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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. I can recommend Harmonikas, especially their DIX range, which not only sound great, but are also easier to work with than italian reeds, as they are slightly shorter but also slightly wider for the same size, so can have larger clearance between the inner valve and the chamber wall. They do sell single sets and even single reeds. They also do have „concertina” range, though those are semi-traditional only, as they still have accordion style trapezoid tongues. However, their current lead time is around 12 weeks.
  2. Instruments in different temperaments were played together since the very invention of temperaments in Renaissance, as lutes were usually tuned in equal temperament and keyboard instruments were not. However, how badly out of tune with each other instruments in such ensembles sound depends very much on the tune itself - how melody and harmony interact, which intervals are used, which key the tune is in, how modern the tune is etc. It also depends very much on which temperaments are clashed together. Go on YT and search for videos illustrating different temperaments and listen to differences, "side by side" comparisons etc. And if you're interested in some most extreme musical experience, search for microtonal music in -TETs larger than 12-TET (the common equal temperament). Personally, I can't stand microtonal music other than traditional music from India, as everything sounds false all the time to me. When clashing two different temperaments together, you can get the same "microtonal" quality to resulting music.
  3. If there is another instrument with similar timbre and in tune with your box, then you might "not hear yourself" because you're blending in perfectly. Try to play to concertina recording at matching volume to hear what I mean. If you're hearing yourself clearly, then you're missing the rhythm or your concertina is out of tune. It is exactly the same as playing two reeds with the same pitch - you should only hear the increased volume and very little else, unless they are deliberately tuned in musette. When I'm learning a tune via play along to say, a bandoneon recording or Musescore with proper concertina sound font, then not hearing myself is a proof, that I'm doing well.
  4. Yes, I know. Alex Holden and Flying Duck Concertinas also made some boxes with Allen screws. If I read it right and those notes are in reversed, descensing order, then you’ll be dissappointed by such substitutions in terms of response, pitch stability and timbre, more and more as you go further down from F. Lowest of those may even not speak at all. It’s because you need increasingly larger chambers as you go further down from C3.
  5. There is a way to do something like this relatively easily on 3d printed concertinas, namely using wedges and slots, but it comes at a hefty price of increased size. Same goes with accordion style pins - accordion bellows walls are way thicker than concertina bellows walls. Screws are the most elegant and space efficient solution. However, I really don’t understand why modern makers stick to straight slot screws. Allen heads are way more convenient to use, way more durable and, at least to my eye, look way nicer than other head types except for torx. The only reason I can see to stick with straight slot is if screws have to made from brass for aesthetic reasons. Other than that, it is one of those „traditional ways” I can perfectly live without in times of hybrids, cnc machined reedpans and entire 3d printed boxes.
  6. I think I don't follow how this would look like and where the Bowdens are in this configuration. Could you provide an illustration of what do you think about exactly? The only interpretation I can come up with requires openwork action board, especially in button area.
  7. If everything works out, it will have a chpice of handling systems.
  8. Well, Elise has drove me to enough insanity to spend easily more than 1000 hrs spread onto nearly a decade to learn how to, and build a box by myself The byproduct of it is that, well, I now know how to build concertinas, so I think I thanks to Wim Wakker are in order for making such an annoying box
  9. Elise annoingly lacks even a single G#. Many tunes that are not fully chromatic but are chromaticised could be fitted to an instrument with just a button or two more on the RH side. From my POV, Elise should have had the layout of the Troubadour and would be an ideal entry to this system.
  10. There is no condescending tone in my post, just a simple truth - small Haydens can’t handle as broad number of genres as large Haydens, and large duets in general, can. I have nothing against playing traditional music and I’m very well aware, that the dominance of Anglos stems exactly from trad-centric perspective of most players and that is perfectly fine by me. Since the very begining of existence of concertinas there were small ones snd there were big ones. German Anglos quickly evolved into Bandoneons and their musical ways split. With duet concertinas I think the same might happen, once the availability and recognition of duets grow. Duets are great exactly because they fill a niche in between of smallest Anglos or Englishes and smallest button accordions. Small accordion with similar capabilites to large duet weights more than twice as much and is three times as large. Large duets may lack the portability aspect when compared to Anglos or Englishes, but when compared to accordions, they are tiny. There is also one other aspect to consider - there are only two small Free Bass accordions on the market, everything else up to concert level instruments is Stradella. Duets are Free Bass equivalents and so are less limited than accordions, provided enough buttons. And you know best how reluctant I am to increasing the size of my 46/50b project beyond what is absolutely necessary.
  11. Ed is an accordionist first, concertina builder second, and he simply didn't want any compromise when it came to musical utility of his Hayden. 74b Hayden is still many times lighter than even a small accordion and this number, 74, is only a result of his largest printer bed size being a hard limit. If he had a bigger one, he would make his Hayden the size of a Bandoneon. My box has 66 buttons and I would still add like 8 more, at least. Truth be told, 46b standard is a bare minimum when it comes to utility, with everything with less buttons being a teaser to the system at most. I'm designing a 46b box now, and it's just too much compromise. It's ok for traditional genres, but once you step out you momentarily run into range limitations. I'll be most likely including the upgrade option for 4 more buttons because of this. Beaumont (RIP) was way better "standard" than 46b is, and this is exactly why it was way more popular option than Peacock, even with so much higher price.
  12. Then you may want to hold your horses just yet, as there might be another option available then. I’m currently in the process of designing a small, about Troubadour sized, square 3D printed, 46-50b box with a price tag likely between a Stagi and Troubadour. Details yet to come, but the first pre-production prototype should be ready around May-June.
