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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. After a long, long absence from TOTM I simply couldn't resist to find some time and learn Zelda - such an energetic tune. So, for starters, here is my melody-only WIP: https://soundcloud.com/martynowi-cz/totm-april-zelda-wip-melody I play the first bar differently, with e-c and not e-A, because I will add A in the accompaniment for this part. Also not too many variations for now, only one major in the second repetition of B part.
  2. Here is the thread by Jordan himself: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16415 mbe2 is soon to became obsolete as Jordan had already made something signifficantly better.
  3. What you say is at least partially true - we are indeed vastly outnumbered and this indeed affects exposure. You are slightly missing my point though - as we may indeed have similiar ratios as melodeonists (not sure if I can agree on ratios of accordionists being the same) in terms of avant-garde, experimental or exploratory players - I was talking about different genre-coverage among average players. But I realise, that everything I say in this thread is more applicable to duets than to Anglos, which's natural point of reference is a melodeon or diatonic accordion and not CBA or PA. And that is a niche of a niche, with total number of duet players estimated at order of magnitude at least two digits smaller than Anglo players. So maybe I'll better leave this thread to Anglo players ***Side note on square concertinas and prices: I'm in the process of building my eight sided concertina (Tedrow's photo-essay is indeed a great source of knowledge) and from where I'm standing, the most time consuming process in building a hybrid - and greatly dependand on number of sides - is the traditional bellows. The woodwork is just two cuts difference between 4 and 6 sides, the fretwork could be lasercut or kept simple (there are fretless concertinas), but the bellows is a real pain. So I don't realy think that any mass produced cheap concertina will ever have a traditional bellows. But I agree, that we might need fully chromatic Elises (or cheap chineese 46 button Haydens), standard size Jackies/Jacks and Rochelles with bushed action. From those three only Rochelle isn't a significantly handicapped cousin of its kind. When I was at the designing stage of by DIY project, I did considered a square box for a moment. And the reason why I have chosen octagon is that my playing style and habits realy do not support square box. I would have to have the buttons and handles at a strange angle (relative to sides) or I would have to play with the box balancing on the edge. Someone in the MIDI DIY thread pointed out, that he plays his 8-sided concertina turned one edge forward, to get desired angle of his keyboard. So IMHO a square concertinas didn't got atention because of ergonomics, not because of a "rut".
  4. You can approach this in many different ways. As Geoff said, playing in octaves synchronizes your hands perfectly (even to perfectly) and is the simplest form of using your duet. From there, you can start to skip some notes on the left side, keeping others longer and accenting right hand passages this way, gradually building a form of simple countermelody. If you learn something from fake sheets, you can play LH accompaniment with single note drones instead of rhytmic chords - again, this is simple and sounds like a simple countermelody. When you're comfortable with single note accompaniments, you can add some rhytm to it, some fifths or full triads. And then you can try one of those two approaches on full hand-independent rhytmic accompaniment (basically the same, but starting from a different hand): 1. (it's best for tunes you have a recording available): teach your fingers a few of those http://idiotsguides.com/static/quickguides/musicperformingarts/common-chord-progressions.html playing full triads in some basic rhytms. Once you have a natural ability to follow most common transitions, you can try to play a chordal accompaniment with your desired tune playing from the recording. If Elises allows it, play both hands together (chords in octaves): at first keep it simple, playing full chords only. Then add rhytm. When you finally can play LH only to tempo and without thinking about it, then you're ready to focus on RH side, your LH will do rhytm and chords automatically. You will see, that in many, many cases RH melody is just some added movement to the same basic chordal pattern. The added bonus of this approach is that you're learning to be your own metronome 2. learn a melody to a point, when it is perfectly smooth. Then practice your accompaniment (without melody) for a short time, playing it as rich as possible. Then slow down to a note-by-note tempo, and build your phrases with both hands together, simplifying accompaniment when it's too complicated or too heavy. This is especially usefull if accompaniment doesn't follow melody exactly (more like a countermelody than playing in octaves). When you can play it slowly without mistakes, gradually increase the tempo. You will probably use a mix of those techniques depending on what exactly you're playing. And finally - don't give up Hands independence practice takes awfully lot of time. After getting my first Hayden it took me an evening to learn my first LH om-pah acoompaniment, couple of hours to play a melody without mistakes but about a year of playing couple of hours a week to be able to play them both together smoothly. Playing simple drones or countermelodies is a lot easier and takes days or weeks only. But it gets easier with every new tune you try. One last advice - you have chosen a system great for improvisation (scales form closed groups of buttons) and jaming (chords look the same in any key), so practice it. Even a 5 minutes of chord vamping to a tune on YT gets you more familiar with your keyboard. Play a lot of chord progressions without any particular tune in mind, trying different rhytms and arpeggio patterns - this trains your fingers to play common phrases faster and smoother. Playing long, fast sessions on a concertina is in fact hell of a workout for your forearm (comparable to some light climbing) so you won't be able to do so without proper training
  5. Well, since the flood of cheap chineese instruments on ebay and introduction of Rochelle, Jackie/Jack and Elise the cost of at least trying our instrument has dropped significantly and people are trying it without prior interest in folk music. At least some are. And about accordion fame in central and easter europe: it had a very negative public image for the last 50 years, being associated mostly with annoying gypsy buskers and wedding party music, but it is changing rapidly. CBA accordionist Marcin Wyrostek has won the "Mam talent" show (polish edition of "Britain's got talent") in 2009, there are many new bands playing a folkrock or indie music incorporating accordions, brass sections and other not-so popular instruments. There are many great bands in Ukrain and Belarus, pushing accordions and fiddles to something called gypsy-punk, a mix of rock, punk, gypsy, klezmer and balkan folk and many of their arrangements are far from simple rhytmic accompaniment. One of my favourite tunes of Gogol Bordello https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mymLWGvvDu8 (there is even an accordion solo at 5:15) And Gogol Bordello is an internationally recognized main-stream band, playing on the biggest open air festivals and is hardly the only one. There is a huge movement also in scandinavian folkmetal to incorporate CBAs (try Korpiklaani for example) with a huge base of young fans starting their jurney with CBA because they like the power of such music. And CBAs are becoming very cool. We have nothing of that. There is a lot going on with 'squeezed' music in many popular genres, but concertina misses this almost entirely by being, well, stuck in a rut of reconstructory folk, dance hall accompaniment and other traditional applications. We even have some problems in recognizing duets as true concertinas, as they have no well defined traditional repertoire. And again - I'm not trying to change anyone's musical joices or interests. Just trying to put a concertina in a wider scope than Anglo vs Melodeon. Nobody should feel offended by my point of view, as I really enjoy good folk and I'am trully inspired by some of folks here on c.net playing solely folk music on Anglos and Englishes. For me, the term "being stuck in a rut" has no negative value to it. This thread is more of an academic debate for me, than personal finger-pointing.
  6. @ Matthew & Chris: or we might just pretend, that in our case it this is just an abbreviation of BrainStorming and there is no naughtyness in it
  7. Not all covers are vocal and one can make great instrumental arrangements of vocal music (a great example, "Toxicity" by System Of A Down played on a piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be-loLSUWT0&list=PLvpAJmwTOeU4G0UKTxLMzogYXfnupm3tZ&index=2) Of course "amelie" is modern written but based on well established forms. You're right, that great mass of modern instrumental music is a pastiche of old genres which are played on a concertina. But that is not my point. I'm not arguing, that covers or game/film music are in any way superior to folk or early jazz music etc... Only that if we want wider popularity of our instrument we should lean toward more popular genres and proove to general public, that concertina is not a folk-niche instrument. Today, if someone wants to start playing concertina not because it is a traditional Irish instrument, but because it is a compact, light, versatile "accordion", and wants to play modern music he has almost zero learning or inspirational concertina material and may turn to other instrument, simply because he will have anyone to compare to in his chosen genre. Again, I'm not in any way arguing, that concertinist should abandon folk, or that exploring folk music of various regions or historical times is in any way inferior to playing modern music. I'm just sad, that my beloved instrument is percieved by a generall audience only as a folk instrument and a novelty. To put my point of view to one phrase: we as concertina players rightly don't see or feel ourselves as being stuck in any rut (especially on individual level), but general audience may well percieve us (as a whole) as such.
