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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. @Don: perhaps it is best that I'll wait with answering such question untill I have at least a single playing instrument under my belt
  2. A quick google image search shows that even this Stagi action could be utilized to some degree - it still have button/lever/pad assembly. After moving the whole button grid to the new placement probably one row worth of buttons should need longer levers. There will have to be custom action board/electronics board anyways, so moving holes is not an issue. But of course this would require a bit more work than rearranging traditional action. It would be best to seek out a chineese manufacturer of those concertinas and find out what they can supply - maybe they can do the whole box/action board/bellows thing to new specification without the need for third party rearranging. We don't even know what quantities are necesary to start production and what costs we are talking about now.
  3. @ Roland: as I did wrote before - Roland uses what is called "Dynamic Bellows Behavior" only in their most expensive models. As it is also a "newly developed" feature, I really don't think, that they use traditional lever system… Here is the only inside view I could find: http://www.accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=803 The model here is the FR-1xb, which don't have this technology. Clearly Roland uses some kind of keayboard switches - accordion spaced keyboard could indeed be made using any standard komputer keyboard switches, so why bother with levers and reed switches? I think that Dynamic Bellows Behaviour" is a fancy name for some kind of a fast responsing servo coupled with an aperture. @Matthew: I think that it is not the bellows or pressure sensor that needs to be "pinned" out of the way, but the most basic level of OBJECTIVE here. And we have a couple of contradicting to choose from: 1. Make a controller that acts as closely as possible to the real thing. This option leads us to real action, leather bellows and traditional one-at-a-time production methods and a cost of few k$. Unfortunately the price tag for Wakker MIDI is no longer listed on their site. 2. Make some compromises and build a "close enough" instrument in batches counting in dozens at a time. This would mean ordering some chineese 48b Englishes to salvage boxes and action, ask Jordan to design the electronics for such box and find a concertina maker/repairer to rearrange the action for a Hayden and make new endplates. This approach might result in an instrument costing around 1k$ 3. Make an entire new box from scratch, intended for mass production. This is where the fun begins and we can unleash our imagination of using custom conductive rubber keyboards, servo-controlled bellows resistance, custom action boards, cast plastic or CNC machined boxes etc… The "only" drawback here is that this is a serious enterprise with a need for a factory AND large enough market to cover at least initial production costs counted in 10s or even small 100s k$. 4. Go "OpenSource" Collectively design a set of cad/cam files for 3D printers/milling machines to make a "kit" fiting the electronics designed by Jordan or design electronics by ourselves. This could include options for milling in wood and brass or for 3D printing both boxes and action parts. It would require individual assembly and some third party parts and of course the bellows supplier or some sort of "open source" replacement. But it seems that no person here with any DIY or production experience and knowledge is interested in going Open Source. Same as Don, I don't want to be a downer, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to mix those quite freely in seek of "the holy grail" of MIDI concertinas: a batch counted in 10s, with the quality of the real thing, possibly done with the modern techniques that suit batches of 100s/1000s and designed as an OpenSource or KickStarter project, most hopefully by a third party… And costing no more than a 1000$... I think that you might succeed with approach no. 2 if you can find enough people interested in common design to pay Jordan for designing the electronics and find a willing maker/repairer to put these boxes together. You might also succeed in convincing Wim to make a single small MIDI Hayden for yourself based upon his previous design. Options 3 & 4 seem rather unlikely, as I can think of no KickStarter revolutionary controller that made it to broader audience and even KickStarter projects require substancial investments to gather audience (usually you have to have at least a prototype or a good CGI and a whole bunch of marketing material). Not to mention a very, very limited market for such concertina...
  4. Jordan - this string bellows is a lot more complicated than simply measuring pulling force. I once read the whole conversion history of this instrument and each of the three strings give you two angular measurements and one distance measurement, so you can read precise relative location of the ends. It gives so many MIDI controls that this controller, when properly programmed, could do any dynamics or expression.
  5. Thanks for the warning Geoff At least you're doing what you like and what you're good at - IMHO that is a lot better way of life than being stuck in a cubical, anonymously moving papers around for 36 years.
