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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. @Matthew: I've posted a link to an example of a two-way air pressure sensor in my DIY thread some time ago. As to pistons/bellows replacement, if you can live without true bellows (travel distance) then you can adapt the same pressure rod solution as the S-Wave, or combine the air pressure sensor with something like this: http://www.chawison.pl/35,gruszka-powietrzna-z-pedzelkiem-do-czyszczenia-2w1,354 - it is an air bulb for cleaing of photographic equipment. You could also use air cylinders but I didn't dug into this solution, I just have made some tests with LEGO cylinders I had at hand. The most important requirements for such cylinders would be long travel, light weight and most importantly low pressure operation (low friction/low initial resistance is crucial for fast responses). IMHO if you want as close imitation of an acoustic concertina, then traditional bellows operation is the most logical solution. I was considering other options mostly because I want a hybrid controller, i.e. for wind AND velocity driven dynamics.
  2. @ Don: For me it is either in the same octave (some inversions might actually have one note above the melody) or one octave lower, sometimes both at the same time (chords expanded by a root doubled in the lower octave). In one tune I use a RH drone A when playing accompaniment only, to better balance this part with the rest of the tune. Bigger overlap makes it possible to use more open inversions and to follow melody within a tune. Small or no overlap acts a bit like push-pull note availability on an Anglo - you have to limit your accompaniment to double or single note only or drop it completely when melody croses the sides. Of course this is completely valid style of play, but nevertheless limiting compared to larger Duets.
  3. @ dry duplication: I do this quite often for accents, or to increase "density" of sound if I want more punch in a punk/rock tune. @ wet duplication: this would heavily compromise the usefullness of such instrument, stripping it from "alternate fingering" option. After last summer, when I left my Elise in a tent on a hot day, two of the reeds have lost tuning and I found, that even few cents between in-out reed under a single button or between sides makes my Elise unpleasant to listen to… It was especially unpleasant when melody met the accompaniment, doubling one of the notes in a chord. IMHO different wet/dry registers on a CBA are usable only for entire parts of a tune, as it takes a couple of notes to get used to the change. A single note now and then sounds badly out of tune. This "feature" could be very attractive for someone wishing to play very modern jazz or conteporary classical music though. @ range: Jim, you have proposed almost exactly the RH side range of a Wakker H-2 model (it goes up to E in its highest octave and misses the lowest G#) so you can safely assume, that this proposed instrument would be very similiar in weight and size to this concertina and cost accordingly. Probably Wim could even produce such instrument easily, as this is a simple matter of mirroring his cad/cam production files. But this is a Wicki/Hayden option only and you're interested in Crane(?). Last note: it should be very easy to modify a stock Elise to make a cheap, limited "proof of concept" working model of such instrument, as it has the same layout and number of buttons on each side. If one had two Elises at hand it is a simple matter of attaching two LH sides to a single bellows and flipping one handrest (the only ergonomic difference would be a reversed slant on the LH side). With one it is a matter of rebuilding reed blocks on a LH side. Wim have recently annouced an upgrade reed kit for Elise, which could be used to do this.
  4. Today I finally had my set of testing reeds delivered from Harmonikas.cz and I have made some simple test recording. It is available here: https://soundcloud.com/martynowi-cz/reed-tests The reeds tested are: 1.DIX reed on an alluminum plate; 2.DIX reed on a brass plate 3.DIX reed on a zinc plate 4.Tipo A Mano alluminum reed 5.Export Durall alluminum reed 6. Old russian alluminum reed salvaged from a cheap russian CBA (it was the only valved reed in this test) Some important notes: all DIX reeds were identical in size, standard accordion reeds were larger but both in the same size. Old russian reed is a bit smaller than Tipo A Mano and Export durall reeds and has old leather valves (one of which has obviously blocked a lot of airflow). From what can be heard "live": alluminum reeds were louder and brighter. When played "in mouth" brass and zinc reeds had significantly more honky sound, a bit like trumpet or other reedles brass instruments. DIX reeds have somewhat distorted, slightly more buzzing sound than standard reeds. From the three, the alluminum one was the brightest and most susceptible to pressure variations and more volume modulation can be obtained than in brass and zinc ones. Those were more stable and subtle, with zinc one having fewest of the higher harmonics in the falloff stage (but only slightly less than brass one and both had significantly less than alluminum one). As a testing setup I have used my DIY bellows and beech, single block reedpan. There is no additional reflections dampening, the setup was completely open (no endplates, no valves, no hole pads or action).
  5. Well, I have mentioned this in my various previous posts, but my style is influenced mostly by accordions (regarding using of accompaniment and some melodic passages) and brass sections of rock bands in its entirety (due to nicely replicable deep sound of melody played on 2-4 reeds at once). I also arrange a lot of vocal lines on a concertina. One thing I'm constantly struggling to achieve is inspired by a guitar beat feel - "arpeggiated" chord playing with my right hand, with smooth progressions and filling up the melody "on the fly". And I completely agree, that having no traditional Duet repertoire is liberating. But on the other hand, it is a lonely way and I often feel jealous of e.g. Anglo, accordion or piano players, that they can simply go and take lessons on their instrument.
