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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. First flaw I can see, is that the physical size of the instrument is determined by the LHS reed sizes, not the RH sizes… But I can't see the reason for not applying the same layout to both sides - with such trick you have already sacrificed some of the versality of the layout, so I can see no reason not to go one step further, and bisonorize both sides. As to practical use of such instrument - I can imagine that it would be quite similiar in capabilities to a violin, i.e. it would be good for melodic and arpeggiated harmony play. With both sides bisonoric, you sacrifice the ability to play full chords (almost all chords have a two row span, you can only play major thirds in one row) but retain the ability to play in octaves and to play some two line melodic arrangements. It might be also interesting to look at the potential repertoire and check if it would be worth to make such instrument in a way, that a LHS plays f-row notes in the same bellows direction that RHS plays c-row notes - this way you could play full chords. Basically you would have sort of a "freaky, bisonoric, "english-ish" frankenHayden concertina this way And last but not least - couple of years ago, for a little while, I HAD similiar instrument. At that time I have deeply enjoyed the "bounciness" of playing on an Anglo, so my first DIY MIDI Hayden software allowed me to turn my instrument into "Hayglo" - I could set a desired interval between push and pull notes (same for the entire keyboard) and play on a "two offset Hayden keyboards" in a bisonoric way. But as soon as I have grasped the ease of use of a "normal" Hayden layout I have abandoned this bisonoric option, as bisonority is generally "against my brain".
  2. @Don: for 62 "standard double" DIX reeds in brass (with valves) I've paid around 300 euros. I think that the price for two "concerina" reeds would be slightly larger than for a single "standard" but probably you'll end up somewhere around the same sum. Harmonikas.cz won't give you any estimated price untill you send them the complete list of notes needed, as price per reed vary with size...
  3. I have first designed my 66b Hayden for standard accordion reeds, so it is huge by concertina standards (22cm flat to flat), but after changing them to "standard" DIX it could be 20cm flat to flat (but I have already made the case and bellows at that point, so I have only reworked reedpans. I still have some unused "corner area" but rectangular reeds impose some arrangement issues). As I wrote above - DIX reeds are on average about 4mm shorter than standard TAM reeds.
  4. This is NOT "an issue" - those rounded vents are the very core of the DIX design and suposedly are traditional to a single region in Saxony. I have tried DIX reeds in all available plate metal variants and there is very distinctive, audible difference between all types AND even between aluminum DIX sound vs aluminum tipo-a-mano accordion reeds (also from harmonikas.cz). "Concertina" oval reeds are DIX reeds because this is the only sort of reeds that harmonikas makes in brass. To my ear, DIX reeds (especially made in brass, but also in zinc) have more "trumpet like" sound with completely different ballance of overtones compared to typical accordion TAM reeds. One feature that is worth mentioning - DIX reeds are scaled differently than TAM reeds - they are a couple of mm shorter than their TAM equivalents (except for the lowest cuple of notes, which are long scale/unweighted reeds and have 68mm long shoe), so be careful if you want to use them as a replacement.
  5. I got my reeds from harmonikas.cz and I agree - a lot gets lost in translation, so it is VERY important to use their size/note sheets and make a detailed list of shoe sizes needed. They tend to go quiet for days (weeks even), but they make good quality reeds in reasonable prices and are the only manufacturer I have found that do send single sets. They have even send me free samples of different types of their reeds.
  6. That is why I'm interested only in Alan's personal history with this particular passage - the note sequence that short probably was composed many times over throughout history, with probably many further variations, from which only few times gained enough recognition to be recorded or popularised in any way… I'm interested mostly because this is one of the historicaly important Polish tunes and I was wondering if it made it's way all the way to Alan.
  7. @Chocolate rabbit: When I first hear it, I wondered where I knew this tune from. Then I realised, that the introduction/chorus/reccuring phrase is very similiar to the polish classic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhc6ZgA4hrM I was wondering if the similiar phrase (opening and chorus note sequence) is a complete coincidence, or it is a concious (or subconcious) quotation? Alan, if you see this, could you answer if you knew "Tylko we Lwowie" at the time you were composing this tune?
  8. When the reed is in rest position, the tip is not exactly parallel with the frame, but slightly bend upwards. The gap between the frame and the tip of the reed allows air to flow past the reed to P2. This air flow will pull the tip of the reed downwards towards the frame, just like two pieces of paper hanging parallel which, when you blow air between them, will move towards each other. The fact that the gap decreases when the reed moves down towards the frame is important for the start of the cycle. As the reed starts to move, tension energy is built up which replaces the suction of the airflow. The suction of the airflow decreases as the gap gets smaller. This is an excerpt from Wim Wakker description of free reed excitation http://www.concertinaconnection.com/concertina%20reeds.htm . I have read this only once and a long time ago, and have forgotten, that this explanation was included in Wim's article. I have just stumbled upon this today, led by a different thread on c.net, and thought it should be mentioned in this thread, that at least one profesional concertina maker thinks that gap airflow can work as I have tried do describe.