  8. Inventor - you can link buttons on the circutboard only if you forfeit the possibility of microtonal tuning, which is important for at least two people here - me and Matthew.
  9. As I first understood, the OP question was aimed at the whole concertina community being stuck, but then it was somehow narrowed to Anglo players and it seems that I simply missunderstood the scope of original question. You're right Jim, that nobody is in any rut as long as he pushes himself outside his comfort zone - that is why I wrote about the instrument applications and not any specific player or single genre. In any way I didn't meant to depracate any kind of folk. I myself am a huge fan of klezmer, balkan and scandinavian folk and recently - breton tunes. My comment was simply to point out, that there is awfully small amount of non-traditional music played on a concertina (at least to be found on the web) in comparison to the most versatile and recognized instrument of the squeez family: an accordion. And yes, I think that comparing to the melodeon is a narrower scope - not at all meaningless, only a bit limiting: it misses how much is going on in many modern or non-dance genres and other instruments. To be honest, I deeply regret, that the only person on the web trying (succesfully) to play modern game/film music is Toru Kato (with exception on maybe to Monkey Island theme played by two other players). And that I cannot listen to any rendition of scandinavian folkmetal on a concertina, while there are literaly hundreds of such accordion videos on YT. TOTM moved mostly to the soundcloud, so our collective effort to record more concertina music is a bit of an inside thing, not drawing much attention. We often complain about concertinas not being popular and I tried to link that to being somehow stuck in a rut of a folk niche. I found many of my favourite accordion YT players by searching for music of modern artists, very often covered in dozens or hundreds of videos, on many instruments. I even found a great cover of Tool's "Lateralus" played on a Koto ensemble and spend an evening on finding anything I could on this instrument - much more exotic for me than concertina. But concertinists don't really do covers, so they are impossible to be found this way.
  10. This is the same as Wakker H2 (except for this lonely, un-Hayden Eb/F) and I have this exact layout on my prototype. I chose this layout because at that time I had no idea what would be usefull. Now I think that Ab on the edges are not. Because on MIDI we can transpose, doubling accidentals is usefull only with meantone and just tunings and with a lot more doubled notes (an old square Bastari has enough buttons for this). So now I would skip them, and move them to low F and high Eb, or low D# on RH side and to low D# on the left. And this is mostly because we have 64 buttons to spend, we realy don't need doubled Eb/D# that much - except maybe for consistent edge-triads if someone needs Cmin and Bmaj in one fully-chromatic piece somewhere...
  11. Take a look at this thread: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16435&hl=
  12. It's Zelda for me! My favourite rendition so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOPV2DLvIjg
  13. Yes I have, almost immidiately after purchase, as original Elise action was a downgrade even from a cheap German Anglo. I now have aluminum+steel rod buttons, with lever holes and endplate holes bushed with 1mm felt (plus original felt bumpers on the bottom of a button).
  14. I have tried to adjust the gap heights on the slowest reeds and this have helped a bit, but nevertheless those lowest reeds are significantly slower to speak. Slow enough, that this must be corrected when playing low rhytmic accompaniment progressions. This issue and lack of 6 buttons (missing sharps) are my only complains about Elise (at least about my modified one) - versatile as it is, it would last for much longer as a learning instrument, if it were fully chromatic.
  15. The slow response of the lowest notes is caused by weighted reeds and you can't really do anything about it.
  16. Jordan, great pdf, thanks for posting. I came across your site back in 2010, when I first started digging on MIDI instruments. Description of your mbe2 was a great source of initial knowledge of what can be done and have helped me in defining goals for my solution.
