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David Colpitts

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Everything posted by David Colpitts

  1. How we wish Concertine Italia had accurate drawings/jigs/fixtures from the first run of Bastari Haydens. Most all the issues people find with the new Stagis were not issues in that run. There were, what, 30 or 40 of them? One might turn up, with a search?
  2. Regarding iPad tactile feedback: My quest for such was (at least almost) satisfied with sheets of self-adhering overlay plastic with regular grid pattern of raised dots. Not the same as the actually responsive interfaces (real keys/buttons) but cheap and simple, with quite a boost in "haptism." It is marketed for kids, people with learning differences, and any like me who want some sort of feedback for positioning on the slippery glass. I think the name is "TacSheets" and I will try to remember to pack my extra sheet for you to try, David B., at the Squeeze-In. I use it on my very old 30-pin iPad, which while it will run most of the apps I use to mess with music, won't take the external controllers, like Striso, QuNexus, XKey which are providing so much alternative fun. And, Simon, while I agree completely with worthiness of "real" instruments, I must say that electronica and acoustica now represent parallel pathways for me, and I can say without reservation that I want both!
  3. Yes, Don, to this guy's penchant for cheap and functional stuff. Reminds me of Dennis Havlena and Linsey Pollack. And, the general notion of wind control appeals to me, though more to my brother, the childhood sax player and current recorder/Casio horn player. I still hope to sing along with whatever my fingers are playing, but that's another story.... And I am not sure what-all the Striso can do, but it sure sounds good through some very inexpensive apps, or even by itself. And the cost is little more than my CC Elise Hayden Duet, by way of comparison to "real" instruments.
  4. I agree that Didie's postings are in the "elegant simplicity" category, and without taking exception to David's quoted person from the past, I'd say he is controlling the instrument. In this instance, the choice is to not push harder or sideways, so as to get the simplest, most traditional sound. But, IMHO, very much his control. And, of course, the Haydenism of the Striso is a huge factor for me; it would be worth the asking price, I think, even with one fewer "dimension" of expressivity. But the MIDI part is very important, since it lets me "be" a cello, or a guitar, or an oboe.....I know many will cringe at the thought, but the sounds are so good, in such small packages, as to astound old folkies like me. Practice quietly, for sure, but also be Walter Mitty in his own orchestra!
  5. Sure, Don, though the Striso I am falling for is a generous loan from a friend. But to answer your question, it sounds to my modestly trained ear that all buttons sound without delay. And, doesn't he list "15 note polyphony" or am I confusing that with something else.? For my purposes, in what passes for normal play, absolutely no issues with delays in sounding. Matter of fact, a nice change from slower-to-respond bass notes on my acoustinc machines.
  6. Thanks, Don, for the excerpts and explanations. I learn here, each and every day. And, FYI, the older "Striso Box" model has fewer buttons on the left, and there may be a couple of not-quite-done examples in Piers' shop (for so I he wrote me) but they represented a bit of a dead-end in the evolution of the project, at least not compatible with new software, as I understand it. But, perhaps a winner for some here? My latest thought is to make a hybrid sort of frame-up, with the Striso as the right hand and my bought-and-paid-for QuNexus Red as the left. I can set it for two octaves below, and use it as a bass side, or some such. Not Hayden layout, but simple enough for some basic leftism. But the Striso has whetted my appetite. For that matter, you clever types can probably re-configure some "extra" Striso buttons to just play other instruments and effects and??? Maybe Didie has already done such? Anyway, thank you for all your information. And, if one considers the interest for silent practice as well as performance electronica, the market may be a bit bigger than some speculate? Or maybe not.
  7. Very impressive work on all these (past and present) and I'll just put my penny's worth here: I have used the Striso (singular) for a couple of weeks, and the extra dimensions of control offered by the silicone buttons make a huge difference to me in terms of creative potential/sound variety/bent notes/and all. I don't yet see any prices or shipping dates for the actual Striso Duet we've seen and heard Didie play so well, but I can imagine simple hobby-shopping an hour or two to make the triangular frame, and with a pair of Striso Boards at uder $1K USD, that power is a bargain, IMHO. My little old iPad could probably play both simultaneously (since it plays the Striso and another MPE controller now) and the whole package, from scratch/brand new, with a smallish PA system, would be about $1600 USD. Not cheap, perhaps, but compared to any other Hayden Duets of such broad range (122 buttons, with adjustable overlap and all) well, there aren't any, are there? So, in my electronic ignorance, can anyone like Howard or others "spec" a button that allows for the kind of wobbly, "wah-wah" and other switching options that the Striso offers? That would let me save up for the Striso Duet!