  9. For me, normal handrest is even too small and I need higher/different setup. When playing with too low or no handrest at all my wrists are in constant flex, finger movement is more stiff and this causes fatigue and may lead to injury. One further note: each concertina type (including each duet system separately) has different "wrist pivot point". On 20b anglo there is almost no need for wrist movement, e.g. on English you have a pivot point above the wrist (which also enables a linear wrist movement to some degree), and on a (large) Hayden you ideally should have two degrees of freedom, as you should be able to move your hand back and forth and up and down without changing the angle.
  10. There are some recent discussions about the very same question, so please take a look at those two threads: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17515&hl= http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17510&hl=
  11. If you want a simple look-up-table, without any real time calculations, then I think that your proposed values are way too small. MIDI volume has 0-127 range, so my first thought was to use 128 step look-up-tables (first map the raw pressure reading onto 0-127 integer and then read the appropriate cell in the table for getting the output level). This is fast, plain and simple, but you get some fidelity issues with such approach: with lowest sounding pressures and steep curves there is a high gain between neigbouring table values, resulting in a slight buzz at the start/end of a bellows movement and you get a lot less distinctive MIDI volume levels than 128. With even smaller look-up-table, this problem would be huge. If available memory is not an issue, I would now map the full range pressure reading onto the curve first (1024 levels or as many as you get from the sensor) and then "squeeze" just the final output onto 0-127 integer. This should smooth the result and give you the actual 128 distinctive MIDI volume levels. But if you have a lot of computing power at your disposal direct computation in real time may be a more logical option.
  12. Maybe the less confusing word than "interweaving" to describe the EC will be, that it is more "mono" than "stereo"?
  13. I'd doubt that! The "perception" of "black & white" will be rather generated through personal experience than "having" absolute pitch IMO. All the more lacking that absolute pitch the experienced keyboard player will "perceive" a given melody in one of the people's keys, i.e. in "black & white", avoiding to many "black" notes. At least this is true for myself, a major melody will most likley occur in Cmaj or Gmaj, regardless its "real" pitch... There are many variations in the way individuals perceive things, and sound is one of those things. Unfortunately, it's also common for persons to assume that somehow their own way of perceiving things is not only "natural", but almost universally so, and that any differences are both anomalous and rare. I admit, that I should phrase that statement differently (I often do this "direct translation" from polish, which often leads to improper reception, that something I write is "undoubtfull and universal truth"). What I meant was that someone without absolute pitch will not be able tell which notes of the tune he hears are "black" and which are "white". Assuming some musical training, he will hear though, which notes are accidentals (in meaning that they do not belong to the given diatonic key), but will not hear their button colour. I didn't meant that those are the only variants of percieving music, only that hearing "note colour" is one of the aspects which differentiate listeners. [i have some strange problems with proper quoting of previous posts, so I have to go with "manual" quoting from this point] @ Jim: "And I know a person who has "perfect" pitch but no "relative" pitch. I.e., if he learns (or reads) a song in a certain key and then wants to sing it in another key, he can't just move the starting note and then shift everything else by "feeling" the intervals, but he has to mentally transpose each note before he sings it. If you give him a guitar, piano, or concertina that's more than a half step out of tune, he can't play it, because what he hears is not what his fingers are "playing"." This would be the most radical ilustration of hearing "black and white music" from my previous post. But I didn't knew that such separation of absolute and relative pitches can even occur. I always thought, that absolute pitch was something like a "permanent anchor" for relative pitch. And I think it would be quite interesting to know, what this particular person thinks about isomorphic keyboards, how does he "feel" them and if he finds them intuitive/usefull or an even more complication. Having a narrowed spectrum of hearing has nothing to do with what I wrote. To differentiate: inside the scope of ones hearing range you are either "musically aware" and can hear either relative or absolute pitch of notes (or both) and can name the notes (in an absolute or relative way) or at least tell which of two given notes is higher, or you are what you call "tone deaf" - you hear the sound but you cannot make any distinction of its relative or absolute pitch. Some of those capabilities can be learned/trained/shaped to any "music description language" and with some you are simply born with. One of the strangest case of percieving of music I have encountered in my life is one person I know, who doesn't like to listen to any kind of music, because she has absolutely no musical memory. Each tune or song is always completely new to her, and because she cannot anticipate any "incoming" note or phrase, listening to music is one of the most annoying things for her.
