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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posts posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. IMHO the duet system that might be closest to piano experience is Tona's Dipper Custom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MYPTWxpKp0, but you should ask Tona directly about such comparison. If I recall correctly this is one of CBA layouts fit on a concertina and is next closest to "two row" piano after Jedcertina.
    But IMHO Jedcertina this big (button number wise) would be completely unplayable, large and would require a wrist band like the left hand CBA keyboard to be able to freely move your wrist. Even Tona's box has a very elongated button array.

  2.  

    But I did print out the keyboard layout for different systems and sizes and I've gone a bit nerdy on them..they're all color coded now and I've been figuring out the shape of different chords and whatnot. That doesn't hold a candle to actually playing an instrument, but it's better than nothing (or than studying for finals, which I really should be doing...)

     

     

    I will repeat myself, but since you have printed those different layouts and are trying to do something useful with them, you should try them on the actual box - i.e. on the sides of a cube, to see which layout orientation is most ergonomical for your fingers. Flat printouts can mislead heavily on which layout would be easiest to play when you have a handstrap around your palm and must reach outside or closest/furthest buttons. I have used my MIDI Hayden in flat keyboard arrangement, and I can do very different things with it than on the actual concertina.

  3. With large enough duets adapting the keyboard music to contertinas is quite straightforward realy, but there is a "finger limit" factor to consider - you can only use 8 fingers on a concertina, while 10 on a keyboard. And with each duet system you get different constraints on using a single finger to play several notes at once (on a Hayden you can play fourths and fifths with single finger (but each is easy to play only on one side of the instrument) and 1-4(or 5)-8 triads).

  4. You have misunderstood me :) What I meant is that having a bellows driven MIDI dynamics you can use it either as a volume dynamics or velocity dynamics. Volume dynamics is essential to achieving natural sound with all free-reed samples, bowed string instruments, woodwinds, brass etc… But it sounds strange an unnatural with plucked string samples, piano and percussive instruments (both xylophone-like chromatic percussive instruments and drum kits). And it is just a flip of a switch away when you have bellows driven, pressure dynamic sensor, which you can easily connect as either option, so why not have both in the same instrument?

     

    And my "simple MIDI volume" suggestion was only reffering to your own statement, that at this point the synthesiser software you're using does not recognize channel pressure control and your video lacks any dynamics at this point.

  5. And it should be added that you might want to try out specimens of the different systems - doing well with one or another appears to be a very personal and hardly predictable matter...

     

     

    I had similiar problem to your's when I wanted to switch from Anglo to something chromatic and unisonoric. I have finally landed with Elise and don't regret (it is true that you'll run out of buttons quite fast, but it is a quite versatile box, especially in regards to harmony building and linking it with independent melody, and you have a Peacock upgrade path available now). But as Wolf said, you should try all different instruments prior to making choice. And if it is not possible you might consider making "dummies" to try: just take a "concertina sized" cardboard box, stick some pins in it to fake buttons in different layouts and try to "mind play" something. I have ruled out English concertina this way, because it had too awkward ergonomics for my long fingers and interleaved sides were completely unnatural for me (and this indeed have saved me money (or time) and frustration, as I was seriously considering buing Jack instead of Elise back then…)

  6. I had an anglo opition in my DIY MIDI Hayden. Back then, I was just switching from an anglo playing and missed the "bouncing joy" of playing bisonoric instrument. It was fun to fiddle around, so I also did have some sort of a "hayglo" - a bisonoric Hayden layout that automaticaly transposed a whole tone up or down (or a semitone for a sake of experiment) depending on bellows direction. With a Hayden keyboard and a programmable bisonoric capable instrument, you can do all sorts of fun things. But I never had explored those variants deeper than a couple of shanties, as I was quickly and deeply drawn into Hayden logic and have abandoned anglo entirely.

     

    One suggestion for you, conzertino - you should program the option to connect bellows pressure sensor reading to channel pressure OR note velocity. This way you will benefit greatly in regards to piano-like or plucked string, velocity driven samples. And if your tablet software does not recognize channel pressure you might link the bellows pressure to simple MIDI volume. Any dynamics is way better than no dynamics at all.