  8. I also suggest the Morse. The people are the best, and they are the key. But, if this particular instrument has been hacked by amteurs, as Jim suggested there may be some damage. Button Box folks will steer you straight.
  9. Re-veneering might be your elegant solution, but if you want to repair (as I think you asked?) the pearloid is probably cellulose nitrate or cellulose acetate, early plastics. Acetone is probably a solvent, and can be used to dissolve chunks of new stuff to patch the old, as I recall. But beware of fumes, flames, and potential skin reaction. Personally, I am less affected by those chems than by epoxy, urethane, or satinwood. I get a horrible pustulent rash from sanding satinwood, or lacewood, or zebra.
  10. More experienced and knowledgeable folks have more to add, for sure, but my simple take (as an Elise owner who also added a 46 button Hayden to the fleet) is that Don's suggestion about the left hand is the only way to get the 3-octave range. Personally, I can easily get lost on those odd notes, since the octave overlap means it's usually not the bottom row I need to find with my left. But they are there (save for the key of A?) and the Elise remains, IMHO, an excellent "mini-chromatic-accordion" for a great price. I play the 46 button more now, and the right hand has a larger compass that minimizes the need to switch sides. Do I remember you from the NESI Squeeze-In?
  11. Yes, indeed....great playing, Jim, and thanks, David for the link to Jim's YouTube channel. It's good to have inspirational role models such as the two of you!
  12. Yes, indeed. Jim has since divested himself of a full pair of Bastari Haydens; one playable to some lucky pilgrim, and one for parts/repair, to me. As I figure it, David, you and I between us have about 10% of the world's complement of that first-edition Bastari Hayden! In fact, I was imagining having to take parts from the "parts machine" until I realized nothing was really broken or missing on my playable one. And, Jim or David, any extant copy of that Georgy Girl recording?
  13. Hi, Jim. I can imagine having used some thinner tool (like light wire) and saved a couple of attempts, even upside down. But, as David B. says, upside down is the only way to do it, at least on our old Bastaris.
  14. Thanks, Wunks. I bet you have! And, Don, I scoured the kitchen for just such a bamboo tool, but sadly only had metal skewers and chopsticks; both were too thick to do the job without creating so much collateral clearance that others fell out....
  15. Thanks, Stephen. That makes me feel better....I can't imagine doing it if I didn't turn the whole thing upside down....maybe the rivets, when new, would have helped the buttons stay upright, but in my instrument's case, they just fell off to the sides when placed down that way. David B...We didn't do so badly, eh? After all, she's the professional! And Simon, she struggled doing it "your" way.
  16. That's the feeling. And, my guess is "concertina face" was on me the whole time I fussed with it. My dear wife asked if there was any way she could help....My guess is an articulated adjustable boom arrangement to hold the thing about 6 feet in the air, and perfectly horizontal. My biggest problem was that after one (even slightly) imperfect approach, one or more buttons would be knocked crooked, and had to be jostled back to vertical for the next try....I wonder if Mr. Snopes can do it on the first try, after years of practice?
  17. Oh, sure...the left side! So, the main batch of reeds does have the shared "axle" like the Anglo, no? And, just for "true confessions" here.....Did it take 5 tries? 10? I think I was on number 12 or 15, but was worried about hyperventilation and about to quit when, voila! And, for what it's worth, the buttons are, at least for now, way less akimbo than they always were/are. Maybe just "flexing" them around their pivots loosened 'em up a bit, so gravity can play its role?
