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Steve Schulteis

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Everything posted by Steve Schulteis

  1. You will not damage the concertina this way. Releasing and re-pressing the button on bellows changes will produce a different articulation than just holding the button. Either can be ok, but it should be an intentional choice. Folks generally encourage new players to do the former, because most people require practice to not automatically do the latter.
  2. Are you asking about sandylaneman? I don't have any experience with him, but here's the past feedback I could find regarding his products and service:
  3. If you search the forum for "phantom button" (make sure to require all search terms) there are various references to it over the years. One such occurrence:
  4. Regarding the advice to just play three notes, try doing so with two fingers, alternating which one hits the button. This is still a bit tricky, but with practice does give a different sound from what's possible with one finger (at least for me).
  5. That's consistent with my memory. Lilypond is far more versatile than ABC, but it's also far more complex. I eventually figured out a template and some usage patterns that worked well for the music I was interested in. But there's a reason I use MuseScore these days.
  6. I haven't personally compared them, but my understanding is that there's no difference aside from how the tongues are secured. I think the "original" shoes/frames would be attractive if you were planning to make your own tongues, since it would be easier to install them (and to taper the slot with no tongue installed).
  7. Yup, this is accurate. I think there's a case to be made that, for most people, the "concertina original" reeds don't really have an advantage over their riveted "concertina" reeds. Even the DIX accordion reeds aren't supposed to differ in tongue/slot geometry from the concertina reeds, so the main reasons you might prefer the concertina reeds are the method of installation and the brass shoes. Dana Johnson has instructions for tapering the reed slots that he'll share if you ask him. I haven't tried it myself yet, so I can't comment on the effect.
  8. For their original concertina reeds, size 4 reeds start getting tips weighted at A#2. When I was communicating with them, they had one size bigger.
  9. As someone working in user experience, I think we can probably test different systems and find that they perform better or worse at certain tasks on average. Individuals may have different experiences, of course. There's also the question of what "better" means. Changing standard notation to improve readability (of what? Notes? Chords? Diatonic music? Chromatic music? etc.) may sacrifice other desirable qualities. Agreed. I agree that notation isn't necessary for musicianship, but I don't think it's fair to describe it as only a crutch or detour. As I said above, it has immense value for communication. There's a lot of music that would have been lost entirely if it hadn't been written down in a system that other people could interpret much later. It would also be hard to create a symphony if the composer had to communicate the different parts to each performer aurally.
  10. I'm less optimistic it would get much uptake. I guess I'm kind of saying that I agree with you that the inertia of tradition is hard to overcome. The current system is "good enough", and that's going to make it hard for a better system to replace it. I think ABC and piano roll have gained adoption because they serve somewhat different purposes than standard notation. There's overlap, but they each have something they do much, much better than traditional notation. They also do some things much, much worse. Horses for courses and all that.
  11. I've got to agree with the basic claim here - the notation we have was produced organically over time, and there's a lot of weird history that led to the specific representation we've got. I'll stand by my statement that it's still a decent system, though (that's not the same as the best!). I think it would have been abandoned long ago if it wasn't. There are things it's not good at, but it's still a useful tool for communicating, at least about certain types of music. In my mind, the value of communicating with other people is the main reason not to abandon it for a freshly designed system that addresses some of its shortcomings.
  12. Why does a staff have five lines when there are 12 semitones? A lot of music doesn't use all 12 semitones (and I'm just gonna ignore microtonal and atonal stuff), and the relationship between the semitones used in a particular piece of music are part of what gives it its character. It's more common to use only 7 notes in your scale, which is why we label notes A-G and then use sharps and flats to adjust the semitone relationships. The reason for using a mix of lines and spaces, instead of giving each note a line, is that the line-space arrangement helps highlight significant note relationships, such as thirds and fifths. There's also a consideration of compactness in the notation. There are certainly compromises in standard music notation, but it's a good system for the purposes it's designed for. If a piece of music is in G-Major but it has zero F#s why is it not in C-Major? Again, it's about the (perceived) relationships between the notes of the scale. Which note feels like resolution/ending? That's going to be your root note, even if you didn't use all the notes from a scale that has it as the root. How do I transpose a piece of music (because I don't have a D4)? Adjust each note by the same number of semitones. Look at the distance between the root note of the key the music is in and the root note of the key you want to change it to. How do I get better? Practice. Teachers are also a good idea, but that won't help if you don't practice. If you can't find any local teachers, there are a number of folks that offer zoom lessons. Some of them frequent concertina.net. If you absolutely can't find anybody to teach concertina, you might consider looking for someone who teaches a different instrument, such as violin. You won't learn as much instrument-specific technique that way, but it can help improve your general musicality.
  13. I've used it, but it's been a long time. My experience (what little of it I can remember) probably isn't entirely relevant anymore. I certainly can't recommend a frontend - I was always more of a command line guy anyway. I did get nice results with it. Best of luck.
  14. My great-grandfather did something similar with records long, long before I was born. I should dig up those recordings again...
  15. I won't make as strong a statement in favor of click tracks as seanc, but they do help a lot. As he said, timing errors in each track can compound to result in a muddy-sounding mess. Syncing to a click track helps avoid this. It seems like it shouldn't be so different from a live group in theory, but it sure feels different to me. Part of it might be that there's no push-pull between performers - just a fixed recording that you have to match exactly. It's also handy for editing later. The software can indicate time/beats visually and provide a lot of help lining tracks up, making little corrections, re-recording bits, etc, if you're synchronized to its metronome. It's not required, but it can be useful.
  16. I'd start with a single mic to keep things simple. With four parts to pan, you'll still have plenty to fill the space. Hmm, I need to look into setting that up in MuseScore 4 myself. Are you using Phil Taylor's soundfont?
  17. I'm no expert, but I have played with this sort of thing a bit. Getting the timing right/steady in the initial recording is really important. Your plan to use a metronome is a good one. Use the one built into your DAW if you can. I've generally found it easier to record melody first and then harmony. That may depend a bit on your playing style - ideally I'd want a percussive start to the sounds I'm relying on for timing. I also have an easier time keeping phrasing sounding natural when I start with the melody, although that will depend on the style of the arrangement. I do find it useful to play previously recorded parts during each new recording. Whichever part you record first, it may help if you keep the click track active for all the recordings.
  18. Welcome, Ryo! I've been enjoying your playing on YouTube for a while. It's good to see you here.
  19. That's what I had wondered about. I didn't find that the Herrington suffered from that issue, but it was in the neighborhood of the standard 6-1/4". The buttons were also near one edge as you recommend.
  20. My first concertina was a square-ended Herrington. Square is fine, and doesn't really hurt playability in my opinion. It does feel a little bulkier, at least partly because for a given distance across the flats, the ends have greater surface area and the corners stick out a bit more. Aesthetically, I now prefer a concertina with more sides (at least until it starts rolling away), but there's nothing wrong with being square, and that has its own charm. I suspect that past a certain size, the squareness will start to have more of an impact on the angle you hold the instrument at. I could rest the Herrington on its corner at whatever angle was comfortable, but a bigger instrument might make that more awkward. That's purely speculation though, and the instrument's weight would also be a factor.
  21. I'm working toward producing a kit, but it's intended as a beginner instrument and won't have a traditional bellows. It's also still a ways out from being ready to sell. I'm not aware of anyone currently producing a midi concertina for sale, although others might jump in with better information on that front. Or maybe somebody here has a used one they would part with?
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