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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. Don't get me wrong, I was not intending to insult you or Jake in any way. In fact, I had some similiar thoughts about "pneumatically improving" concertina design when I first started designing my DIY Hayden. That was until I made this very experiment I have described earlier and realised, that sound produced by the reed is a very fragile thing and everything affects it, usually in the least desirable way. There are numerous long threads here on concertina.net about such minute changes to instrumenst as beveling airholes on chambers that are placed not on the edge of the reedpan or have additional 5mm of action board "in the way"of the sound. My "seem to forget" coment was only meant to point out, that concertina design should be s"ound-centric" and not "pneumatic-centric" and that many (otherwise great or intiguing) engeneering ideas simply do not apply to concertinas.
  2. This one is more true with hybrid concertinas and accordion reeds, but applies to a proper concertina reeded instrument also - you have to place your pad assembly out of the way of swinging reed and inner reed valve. Normally you can have your air hole directly above the reed (flat mounted accordion reeds have chambers rougly the lenght of a reed shoe, concertina reeds chambers can be and often are extended for acoustic reasons). In your design you have to place the button assembly "out of the way" - you cannot place your pad and spring over the reed. In my opinion, both yours and Jake's designs are valid only from a pneumatical point of view. They will both produce controlled pressure and airflow to feed the reed. But both of you seem to forget, that it is the musical instrument that you're working on. Every bounce of sound matters, every cubic inch of confined space that vibrating air has to travel inside a concertina will alter the sound. Make a simple experiment: build a variable volume reed chamber (a moveable one side, like a piston), apply airflow through a reed mounted to it and listen to the sound while moving a piston. And measure response time of the reed depending on volume (cubic space not loudness ). Then put a tube (either straight or bent like in Jakes design) on the airhole and listen how sound produced by such setup changes drastically - depending on materials used the sound would be more or less muffled and altered in timbre. In Jake's design the amount of distance that the air has to travel inside a tube will decrease the loudness significantly, and the reeds will be very slow to speak because the sheer amount of air trapped between stationary reed and button, that needs to be moved/compressed before the reed starts to speak…
  3. There are so many problems with this design I can think of, that I don't even know where to start... First of all, such design seems valid only for linear keyboards, as you cannot freely move airholes around and you have quite space-demanding design... Then, your reed chambers would be HUGE, as you must effectively make them longer by a diameter of your air hole. Otherwise your pad will obstruct inner reed valve. This raises a numerous problems with reed response times and tone balance, as you will have to increase each chamber lenght by a fixed amount, thus for smaller reeds probably doubling the chamber lenght… And you create a LOT of unwanted bouncing of sound and obstruct chamber resonance properties with this "inner pad". And resulting sound will probably change substantially with button travel, as you're moving parts inside of a resonant chamber... Another problem with this design is a small effective airhole: with normal setup, you need only short pad travel, because you have a cylindrical gap between airhole and pad (in open position you need a height of quater of hole diameter to have equal flow areas). With this design you obstruct a lot of this cylinder with back and side walls of a chamber. Try to imagine a smoke traveling through reed and airhole in this setup to visualise what I'm thinking about. Last problem I can think of is the wobblines of this setup - in normal concertina construction, you have two guiding constraints for a button: an endplate hole and an actionboard hole. Together they make button motion almost linear. But with your design you only have endplate guide and a wobbly spring. You will have to either add an inner pole to guide a button and pad assembly or find another way to ensure perfect closing of airhole (like conical hole closure for example) and limit angular deviation from straight button travel.
  4. First of all, warmest welcome to another Hayden player! And now to the point... Chords on a Hayden duet and corresponding music theory is much easier than on non-isomorphic instruments. Virtually everything you should know to play chords on a Hayden is shown here: http://www.shiverware.com/musix/wicki/chords.html Those are chord diagrams on this keyboard. Since it is isomorphic, all chord types in every key have a single "shape". You must only know the root note and type of chord you want to play and that's it. You can READ the chord structure from the keyboard itself, so there is no point in chord wheels or similiar detailed chord charts… And when you'll learn chord types in your finger memory, it becomes natural to make your own accompaniments and countermelodies, as you'll be able to read harmony structure of a tune straight from melody line. Regardless of key, since the concept of a key on a Hayden is somewhat artificial and obsolete...