  18. Well, Simon and David...some similarities to the Anglo, but some things not so similar. Of course, I fogot to take a picture, so some things hazy already. Basically, David, the pins I looked at in addition to the offending displaced one I only checked to see if they were firmly seated. All those I touched to test were indeed firmly seated. They all looked like they were just sharpened on the "business end" and plain round wire (paper clip thickness, or so) at the end that stuck out. And, Simon, because of the more "radial" pattern of the Hayden layout, there were not (or at least not as many) straight-line sharings of a longer "axle" rod, as in your Anglo. In fact, 26 holes, levers, pads, buttons on that side alone, so about twice the complexity and crowding. And, no tubes....metal-to-metal with teeny rivets, and the pivot pins up the arms a bit from the rivets. The springs were like tiny coils dropped into small holes, with the bottom of the lever arm fitting into the slot above the springs, and the assembly held by the little bent pins. I am glad to hear you haven't taken the Bastari Hayden apart in a long time, David. That's a good omen.... I also have an old Bastari 40 button G/D Anglo, which I suspect will be apart in the next year or so, with an eye towards what I think is tubing going funky.... To be continued
  19. Well, last night just before bed I thought I was really in for it: the much-loved and heavily-used-before-it-came-to-me "first generation" Bastari 46 button Hayden Duet got a stuck note and a button hanging out. I had read a bit about the older Bastaris' aluminum wear-out on the lever, and didn't quite know what to expect. I imagined removing the button, taping the reed hole, and going to the ButtonBox Repair Shop for some fancy metal repair. When I got it apart, I discovered a short, thin right-angle brass pin sitting on the dining room table. Turns out it's a pivot pin keeping the button lever in place in a slot over a spring, and it had just fallen out. I was able to replace it with needle-nose, and then of course spent 20 minutes on the "upside down button dance" to get all the buttons back in their holes. Even with several times' worth of prior experience, it required quite a few attempts, with gentler and gentler approaches before I got them where they belonged. Sometimes, as my late Dad would say, "you just have to hold your mouth right." Should I have put a drop of some sort of glue on the outside bend of the brass pin to prevent another fall-out? Anyway, just thought I'd share my relief, and of course my continued enjoyment of the Hayden.
  20. As I mentioned in my post, I never even saw ThumbJam until early this month. There may be other IOS synths/etc. that would work, but for the money, TJam gives great sounds. Now I can pretend to play any instrument, with the Hayden or Janko keyboard. Like cello, David B.?
  21. I don't start many threads, since I am but moderately experienced, at best. And please excuse any redundancy, since these have been mentioned otherwhere on these fora, for sure. But, the recent thread started by Randy Stein, regarding teaching concertina to children motivated me. I have 5 grandchildren, and two particularly show interest in the squeeze. They are 7 and 4 as I write this, and both make "nice" noises on the Anglo and, particularly, on the Hayden Elise. Of course, this can lead to the "why can't you practice so you don't disturb the family?" questions. Imagine that! So, here's my "silent practice" (and more expansive musical exploration) suggestion: If you are iPad or iPhone users, download 2 apps: MusixPro and ThumbJam. I think they cost 5 or ten dollars each, but are more than worth it, to me. MusixPro has the ability to play in many isomorphic keyboard arrangements, but we use Hayden and Janko, which are easy for the kids (and the Grandpa) to learn, and play, as you all know, all keys with similar fingering shapes. Sadly, the built-in sounds are, well, simple and not that exciting. Not "real" concertina, or anything. But, it will output MIDI information with simple settings and controls, including touch and velocity adjustments. Enter ThumbJam (and a shout-out to regular contributor here, Michael Eskin for his great instrumental samples for lots of free-reed devices) which allows terrific-sounding music to be made, with or without headphones, and really provides excellent practice without. I have enjoyed MusixPro for years, but for some reason only just discovered ThumbJam and put the two together early this month. Now, while someone else watches endless Masterpiece series I can be 6 feet away playing whatever I like, and when the kids are here (or we, there) they can play softly enough for gentle sharing, or silently for their own amusement. It's a winner, for us. MusixPro and ThumbJam combination lets me access those great Eskin sounds (and myriad others) with the to-me-more-approachable isomorphic keyboard. Great practice, and great fun, with perhaps even ultimate performance possibilities, although a more tactile (Striso? Melodicade?) interface would be a blast.
  22. I "live" in the single-note melody, so to speak. I have sung a bit since childhood; the tunes that "live in my head" are primarily melodic lines, and my more recent concertina play has just expanded upon that. I suspect Irish and "Old Time" American music pull me that way. While I have always thought of my inability to "think" in chords or bass line accompaniment as a mild disability, I take heart when I read notes like yours. I still plan to diverge some (left hand chords on Anglo and my Hayden duet are actually beginning to creep in) but am glad to be able to play what I can hum or whistle as a tune. That's the main thing for me.
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