  7. The only minor issue I really have is that some of the reeds are slow to voice, all higher notes, and only when being very quiet. If I play with a tad more gusto they voice quite nicely, much to my girlfriend's chagrin XD

     

     

     

    Same as Matthew, I have an Jackie's "sister" Elise, and it is sadly true, that those instruments aren't realy made for gentle, quiet play. My wife also complained a lot when I first started to learn anything on this box and was making a LOT of mistakes over and over again :P

     

    But fortunately there is an easy, "non destructive" way to "turn down the volume" on those instruments. Buy a sheet of an EVA foam, press it on the fretwork to mark the shape, cut out and fill the holes in the fretwork (you have to cut rougly, so there is some air leakage around those foam inserts, but they still hold in place). This way you can cut about 20dB, so neither yours or your girlfriend's ears won't hurt that much after your practice :) This solution is very convenient, as you can take out the foam inserts easily if you need to e.g. play in a loud enviroment or for a bunch of singing people and put them back for solo practice.

  8.  

    But even transposing has its limitations. If your piece sticks entirely -- maybe even almost entirely -- to the scale of your given key, then it should be fine. But when it incorporates a lot of accidentals, the lack of duplication could make reaching them awkward in any transposed key, possibly even more awkward than in the original key.

     

     

    Of course it would be ideal to have an array of buttons like my entire hexagonal grid (including gray areas of duplicated buttons) - just like 5 row CBAs do have - so you won't have to transpose. But I wouldn't demonize the "stretch" when playing on a Hayden - I have trained playing all sorts of "edge chords" on my 64b MIDI and this is not harder than making long jumps on Stradella bass system (but I have long fingers which may play a role in this opinion). In fact this "stretch" is in some cases easier and more natural than jump your entire hand across the keyboard back and forth. And as you have stated, those "stretches" or jumps are quite inevitable in less diatonic music - even with large button array you either stretch some chords or you have to jump across the keyboard for a single chord or note (which may be more comfortable when isolated, but may require more awkward wrist movement when actualy playing something). It is the very nature of a quite stretched octave on a Hayden and adding a single repetition of duplicates does not eliminate the problem entirely, you still have to use those awkward fingerings sometimes, so why bother making larger array if you still have to learn those fingerings? IMHO it might even cripple your ability to play fluently, as you will use those edge fingerings less frequently and in turn won't have them inprinted in your muscle memory that well… And with larger button arrays you begin to have wrist movement restriction and finger reach problems (this is why I'll have completely different handstraps on my DIY acoustic box)

     

    And I'm not sure if you have understood fully what I had in mind by transposing "on the fly", as (as far as I'm aware) you have limited experience with isomorphic layouts. On an "unlimited Hayden array" there is no difference between playing in different keys other than actual pitch produced. And because of that, playing on a Hayden is purely about geometric shapes of intervals, both in melodic and harmonic context. So if you "erase button labels" (as is possible with MIDI), you can play in every key with the exact same, most comfortable fingering. You don't make any "unnecessary extra work to transpose a piece" - you just play it with different button labels, the geometry stays exactly the same and with MIDI transposition capabilities you'll most likely always move the root note to most comfortable position (this may be different for major and minor keys and may depend on occurrences of accidentals in a tune). This is why I think that teaching to play on a Hayden in a manner "this is C note, this is A note" is wrong - instead it should be learnt like "this is root note, this is major second, this is the scale shape, this is a major chord shape" - especially on a transposable MIDI instrument.

     

    And one more word about "advantage of marked buttons" - if the markings are logical, you are simply NEVER lost, because you either feel the marking with one of the fingers and know where you are or you don't feel the marking and because of this you know where you are. This is of course true only if ones style of play does not rely on hovering fingers above buttons when they don't play a note, but usually rest on silent buttons. Finding a position using array edges is IMHO sufficient enough only for smaller Hayden keyboards, when you are usually no further than a single button away from proper position or an edge.

  9. post-10030-0-68817100-1425730542_thumb.png

     

    Here you have a standard 46 layout (in red-ish color) with Bob Tedrow's additions (in violet-ish color). Notes in circles are what I would add for the sake of continuity of chromatic range and symmetry between hands (I like to play in octaves or to have full freedom of accompaniment in a given range and I play a lot in minor keys, hence the low Bb for keyboard geometry reasons).

