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Midi Hayden Duet? Assessing Demand


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#19 inventor

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 07:33 AM

To answer Matthew's original question: yes I am interested in an electronic concertina "now or in the next few years".

Well congratulations to Lukasz for getting so far with his solution.

Personally I think that the only future of all Keyboard instruments (including pianos, church organs, accordions and concertinas), is Electronic !

For the Hayden concertina: I think that if you can make an entirely self contained instrument (i.e. with all the electronics, mini loudspeakers & batterys inside, and no heavier or larger than the equivalent concertina); it could be a commercial success in the much wider field.

Best of luck to both of you.

Inventor.

Edited by inventor, 15 March 2014 - 07:41 AM.


#20 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:33 AM

Thank you Inventor.

 

On some point of my initial research I did consider building an instrument like you described, self-contained with loudspeakers, as prices of large acoustic Haydens are enormous (justified, but enormous still). But there are some problems with this approach: you will have to fit a full-blown midi-synthetizer and speakers inside, or make it based on android smartphone for "brains", or use something like Raspbery Pi computer-on-board, or find a way of generating an acceptable sound in an analogue form. And then there is a problem of loudnes of portable speakers and their response characteristics, designing proper acoustic chambers for bass amplification etc.. It is a far greater deal than a relatively simple MIDI controller, so I've abandoned this path very early.

 

One more idea that cames to mind, is to build something with a principle similiar to electric guitar, to be able to plug such concertina to all sorts of guitar effects, but I don't realy have any sensible idea on how to bite this one...



#21 Don Taylor

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:49 AM

How about using an iPhone or iPod touch as a built-in synth that can emit its audio ever Bluetooth to a wireless speaker? You could even have some sort of wearable speaker. By built-in I mean a slot in the concertina that accepts an iDevice and connects it via the Lightening connector to the Arduino/Shield.

I think that eskin on this site has a very credible set of concertina patches for iDevices.

I think that you can already connect a midi keyboard to an iDevice so not a lot of new software would be required.

#22 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:40 PM

There is one problem with iDevices - you have to build a true standalone MIDI controller based on Arduino (or any other microcontroller), which sends MIDI messages over a MIDI cable and this is a lot of computation for Arduino (and my board had too few inputs and outputs to make that happened). The reason for that, is that iDevices require deviceID for anything other than MIDI accesories and this is not easily obtainable. At least that's how it was three years ago, this could have changed. That is why I wrote about Android devices, which have no such limitation. But yes, a smartphone as a "brain" for such concertina is probably the most versatile solution. But it is a path towards commercial production, not a single, DIY controller.

 

In my concertina Arduino serves only as a gatherer for different values, which it then sends in raw form to Processing driver running on host system. The reason for that is that Processing has some neat MIDI libraries, Arduino does not. This requires a host capable of running my code and support for a software MIDI device. Back then that was true for OSX, Linux and Windows.



#23 Don Taylor

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:23 PM

Let's move the DIY stuff over into a separate thread and leave Matthew's original thread alone.

http://www.concertin...showtopic=16398

#24 Jim Bayliss

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:12 PM

I would definitely be interested in a midi-Hayden.   Roland is doing very well with its electronic accordions. 



#25 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:22 AM

I like my instruments accoustic, being a mechanical man... I even use a clockwork  Watch!  However, I can see the point of this in the face of limited supply of Hayden Keyboards...

The ability to control the tones and output of each hand of a duet  has some appeal  . So count me in ... tentatively.


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 16 March 2014 - 07:18 AM.


#26 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:11 PM

So we now have 5 people interested with additional two who want to build one by themselves (myself and Don). 

 

What I'm courious about is what price range (for a 64 button, pressure sensitive instrument) is acceptable for you? What features should such instrument have? It might be tricky to convince anyone to start production if everyone has different expectations...



#27 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:01 AM



So we now have 5 people interested with additional two who want to build one by themselves (myself and Don). 

 

What I'm courious about is what price range (for a 64 button, pressure sensitive instrument) is acceptable for you? What features should such instrument have? It might be tricky to convince anyone to start production if everyone has different expectations...

 

 

I'd imagine inventor  would have the most detailed notes on experimenting with instrument size, but I'd think something in the 64-67b range would make sense. Large but not so big that it becoomes bandoneon-like and requires sliding the hand a lot more through the strap. I looked at my 7" Beaumont, and I could see fitting the additional buttons onto those size of ends, 7" seems a workable size.

 

So far as price, the S-Wave goes for £1600. For me that's about at the upper limit of what I'd want to pay for a MIDI Hayden this year; if Dean had a Hayden variant out now I could see buying one this summer, but as noted he's sticking with English. For me to pay more than the low-mid US$2000s, I'd have to be gigging more seriously to justify it, and I'd have to be pretty convinced it was a really professional product.

 

So far as features, I'm okay with it not having bellows (like S-Wave) if a piston arrangement would work equally well. But if it turns out that a simple air pressure sensors is easier and cheaper (even factoring the cost of stitching bellows), I'm okay with that too. I just like the piston's "skeletalized" look, plus at least Dean's can be disassembled and laid flat into a case.

 

If it doesn't add too much additional cost, some adjustability of handrest slant would be helpful, since our small community has two different preferred angles on the Hayden. I don't know enough about knobs and switches to have any opinion as to what doohickies (if any) should be integrated into the body to change settings or whatnot, rather than by adjusting on the synth device (laptop, ipad, etc).