  14. So probably another hint may proove helpfull: it is usefull to have a few different pressure-to-volume curves to choose from, depending on the sample used at a particular moment, style of play, and whether it is volume or velocity you controll - especially if you intend to comercialize your design. I have 4 different curves and I use all four of them (but some more than others).
  15. This leads to an interesting distinction between listneners in general: if you don't have absolute pitch you percieve only those distances and they are the "fabric" of music for you; however if you have absloute pitch then you indeed percieve "black and white" coloured music (if you care for piano-oriented music language). But in both cases, it is relative "distance" between notes that makes the melody, while "button colour" is a cultural construct - an artificial language, no matter how popular. And this "language matter" was the point of my previous comment: Hayden layout (and any other isomorphic layout for that matter) may teach you a different, geometry based language to describe music, if only you're not particulary attached or fluent in a piano&staff "common language". As another example: lately there was a thread about new MIDI instrument, which has two spiral inputs - such spiral (and even better a conical-spiral) three dimensional representation of music is IMHO far more natural than linear piano representation. True. I find traditional staff notation very obscure and favor Parncutt 6-6 tetragram over it, as for me it's more intuitive and straightforward to read http://musicnotation.org/system/6-6-tetragram-by-richard-parncutt/ - mostly because it shares the same "key independence" (in form of consistent geometric shapes of all intervals and chords. The notation itself has a very clever way of representing black and white piano keys "built in", but this is again a "cultural overlay" as this is simply a semitone notation with clever position of ledger lines). And the concept of marking the key of a tune and distinctive sharp/flat notes can be reintroduced into this notation via what I like to call "opposite" flat/sharp signs - instead of marking that the pitch of the note should be lowered/risen while playing, it can be marked that this particular note has been lowered/risen to the noted pitch while composing (for non-equal temperament use, microtonal instruments and other practical reasons in which there should be distinction between flats and sharps). In fact I had couple of attempts to learning music theory in my life, and I could not make any logic from standard piano&staff language. I have percieved it as requiring heavy memorisation of quite arbitrary rules which made very little logical sense for me. It was only when I found Wicki-Hayden layout (and later other isomorphic arrays like various CBA systems) and started to orient my understanding of music around isomorphism, when I made it past the point of simple melodies to the world of harmony and all other aspects of music theory. [i think that it should be noted here, that a carefully chosen slant of a Wicki-Hayden keyboard makes it possible to "overlay" the traditional staff notation directly to the keyboard - if you were to move a line parallel to the hand rest over such slanted buttons, they will cross such line in a chromatic order. But this concept is not (at least not for me] all that usefull in real practice] Something else entirely This may be suprising to you, but when playing in E minor I position my hand as in playing in C major (index finger on C), but start a scale with my ring finger instead of an index finger. On a Hayden a major scale has a shape of 4-3 buttons (4-3-4-3… when repeated through octaves), while a minor scale has a shape of a 2-3-2 buttons, which when repeated in more than one octave fits into the same 4-3-4-3 shape as the major scale and it is most logical to place your hand in a way that enables you to play a 4 button row with 4 different fingers. I could not position my hand as in playing in E major and "reach in different directions", as E major is located over entirely different part of the button array. And I realy don't treat intervals of e.g. major third an minor third as closely related: they are completely different vectors on a keyboard, used in different contexts and for different purposes, and I would even say that I treat them more like "opposites" than "neighbours". Again - Hayden keyboard is more geometric than arythmetic and gives you a completely different view on harmony and note relations. This leads to another fundamental difference between the Hayden layout and the piano (or in fact many of the other isomorphic layouts): different keys and modes of the scale you're playing in does not matter in regards to fingering, however the scale you're playing do matter a lot in regards to practical playability. On a piano each scale, key or mode is just a bit different pick from the straight line of 12 buttons. But on a Hayden, each scale is a completely different thing. For example, it is very difficult to play a gypsy/klezmer scale on a Hayden as it consists of notes scattered "all over the place". It is doable, but much harder than a major/minor scale.