     

    On a MIDI I see no point realy to double accidentals, other than Matthew's microtonal reasons. You can (and probably will) always transpose your keyboard for keys with a lot of sharps and flats, so that the key you play in is in the center of the button array. And from my experience you'll only realy need a semitone transposition, as on a Hayden this switches outside keys with inner keys and is sufficient, as you are probably used to whole tone transpositions by hand placement.

     

    As a sidenote, I don't realy think that "getting lost" on a keyboard is problematic at all if you have some sort of a reference point, be it marked (domed or flatted) buttons for F and B or A notes, or a thumbstrap. It is a bit more likely on a Hayden than on a Wicki, due to slant, but I had no problems at all on my 64button MIDI.

  10. That's why I said "after first few cycles". From what I understood, Tom has explicitly stated, that he has no idea (at least he don't have a definitive description) on how the tongue start it's movement, and in my post above I have only pointed out, that initial movement and steady oscilation phase are different enough to be treated as separate problems, and that the latter is quite well researched and that Tom's description and math can be used in practical aplications of reed and instrument design.

    My opinion on the very first cycles is that even slightest (both spatial and temporal) effects matter and that they accumulate over first few cycles, so no "single first cycle" description of the reed start can ever be complete nor true. And yes, I think that some of those effects cause the momentary effective pressure difference acting on the tongue to be greater than P1-P2 (or at least that the whole "macro scale" P1-P2 approach is somehow fundamentaly inadequate in those very first cycles, as it results only in a "pressure valve", single airflow cut predictions), but at this point I have no more ideas on what they might be. I also think, that the most important observation about first cycles is that the entire oscilation starts with amplitudes smaller than the gap width and that the first few cycles never even reach the shoe, so there is no complete airflow cut-off during this first stage. Then comes Dana's "abrupt amplification" phase (this is IMHO the point in which first tongue sinking into the shoe occurs) and then we have the steady oscilation phase, in which Tom's math works as described by him. (to be more precise, I think that Tom's approach is also at least partially true in the "abrupt amplification" phase, as this is the transitional phase in which both "initial" and "steady" parts of the description should overlap).

    And I also think, that without high-speed, smoke flow footage of the first cycles we cannot give any true and definitive answers to how the reed starts. Unfortunately I don't have such capabilities.

    [sidenote: I was wondering recently, if Schlieren photography could be of any use in resolving the first cycles movement question… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSFwH0BVd3Q]

  11. OTOH, i personally have a difficulty accepting anyone's description of the operation if they don't get the initial conditions right.

     

     

    This was originally linked by Tom in a "MIDI latency" thread, but I think it should be linked here as well. http://www.public.co...g/PMA035061.pdf There is quite solid proof in this paper, that initial conditions in transient stage are very different from those in a steady oscilation phase and therefore a steady oscilation phase can have a completely separate description (which is in fact quite well researched and used in practice of reed/instrument construction). The missing "initial movement" problem does not in any way invalidate all other findings on the free reed behaviour that have been published and I personally don't have any objections to Tom's description of physics after the first few cycles (more precisely after Dana's "abrupt amplification" phase).

  12. Just to confuse this thread a bit more, my latest accidental finding (rather unsuprising, but still interesting). I was testing my new reedpan yesterday and have tried a couple of accordion reeds on it. They are still unvalved, so when I have applied pressure, BOTH tongues of the accordion reed have spoken simultanously. In such conditions both tongues have smaller amplitude, the combined pitch is much more pressure dependant (note bends very easily, it is quite difficult to achieve a steady note) and the "reverse direction tongue" oscilates with small amplitude only (so it does not sink into the shoe), but it vibrates nevertheless. This "double reed" setting is much more sensitive to overall pressure and behaves very nice around a bellows reverse point giving almost uninterrupted sound [it starts to speak with very low pressures and cannot be chocked with sudden, high pressure push on the bellows. When one of the tongues was valved (with a masking tape) the same reed was very prone to choking with sudden bellows movement]

     

    This finding got me wondering if such effect could be usefull for some kind of "another type", new concertina… Probably somehow electric in nature as this setup has significantly lower volume (and is very air inefficient) and would require some sort of a "second step amplification", but almost continuous sound and note bending capabilities could prove musically usefull...