  5. Absolutely beautiful playing and a great tribute for the passed away...
  6. It was Bruce Thompson on his English, and this video can be found on his YT channel.
  7. That heavily depends on the exact type of concertina that you'll be playing and your overall musical background.
  8. This is very relevant and is close to what I have in mind form my DIY - in fact I have tested such wristrest back in at the very begining of my concertina playing (on anglo back then). They are very comfortable, but have several limitations and are tweaking ergonomics in a substantial way: - first of all, they prohibit wrist movement, which makes it unnatural to play in lower range on the EC and limits reach to high notes (especialy sharps) on the Hayden. - secondly, if done high enough for comfortable wrist position, you end up with completely different finger "attack angle" and different muscles are involved in fast retracting of fingers. It is less of a problem with EC, because it's "normal" ergonomics different finger positions and training of different muscles.
  9. I just have stumbled upon this great video uploaded yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4QHWas4G2I
  10. Don't give up and keep trying! Such stretches are the essence of progress Maybe revisit this project after a week, month, quarter and try again. This last ThOTM with revisiting first tunes gave me a great scope on my own progress and a chance to "do things right" with some of my favourite tunes in my repertoire.
  11. @Jim: if such MIDI would be based on switches and not entire action (though it could be done in either case as there is no "reed placement imperative") it is possible to design "rotary endplates" to make variable slant. Even without such mechanism, Wicki version has no slant, so there is no reason why MIDI Wicki shouldn't have options for all possible orientation combinations (given symetrical number of physical buttons).
  12. Dave, I think that synth bass is a good idea and I have enjoyed your recording, but I think it could be executed in a better way. Twofold: - first of all, timing in multilayer rendition should be perfect, no matter what. With a single melody line, or even when playing melody&accompaniment on a single box, uneven rhytm or missed beats don't stand out as much as with multilayer recordings. - secondly, while bass line IMHO is good and fits this tune well, your rendition misses the "middle layer": you should add an accompaniment (drone or chordal harmonies, or a mix of both) inbetween your melody and bass line. Listen to what Tona is doing in his rendition of this very tune. He adds layers and changes them throughout the whole tune, to build up the tension and character, adding a "macro structure". Of course it requires great skill to play all such lines simultanously, but if you're already using postproduction mixing, why not go further with it and record a complete arrangement?
  13. You have two 3rd intervals - major and minor and playing in parallel 3rds you'll have to switch them accordingly while moving up the scale, so each parallel pair stays in given key. It is easiest to learn on a single side of Hayden concertina - as you know single (major) octave on a Hayden is divided in two rows (3+4 butons). Playing in thirds means playing notes that are confined to this 3+4 shape and follow this rule: "you play a note and a third note that comes in sequence" [NOT "always third button to the right" - this will produce chromatic scale with four intervals being outside the key]. Geometrically speaking you wll move your fingers in two possible shapes - "C-E" and "D-F" that will fit in 3+4 octave. The same principle applies to any given parallel interval, so in both Wicki and Hayden layouts you'll have to move your fingers in non-mirrored way. Unless of course you play modern, chromatic music
  14. Because when playing a lot of drone accompaniment or using a lot of minor chords in oompah rhytms it is the fully depressed state that hurts my fingers most. I have my middle finger significantly longer than index and third, so playing minor chords on a Hayden makes me back bend my middle finger and press he button with a fingertip near the nail instead of a digit [i hope this vocabulary makes sense ]. With sinking buttons finger rests on an endplate which is far more comfortable.
  15. If I can recall corectly, original Elise buttons are just a bit under 5mm and my current alluminium ones are also 5mm. For my DIY I go for 6mm diameter (which will sink completely into endplates when pressed) for two main reasons: - increased comfort of long sessions. I use flat buttons with beveled edges. More diameter means more room for nice, round bevel and still enough space left for comfortable flat area. - easier multibutton fingering. In this case 6mm buttons seem to me as the largest option available with standard Hayden spacing. On my MIDI prototype I have 7,5mm buttons (with a slightly different spacing - 15x10) and it requires a great deal of precision while fingering - it is prone to accidental multibutton presses. And just for the sake of comparison: while 4,5-6,5mm is somewhat variable width, my cheap Anglo has 10mm buttons and could easily be fitted with my CBA's 14mm buttons. Both 10 and 14 mm buttons allow for very fast, very expressive fingerings which are quite hard on a tight Hayden grid...