 

I have no particular demand for onboard processor or speaker. As long as I can plug a chord into one end of it, I'm fine having an amp and an iPad (to serve as synth) to do all the processing. I'm not opposed to having something more self-contained, but I'd rather have the actual instrument be pretty minimalist; also because that'd make it easy to update the firmware as it improves over the years, rather than having to dig some kind of processor out of the body to upgrade it.

 

 

 

For other design inspirations, worth looking at the Streb eMelodeon:

99dsu9.jpg

- Some Playford with pretty convincing melodeon sound: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=y4nnhuo1_hc

- A Streb switching to "church organ" sound: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TVT3cSg5CkE



#28 Don Taylor

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:28 PM

Given that you would be able to transpose electronically, would you really need 60 plus buttons on a Hayden midi?

#29 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:32 PM

Given that you would be able to transpose electronically, would you really need 60 plus buttons on a Hayden midi?


I had been wondering just the same - but OTOH you might need any half tone step if you wanted to play blues or, f.i., eastern tunes, and thus be in need of such a large board, wouldn't you?

Edited by blue eyed sailor, 17 March 2014 - 01:33 PM.


#30 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:57 PM

@Don: For some reason Roland builds all of their reedles accordions full-sized, as large as 92 button Bayan with 120 basses.

 

If you wan't full bass+chord accompaniment or use chords with root doubled an octave lower and be able to play modern, accidental rich melody at the same time and be able to play the whole piece without transposition on-the-fly then yes, you need so many buttons. If you just wanted the MIDI input device and not a real-time instrument, then even a single octave keyboard with transposition dial could be sufficient, but bear in mind, that your hands are strapped to the concertina while playing. Changing a lot of parameters on the fly, like with piano keboards, is not an option… 

 

And because of technicalities of matrix keyboards the most logical number of buttons around 60 is 64 so why not? It is just a couple of holes and switches more :)



#31 Chris Ghent

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 08:38 PM

You could build a much smaller instrument in one key and have a stepped slider for pitch. Those half tones mentioned earlier could be taken care of with a double pressure switch like the tonon bender, or a rocker button under the thumb to half step up or down.

#32 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:07 AM

But if you have just one key and a thumb button for shifting entire keyboard half step up or down, then this is not a Hayden layout anymore - it becames a new layout, a derivative of course, but with completely new playing techniques required...



#33 inventor

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:51 AM

I would strongly advise a 65 button instrument in a 7" Hexagon. Anything that is not chromatic in the keyboard would make playing totally chromatic tunes like "The Flight of the Bumble Bee", or "The Entry of the Gladiators"; or chromatic decorations and Harmonic and Melodic minors virtually impossible.
Inventor.

#34 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:43 AM

Inventor, totally agree with you and b.e.s. re the utility of having a decently large keyboard, ~65b, to move around in.

 

One of the other advantages of having duplicated notes without changing any settings mid-play: you could code the notes to whatever musical temperament you like, so that could result in the Ab and the G# being distinctly different notes at opposite ends of the keyboard, really highlighting the differences in intonation.

 

Inventor, are you saying that you have a strong opinion about hexagon over octagon or 10/12-side designs? I was wondering about this myself a few days ago, and I personally like octagon, but if hexagon has a genuine advantage I'm flexible.

 

 

I like my instruments accoustic, being a mechanical man... I even use a clockwork  Watch!  However, I can see the point of this in the face of limited supply of Hayden Keyboards...

The ability to control the tones and output of each hand of a duet  has some appeal  . So count me in ... tentatively.

 

While addressing the limited Hayden supply is a happy side-effect, I think acoustic and MIDI concertinas address different parts of the market. I'm less interested in having a MIDI for playing quietly with earphones, or loud through an amp, and having it sound and behave as close to an acoustic is possible (though all those capabilities are desirable). What I'm interested in is things that can't be feasibly done with an acoustic, such as tuning to other temperaments, microntonal scales, trying different keyboard layouts, etc. My whole interest in a MIDI concertina came from my desire to have a Just Tuned, or Quarter-Comma Meantone tuned one. But when I considered the cost of getting a Peacock re-tuned, and then being "stuck" with a instrument with very iffy resale. But with a MIDI I could swap settings and tweak microtonal junk all day with just clicks of the mouse.



#35 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:39 PM

Inventor, totally agree with you and b.e.s. re the utility of having a decently large keyboard, ~65b, to move around in.


 

Inventor, are you saying that you have a strong opinion about hexagon over octagon or 10/12-side designs? I was wondering about this myself a few days ago, and I personally like octagon, but if hexagon has a genuine advantage I'm flexible.

 

 

 

 

 

I also prefer the Octagonal shape on Duets and find it easier to control positioning of the little fingers by turning the concertina 'one flat forward' and shoving my hands down into the straps at 45°, this especially with the Hayden slope... but also on the MacCann.

 

I cannot see why a 65k Hayden keyboard Midi would not fit on a smaller surface than the 7" Hex.. size does matter



#36 JimLucas

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

I cannot see why a 65k Hayden keyboard Midi would not fit on a smaller surface than the 7" Hex.. size does matter

 

More specifically, the only sizes that constrain dimensions are those of the button array, the hand bar, and the relative positioning of the two.  No need to provide space for reeds or for levers and pads.  In fact, no reason to have fewer buttons in the left hand than in the right, so one could "trivially" expand the left-hand range either up or down (or both) compared to a "real" concertina.  Deeper bass notes?  Greater overlap between the hands?  Yes.






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