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J. David
Dateline:  April 01, 2012. 
For immediate release:   J.David VioTechnologies LLC inks deal with Blackerby ViolinLab to supply VIOCAM system.

After an intense fifth round of negotiations, J.David and Beth Blackerby have reached an agreement to beta test the incredible VIOCAM system during this year’s Violin Workshop being held in Austin, TX in July.

Each member of the workshop will be supplied with the state of the art VIOCAM system in order to record workshop activities for those not fortunate enough to attend this year.

Revealed here for the first time is the basic schematic / block diagram for the incredible VIOCAM system:
  1. The eyes of VIOCAM:   Securely fastened to the violin, the VIOCAM  video capture component weighs in at only 3KG. Capable of 800x zoom, now you can zoom in on the bloodshot eyes of your classmates who have been fiddlin’ till dawn.  We’re watching you!
  2. The ears of VIOCAM:   Tired of listening to your stand-mate’s intonation issues, these noise-cancelling headphones will insure that only your own pure tones grace your ears!
  3. The heart of VIOCAM:   What else but THE RED VIOLIN?  Spectral analysis has shown that notes emanating from red violins are superior to all others with respect to tone production.  Now when someone asks you what kind of violin you have, you can proudly state: THE RED VIOLIN!
  4. The brains of VIOCAM:   Overflowing with electronics, switches, dials, buttons and software gadgetry, it’s just too fantastic to explain. But it‘s the 21st century equivalent of magic fiddle dust!
  5. The reach of VIOCAM:   Advanced Rabbit-Ear Antenna design provides 4G-like live internet connectivity.  Be the first to capture a bowing mistake and broadcast it live to the eager ViolinLab internet viewing audience!  Throw away those iPhones, they're now redundant!
  6. The tongue of VIOCAM:   Not even technology can supersede or enhance the age-old bow. Some things will just never change!

The incredible VIOCAM system...   It’s Violinsane!!

J. David
Sent from my Blackerberry smartphone.

14 Responses
Posted: April 1, 2012

Dick Stanley
I downloaded the trial version of intonia. How can I make it work with the Gigaware 25-1142 webcam mic on my PC with XP? Right now the mic is set up to use with Skype. I think I'm going to be sorry I tried this. I usually am with software.

12 Responses
Posted: April 1, 2012

J. David
Fitting for the last day of March, here are two fine old Scottish marches:
  • Campbell's Farewell to RedCastle
  • Kitchener's Army
Watching these, I notice that my wrist has a tendency to collapse at times(i.e. its too low), which makes the bow tilt inward.  I'm aware of it, but sometimes it just sneaks in anyway.

Comments/Criticisms/Compliments all welcome.

13 Responses
Posted: March 31, 2012

Could someone please help me understand intonation? Aspects of my "violin life" are suffering horribly and I don't really understand the "why" or how to make it better. 

I am absolutely willing to take on faith that tuning to an "A"  is OK if everyone uses 440, or 441, or 442, etc.   I accept that compromises are needed in life and music, but my ears and logic are struggling terribly to live with it and understand what I will hear with the compromises.

Can't folks hear the difference between 440, 441, 442, 443 and just know that the "A" is off a little?  Don't people find that very, very distracting when listening?  Aren't all the rest of the notes then off if you somehow match the relative pitch to the original A, or if you play the rest of the notes at the proper (standard) frequency, then won't the open strings stick sound awful within the tune?  And if you play the fingered notes at the "proper" frequency and avoid the open strings, why bother spending so much time getting the strings tuned to fifths (ok, it is easier to consistently move between strings if they are carefully tuned to 5ths, I concede that point).

My violin/fiddle teacher (I get to meet with her only occasionally) tunes my violin when I have a lesson - I tune it with a tuner, then she always re-tunes it - and every time she tunes it to about 443 (I double check on my tuner so I can try to replicate it when she's not around, she is not happy that I am struggling with this, but I don't have a built in reference point, this is my first instrument ever).  I play with her tuning during my lesson or during Fiddle Club.  It sounds off to me, but then I am used to the sound of tuning it to 440 by my Korg tuner.  I go home and start playing along with the Suzuki CD's or another recording and I sound off once again until I tune it back to the 440 on my Korg tuner.