  16. @ button size&spacing: not much can be done here, I'm afraid. There are different button sizes with Anglos, but with Englishes and Duets you have to fit even twice as much buttons within comfortable reach. There is simply no way to make this happen on a 7"box - you need something the size of chemnitzer to do that. It is not only the size of the keyboard, but also minimum lever lenght and lever routing that play significant role here. Only Tona's Custom Dipper has bigger buttons, because his layout is arranged around the wrist pivot point. @ my handrail/handstrap: I'm thinking about quite distinctive design here, but I will share it after building a working and proven prototype for my DIY. @ adjustable handrail: I can think about at least a couple of robust, adjustable designs, of both height and distance to keyboard. And even slant. And I think that if there were demand on such solutions, modern concertina makers would include them. The problem here is that only few of us think in terms of adjusting concertinas to our personal needs. And there is one other limiting factor here: you can sell your instrument easier if it has common ergonomics and can be played by the new owner straight ahead. And there is also one other question: how much change in ergonomics/design/layout will make the result to be a completely different instrument? Chemnitzers and bandoneons are also in the concertina family, but on this forum we don't treat them as such. There is one guy who makes rectangular "anglos" with large melodeon buttons...
  17. The most important Duet capability is full independence of hands and thus being able to play more than a melody line in various styles in ease. This can be done to some extent on both Anglo and English (with different limitations or requiring different level of mastery). Duets are also more versatile and more suited for modern music. I agree with Daniel, that Anglo is very distinctive in it's bounciness and this is a feature of bisonoric instruments that is very hard to fake with unisonoric boxes. But "bigger chords" advantage is only relative to Englishes, all Duet types can accomodate (and be used this way in practice) more complex and larger harmonies than both Anglos and Englishes. [for example, I can easily play four step progressions with full triads on both sides or build and use 4 finger chords. I often use 6 notes sounding at once for rock songs accompaniment]
  18. Thanks for 17 Hippies, Jim! They're great! (though I must say, that this kind of music sounds very "fusion" with english lyrics). If you like some cool Klezmer music with an energetic punch, you might find Polish band Klezmafour interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVDzrdourao or Neofarius Orchestra #249 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW01C1FCV_A
  19. [All of the following ideas refer to Hayden Duet] First thing that cames to mind is ergonomics (in terms of bellows controll, fingers reach and overall handling of the instrument in different body positions). Traditional handrail/handstrap have never suited me well, as I have very long fingers. I did some rudimentary adjustments to my Elise and plan to do some own research on this topic when my DIY project will finally reach handling stage. The second thing to fiddle with is simplifying the action board, both in terms of number of parts and serviceability of the instrument. It drove me a bit mad to position and bush all buttons when I did my keyboard modification to the Elise. I have some ideas to experiment with on my DIY box and I remember seeing a drawing by one of concertina makers, that illustrated the usage of linear springs under the buttons, but I cannot find it now... @Matthew - I think that the most robust concertinas suitable for camping and oher harsh conditions are some of the old German 20b Anglos - those which use common plate reeds. This is because such reeds are mounted to reedblocks not by waxing but by screws, so can tolerate high and low temperatures well. Unfortunately, they are usually double reeded, so they are quite large. As to concertina reeds - they not only need more work per piece, but also require a lot more work with the reedpan and there is too little demand for them for large scale production. So I wouldn't count on any change in their price and availability in any foreseeable time.
  20. When it comes to self accompaniment you're looking for something easiest to play on while performing other, very focus-intense activity. Even on the easiest instruments simultanous playing and singing is quite hard - I can sing pretty well, I'm quite decent at concertina accompaniment playing, but doing both at the same time requires my absolute focus and is not as natural as either of these activities alone. IMHO Haydens are the best option for self accompaniment, then comes Crane system and EC is third (descending order of logicality of layout). Anglos require you to memorize and controll more parameters while playing. You have two layouts of notes and must mantain not only proper pressure in the bellows, but also it's direction and limits (you have to watch out for running out of air). Of course anything can be done by skilled enough individual. But said that, there is one, most important factor to consider: both availability and price tag favour ECs over duets if you don't need duet specific capabilities.
