1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Strings of the Future!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SolarMan, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. I'm wondering if we musicians playing stringed instruments in the future will be playing metallic based strings.

    Of course we are dependent upon them now with our antiquated electromagnetic field pickup technology.

    But, are metals the best for an electronic-analog signal chain?

    There is or will soon be a material that is superior to steel or nickel or whatever at reproducing frequencies that please the human ear.

    Will we develop new pickup technology? Maybe the string is able to emit a magnetic field onto a non magnetized coil?

    Maybe a nano-tech carbon fiber string can hook up to an optical pickup?

    I know we have piezo but that didn't really cut it or we would all be using them.

    The future brings digital but I think that there will always be a demand for analog in the music world - just look at how many still insist on tube technology when solid state is "superior" on paper in every way.

    Just wondering...what will the future bring?

    (my dream is a "force field" that lets you feel strings that aren't really there - with an all analog signal path).

    What do you think?
  2. Nah, it would use too many batteries. Unless it was a 'passive' force field.....:D

    Actually magnetic strings is an interesting idea. No magnets in the pickups, just coils. Of course, you'd constantly be cleaning paper clips, razor blades and other steel junk from your strings----
    On the other hand, since the strings are coils anyway, maybe pass current through them, making them electromagnets? That way, when you turn the strings off, :)D) the junk would fall harmlessly away.....
  3. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    What about using strings made out of hemp or other vegetable fibers? Would that work with an optical system akin to LightWave's? If they sounded good and played smoothly, they'd be ideal. The strings would be super cheap to make/purchase and they would cause virtually zero fingerboard/fret wear.

    Strings that utilize technologies more advanced than a vegetable would be cool, but depending on the resources available to the future in question, "growable" strings might be a viable option.
  4. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Strings need to be metal for the grounding of the instrument, this is due to the fact that they are electrically conductive. ;)

    Cobalt? :bag:

    Magnetized strings has been tried, and failed.:oops:

    optical pickups do not need metal/ nano carbon fiber to work, and generally people do not like the sound. Maybe if they make a neck pickup?:meh:

    future?... likely the cost of metal is going to go up, metal strings can be recycled, metallurgy improves every year. Strings made of steel alloys used on eye glasses, super tempered to keep shape and ultra corrosion resistant so a pack of strings last years. :ninja:

    Force Field... Strings not there...I think that if I was still in music college i would be asking you if I can get the number of your dealer. ;)
  5. Non-conductive strings wouldn't, obviously, require grounding. ;)
  6. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    I don't think you get it, Your body grounds the bass through the strings.
  7. Every technology you have mentioned, except the force field, has already been created and has been in production for years. Optical pickups (a la Lightwave systems) do work well, and the sound is good, but they require more power than a standard active pickup system, and there is no discernable improvement in sound. They do however produce a DIFFERENT sound, and don't exert magnetic pull on the strings, so the technology does have its place in this world. The magnetic string thing is something I'm not really familiar with, but from a theoretical standpoint I can't see the technology providing any major advantages over the current standards. I can however imagine all sorts of problems being generated by what would effectively be such a large and exposed electromagnet.

    The force field theory is a very good idea, it would eliminate the physical technique barrier and allow people to focus just on theory education and be able to express themselves more freely on the instrument. That said, the incremental improvements that are continually being made with the existing techology are allowing for some very playable and great-sounding instruments to be made that don't cost the earth, so that barrier IS gradually being cloclosed as it is.
  8. No, I do get it. The strings are grounded to GROUND, not to the player.
  9. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
  10. Betrayer_Bass

    Betrayer_Bass Profanity Fish.

    Sep 24, 2011
    Oslo, Norway
    Endorsing: Spector basses, Winspear Picks, Spector Formula 603 strings
    I honestly think that where this current tech is "outdated" it makes a damn fine instrument. It feels great to play on steel strings, with the fingerboard. If I wanted to play some ultra future thing, I'd get a laser harp. But I want to feel the steel under my fingers, I love the sound my outdated techhnology makes. Of course there will be people that will love any new stuff, but I hope it doesn't replace what we have now :)

  11. lefty


    Sep 25, 2004
    as i appreciate all the tech talk basses sound good in their variant tones as it is. I couldn't imagine doing something like this to an upright! GOOD music is feel if you can't feel it it has no soul.
  12. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    imo The only reason why people are going to play bass in the future is because they want to sound like we do now. Even we are looking back.
  13. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    Why change what isn't broken?

    I like things the way they are. The only thing about basses I'd change is companies would make MORE of them. When it comes to basses vs guitars more guitars are made than basses by a significant margin I think companies should make atleast 20% more basses every year. That's the only thing I'd ever change about basses besides Fender being trumped as the de facto bass company but, that like your idea of strings WON'T happen.
  15. How about instead of strings we use four laser beams in their place. Interrupting the beams causes a sound to play. You wouldn't have to worry about intonation or altered tunings, since the computer will take care of that. Four tiny laser emitters in the bridge, and four optical receptors at the nut. You could play with your left hand, and eat a sandwich with your right! ;)
  16. strings should just be made from light sabers, because they make a pretty cool sound already. then nathan navarro wouldnt need all those pedals to play skrillex songs.
  17. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Why not just a bass or baritone therimen for all the techies and star wars wanks? I'll just plunk on an old wash bucket with a broom handle and rope
  18. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Kind of like a Theremin but you need very good intonation ?

  19. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Hum I disagree. When I took up bass was because it was easier than guitar and I also liked the sound. Not because of the Beatles or any other old band.
  20. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    how about a piano ? the musician don't touch the string. I think that if you hear the music in your head and you like what you hear in your head then the music is good no matter the instrument being used.

    even computer music can be good if the musician who composed it doesn't go the easy way.

Share This Page