  16. Of course, the whole point of the Hayden is that you shouldn't have to worry about which notes happen to be white or black, just how the notes relate to the key you're playing in. Two different concepts, each making sense in its own right I'd guess... This is something I have the hardest time explaining to someone, who have never heard of/tried a Hayden layout and/or learned to play on a piano - that Hayden layout (and in fact any other isomorphic layout like 5 row CBA systems or Harmonic Table layout) is completely transparent in regards to note names. You realy don't have any reason (at least any related to playing on this layout) to think in terms of white keys, black keys, accidentals, key you're playing in etc - only plain intervals matter (which you even don't have to count, as they are geometry-based), so the whole percieving of music theory becomes quite different than on any other instrument or layout I have encountered. [This comment is in no way intended to impress anyone that Hayden layout is utterly superior to everything else, but simply to point out how much different it is on a conceptual level. It has been discussed extensively in various previous threads, that isomorphism may be a curse in certain situations, as there is no "escape" from awkward or difficult fingerings by transposing a tune to a different key; or that separation of accidentals from "base" notes is a concept that does not suit everyone and may be considered a huge drawback for someone comfortable with piano keyboard]
  17. But this added degree of freedom with recording while using single mic can be used to your advantage - it can act as a "virtual baffle" or with two mic recording you can manipulate the ballance later in DAW, or create DUB effect [There is a music genre caled DUB which relies heavily on spatial "soundscape" effects] I once had a quite frustrating problem with finding piano music recordings done from the perspective of a player (large high-low stereo separation) and not the audience (pianos are usually placed sideways to the audience to reduce the separation), as is the case with most piano recordings. And If I'm thinking correctly, the EC players often move the concertina around while playing to "restore" some of that stereo spatial effects that other concertinas or accordions have? This is the layout of the DIY Hayden I'm building. My goal was to be able to play accordion or piano pieces with least "cropping" or octave switching in bass runs necessary, hence the huge overlap and range going down to F on both sides. And I don't mind transposing the more exotic keys, as I'll mostly play solo, so only Eb's are doubled (which will be done by links and not doubled reeds). @Steven: most of the limitations you point out come from Peacock being a small duet - with it's 42 buttons it is less than "standard" 46 button Hayden layout. This was my largest disapointment when it was released, as I hoped for a moderate priced, "full standard" hybrid box. I think that you'll find yourself considerably less constrained by a Beaumont and even less by Wakker H2 and least by an old square Bastari, with it's range and all those repeated accidentals.
  18. IMHO the duet system that might be closest to piano experience is Tona's Dipper Custom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MYPTWxpKp0, but you should ask Tona directly about such comparison. If I recall correctly this is one of CBA layouts fit on a concertina and is next closest to "two row" piano after Jedcertina. But IMHO Jedcertina this big (button number wise) would be completely unplayable, large and would require a wrist band like the left hand CBA keyboard to be able to freely move your wrist. Even Tona's box has a very elongated button array.
  19. I will repeat myself, but since you have printed those different layouts and are trying to do something useful with them, you should try them on the actual box - i.e. on the sides of a cube, to see which layout orientation is most ergonomical for your fingers. Flat printouts can mislead heavily on which layout would be easiest to play when you have a handstrap around your palm and must reach outside or closest/furthest buttons. I have used my MIDI Hayden in flat keyboard arrangement, and I can do very different things with it than on the actual concertina.
  20. With large enough duets adapting the keyboard music to contertinas is quite straightforward realy, but there is a "finger limit" factor to consider - you can only use 8 fingers on a concertina, while 10 on a keyboard. And with each duet system you get different constraints on using a single finger to play several notes at once (on a Hayden you can play fourths and fifths with single finger (but each is easy to play only on one side of the instrument) and 1-4(or 5)-8 triads).
  21. You have misunderstood me What I meant is that having a bellows driven MIDI dynamics you can use it either as a volume dynamics or velocity dynamics. Volume dynamics is essential to achieving natural sound with all free-reed samples, bowed string instruments, woodwinds, brass etc… But it sounds strange an unnatural with plucked string samples, piano and percussive instruments (both xylophone-like chromatic percussive instruments and drum kits). And it is just a flip of a switch away when you have bellows driven, pressure dynamic sensor, which you can easily connect as either option, so why not have both in the same instrument? And my "simple MIDI volume" suggestion was only reffering to your own statement, that at this point the synthesiser software you're using does not recognize channel pressure control and your video lacks any dynamics at this point.
