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Richard Mellish

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Everything posted by Richard Mellish

  1. Taking away material near the fixed end of a reed is of course the usual method of lowering the pitch, but it is irreversible. Where's the harm in adding a tiny dab of removable material near the tip? Something like superglue would be easier to remove than solder, and also lower density, so more amenable to fine adjustment.
  2. And the silly blighter went and died on us.
  3. As LazyNetter already has the 40 key Bastari, my advice would be to try playing that for a while before looking for a different instrument. Either it will begin to make some sense to him, and he will be playing some tunes, or it will remain confusing. Then he can decide whether to try a better quality Anglo, or an English, or perhaps even a duet; or to abandon the concertina after all.
  4. Bass Englishes are usually single action, but why do you need that?
  5. Also worth considering; when was it last tuned at all? If that was long ago it could probably do with retuning, and then that might as well be to A440. Anyway a tuning app will tell you how the tuning is now. If it does deserve retuning, whether that should be to Equal Temperament or something else is a separate question.
  6. That shows a remarkable difference in the prices of different grades for the same numbers of keys; but I suppose the same could be said for the various grades of new Anglos being made nowadays.
  7. What's so bad about Doug's method? It may seem inelegant but as he says it is reversible, whereas making the reed thinner near the fixed end is permanent. (However this is a bit of thread drift from the subject of voicing.)
  8. How do you make the MIDI commands reflect the left/right tilt direction (which appears to substitute for push/pull)? Is that all done in software?
  9. It seems that all the notation systems that have been developed so far are confusing for tunelover. They may indeed be similarly confusing for some others, so there might be some merit in yet another system addressing tunelover's concerns. But that doesn't mean that the existing systems are wrong or bad; only that they don't suit everyone. (I have never tried any of them: I learn tunes by ear, from the dots, or from both in combination.) As I said upthread, what's simple and intuitive for one person can be confusing for another. One obvious instance is the utterly different kinds of logic by which Anglos and English concertinas are laid out. They both make sense, but completely different kinds of sense, and very few people play both. I have a friend who expresses amazement that my brain can cope with an instrument that plays different notes on pull and push. But her instrument (sadly lapsed nowadays) was the clarinet, on which she even used to give lessons. My brain would have severe difficulty in coping with an instrument that requires a combination of keys to play a single note.
  10. I find the usual way of showing the notes in horizontal rows, with lower notes to the left and higher notes to the right, easy to understand, because that's roughly how they look when you look at one end. Granted the rows are roughly vertical when you're playing the concertina, but you can't see them very well then. However I acknowledge that what's simple and intuitive for one person can be confusing for another. One mark of a good teacher is to find alternative ways of describing something, to suit different learners' ways of understanding. For my MIDI concertina project (still making slow progress) I needed a table mapping the buttons to the PCB terminals for the connections to the contacts-to-MIDI interface. The first three columns in mt table are "End" (left or right), "Row" (top, middle, inner, or innermost) and "button" (push or pull). So I only now realise that I have mixed the terminology, with "top" and "inner".
  11. I have hesitated whether to mention this, but it may be worth it for anyone who encounters a phenomenon that was baffling the person who had the loan of my Rock Chidley English and baffled me at first when she brought it to me for investigation. One note on push sounded fine most of the time but sometimes went up in pitch and sounded very odd. It seemed to be random until I noticed that it was happening when the bellows were almost closed, or getting towards closed with the end tilted. I then surmised that the nearest bellows fold must be fouling the reed. I thought of fitting something that the bellows fold would touch before it reached the reed. I consulted Steve Dickinson who suggested a very small woodscrew, but there was no space between the reed frames and valves where a screw could go and do the job. So I bodged up a little strip of steel, clamped at one end nearer the center of the reed pan and resting against the pan near the edge. It isn't pretty but it does the job, I don't think it will harm the bellows, and it can be removed in future, only needing a scrap of filler for the two holes in the reedpan for the tiny clamping screws.
  12. It looks almost worth buying for the case alone.
  13. That doesn't make sense to me. If the reeds are cold, filling the instrument with the warm and humid indoor air would surely cause more condensation than leaving the dry air inside while the instrument slowly warms up.
  14. If concertinas labelled as Jeffries were variously made by that firm from scratch, by them out of Crabb components, or by Crabbs and just labelled Jeffries, what does that tell us about the Jeffries reputation? Are the reeds special, and if so does that apply to reeds that were really made by Crabbs?
  15. No, nowhere near. Around 15 psi over the cross sectional area of the bellows would give a force of several hundred pounds. (Apologies for imperial units!)
  16. There was a problem with access to the Library but Colin has now sorted it.
  17. I have said on other threads, and will say again here, that someone considering taking up the concertina should if at all possible go somewhere where they can try twiddling on as many different kinds as possible. They are all very different from each other, even among the duet systems, and you are likely to find that one system fits better than the others with the way your brain is wired up.
  18. I assumed that Swan were having a sale of their cases for 7 inch vinyl because of falling demand. But the acknowledgment of my order said "Current build times approx 15 working days", so they must be making them to order. I only noticed that when I started to wonder when my order would arrive.
  19. Many thanks for that. I've just ordered one of the 300 cases.
  20. Is this it? https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/Product/curated-living-gardening-box Can you say any more about it? Dimensions? Weight? The handles might need padding if you're going to be carrying it very far.
  21. I decided to avoid real bellows both for simplicity and because it avoids the problem of running out of air. (That is manageable on a real concertina, of course, but my idea is to have no limit on the length of time in one direction.) I have found some push-button switches that are small enough but I don't yet know how satisfactory they will be. If and when I actually finish the project I will report here on how well or otherwise my ideas have worked.
  22. I'm assuming you're not a concertina player yourself. I apologise if the following is grandmother egg-sucking. It wouldn't hurt to check which are its basic keys. Press the one button that's away from all the others, nearer the hand rest on one end, and pull the bellows out a bit, then release that button, press a few of those in the middle row on either end and push the bellows together. You should get a chord. If it's C major the instrument's two basic keys are C and G, which is the commonest combination and most popular in Ireland. A major influence on its value is its condition. For a start, do all the notes work (each button in both directions of the bellows)? Do they all sound OK? If you push and pull gently on the bellows, without pressing any buttons, does much air leak in (when you're pulling) or out (when you're pushing)?
  23. Whether it's a no brainer depends on your brain. I did a very little machine code (and I mean machine code, not assembly language) many years ago and I'm a regular user of BBC BASIC, but I would not know how to get an Arduino or any such device to generate either MIDI instructions or sounds directly. I'm currently working on a project with a dedicated interface board http://www.doepfer.de/ctm.htm That can be fed directly by push switches if it's one note per switch, but to reproduce the fingering of an Anglo with two different notes according to whether you're pulling or pushing it needs a board full of relays, which I am now part way through wiring up. I have constructed a rudimentary pair of handles connected to a strain gauge and a bit of electronics to generate the push/pull signal and an analogue voltage proportional to pressure (push or pull) to control the volume.
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