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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. The slow response of the lowest notes is caused by weighted reeds and you can't really do anything about it.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. @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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. If using a matrix keyboard and a flexible note mapping in the software, then a single hardware can support any keyboard layout, as long as they have same physical buttons arrangement. With a bit more work it is possible to build a completely flexible and system-independend platform, on which non-physicaly equivalent systems could be exchanged in a matter of a simple end plates variations, either in form of detachable electronic keyboards or button+lever platforms. That includes virtually any system, be it uni- or bisonoric, duet or english-style split sided layout. At this point my prototype serves that purpose well, as each button has an independent note mapping, though I plan to explore possibilities of saving some buttons by combining enharmonic equivalents together, to further enlarge the compass of simultanously available notes.
  15. But if you have just one key and a thumb button for shifting entire keyboard half step up or down, then this is not a Hayden layout anymore - it becames a new layout, a derivative of course, but with completely new playing techniques required...
  16. @Don: For some reason Roland builds all of their reedles accordions full-sized, as large as 92 button Bayan with 120 basses. If you wan't full bass+chord accompaniment or use chords with root doubled an octave lower and be able to play modern, accidental rich melody at the same time and be able to play the whole piece without transposition on-the-fly then yes, you need so many buttons. If you just wanted the MIDI input device and not a real-time instrument, then even a single octave keyboard with transposition dial could be sufficient, but bear in mind, that your hands are strapped to the concertina while playing. Changing a lot of parameters on the fly, like with piano keboards, is not an option… And because of technicalities of matrix keyboards the most logical number of buttons around 60 is 64 so why not? It is just a couple of holes and switches more
  17. So we now have 5 people interested with additional two who want to build one by themselves (myself and Don). What I'm courious about is what price range (for a 64 button, pressure sensitive instrument) is acceptable for you? What features should such instrument have? It might be tricky to convince anyone to start production if everyone has different expectations...
  18. I now have two of theese http://www.tme.eu/pl/details/mpxv5004dp/czujniki-cisnienia/freescale-motorola/# - they are one way, so you need two of them, and have a range of 4kPa. Looking through this site I have found a sensor I'll probably give a go when revisiting my project after finishing my acoustic Hayden that I'm building now - http://www.tme.eu/pl/details/d6f-ph5050ad3/czujniki-cisnienia/omron/# - it is a two way sensor with probably the ideal range of +/- 0.5 kPa. All those pressure sensors are differential. One note - the exact range of over/underpressure you'll get inside your bellows depends on how you'll setup the airflow - it will be significantly higher when you live a hole simulating a single speaking reed or two full chords… I don't have hard numbers on this, but judging from my sensor readouts I could go from as low as 200Pa to as high as 1kPa of overpressure. [i'm giving this numbers from my head now, as at this moment my concertina is dissasembled and can be used only as a dumb MIDI array with no volume or velocity control. Here I found an article on building a MIDI accordion: https://github.com/accordion-mega/AccordionMega/wiki/Accordion-Mega-story - it uses a sensor with a range of 110kPa but from the look of it, it is an absolute sensor. When I was designing my concertina I first used a 50kPa sensors, which failed miserably, because I'm using differential setup, not an absolute measurement.
  19. @Don: Yes. But if you want just bellows pressure information you can combine pressures from each cylinders into a single sensor. Of course if you want to improve the concertina controller to be more than just an electronic version of acoustic instrument, you could use this additional information as MIDI controls. I think that this corded version I posted previously uses each cord as a separate MIDI X/Y control in addition to bellows movement information. One drawback with using air cylinders would be relatively small travel, perhaps equal to three fold bellows (assuming the most ergonomic size of entire instrument)... And I agree with Matthew on Charles Wheatstone, I think that he would be first to push boundaries further. After seeing some of his patents on advanced mechanical reeds (e.g. re-tunable reeds) I think that he might even electrify concertina (as in electric guitar, not MIDI controller).
  20. The solo use of RPi might be tricky, as it is a computer not a microcontroller, so it has no ecosystem for connecting raw electronics to it. I have an old Arduino Duemilanove http://arduino.cc/en/Main/arduinoBoardDuemilanove#.UyTK01w4NGJ . If I were to build completely new instrument now, I would probably aim at Arduino Yun or Tre http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardTre#.UyTJ1lw4NGI , http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardYun#.UyTJxlw4NGI , depending on what exactly can you run on Yun Linux implementation. This way I would probably try to build a self containing instrument with optional MIDI capabilities. Yet, right now I'm aiming at home studio use and not full-blown stage/gig applications, so connecting pure Arduino via USB and then work on software MIDI is the best option for me. I could just use a laptop as a synthetizer if I ever need to play elsewhere.
  21. There is one problem with iDevices - you have to build a true standalone MIDI controller based on Arduino (or any other microcontroller), which sends MIDI messages over a MIDI cable and this is a lot of computation for Arduino (and my board had too few inputs and outputs to make that happened). The reason for that, is that iDevices require deviceID for anything other than MIDI accesories and this is not easily obtainable. At least that's how it was three years ago, this could have changed. That is why I wrote about Android devices, which have no such limitation. But yes, a smartphone as a "brain" for such concertina is probably the most versatile solution. But it is a path towards commercial production, not a single, DIY controller. In my concertina Arduino serves only as a gatherer for different values, which it then sends in raw form to Processing driver running on host system. The reason for that is that Processing has some neat MIDI libraries, Arduino does not. This requires a host capable of running my code and support for a software MIDI device. Back then that was true for OSX, Linux and Windows.
  22. Thank you Inventor. On some point of my initial research I did consider building an instrument like you described, self-contained with loudspeakers, as prices of large acoustic Haydens are enormous (justified, but enormous still). But there are some problems with this approach: you will have to fit a full-blown midi-synthetizer and speakers inside, or make it based on android smartphone for "brains", or use something like Raspbery Pi computer-on-board, or find a way of generating an acceptable sound in an analogue form. And then there is a problem of loudnes of portable speakers and their response characteristics, designing proper acoustic chambers for bass amplification etc.. It is a far greater deal than a relatively simple MIDI controller, so I've abandoned this path very early. One more idea that cames to mind, is to build something with a principle similiar to electric guitar, to be able to plug such concertina to all sorts of guitar effects, but I don't realy have any sensible idea on how to bite this one...
  23. After your post Jim, I was courious on what exact movements S-Wave concertina supports and it seems that… none at all. So it looks like there is just a milimeters worth (if any) movement of the sides and the only information this concertina gets is the force between ends. So it would probably be impossible to use any vibrato or other vigorous bellows effects. This instrument had previously it's own thread here: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=10197
  24. I just found a very interesting construction, I especially recommend the video: http://crewdson.net It is a variation on mechanical aproach - look here for description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gametrak. It has a clear benefit of enormous extension and complete compression, so movement of the ends is completely unrestricted. it wouldn't feel much real though, because the force on the ends always points to the outsides.
  25. @Jim: My bad. I'm not a native english speaker and sometimes I translate polish idiomatic phrases or polish grammar straight to english which changes or clouds the meaning. I meant that a common practice (from what I saw in various videos) is to held an english on a lap and work the bellows like a fan, which can be aided by attaching a strap to bottom ends. And this is just a side note, as I was describing the reason why S-Wave MIDI english can use only one air piston and not debating on english concertina playing techniques.
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