  13. Lukasz, might I humbly suggest that you listen to it again, trying to avoid comparing it to the NIN or Cash versions. On my first listen I had much the same reaction as you -- it didn't seem to have the same intensity and bite as I expected. On listening to it again, however, I'm finding that I appreciate Stuart's interpretation, which evokes in me a different sensibility than the other versions, but is still very emotive.

     

     

    I did listen to Stuarts version couple of times to get a clear view on why his version didn't had such impact on me as other versions prior to posting my opinion. But I see I must stress one thing more clearly: I don't think, that Stuarts version is bad or shouldn't be enjoyed :) And I truly think that this is a very fine piece of concertina playing. I was just trying to describe what differences made his version so different in its effect on me. Not to change anyone's taste or musical choices, but to just give some feedback from another angle - as a not native english speaker - as I think this changes a lot in percieving songs, focusing emotions more on music than on lyrics.

     

    And I must admit that not comparing it to NIN version is hard for me, as this is indeed one of the very few NIN songs I like and had listened to it over and over again at some point in my life, so it's now "embossed" in my mind very, very deep as a "blueprint" for this song.

  14. I must agree with Ruediger on this one. But before I will add my two cents, I want to be clear - I definately appreciate your concertina playing here, what I have to say is about emotional content of the arrangement itself (and this is of course purely personal opinion).

     

    Hurt is one of my favourite NIN songs and the original Johny Cash version is playing right now as I'm writing this post (I didn't knew that NIN rendition was a cover). And I must say, that I haven't ever even focused on lyrics before (I'm not a native english speaker and I focus mostly on musical content when listening to songs in foreign languages) but still, both NIN and Cash versions have VERY strong choruses, and in both cases the overall construction of the melody tells a very strong emotional story with the music layer itself (NIN IMHO even stronger than Cash). For me, it could even be in Suahili or Chineese and it would make the exactly same emotional impact. Your version has no such effect - it makes me completely indifferent to the meaning of the lyrics. One reason for this is that you have dropped a very significant, steady beat in the chorus that builds up the tension and instead you slow down at the begining of the chorus, loosing the grip you have build up on the listener. And the second reason is that your vocals are very smooth and ornamental - very "polite" compared to strong and harsh "cry" in Cash and NIN versions.

    But nevertheless, I'm (as always) very glad to hear any non-traditional concertina repertoire, so keep it coming :)

  15. There is HUGE audible difference between aluminum, zinc and brass reeds in "pure testing conditions". For my DIY project I have ordered sample reed from harmonikas.cz with shoes made from three different metals (and also three different aluminium reed "grades") and reeds with same geometry but with different properties of the shoe metal produce completely different sound spectrum. This spectrum can be of course modified to great extent by an instrument maker, but the exact same box fitted with two different sets of reeds will sound different.

    If your goal in learning to play bandoneon is to play "proper" argentine tango, then you should definately go with zinc plates - this very distinctive sound cannot be imitated even with large accordions with many different reed ranks. But if you are just looking for a good sounding "general use" instrument and prefer bandonion layout/ergonomics over accordion, there is no real point in zinc plates other than personal preference in tone. (But there can of course be further difference in response time and dynamics between different grades of aluminium reeds)

  16. From my experience, clamping is not sufficient - my DIY concertina endplates had warped signifficantly even when screwed to the actual box. Stress caused by unequal drying of wood (or uneven distribution of this stress due to assymetric geometry etc) occurs whether or not the wood is clamped. It will just manifest when unscrewed, but the stress will be present in the wood nevertheless.

    As a sidenote: plywood warps too, but the amunt of warp for given thickness is smaller in plywood than in solid wood. And from my experience plywood tends to twist rather than bend in single direction (due to crossed grain direction in each layer).

  17. I had a very serious latency problem with the first version of my MIDI software, and found out, that above a certain amount it effectively cripples the ability to play, because sound is generated a bit later than you expect it and this confuses brain too much. From my experience, this critical delay is about as long as it takes your finger to fully press the button (when you have normal force acting on the bellows) - the sound should play no later than when button is fully depressed. Otherwise you have to take this latency into account when fingering (on my Elise this applies to lowest, weighted reeds which are significantly slower to speak than the rest) which requires "forward thinking" and not just following the melody.

  18.  

     

    Plus, what more and how much deeper can we get than the most recent excellent discussions on reed physics, by the way?