  6. Back when I was considering how big instrument to build, I've looked a lot on sheets of music I wanted to be able to play in the future. And I found that the overlap is crucial to be able to move both melody and accompaniment up or down within a single piece of music. When melody goes down to the LHS then you no longer play on a duet… Or when accompaniment should move up an octave. In both cases you're left with non-duet techniques of making an interesting arrangement. The whole recent discussions on mirrored and no-overlap layouts have already raised some interesting questions: does a mirrored layout will trully be faster to play (due to doubled size and weight of the instrument) than a no-overlap small melodic instrument? And are they really melodic only? For Geoff above, a mirrored layout could be even better at playing harmonies close to the melody. I like an octave gap between melody and accompaniment, so for me a no-overlap would be better, but overlap of at least an octave is the best option.
  7. Was this "Elise plus" an entirely custom built instrument or a (rather heavy) modification of a stock Elise? I would also love to see some photos of such instrument!
  8. No they aren't. C to G is, G to D is already diagonal-up-right. So moving F one button to the right will only flip this awkwardness to G-D fifth. If you want to retain the isomorphism of a Hayden layout, you have to do one of the following: make vertical lines on the diagram as the fifths progression, so CGDAEB in one column, then start the next one on D and so on. Effectively, short diagonal lines will become whole step series and the layout will "rotate" around 60 degrees to the original Hayden. You can also treat long diagonal lines as fifths progressions, resulting in a very close transposition of a Hayden layout over a wavy button pattern. Both options result in a rather strange edge boundaries, but one of them makes a room for 5-6-6-6-6 keyboard, unfortunatelly wandering towards flat notes in higher octaves. Ideally, you should flip the Maccan 90 degrees and make the straight, horizontal lines whole step series and short up&right diagonals fifths, but unfortunatelly you'll end up in a completely unballanced box with a handle on its edge. [sIDENOTE]: without rotating the keyboard, it would be more logical to convert a Maccan to a different isomorphic layout. One of the CBA 5-row systems should probably fit it quite ergonomically. But there will always be the problem of the available keyboard boundaries...
  9. In your proposed layout you have two types of major and minor fingerings: CEGvsFCA and DFAvsACE. When playing harmonies this even may be a benefit (you can use only two fingers for a full triad) but when playing arpeggios or melodic passages you'll often bump into awkward finger-bending or using the same finger to play two notes in the same chord. I think that the only reasonable approach to converting Maccan to Hayden is to cannibalise the Maccan and rebuild "innards" and endplates to a fully fledged Hayden. And in such case I think that metal ended ones are better, because you can just make new ends not worrying about matching wood/veneer type, grain texture and lacquer. In any case such conversion isn't all that easy, and even in the simplest form of reed-swapping, reversing it back to Maccan may require more work than turning it to Hayden(-ish) layout. Also, some degradation in sound quality will likely occur, due to tampering with the reedpan back and forth.
  10. I just don't like to reveal my birthday date anywhere I don't realy have to. I'm in my mid 30s, like Matthew, and I hope that I'll get proficient at playing Duet somwhere around retirement
  11. I was wandering about this too, some other day, when deciding over my DIY Hayden. IMHO in case of melody playing mirrored (original Wicki) layout would be even easier to learn than a Hayden. In case of harmony playing though, the parallel layout let you build richer major chords with the LH, with pinky finger adding an extra bass note. In case of mirrored layout this property switches to minor chords, but becomes virtually useless, as you must fold the pinky finger to reach one button higher.
  12. I don't know if this is aplicable to anglo bellows techniques, but on a duet this is one possible solution: neck and shoulder strap (placed over one arm and under another). If you don't want to drill any holes you can try to attach the strap to side screws (on some sort of rigid "L" shaped thingy moving the pivot point over the center of the side) or with belts around wooden ends (just next to the bellows), secured by the same screw that holds the handstraps in place. Neck and shoulder strap with carefully chosen lenght imitates your sitting position quite well, as the "under the shoulder" side stays in place while the other can move quite freely.
  13. I've asked a Beaumont owner in another thread - David Barnert to be exact - if there was any difference in sound "color" between notes on the Beaumont - he answered that he heard none, in fact he wasn't even aware of different reed orientations. In examples available on ButtonBox site, I don't hear any distinctive change in sound, when the music goes towards upper octave. So I guess whoever designed Beaumont have voiced and ballanced reeds enough to counter this "reed chamber orientation" problem. And I'm well aware of size problems with flat laid accordion reeds, I had them myself when working on my instrument and ended up with a very large box...
  14. @Matthew: Beaumont is my 4k$ threshold It is the cheapest available Hayden with at least standard 46 keyboard and traditional action and design. Peacock has shorter overlap and no A above middle C on the LH side, which I use a lot (mostly in accompaniment but in some countermelodies also). Stagi has bandoneon/German type action and non-standard button size and spacing. And we all know all the issues Elise has.