  21. One more thing: my statement regarding span was meant for duet boxes, my fault that it came after the sentence about Englishes.
  22. Jim, I didn't intend to insult English system players or the system itself. I do love English system recordings and capabilities of this system, nevertheless it is less capable than duets for playing complex polyphonic arrangements. Please bear in mind, that Maki asked about easiest concertina systems to play Eastern European music, and while some skilled players indeed can perform duet-like arrangements on English (not as complex as, for example, Tona's renditions, but indeed far from "melody only"), it is not an entry-level capability of English system. As to required span: when I did my research on "how big my DIY Hayden should be" I marked all spans from my desired repertoire, including some Klezmer and Gypsy tunes, and I have landed with 66 buttons. When melody spans two octaves, then switches an octave higher for one part in tune and you want to put "always lower" accompaniment and some basses, then yes, 3 1/2 span for duets is a minimum. Especially when you have it divided between two hands. Most Klezmer accordionists use large CBAs for a reason. Of course you can squeeze tunes into smaller spans and do a lot of different adjustments, but for me, Klezmer and Balkan feel comes from immense complexity.
  23. This is one of this rare ocasions, when my answer won't be "a Hayden Duet" Both Gypsy and Klezmer music use quite exotic, chromatic scales [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_scale]. On a Hayden it makes fingering spread all over the keyboard. Probably best would be Tona's Dipper Custom or Chromatiphone layout. From more popular types, a Crane duet seems to have the most accesible fingering of those scales. For melody only playing English should be more than enough. And it should be a rather large box, because of wide pitch ranges within a tune.
  24. Judging from those samples (this first one is played on a Stagi Hayden duet concertina), you should find Breton and some slower Scandinavian folk appealing. Also, try searching under the term "Early Music" - it is used to describe all different kinds of western music before the common practice era (pre-baroque classical music). Slavic, Gypsy, Balkan, Russian and Klezmer music are so deeply interleaved due to history fo eastern Europe throughout last few centuries, that they cannot be easily summed up as distinct styles. Instead, they they form something more like a continuum of different influences. But they have stronger or weaker tradition depending on region, so you might want to try some Gypsy, Balkan and Klezmer folk searches as a starting point, as well as Ukrainian and Belarusian. Just like Scandinavian and Irish/Celtic folk music, they have been played a lot in modern, folk-rock arrangements as well as in traditional forms. One example of a gypsy tune that has it's variants and flavours in almost any eastern culture is "Two guitars": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLB_14jFJ68 This one is a Klezmer tune, but with strong balkan feel to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0N_mTKUPRQ And this is an example of Balkan Gypsy tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFa5_1S2NQ8 Here is a sample of modern-written russian harmoszka tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-mUuCvNrp8 I have never heard anyone playing this kind of music on a concertina, mostly because concertinas were never a traditional folk instruments in eastern europe (with an exception of last years of Tsar Russia, when strong German influence had build up some popularity of 20b German Anglo). Try also our TOTMs, they might be your anchoring point to some of the less popular (than ITM) but playable concertina genres. And last but not least - anything can be "concertina music" if you can arrange it and play on our instrument. I do mostly modern rock and folk-rock tunes, and folks try all sort of different things from all around the world.
  25. I don't know if this is equally possible on all Duet systems (due to different ergonomics of each of them), but on a Hayden you can comfortably use a bass/tonic drone as a third layer of arrangement, that is playing a drone beside a full chordal accompaniment on the LH. This is a VERY air consuming technique and of limited practical use (I sometime dabble on my concertina exploring it's capabilities in an improvised way and one time this technique of increasing number of voices came to my mind). As to maximum number of sounding notes I use up to 7 in some punk rock songs (single note bass + full chord on the left and an octave higher chord on the right) for necessary punch and fill. Other than that it is usually 3-5 notes maximum (full chord accompaniment plus melody with added fifth or octave on accents).
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