  17. Terry - as I said - it works like charm (though I fiddled with it for a couple of minutes only, but it looks like it gives a true readings on my Elise), otherwise I wouldn't post that solution. So you can post reference to this method on RTTA page right away. Wine is open source, free and intuitive to use. Just click on an .exe file with Wine installed in your Applications folder and it will do the rest.
  18. Looks like I have reinvented the Channel Pressure when I have tried to make a quick-but-decent velocity-sensitive "Hayden piano" conversion out of my concertina innards a few months ago This works, and I have been experimenting with using a pressure sensor and specially crafted pressure pad placed below the keys. Don: this is a standard solution for velocity sensing. A came across another solution, involving pressure sensitive resistance based strips, but this best works for linear keyboards. About stripping down your Korg, I think it might be hard to incorporate any form of bellows dynamics into it, but it might be worth to take it apart. Just in more reversible fashion than using a Dremel tool But the whole motion sensing idea could be a great way to build a futuristic, bellows-free MIDI concertina, I must dig a bit more into it. Ideally, with two motion sensors it could be possible to have two independent dynamics for left and right hand notes. No more unsteady accompaniment
  19. Matthew: not for software but hardware reasons, and this problem is relevant only to DIY approach, as it is limited by available programable "motherboards" end cost efficiency. If someone is skilled enough to be able to design his own electronics from scratch, then he could pack any number of buttons, knobs, sliders etc... And no, note buttons are independent from permanent-state switches and volume/transposition knobs/sliders. You could use some part of this 64 button quota fot permanent state switches, but you don't have to. As to your features list - it misses only one, bellows instrument specific function, and thus not manageable from MIDI software. You have to be able to choose from a few different bellows response curves, to accomodate for individual style of play, musical piece style and the diameter of pressure release hole (you need one for bellows to actually work). The combination of variable hole size and pressure response curve is what gives a natural feeling to pressure sensor approach.
  20. Don - have you ever played a harpsichord? Unlike a piano, there is a distinctive moment, when the plectrum plucks the string. Same goes with switches, but to a lesser extent - you can feel when they switch. And they have only 2mm travel. As for playing - such keyboard is very unforgiving in terms of a rhytm and you'll need some time to get used to that instant response. This can be corrected in the software, to some extent, via seting a longer note attack time. And bending notes via half-pressed buttons on a MIDI concertina would require analog, travel sensitive buttons which I don't know even exist. Roland accordions use a single common bar for note bending.
  21. @Jim: when such individuals will embark on the common project, I'll be more than happy to read in full technical detail about such ideas as internal and external wireless data transfer in DIY project. But it sounds like an overkill to me, when you can simply have a couple of wires going through the bellows or in some other connector. You're right about general ideas on commercial product, and yes, I was thinking about broadening the market for potential product, but keeping the design simple enough to be able to produce it on a small workshop scale. Think of it as adaptation of traditional concertina hand-building approach to the world of MIDI instruments. Even "large batch" of "mass produced" MIDI concertina would be more likely in the order of 10-50 instruments than a 1000. I'm just trying to keep it real. The whole idea of interchangeable endplates came to my mind because I have an already modular design: As long as I'll follow the same connection pattern, I can make any physical layout by just swapping the button plates, so I could easily accomodate various duet systems already. I didn't thought about 30b Anglo mostly because I'm aware, that for Anglo players size does matter significantly, and with the whole interchangeable endplates idea they probably wouldn't be very happy with an instrument in a size of a large duet "heavy tanker". The innards of course support any type of concertina up to the upper limit of buttons, be it 64 or any other number. And by manageable I meant a physical constraints of finger reach and handrest/handstrap design, not a musical manageability of a large compass. I'm using a combined thumbstrap/handstrap approach now on my Elise and plan something completely different on my acoustic Hayden I'm building - similiar to Thomas Restoin's thumbstrap+wriststrap, but more suited for movements required on large Hayden (mostly increasing a reach of pinkies and allowing for easier playing close to handbar). Hope that this claryfies my approach.
  22. Jody, you can run Windows version on a Mac through Wine http://winebottler.kronenberg.org - it works "out of the box", without any tweaking necessary.