  13. How far "in the future" are you thinking of this upgrade?
  14. Bowdens still require levers. Those could indeed be shorter and anywhere on the action board, but are still required. In fact, I was contemplating such solution to add Abs to my box. Bowdens also have to come out somewhere, where there’s no reed in the way. This indeed would be easier with levers that are detached from buttons, so can have posts anywhere. BUT the biggest limitation of bowdens is curvature - too tight and it doesn’t work or require springs set much harder than it is typical for concertinas. So they are only usable for outmost buttons and still require careful positioning of reeds. For the same reason however, they are perfect to add all enharmonic duplicates to a large enough box. I regret not inventing this solution before I designed my fretwork, because I would add all Abs for existing G# and maybe even Dbs, as my handle design makes those reachable. I’m currently occupied with designing a small, 46-50b, 3D printed box, but after that I’m tempted to make the largest box I can, that is one that has the entire available range of DIX reeds in it, from A1 to g6. With the size required to fit all those layered bass chambers, bowdens for all black keys in both enharmonic equivalents should be possible.
  15. I wasn’t expecting to hear Claudio Constantini here. Just yesterday, while shooting my cover photo I was listening to his Bach renditions. One of ma favourite Bandoneonists.
  16. Just reposting this here, for completeness sake of this thread.
  17. Last year I wasn't ready to participate. This year I'm still not really ready as well, but hey, you only live once So here are my offerings. Those are first recordings made with my big box and first recordings after my 4 year break and re-learning everything pretty much from scratch. Playing concertinas is not like riding a bike at all The first one is a great tune I fell love in after listening to the performance of Luis Villegas on Bandoneon. It sqeezes nearly entire range out of my big box, and more (there is only E6 left out on the high end and my box is short of D2 on the low end). The second one is old but gold Roslin Castle, played as low as possible. However, despite my best efforts this recording doesn't do justice to those bass notes. Both recordings are ways from being perfect, both on my side and technical side, but I hope you'll enjoy them anyway
  18. The process of French Polish I was taught goes like this: - first you prime with undiluted solution, wait 24hrs, lightly sand with fine grade steel wool and then rub filler into the pores with another coat of undiluted shellac and sand again - you then proceed to put on layers of gradually thinner dilution, starting with half up to 1/8 or even 1/16 for the last few - oil is there to ensure no friction of your pad. You add only a tiny amount to later layers, but since it is pure lineseed oil it will harden along with resin. Since concertinas are so small, it is not really needed, because you’ll still have a fresh load on your pad at the end of the current layer. You basically make one or two quick swipes and then wait for the layer to solidify for an hour or two. Final coat thickness is too low to even out pores, so no, even 30 layers is not enough to ensure glossy finish without filler. If however a satin finish is the goal, it is way faster and simpler to apply shellac with flat, soft brush.
  19. My personal experience is that concertina dB measured at 1m, exceeding 90dB hurt my ears. I think this is mostly about the energy caried by higher partials, because higher reeds hurt more and bass reeds don’t hurt no matter the meter readout. The box I made had very open fretwork originally and had to be baffled with carefully designed irregular baffle to cut those partialls. I first cut those and then continued with refinement of the baffle and then corrected padhole diameter to lower and even out the perceived loudness (perceived loudness differs greatly from measured loudness, so low reeds measure at different dB levels than high reeds).
  20. You can see my custom handle design here. I give a detailed breakdown of how it works in a next post and you can see it in action a page earlier. The reason I made it, is because I wanted to play chord rhythms everywhere on the keyboard and minor chords on a Hayden force the hand into position that makes playing steady rhythms with a hand strap difficult, especially with fingers as long as mine. Is it necessary? Well, no, Bandoneon players play with stock handstraps on 71 button instruments. Is it helpful? Yes, certainly. There is also another reason people swap traditional handles on even small concertinas. Many people have problems with their wrists and traditional handles forces the hand into position that exacerbate the problem.
  21. Concertinas are loud. Very loud, which is then amplified by playing inside small rooms. I had to cover my CC Elise's "fretwork" with EVA foam inserts to stop my ears hurting after just a couple of tunes into practice session, because it peaked at >100dB, with >90dB being the norm. When creating my current box I designed it so it has ~70dB at typical pressure. What you can do, is install EVA foam baffle under the fretwork. You only need a thin line (around 1mm) of opening around the perimeter of the baffle for reeds to get enough air. If you don't want to modify your concertina from the inside, you can simply tack a cutout from the foam for practice sessions from the outside. It will not be pretty, but it will work if it is near airtight. Other than that, you can play outside. Concertinas project the sound sideways, away from the player. Playing outside, away from solid walls, no sound bounces back to you.
  22. You are very right of course. I just wanted to comment on my "mechanical immobilization device" here - only the tip of the thumb is immobilised completely, the rest of the thumb movement is restricted to a single plane, and the rest of the hand has more freedom, than on an English with pinky rest. I don't know any technique, neither fingering nor bellows, that is impaired by this "device".
  23. …and to complete melody as well. This is the second biggest annoyance with to few buttons - when you play a steady rhythm on the LH but must interrupt it or grow new fingers for those few odd melody notes that go below C4… One of the tunes I play is „Two guitars”, where melody line goes up to D6 and down to A3. Same with the „Riverside” mentioned above, down to A3… Or another tune, „Last Waltz” from Oldboy movie, where on 46b I’m missing just a single Eb4 on the RH. I can dive in on the LH for those, but at the expense of accompaniment fluidity. With my desired repertoire there is simply no such thing as „too many buttons”. And a word about getting lost - this is where my rigid thumb „thimble” and antler handling system beats both handstrap and thumbstrap/wrist strap solutions - it has no play, what you feel on your palm, together with the angles in the thumb give you absolute positioning. I’m only having some troubles with a single, really long jump from Eb to G#, everything else is precise enough.
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