  6. Maybe it is best to show it from another angle: Yes, there is a 5mm difference in level between the center and the most outer edge and 4 different (sometimes smoothly connected) levels altogether. Since first pictures I have milled the outer edge more, so now it goes past the screw holes and not through them. My fretwork isn't based on acoustic principles, as I haven't build a prototype to experiment on dampening/reflection. I intend to use inner baffles if the need for closing some areas should arise. And I definately agree with you, that there is a lot of opportunities for interesting design of endplates, especially on non-traditional layouts like Hayden or Chromatiphone. OTOH I understand that this is just a result of a market structure: concertina is percieved as a traditional folk instrument and vintage concertinas are a natural reference point. And to be honest, I have chosen art noveau because newer periods in design (except perhaps art deco) do not privide anything as aesthetically pleasing as pre-'60s periods. There is also a practical reason - victorian patterns look good when just cut out flat. Art noveau, floral and art deco designs need substantially more labour to be attractive. Some examples: http://carrollconcertinas.com/64.html , http://www.concertina.net/images_gs_adventures/dipper_left_sm.jpg or http://sevenmount.de/?page_id=42 - especially this last link best illustrates, that you need at least a second, engraving pass to make those designs look good. I'm building this instrument for myself, so I can go with 40+hours of carving, but I don't expect any manufacturer to do this… Would you pay 500$ extra just to have a 3D carved ends?
  7. Thanks Don! I wouldn't call it "immaculate" but I'm indeed quite happy how it turned out.
  8. You have to have an DeviceID to be able to plug any USB device to an iPhone. But there is no need for that for MIDI devices, you just need something like this: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/iRigMIDI2 and a "normal" (non USB) MIDI device.
  9. I have the exact zippy switches in my prototype, but probably the standard force variant - unfortunately I don't know for sure. I had some issues with them - after a couple of months some of them have stopped to response and needed replacement. They have shor travel of about 2 mm, and if force is not applied exactly straight they tend to increase their resistance… And even the light force variant will probably be too stiff for Don - he would like his buttons closer to 45gf than 90gf-120gf. IFAIK standard concertina buttons operate on 60-80gf. Roland did have solved the variable airflow problem in their digital accordions but I don't know how - probably not by traditional action, as this is a new feature and only available in the most expensive accordions. As to number of people interested - don't count me in, I will more likely focus on finishing my DIY solution, when I will finally have some time to spare on this project.
  10. What Don is pointing out regarding switches is that there is a problem obtaining ones that are small enough AND require low force to operate. I have 9x9mm switches wich are small enough to make a Hayden array, but they require 120grams of force, whilst typical concertina button works on ~80grams. Don have found some computer keyboard switches that work with such small forces, but they are to big to place one by one. The solution for this is to build a conductive rubber keypad - it is just one more circutboard to design, but I don't know what is the smallest batch quantity for this to be economicaly justified (probably it is an option only for huge runs). The other solution is to build an entire actionboard… As to the bellows: traditional concertina bellows is very labour intensive and it has a completely different construction that the accordion one… The chineese boxes that you find not good enough have poor bellows mostly because they have hexagonal accordion bellows… But there might be a workaround for many of theese problems - had you actually tried to contact the chineese manufacturer and ask if they can make a smaller box? Maybe in the size matching a Wakker bellows? Then one wishing to have a better bellows in his MIDI instrument could simply buy a traditional one.
  11. I have started this course last time it was on, but had to drop it after three lessons because of complete lack of time… Maybe I'll take it again in october, I haven't decided yet. After those lessons I followed, I must say, that this course seemed rather dissapointing - a good ear training requires a lot more material than a couple of repetitions of basic intervals in each video. If you're interested in doing a lot of different ear training excercises, I suggest looking at a nice piece of software called Ear Master: http://www.earmaster.com/products/ear-training-sight-singing/earmaster-6.html.
  12. Well, it's been a long time since I've showed something new in this thread, but preparing my own wedding was a bit more important than this project. A little bit But now I'm back on track, so here they are: my art noveau endplates.
  13. @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.
  14. @ 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.
  15. @ 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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...
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
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