Updated: Mar 14
Wide Dynamic Range when Playing Live.
As a guitarist with long experience and as an arranger in pursuit of beautiful music, it's important that I should notice the small things that elevate the guitar to another level, even if it's only a slightly higher level, because all the small things add up to make a difference. The range between the softest and loudest sounds in a piece of music can be affected by string selection. I wrote and arranged an instrumental piece that included an arpeggio which would hold a longer note as an accent every time the accent note was on string 1. While I wanted the highest notes to stand out, I could not get the accent to be much louder than the other notes. Not much of an accent really. The rest stroke on the accented note was the right way to prepare, but I wanted loudness with clarity, not loudness with heavy handed distortion. Talking to one of the people at Knobloch Strings about this, I mentioned that I was using medium high tension strings. I was reluctant to go to high tension strings based on bad experiences I had many years ago with a different brand, where they had plenty of volume, but it was hard to play with soft and medium volume. It seemed I had to play loud all the time. The man from Knobloch Strings understood and recommended the EDC 34.0, also medium high tension. I struggled to see the benefit of staying on the same tension of string, but I had never used carbon strings before. His recommendation was based on positive feedback from other guitarists who had a playing history similar to mine.
The EDC 34.0 carbon strings gave me the volume boost overall, actually more than I expected, but I could still bring the volume down low in a controlled way. From atmospheric sounds building smoothly to the mid-range and then the strong but clear notes gave me a much wider dynamic range than I ever had experienced before. In that wider dynamic range, I found my solution, and the volume boost did not interfere with the tonal qualities. The narrower dynamic range I had before, meant that my soft notes were almost inaudible, so I didn't give them the attention they deserved. The wider dynamic range gives me more room to arrange expressive, quiet sections, and play them at a level where they can be heard well. I now have enough dynamic range to save my loudest parts for the high point in the arc of the song. Additionally, when playing a scaled or arpeggiated section and I want to accent a specific note using a firm rest stroke, I have the volume from these strings to make the accented note have an impact. As an arranger, I can write to a wider dynamic range to better express the song, or it's story, in a more subtle and beautiful way. EDC 34.0 strings have unlocked one additional layer for me to elevate the music.