every instrument with strings I could find.

I modified them all, of course. I even used their measurements to make an electric solid-body version of it.

Mandolins

I started to experiment with mandolins. Right away, the tuning in open fifth seduced me. Learning the mandolin and finding cool licks and patterns on this new instrument made me discover that playing with different tunings forces me to play differently.

I experimented with every string instrument I could find—mandolin of all types, as well as Ukulele tenor and bass. Mandola and mandocello, Irish Bouzouki and Saz Baglama.

To use all those instruments in music production on my albums is difficult. You either use too much of them, and your albums will sound like a greatest hit of various groups, or you always use the same three or four guitars, and your music sounds the same.

New Instrument

At first, I created songs on the fly. Every time I had a new instrument, I included it in a new piece. If the new guitar was an excellent instrument, I used it as the main instrument for a while. Otherwise, it was standing on the stand, heading up to a new electronic from space on a new guitar.

So for a time, I was building guitars more than playing.

Because of the new hybrid instruments included in my arsenal, I discovered a new way of playing. Instead of using the latest built, I decided to create virtual bands based on the best blends of instruments.

Virtual Band N°1: The A-Team

The virtual band N°1 is based on a lineup of instruments tuned in open A. thus, the name.

  • Tenor Ukulele with a low G string in Open A
  • 3/4 guitar tuned in Open A
  • Barytone guitar tuned in Open A an octave lower
  • UBass – Solid-body ukulele bass tuned in regular bass tuning

I reviewed all the instruments of that lineup on my Youtube Channel.

Each of those review videos owns original songs. I produced them featuring a single instrument each time to ear the tone and possibilities. I am using a regular electric synth guitar to complete the lineup, employing the Boss SY1000 for orchestral parts and synth leads, for that matter.

Recording those songs, I discovered a blend of instruments in my collection that are perfectly compatible in tone and, most importantly, range. But, more than having a perfect combination of instruments, I had the idea to also make a unique personality for each Player of the virtual Band.

I created the A-Team

Tenor Ukulele

The lead Player of the group is the Tenor Ukulele player. He has a flamboyant and crazy personality. He uses extreme bends and crazy, loud, really fast solos in the extreme high register, slandering of sustain, and monstrous sound.

He has two sounds: Monstrous and more monstrous. He is the virtuoso of the group searching for attention.

See the review of his instrument in this Player:

The 3/4 guitar

The 3/4 guitar is the harmony guy of the group. The guy likes to play nice ringing chords in clean or creamy mellow crunchy sound with a jazzy feeling.

In the group, he is in charge of the harmony parts. His style is more melodic and straightforward. A transparent and melancholy personality. A moody guy.

See the review of his instrument in this Player:

He is also dubbing with a traditional Thai guitar, the Phin.

Baritone guitar

He is the metal head of the group, in love with low riffs with monster sound. He is also a progressive fan and likes big riffs in polyrhythms. He plays a lot of combined riffs with the 3/4 guitar.

See the review of his instrument in this Player:

Ubass

The Ubass Player uses a felt pick to have a fat finger-like sound and play fast. He is mixing funky riff with muted notes with low, fat bass sounds using a C4 Synth pedal from SourceAudio. He is playing more fundamental and groovy bass lines, leaving the place to the drummer.

See the review of his instrument in this video:

Drum

I always use the same real drummer from the same bank with the same drum sound and mastering. I am using the Ezdrummer plugin with various midi banks bought from multiple sources for the drum parts. Mainly from the plugin site.

Group Sound

I’m using two or three sounds for each instrument in every song to create unity. I do that on purpose. I make a band with different players with a distinct overall sound, personality, and way of playing.

Why

When producing music in studio, you can overdub (record) yourself multiple times, with the same guitar and playing approach.

Or you can create a virtual band where each part is also a different virtual person.

Suppose you do the first one. You will sound like a guy playing with a multitrack in his room. If you do the second one, you have a big chance to sound like a group.

The advantage is that it forces me to play with different aspects of my personality instead of my natural self. The result is richer and produces more original music.

Virtual Bands releases

I decided to change my production approach. Instead of launching full albums, I release singles in each virtual Band.

The first release of the Virtual Band N°1: The A-Team is:

Jumping Fleas

It’s a song featuring my Tenor Ukulele violent metal stunts over a modern industrial funk groove.

Get ready for different virtual bands’ single releases

Coming:

  • Band in fifth
  • Band with strats and Les Paul-like guitars
  • Solo work with fretless guitar
  • Solo works with an invented instrument. In the creation process.

— Stay tuned for more music —

strings

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %