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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. I play duet, but I had the same problem - RH melody alone was easy, LH oom-pahs alone were easy, playing octaves was easy, but playing both hands together with non-symmetrical hands movements was impossible. My trick was to stop treating hands separately - instead learn to play very slowly with both hands together, so that your muscle memory encompasses hand-to-hand-to-bellows interactions and timings and then gradually increase speed only when you are not making mistakes at a current speed.
  2. Ach, I misunderstood. My current array goes from Bbs/Ebs to D#/G#, but with antlers I could extend it to span from Abs/Ebs to A#s/Fs without sacrificing the ability to finger all available triads with same fingers efficiently and add two additional rows on each side, giving me the maximum reachable layout going from C2 up to E7.
  3. Closer spacing will in turn require smaller buttons, which in turn make the 'tina less comfortable to play and lever routing even harder to solve than it normally is due to less space between button stems. With the above print I already see a huge problem with lever routing, especially LH sharps side. For me, the smallest comfortable buttons are 5mm diameter, with 6mm ones being significantly better, and at 6.5 mm I start to hit adjacent buttons (on the standard 9/16mm spaced array). This translates to a minimum of 6mm distance between buttons, and less than 8mm gain by squeezing your array to the minimum. Put a hand strap on this mockup, and then try to play some tunes with a lot of high sharps and sharp chords in it to see where you can even reach comfortably and then see if this gain is even enough to fit everything within a playable area.
  4. There is a very good reason for this orientation, but first I want to stress one thing - this whole setup is aimed at relaxing the hand as much as possible, so no, there is no pain involved, at all. The main concept behind this handle design is based on the same principle as rock climbing chock techniques - because of how the thimble, anvil and handlebar parts of this system interact, the thumb is locked in all planes but one (plus the leeway described below) and in all axis of rotation but two. Because of this, the hand is effectively attached to the concertina in a very "glove like" fashion, with all positioning absolute and all lateral thumb movements directly transferring to the bellows movement. You mount/dismount your hand by a move that does not naturally happen when playing but when locked in the hand simply rests, hanging from the thimble in the same position you hook the thumb on e.g. backpack straps when you want to rest your arms, or on a jacket button etc... For the handle to act as described above, it must be rigid. Any elasticity reduces the absolute nature of finger positioning. Now the main reason why the thumb has to be oriented this way is that in order to reach various areas on the keyboard in finger configurations required by Hayden chord shapes, the thumb must rotate a bit. The thimble is oriented exactly along this axis of rotation. A rigid handle like this, if made with the thumb straight wants to literally break your thumb as you try to reach extremes of the array and even if it didn't you'll loose the hook-and-lock aspect of the handle. During prototyping this I gradually expanded the concept from a simple, english style thumb "strap" (only made from rigid filament) and then iterated it about 20 times to the final shape you see here. There is a short video on the previous page of this thread when I present how the lock aspect of this handle works and how the movement is transferred onto the bellows, and in the final seconds od the video you can see the unlock move. Now, the common confusion I got about this thumb position is that it is a 90 degree bend. It isn't - it varies between close and far rows fingering and the thimble is not "snug fit" vertically, you can move the distal part of the thumb enough for all movements required. In the "ready" position of the thimble there are two forces acting, one upward acting near the joint and one downward acting at the tip of the nail. Then when playing those forces vary, both in direction and strength, so there is very little fatigue. After a 45 minute session my hand is more relaxed than after playing the same time with a hand strap setup on my CC Elise. This is mostly because my handle design does the gripping for you.
  5. Yes, this is Fiberlogy Fiberwood filament, alcohol stained with a shellac finish. A very nice filament, one of my personal favourites.
  6. Thank you! And here I thought that some of my levers are too short and the lever arrangement packed Very nice layout!
  7. Those are PTFE, which from I can gather has an unlimited shelf life. With this curvature I suppose there won't be any serious wear on those. But if any part of the link breaks, it is simply push fit into the board with a little notch cut on the button side so it does not slide back in. To completely replace the whole assembly you just need an exacto knife and a piece of tube for the Bowden and a pair of pliers and a proper gauge spring wire for the actuator. I have actually replaced those a few times when I was working on them, since I made them too short the first time around and the resulting curvature was too tight. It took about 2 minutes to replace them.
  8. Thanks! It was one of those "how have I not thought about it sooner" moments. I don't mind others taking up on this, as I don't see myself in a concertina building career anytime soon. Maaaybee some 3d printed 46 button Haydens if I ever design a travel box for myself.
  9. He uses PLA for the box and reedpan and CF infused filament for all the moving parts.
  10. As I wrote, Ed spent a whole year meticulously fine tuning the sound of it. Before he started making concertinas, he was an accordion tuner for more than a decade, so you can trust his expertise. But you don't have to rely on trust alone, he got some of the best UK players to "test drive" those. Also, the material of the concertina plays only a secondary role in the acoustics of it, sound reflections are the key. Now, on the unrelated topic, I have updated my thread with some pictures of the link mechanism: As to sharing my handle design, my ultimate goal is indeed to popularise this design, so I don't say no, but you will have to be patient just for a little bit longer. At this moment those are calibrated for my hand only and the proper calibration is key to this design. I'll have to come up with some sort of adjustable solution first before I can offer it to the public.
  11. Oh wow, this is packed! It looks like it has some very short levers too?
  12. Now on the second photo above one other feature can be seen - my air pad box. This is why it looks this way - my air lever. Because my "antlers" immobilise the thumb, I needed something different than a traditional air button. This can be operated by any of the four fingers and as such can be operated mid-phrase to close/open bellows faster. Though I only use it in one tune, because this beast have enormous air supply. Which points to a fun fact - with the bellows perfectly airtight, this box can play the lowest note, F2, continuously for 30 seconds. But because DIX reeds with the valves I use are so responsive and the bellows cross section is so large on this box, I actually had to introduce a controlled leak between the bellows and the reedpan to get a proper dynamic range for reeds above C4, because they were pretty much on-off with the slightest of the bellows move. The last update for now is my lap support. This ensures, that the LH side hand positioning stays absolute, as it eliminates any wobble around the vertical axis due to eccentricity of forces acting on the endplates on draw and anchores the LH side of the bellows. By the nature of my bellows (it is very rigid in both axis perpendicular to the bellows travel) it also stabilises the RH side, so this whole thing feels much more like playing on a static instrument like a piano rather than a concertina with a hand strap. It is a click-in mount, so there is only a little peg on the concertina itself.
  13. Hopefully, this is my penultimate post before completion, as the box is fully playable for a few months now and only bellows papers left to do. Playability is in fact the reason why it is not done yet - I prefer playing on her in my precious little time I can spare for concertina. So, to the point. In another thread I've mentioned, that I've solved the links problem. My first prototype link all those years ago involved traditional levers, but it has proven impossible to route direct levers through the array and routing them around required so many intermediaries, that there was just too much loss of travel and response. And then occurred to me, that I could go through the inside of the box for a direct route and this is how I did it. Those are for Ebs, and if I knew this will be my solution I would arrange a few reeds differently to accommodate Abs also (at this point I could readily make one Ab link, but I don't see the musical point of just one). Bowden setup has all the advantages I can think of - it is smooth, PTFE tube+spring wire have virtually no friction, so no additional spring is needed; button travel is exactly the same, because lever arm length is the sam for both buttons; and with my button-to-lever connection design, the "donor" button does not move when the receiving button is pressed; and last but not least, there are no meaningful button force differences, so linked buttons work pretty much exactly the same as the rest of the array. With careful planning of the reed placement, I could get full range of enharmonic duplicates this way. I guess this is a "to do" for my future full piano range box, somewhere in the next two decades
  14. I can wholeheartedly recommend Ed as a maker. I was a close witness to his journey from the early prototype to production models and as an accordion player himself, he is very focused on the sound of his designs as much as he is on the ergonomy of them. He is currently working on duets, Crane to be precise and is open to designing other systems as well, but not one-and-done projects, so it's more probable to get a standard 46 button Hayden from him than a 66 button one.
  15. Welcome to the fascinating world of solving Hayden range puzzle I went through the same process when deciding on what I want to have on my 66 button instrument all those years ago (self built, currently just bellows papers left to make and it'll be finally done, after 8 years). So you already know that overlap is important, but what you don't know is that reeds below C3 are way larger (about twice the area or even larger, I'm talking about a hybrid, so accordion reeds) than those from C3 upwards and require even larger chambers. You have eight of them, I have "just" five, two of which are long scale (so about 150% the size of normal scale). And by "larger chambers" I mean 150-250% of the volume relative to the reed tongue length than reeds from C3 upwards. My instrument is 8 2/3" and I could only make it about 1/3", maybe 1/2" smaller without sacrificing response and timbre. And I use linked buttons for 4 notes, so I'm talking about "only" 62 reeds... This is why duet concertinas have more notes on the RH side than on the LH side. It is LH that dictates the physical size of the instrument, and then you fill RH size with as many useful notes as you can route the levers to. Which leads to the second most important restriction - the problem of routing levers, which is a can of worms in its own respect. My concertina has handles a bit too much to the back, so the bellows works just a bit to off-center, all this because I wanted it to have a RH range from F3 to E6, so had to fit two rows of high reeds in front of the array. Now another problem with theorising the layout - concertina is not a piano, you have to reach all those buttons with your wrist pretty much immobilised if you go with a traditional hand strap design. It took me quite a lot of work to come up with a solution that frees the wrist, but it is highly unorthodox. You can see it here: Another problem with sharps heavy array is that it inherently pinky heavy array on the RH side, which adds to the hand straps problem. So before you decide on the layout make physical mockup, including handles, and check if you are even able to reach all those buttons in practical ways. Now last but not least, to my knowledge no modern maker except me (and I'm not a professional) uses linked buttons because it is a non-trivial problem on a concertina. So you can forget about all those Abs, Eds and A#s without adding duplicate reeds and more layer routing/box size problems. To sum up - with your layout you are already approaching bandoneon sized instrument (because of bass notes), so you might be better with this: https://bandoneon-maker.com/professional-model-c-b-and-russian-b-system-bandonion/ Or if you stick to the concertina, with this bass side, you can afford all the reeds you want on the RH side, probably another 10-15, especially if you extend towards "dog whistles". Ah, and I do use E6 and D#6 in at least one tune each, so I wouldn't drop them.
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