  23. My mistake - it is DAW - digital audio workstation. Have you missed that this is the DIY thread? The answer for almost ALL your question is that I try to come up with ideas that I'm able to design and make - you are just wandering around on a conceptual level. Also, I'm designing with primary a Hayden layout and my own needs in mind. So no wireless communications in the bellows as this would require two power sources, two sets of electronics, etc.. and would rise total cost. As for the number 64 - it is because multiplexer used in HARDWARE have 8 bits and the most optimal use of connectors available on a small Arduino unit I'm using is thus 64 (8x8 grid, which uses 9 multiplexers, so you need to controll 6 outputs and one input). For 88 key you have to add 3 more standalone multiplexers and for 128 you have to double the whole deal (the outputs are common, but the additional input is independent). With piano synthesizers 88 key is a musical standard, with concertina 60+ keys we're getting to largest sizes manageable with handstraps, so I never even considered going 128. [This is of course trivial with mass produced, commercial instruments with large market, so you can have full-size accordion controllers with 212 buttons and zilions of other controls]. As to exchangable keyboards - of course it has to be tall enough for at least 6,5 buttons to accomodate a minimal Hayden (6 + row shift). With transposition capability, you can play on minimal Hayden keyboard with only single accidentals (in E.T.) by just transposing to the desired key. It is 8,5 if I wanted to benefit from enharmonic capabilities of a Hayden in other tunings. And I realy don't aim at building small, 30 key Anglo box, I'm perfectly fine with a 7-8" box. English and Wheatstone Double are a different family boxes and would require a different endplate altogether, so the whole idea of interchangeable insert obviously does not apply. At least not in form of a single, totally universal design. Everything has some limitations.
  24. That is exactly what I meant by "in form of detachable electronic keyboards". Furthermore, you don't have to make whole endplates or drill holes in pre-cast ones (casting isn't realy an option, as it requires large runs to be economicaly efficient) - you can just design an endplate with replaceable insert. Apart from englishes, all (?) other systems use handstrap/handrest construction and only Dipper custom uses long three rows layout, so they would all fit in some well defined area. As to making instruments symetrical in terms of button number: for technical reasons I'm assuming a 64 button "poll" to divide. With 64 button duets you will want (at least I would) to have a slightly more buttons on the right hand side. That defines a split of the poll between sides, wich is then fixed for any other keyboard, as some wires must go through the bellows and this cannot be overcome by interchangeable endplates inserts. Apart from that, any layout could use this poll to the maximum of (example split) 30 buttons left, 34 buttons right. One thought though: with MIDI, if the instrument is built as single chanel only, there is less point for large overlap as you won't get more sound from playing same note on two buttons… And many DAV programs don't support multiple channel MIDI recording.
  25. While such would be awfully clever, do you reckon there are enough folks that play multiple layouts to justify the additional technical challenges of detachable endplates? I thought about this mostly by a mean to broaden the market for such MIDI instrument so it could reach a criticall mass to start ANY production. With this approach only a small part of production process would require system-dependand design and everything else would be exactly the same. But to make such approach easier, this should be a plain switch buttons design and not a true lever mechanism. And this could prevent some folks from buying it, because switches of suitable size have only about 2mm travel and don't feel like a real thing. And as I share your enthusiasm on Hayden (I realy liked your term 'Haydenites' ), I'm a bit skeptic about it's glorious future. There were some attempts made on comercialising isomorphic layouts in form of Axis jammer you've mentioned, and at least one of Hayden jammers never went into mass production stage (or had a really small run) and they both hadn't get a noticeable attention. From my personal experience, based on numerous conversations with different musicians, our small concertina comunity may be the largest group that is at least aware of this layout, let alone interested in it. Whether we like it or not, we live in a piano world and even as well established layouts as various CBA systems don't have their fair share in the MIDI keyboard market (a quick google search gave me three hits on flat-keyboard synthesizers with accordion keyboard, one of them analogue and discontinued more than 20 years ago; there are also fully-blown Roland reedles accordions and that's virtually all there is).
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