     

     

    Well, this particular discussion, however deep and intensive it is, has very little to do with actual problems arising when building the actual instrument...

     

    The "multi instrument" approach which Jake suggested and which is already prooving worthy on the FB group is the main reason why this here forum is not the greatest place for this group's existence. I can remember at least one thread about designing and building a "modern anglo", which was overhelmed by people trying to discourage any modification to traditional Anglo concertina. This, by definition, won't be the case on a forum/group not focused on any single type of free-reed intrument. Similiarly to what you said "I myself don't see attending several forums with roughly the same (or widely overlapping) contents." - so why would a melodeon, bandoneon or accordion maker/player be interested in a concertina forum which even conciders chemnitzer concertinas as "outside of the scope" of this site? And facebook makes it an "automatic" participation for anyone already using this page on a regular basis for whatever purpose they do.

     

  19.  

    Lukasz's experiment with the straw is consistent with the Newtonian prediction, since unless the flattened end of the straw is below the end of the tongue, some of the air will strike the top surface of the tongue.

     

     

    Ron, the whole point of me performing this experiment on the largest reed I have was to try to apply the flow ONLY below to the gap. This reed has a gap of about 1 mm height and tongue thickness at the edge of about 0.5 mm so you can easily flatten the straw below this width.

    I have performed this experiment once again, this time with bent straw and a lens, so I could observe reed behaviour a bit more precisely. This time I was varying the straw crossection height and here are some additional observations (the bottom edge of the straw is always touching the shoe):

     

    - if the straw height is less than the gap height the reed does nothing.

    - when the straw height reaches the combined height of the gap plus the tongue thickness (probably exceding it a tiny bit), the reed starts to vibrate.

    - when the straw height exceeds this combined height by a certain amount (but is still lower than double the gap height plus tongue thickness) the reed does not speak (at least not at a highest blow strenght I could achieve) - the assymetry of the flow is to small to propel the tongue.

     

    After this experiment my current intuition is that the only part of the reed that is responsible for the ability of the reed to start vibration is the "double V" (*) shaped section just at the tip of the reed and edge of the shoe and the Venturi effect at this small section, combined with bifurcation in the flow caused by the even slightest movement of the tip, deflecting the flow to the upper or lower surface of the tongue. Due to spring forces and tongue momentum this will be an increasing effect.

     

    One other thought: until this point we have assumed, that the axis of oscilation is always the same. But I think that it may be false assumption. I think that when the tongue is swinging enough to touch the surface of the shoe and close the gap completely, the pressure acting on the whole tongue surface moves the axis of vibration downwards. And because the pressure acts on the entire surface of the tongue and the initial mechanism acts only on the tip of the tongue, there will be some "wobbliness" in the tongue at this very point - it won't just bend at the mounting pivot point, but also around the center of percussion of the tongue. Think of it: this sudden axis change when the pressure gives the tongue "a kick" occures at the lowest point of the the already established oscilation but is not instantaneous, so the tip is already moving upwards in relation to center of percussion. So when the pressure pushes the tongue as far as it can (and we know from "choking" reed behavior that this is not a lot further than the thickness of the tongue) the initial oscilation, (this time around this new axis) opens the flow on the bottom, the pressure force acting on the tongue drops and the whole oscilating tongue axis moves upwards again. With few further cycles this initial oscilation wears off because the initial mechanism of bifurcation is no longer present (or significant) and the steady oscilation around the mounting point is established without any significant oscilation around the center of percussion.

     

    (*) "the double V" shape I think of is the crosssection shape at a tip, because the tongue and shoe are not infinitesimaly thin.

  20. Well, as I'm more of an experimental than theoretical person, I have just performed a very quick and simple experiment which you can easily reproduce and which I think proove my approach definitively: I've taken my largest reed (the same I've mentioned earlier, which was choking under typical bellows pressure) and a drinking straw (flattened at the end to improve selectiveness of the jet produced), pointed it at the gap (*) and I blew hardest I could. I did manage to start the reed vibration and got a low volume sound. I was holding the reed in my hand in the ambient air, so there was no perpendicular pressure force on the tongue other than resulting from the jet of fast moving air and those two phenomenons I've mentioned eariler (or some additional turbulent effects on the bottom side of the tongue).

     

    (*) you have to hold the straw end with your fingernail very close to the gap and tongue.

     

     

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