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Not So Secret Instruments Used on
“Just Give Me Some Time”

(Check back for more special additions.)

1. Does Tim play piano? Do I hear keyboards at times?
2. Secret Synth Sound? What's Tim's secret weapon? Guitar synth?
3. Did I hear a sitar?
4. The One Man Band Pro or Con?
5. Tim's strings look gold on the CD images. Are those really gold strings? What kind of strings does Tim use?

6. What kind of guitars did Tim use?
7. What kind of basses did Tim use?


1. Does Tim play piano? Do I hear keyboards at times?

Yes Tim plays piano the 'sonic freedom' way breaking fingering rules, (Ha-ha. And probably his own fingers with potential bad fingering habits).

Laura Hollingsworth plays piano on the CD's track, "The Light." For those who may have ears like a bat or sonic microscopes, we can thank Laura's cat for bonus bells!?

You may hear synth on this CD at times but it's not by keyboard! (And surely not Tim's old dinosaur Yamaha keyboard.) <smile> That's what No. 2 is about... the secret synth sound.

2. Secret Synth Sound?
What's Tim's secret weapon for synth?

Ahh...the cat is out of the bag — the secret guitar synth!
Tim uses the original Roland GK-2A Guitar Synth Pickup and a Roland GR30 guitar synthesizer/Midi processor.
However, you may hear keyboards in future recordings other than the guitar synth. And Tim's rare bass pickups remain a secret for now...hehe

3. Did I hear a sitar?

Yes...although synthesized with the not-so-secret musical magic wand above.

The sitar is a Hindustani classical music instrument. A typical sitar has 18 or 19 strings (depending on the style) - there are 6 (in the vilayat khan style) or 7 (in the ravi shankar style) playable strings on top and 12 sympathetic strings or tarbs under the frets. It typically has a gourd acting as the resonating chamber. The distinctive features are the curved frets, which are moveable (allowing fine variation in tuning) and raised (so that resonant, or sympathetic, strings can run underneath the frets, giving a very lush sound).

Learning to play the sitar is a difficult process. Traditional approaches to learning the sitar involve a long period of apprenticeship under the tutelage of a master...Ha-ha unless you are like Tim using a magical wand to play sitar on your guitar.

It is also rather difficult to tune the instrument. The strings can be tuned using both the pegs on the sides or the 'beads' at the bottom, which are mainly for fine tuning. The sympathetic strings are tuned depending on the raga, although for beginners it is OK to tune them according to a C major scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E. In one of the more common tunings (used by Ravi Shankar among others) the strings are tuned:
C C G C G C F.

Much like North Indian music terminology, the origin of the name sitar is most likely Persian. The corresponding Persian name is setar, meaning three strings. This is one of many instruments in the lute family of Persian instruments, included among them is the Barbat, from which the Arabian Oud is most likely derived. (The name lute itself being derived from Al-Oud, via contat of the Arab empire with the Europe).

The sitar is instrument #105 on a General MIDI bank.

4. The One Man Band Pro or Con?

Lenny Kravitz enjoys sonic freedom writing, performing, recording all instruments.
So does Tim Mainka - Guitar, Bass, Drums, vocals...and more.

Known for his originality and breadth of influences (Hendrix to Lennon, gospel to funk), Lenny Kravitz is a writer, producer and arranger who's produced most of his own material and has also worked with other well-respected artists.

Guitar Center asks Lenny, "You play most of the instruments on your albums from what I gather. Does that present any special problems with regard to capturing the energy of a performance?"

Lenny responds: I don't think so. I mean, if you heard my records and no one told you, I don't think you'd know whether it's a band or one guy.

How about when Tim Mainka plays all the instruments in Sonic Freedom™? Give us your feedback!

One reviewer from MakeAStar comments:

"The vocals, guitars and bass are all really good technically. The lead guitar solo was really impressive. If you are playing all the instruments I’m really impressed. Usually I can tell if this is the case, but this sounds pretty much like a band. Nice work!"

5. Tim's strings look gold on the CD images. Are those really gold strings? What kind of strings does Tim use?

Yes indeed. Ultima® Gold Strings. (formerly Maxima®) Yes, all Sonic Freedom® guitars and basses garner the best — 24 karat gold plated strings.

6. What kind of guitars did Tim use?

Tim used a '92 solid top Charvel 22 fret acoustic cutaway — with cool pearl and abalone. Yes, amazing tricks can still happen with humble guitars. He also used a black '94 Fender® American Stratocaster electric guitar. (looks sort of like Eric Clapton's famous prized Stratocaster, "Blackie", although not in value -- Ha-ha -- which brought $959500 in the Christie's Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Auction, becoming the most expensive guitar ever to have been sold at auction. Stevie Ray Vaughan's Stratocaster, "Lenny" received the second highest price ever paid for a Fender Stratocaster at auction, fetching $623,500. A new world record was also set for the sale of a Gibson guitar - Clapton's 1964 red Gibson ES-335 brought $847,500. All guitars were bought by Guitar Center.

7. What kind of basses did Tim use?

Tim exclusively used his pride and joy, "Bass Collection", (brand name), strung as usual with Ultima® 24 Karat Gold Strings. (formerly Maxima®), Gold Gotah bridge, walnut finish on top, mahogany finish on back, 24 fret ebony fretboard, brass nut, plus secret pickups for SF sound ;)...a bass rarely ever seen in the hands of others and manufacturing stopped in 1995. Tim's 1993 edition was listed for retail at $1395. About those great sounding bass pickups again... hmm just ask...maybe Tim will tell. :) Explosive Blockbuster Bottom End Bonanza of Bass Secrets to Boom! Look for music articles to be released in the future...

So what does Sonic Freedom sound like?
Right this way our good musical friend!

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Tim Mainka's Sonic Freedom -
“Just Give Me Some Time”!

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