  22. I had similiar problem to your's when I wanted to switch from Anglo to something chromatic and unisonoric. I have finally landed with Elise and don't regret (it is true that you'll run out of buttons quite fast, but it is a quite versatile box, especially in regards to harmony building and linking it with independent melody, and you have a Peacock upgrade path available now). But as Wolf said, you should try all different instruments prior to making choice. And if it is not possible you might consider making "dummies" to try: just take a "concertina sized" cardboard box, stick some pins in it to fake buttons in different layouts and try to "mind play" something. I have ruled out English concertina this way, because it had too awkward ergonomics for my long fingers and interleaved sides were completely unnatural for me (and this indeed have saved me money (or time) and frustration, as I was seriously considering buing Jack instead of Elise back then…)
  23. I had an anglo opition in my DIY MIDI Hayden. Back then, I was just switching from an anglo playing and missed the "bouncing joy" of playing bisonoric instrument. It was fun to fiddle around, so I also did have some sort of a "hayglo" - a bisonoric Hayden layout that automaticaly transposed a whole tone up or down (or a semitone for a sake of experiment) depending on bellows direction. With a Hayden keyboard and a programmable bisonoric capable instrument, you can do all sorts of fun things. But I never had explored those variants deeper than a couple of shanties, as I was quickly and deeply drawn into Hayden logic and have abandoned anglo entirely. One suggestion for you, conzertino - you should program the option to connect bellows pressure sensor reading to channel pressure OR note velocity. This way you will benefit greatly in regards to piano-like or plucked string, velocity driven samples. And if your tablet software does not recognize channel pressure you might link the bellows pressure to simple MIDI volume. Any dynamics is way better than no dynamics at all.
  24. Same as Matthew, I have an Jackie's "sister" Elise, and it is sadly true, that those instruments aren't realy made for gentle, quiet play. My wife also complained a lot when I first started to learn anything on this box and was making a LOT of mistakes over and over again But fortunately there is an easy, "non destructive" way to "turn down the volume" on those instruments. Buy a sheet of an EVA foam, press it on the fretwork to mark the shape, cut out and fill the holes in the fretwork (you have to cut rougly, so there is some air leakage around those foam inserts, but they still hold in place). This way you can cut about 20dB, so neither yours or your girlfriend's ears won't hurt that much after your practice This solution is very convenient, as you can take out the foam inserts easily if you need to e.g. play in a loud enviroment or for a bunch of singing people and put them back for solo practice.
  25. Of course it would be ideal to have an array of buttons like my entire hexagonal grid (including gray areas of duplicated buttons) - just like 5 row CBAs do have - so you won't have to transpose. But I wouldn't demonize the "stretch" when playing on a Hayden - I have trained playing all sorts of "edge chords" on my 64b MIDI and this is not harder than making long jumps on Stradella bass system (but I have long fingers which may play a role in this opinion). In fact this "stretch" is in some cases easier and more natural than jump your entire hand across the keyboard back and forth. And as you have stated, those "stretches" or jumps are quite inevitable in less diatonic music - even with large button array you either stretch some chords or you have to jump across the keyboard for a single chord or note (which may be more comfortable when isolated, but may require more awkward wrist movement when actualy playing something). It is the very nature of a quite stretched octave on a Hayden and adding a single repetition of duplicates does not eliminate the problem entirely, you still have to use those awkward fingerings sometimes, so why bother making larger array if you still have to learn those fingerings? IMHO it might even cripple your ability to play fluently, as you will use those edge fingerings less frequently and in turn won't have them inprinted in your muscle memory that well… And with larger button arrays you begin to have wrist movement restriction and finger reach problems (this is why I'll have completely different handstraps on my DIY acoustic box) And I'm not sure if you have understood fully what I had in mind by transposing "on the fly", as (as far as I'm aware) you have limited experience with isomorphic layouts. On an "unlimited Hayden array" there is no difference between playing in different keys other than actual pitch produced. And because of that, playing on a Hayden is purely about geometric shapes of intervals, both in melodic and harmonic context. So if you "erase button labels" (as is possible with MIDI), you can play in every key with the exact same, most comfortable fingering. You don't make any "unnecessary extra work to transpose a piece" - you just play it with different button labels, the geometry stays exactly the same and with MIDI transposition capabilities you'll most likely always move the root note to most comfortable position (this may be different for major and minor keys and may depend on occurrences of accidentals in a tune). This is why I think that teaching to play on a Hayden in a manner "this is C note, this is A note" is wrong - instead it should be learnt like "this is root note, this is major second, this is the scale shape, this is a major chord shape" - especially on a transposable MIDI instrument. And one more word about "advantage of marked buttons" - if the markings are logical, you are simply NEVER lost, because you either feel the marking with one of the fingers and know where you are or you don't feel the marking and because of this you know where you are. This is of course true only if ones style of play does not rely on hovering fingers above buttons when they don't play a note, but usually rest on silent buttons. Finding a position using array edges is IMHO sufficient enough only for smaller Hayden keyboards, when you are usually no further than a single button away from proper position or an edge.
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