I must be doing something wrong - but what?  My teacher's reaction seems to be the Korg tuner is not the best way to tune it. 

BUT....When a young lady is home from college and she tunes it for me (she has perfect pitch), I think I have died and gone to heaven!  I am still an "intermediate wannabe", but the sound is so much much more beautiful and resonant when this young lady tunes for me.  I turn in to a strung out violin junkie when she tunes it - I could play and listen to it forever.  How can I get this sound myself?

Can anyone point me to an article, etc. to explain what I am, or am not, hearing or conceptualizing properly. 

Thank you so much in advance for sharing your ideas. 


16 Responses
Posted: March 31, 2012

This doesn't have anything to do with violin....but it is about music in general.

THIS is what I want to do with music and my playing.....if I could even come close to drawing out such heart and emotion as these two fellas have here.....I'll be one very happy violinist/musician.....  *sigh*

This discussion includes members-only video content

3 Responses
Posted: April 1, 2012


Up date on the next violin.  The neck and belly are on and ready to be exposed to about 8-12 hours of UV light. 


18 Responses
Posted: March 29, 2012

Beth Hyde
I decided to post a few songs I've learned "by ear". I'm noticing a lot of the same problems from my first video (2 days ago) but although my intonation still needs a lot of work, Robyn was right. Intonation improves when there is less tension. I'm following up on all the advise you guys have given in the first video. These are songs that I play when I'm frustrated with practice or I just want to have fun on the violin.  I'm not sure why Feliz Navidad was cut off at the beginning but I'm also new to video taping and uploading video. All these songs have some sort of memory or sentimental connection for me. The last time I heard Feliz Navidad was in Haiti on Christmas Day 2010.  It was both a good and bad day at the cholera clinic with kids dying and visitors delivering babies unexpectedly.  In the afternoon, one of the Haitian doctors brought a radio to the pediatric tent and turned on Christmas music. Feliz Navidad was the first song played. All of a sudden, all the doctors and nurses (haitians and international staff) were caught up in an impromtu dance. That Christmas turned out to be one of the best Christmasses ever.  White Cliffs of Dover is the second song. My mom was one of the children evacuated from London during the second world war. This song was one of her favourites. She died the day after Thanksgiving 2002 so this song keeps her memory close to me. The third song is the intro to the TV series "Lonesome Dove". I've always enjoyed westerns and I love this music. "Waltzing Matilda" - I love ballads as a general rule but I do have family in "Down Under" and so I decided to learn their unofficial national anthem. I hope I don't offend anyone with the last song, Ha Tikvah (The Hope). I just love the melody of this song. I considered not playing it because I don't want anyone to be offended or to take it as more than just a song that I enjoy playing. It is one of my favorite songs to play, when I play it in tune. 

I didn't mean to write a book but I also have a couple of questions. When I tune my violin, I can get it in tune and then when I go to play a few minutes later, either the A peg or G peg has slipped and my violin is woefully out of tune. I always double check my violin if I change locations. Other than making sure the pegs are tight, is there anything else I can do?

Also, would it cause a lot of confusion if I changed my display name to Beth? I changed it to Elizabeth because I wanted to avoid confusion but I've always gone by Beth ever since my little sister couldn't pronounce "Elizabeth" but could pronounce "Lizardbreath" When I see Elizabeth on the posts, I have to remember that you guys are talking to me. 
This discussion includes members-only video content

7 Responses
Posted: March 30, 2012

Beth Blackerby
Just uploaded another Left Hand Squeezing Video. Try the practice tip and let me know if it helps.

4 Responses
Posted: March 29, 2012

Marie Laframboise
I am searching for the violin music of the Edith Piaf version of Autumn Leaves Lily Pads jazz violin version.  Any idea where I can find it Please.  Thanks

1 Responses
Posted: March 30, 2012

Hi Beth,

I was just wondering if you knew that lesson 7 and lesson 62-A are the same video?
They're the video about tuning the violin in fifths.
Perhaps there is a reason for this? If there is forgive my ignorance.


1 Responses
Posted: March 30, 2012

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