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cebolao
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#1
9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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ebow question

hi there

i heared about this ebow thing and want to learn a bit more.

how does it work? is there a moving, vibrating part that puts the string into motion? or it's some kind of electromagnetic field that moves the string?

i have a mucis project using amplified harp with nylon strings. do you think the ebow would work on harp?

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9th January 2007
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It's an electromagnetic field, I think. It does not work on nylon strings. It will work on an acoustic with steel strings, but really works best using something amplified with a magnetic pickup.
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9th January 2007
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an ebow produces a magnetic field which vibrates the strings. it works best on steel and nickel strings. it will work on an acoustic guitar with said types of strings, but phosphor bronze ones don't work too well with it.

it will NOT work on nylon strings.

as stated above, it works best on an electric guitar near the pickup. i find single coil pickups to be a better fit for the ebow--humbuckers seem to have too much "drive".

i LOVE my ebow. definitely worth the $80 for the added texture it gives.


cheers,
wade
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9th January 2007
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thanks for the reply
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9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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guys, do you know where to find any tutorials online ? I borrowed one but I dunno where to go with it ... seems like an interesting effect though
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9th January 2007
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I'm still waiting for someone to explain *how* an ebow works.

For years the party line has been "it's an electromagnetic field". But as soon as you think about what that means, you realize that explanation falls a little short.

If an ebow was simply "an electromagnetic field" or "a vibrating electromagnetic field" then as soon as you held it near your electric guitar's pickups you'd get massive amounts of hum...a sound not unlike holding a wall wart near your pickups.

Anyone ever rip one apart to see what's inside? I'm really curious about the technology involved, but to date the folks at Heet aren't giving up any secrets.
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#7
9th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebolao View Post
thanks for the reply
Ebow is cool indeed.

You can create a lot of very interesting textures with it. No idea how it works but for the price it's a really fun tool, takes a little time to get use to it and actually getting something creative.

I don't know if tutorials would be too helpful with an ebow, it's one of those things you have to experiment with for quite a while to get a good feel for it.

have fun
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9th January 2007
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Think of it as a pickup AND a pickup in reverse.

This is my understanding of it, anyway.

The pickup senses the movement in the electromagnetic field (typical). Then, instead of having that be fed to a typical amplifier, it's fed to a magnetic field something-or-other...this is where I get lost, but let's say it's like a speaker. In fact, a speaker is fundamentally nothing more than a voice coil and a magnet -- the voice coil creates the field fluctuations, and the magnet responds to them. Here we have a string (magnetically responsive metal) which responds to field fluctuations -- again, pardon any inaccuracies, please. So the EBow senses the fluctuations within the field and then puts out fluctuations at those frequencies.

Nevertheless, it works like a big feedback loop, and it kinda sounds like one too.

It works brilliantly with an acoustic guitar, as well.

It's cheap. If you have the cash, get one. You'll love it.
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#9
10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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They're fun as hell, and worth every penny.

The trick to using them with humbuckers is to just crack the volume knob slightly... very little is needed. Whats nice is that there is a switch on it that will capture more of the harmonics of a given note, rather than the main tones.

You can also actually let the body of the ebow rest directly against the pickup for a nice quick squeal-like sound.... I did this exact thing on this track, listen to the little solo part just past the 1/2 way point:

http://www.atroposproject.com/Chasing_the_Soul.mp3 (shameless!!)

Tutorial beyond that? Experiment. FWIW, the guitarist from Tool uses an Epilady to get a similiar sort of vibe.. I suppose they're less than 80 dollars :D
#10
10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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Very cool effect. Somewhere in this massive thread, someone talks about how an eBow works:

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/in...showtopic=7512

But more interesting is the internet's largest DIY sustainer thread. If any Gearslutz have any insight into DIY sustainers, you should join in. I'm a mere observer, knowing jack and squat about electronics.
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10th January 2007
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BTW, I often use the E-Bow live and have it Velcro-ed on the lower part of the pickup of my Telecaster. Besides atmospheric stuff it's also great for rhythmic things à la pizzicato strings. I think that's what Joe Gore did on P.J Harvey's 'To bring you my love'.

I find it amazing that that the E-Bow has been around since the 70ies but still isn't that well-known. On practically every gig that I used one somebody came up to me after the show asking about it.
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10th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregP View Post
Very cool effect. Somewhere in this massive thread, someone talks about how an eBow works:
http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/in...showtopic=7512
Cool thread; unfortunately, the links to the EBow patents don't work, so I am still left baffled! Maybe I'll try a separate patent search...
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10th January 2007
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i use my ebow all the time--and i play it exclusively on several songs in our set (the ones that need some sort of synthy strings type of thing).

i'm gonna steal that idea about velcroing it to the guitar.....i use it almost exclusively with my tele, too.


cheers,
wade
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14th January 2007
Old 14th January 2007
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[QUOTE=doorknocker;1061466]BTW, I often use the E-Bow live and have it Velcro-ed on the lower part of the pickup of my Telecaster.