  15. After seeing this kind of "hayden upgrade options" thread again, I wonder why Wim has decided to make the Peacock 42 button and not a standard 46 button instrument… I also would consider saving money for it instead of building my own concertina, if it had the full standard layout. I don't think, that Wim was affraid of canibalising demand on his Wakker-H1, as this is far more expensive option. And Beaumont is an existing proof, that it is possible to fit even 52 buttons in 7" hybrid box… Because of this decission, every available option below 4$k is some sort of a compromise... (If by any chance you're reading this Wim, I would really like to know the answer to this question…)
  16. You can also download the "Mercury" browser, change its "user agent" setting to any desktop browser (safari, chrome or firefox) and then c.net (and any other page) will load always in its desktop version and not mobile one. Very usefull for some pages using uncompatibile code (e.g. unoptimized java script for login)
  17. My first choice was driven mostly by my childhood dream - when I was 11y.o. I saw a concertina player at a shanty festival (only recently I found, that he was playing an Anglo)... It was 19 years later, when I finally got my hands on a box from Ebay. I didn't know anything about concertinas then, so I bought the cheapest German-Anglo available in playable condition, just to check if the concertina really was something for me. I spend a year learning to play it - it was hard to get along with bisonority and "random" layout outside the home 6 buttons, but I liked the sheer fun of its bouncy nature. I did considered English briefly, as I missed chromaticity very much, but alternating hands is even worse for me than bisonority. And when I finally ran out of notes on a 20b and started looking for an upgrade, I came across the newly released Elise and fell in love with Wicki-Hayden layout at first sight. Finally I was looking at the instrument which fitted how my brain works, so no more changing systems for me.
  18. Maybe I have a different understanding of what should be called "learning to play". Beginner tutors like Mike Bramich's, which are based on a principle of showing what button to press and when to reverse the bellows are more like a recipe than an actual knowledge of the instrument. This is especially true to Hayden layout, as "what to press" takes one evening and the rule of using always the same finger for any given note does not apply. IMHO fake sheets, whether in songbooks, accordion materials, TOTMs etc. are all an aid for learning to play, as they provide playable material which pushes us forward. And to push your limit, you need a score best suited for your instrument, which in case of a duet should have two separate parts for each hand, which is not that common in concertina materials, as both Anglos and Englishes aren't explicitly designed for such style. Harmonic style on an Anglo is considered an advanced way to play it, while on a Hayden duet it is something very, very basic - exactly like on an accordion. What is clearly missed in such approach is the ability to play two melodic lines on a duet, which is a difficult thing to master and ideally should be taught with a lot of material of increasing dificulty, but unfortunatelly such tutor is unavailable. Other than that I agree with you completely, especially on relative usefullness of different forms of written music. Accordion sheets are a bit "enchanced" versions of fake sheets (especially those with basso continuo), while piano arrangements are usually cluttered with tons of unplayable notes and rich chords. Guitar notation is either very basic (chords only) or need an extensive translation from a tabulature, which in fact requires you to firstly learn how string instruments are built. But a side effect of all that transcribing that needs to be done is that you learn different aspects of being a musician in much more depth, than by simply following a dedicated tutor focused on playing tunes.
  19. Yes, I have it, but when I bought Elise I had about 8 months worth of Hayden playing under my belt, so I just took a glance on it and put it on the shelf. It has all the flaws I have pointed out earlier: it introduces notes one by one, has scales explained only after 28 pages of simple tunes and I was really disapointed, that Wim didn't stressed the geometric nature of Hayden layout at all and didn't show a single chord shape diagram or a scale "hexagon" in the entire tutor. For me it is more of a "translation" of universal anglo/english/duet tutor than a Hayden specific material, and is really very, very basic. And it is focused on melody playing, while Hayden stands out the most in chordal playing and ease of accompaniment. And to be honest I don't really know what is the target group of this tutuor: people who just want their concertina/music adventure started and have no preferences will probably go for an Anglo, as it is the most iconic concertina type and is probably the only concertina type that needs extensive note-by-note introduction to its entire range as only 16 buttons out of 30 are in logical arrangement. People who want to try Hayden probably do have some musical training and have read a lot about this particular system. But this tutor is for folks that have chosen a random instrument for their first contact with music and it happened to be a Hayden concertina. Not a very likely scenario if you ask me...
  20. @ Don: As an example, here you have one of the first songs I have learned on the Elise http://chomikuj.pl/pm35533/r*c3*b3*c5*bcne/nuty+na+akordeon/NUTY+NA+AKORDEON/Nuty+-+Komu+dzwoni*c4*85*2c+temu+dzwoni*c4*85+-+akordeon,1123203807.pdf It is a song by Stanisław Grzesiuk, one of the most famous composer of polish tradition of street bands of 1930-40s. You can hear the original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMxiCu4EXWk , a most popular modern rendition by Szwagierkolaska band here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC0LBQZIrZ4 (unfortunately this very nice fiddle solo has some notes unavailable on Elise…) and a nice rendition on a small accordion here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX839mjqag0 And this song is a natural way to learn to play fast runs with RH, as it speeds up towards the end. I have used this song and my own arrangement of this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLajfxPLZeQ to train stamina for arpeggios in my RH.
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