Can you give more detailed info about how this attached and where? A pic might be worth 999 words, give or take a few. Thanks.
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14th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfkat View Post
Can you give more detailed info about how this attached and where? A pic might be worth 999 words, give or take a few. Thanks.
Unfortunately I don't have a digital camera here right now. The idea is extremely simple: You stick a small strip of Velcro onto the side of the E-Bow and the 'opposite' piece of Velcro (make it somewhat bigger to prevent misses in the heat of the gig battle) unto the lower bout of the pickguard i.e somewhere that's doesn' t get into the way of the strumming hand. The E-Bow will be 'mounted' and switched on whenever there's a song coming up where I wanna feature it and so it's possible to grab it within the blink of an eye, I sometimes only need it for a short solo passage or some atmospheric background parts.
I constantly adjust the volume and tone knobs ony my Tele anyway and so it's not that difficult to simultaneously roll back the tone knob, lower the volume and grab the E-Bow.

There you go, a single pic would have been much easier......
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15th January 2007
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Actually, I just found a pic of me playing where you can see the Velcro strip where the E-Bow WOULD be (if it wouldn't have been a country-rock gig).
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15th January 2007
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Here's one with the E-Bow attached.

Sorry about the horrible quality of the pic.
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15th January 2007
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Thanks Doorknocker for posting your pics. that's a great idea. By the way. Love the western shirt, shades of Flying Burrito Bros. Gram Parsons is smiling down on you.
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15th January 2007
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Quote:
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Thanks Doorknocker for posting your pics. that's a great idea. By the way. Love the western shirt, shades of Flying Burrito Bros. Gram Parsons is smiling down on you.
Thanks! I found the shirt in a cool store in San Francisco on Haight Street. So yeah, there's that cowboy-hippie thing again.
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3rd November 2008
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Hi,

Sorry about bringing up an old thread.

I have one question:

Did anyone use eBow on other string instruments? Like on piano strings for example?

I'd love to experiment with eBow on a variety of instruments, but am not %100 sure exactly how/whether it would excite any kind of metal strings...

Any info will be highly appreciated.

Thank you!

p.
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6th November 2008
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They have to be steel strings, or have some steel content for the electromagnet to excite the string. For instance, "nickel" strings would actually be better called "nickel-steel" strings, because they're not pure nickel. They work fine. Bronze strings often have a steel core, so you can use it on your acoustic. Nylon strings don't have any steel in them, so they don't work. Pianos typically have steel strings. The bass strings are usually copper wound, but the core is steel, so it should work.
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6th November 2008
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Thank you!
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8th November 2008
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I've tried it on bass, although it's difficult to put in the right position. They should do a bass version.

I love it on acoustic guitar, it sounds cleaner and more physical.

You could try it on piano strings, but as you cannot change the pitch of each string it's probably not so great.

Santiago
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14th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
Hi,

Sorry about bringing up an old thread.

I have one question:

Did anyone use eBow on other string instruments? Like on piano strings for example?

I'd love to experiment with eBow on a variety of instruments, but am not %100 sure exactly how/whether it would excite any kind of metal strings...

Any info will be highly appreciated.

Thank you!

p.
it works great on piano... kind of ?

put the ebow over a string hit the note and press the pedal for sustain

some times it helps to press the ebow into the string


play along to the note...

slide is also cool ...

thing is with a piano the strings dont bend to much.
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14th November 2008
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Ebow is amazing. I own two. You can do somethings with two of them you can't do with one.

Awesome tool.
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14th November 2008
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Sounds like I should just get one and experiment...

Thank you for feedback guys!

p.
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14th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Ebow is amazing. I own two. You can do somethings with two of them you can't do with one.

Awesome tool.

Like what sorts of things? Am just curious about more details...

p.
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14th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr View Post
Like what sorts of things? Am just curious about more details...
Not really too much to tell... just use two Ebows at the same time to get multiple strings going in different places and such.
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14th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Not really too much to tell... just use two Ebows at the same time to get multiple strings going in different places and such.
Got it.
Thanks!
p.
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14th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Not really too much to tell... just use two Ebows at the same time to get multiple strings going in different places and such.

thanks james tutt now i've got to go buy a second one.
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