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Everything posted by Hooves

  1. skip the whole single button chord idea, but I understand fully why you would want something like that, especially a singer who doesn't want to try to have to learn all those combinations. I remember seeing a few years ago an electronic device, I think it was called an "omni-chord" or similair, but you I believe want an acoustic box, not an electronic one. If you can find one of those limited button Duets (like a 35 button crane) or even an English mini, you could learn to make simple chords, most concertina players I have seen/heard don't use much more than 3 or 4 finger chords. I have a little Giordi accordion, its smaller than my Crane duet, if you want to fork over the dough I bet Castagnari would be happy to make you one that just has two chord sides from accordions: hey here's an idea: buy two of those toy accordions you see on ebay for kids, (they cost about 20 dollars), and pull off the the two chord ends and make one box out of it. BUT, its likely the same chords, you might find one pitched differently than C (I doubt it) and have two keys to play in. Maybe even two used cheap/chinese regular button accordions, just pull off that useless bi-sonoric "anglo"-ish keyboard and your good to go.
  2. Do you think using a compressor in your signal chain would help the weak/strong note response?
  3. I just use a single sheet of paper: the concertina sides showing the buttons and the staff below with the note values. Then I just read my normal music that I use for Mandolin. I believe the sheet came from the tutor found on the Concertina.com site.
  4. The BEST concertina is the one you can AFFORD!!!! However I propose a true metric of concertina "Best-ness": It should not be too difficult to create a data map of all currently used systems (in the case of duplicate notes, this must be considered as well as alternate fingerings for the same notes) and apply it to the staves of sheet music. The ease of which a tune can be played within each system can be expressed in the ability of the human hand to reach certain notes in the required sequence to play the piece, and the direction of the bellows, as well as air key considerations, etc. Each note thereby given a weight as to to ease of play in context with the other required notes. This requires a bit of fuzzy logic and/or a neural network as the context will shift across the keyboard as the notes unfurl in the melody. Then, take sheet music and feed the models the playing sequence of each piece in the analysis. This will be accomplished by comparing the exact same piece of music for each system. Since harmony is virtually infinite we will focus on melody, with harmony considerations a seperate analysis. Once the models are tuned with a bit of expert commentary (for example, "No anglo player would play it like that.."), we should be able to compare nearly any piece of music, in multiple keys, for thousands of known melodies. After modeling a thousand or so tunes, we can tally the difficulty ratings of each piece on each system. This will answer once and for all which system is "best".
  5. I have the zoom H4n: I record everything at 24/96. The external mic jacks are really great to have, I can run any mic I want into the recorder, this allows me to run my guitar through one channel and my vocal through the other. Unfortunately I have not recorded my concertina yet with this setup (I also use a small mackie mixer for my head phone monitor). I have found that if I bring the 24/96 files into Cubase LE, sometimes, my sound card resets to 44.1, this makes for some amusing vocals. I usually have to re-open a project after going back and resetting my sound card to be the proper frequency. I only once recorded at 48 with my mics, and another time 4 tracks (my mics plus the built-in ones), I found that with my set up 96 works better. You may not notice a difference depending on your other equipment and set up, considering many sound cards can't produce anything more than 44.1 anyway. I'm planning to get a newer recorder that can record 4 tracks of 24/192khz Other than that, I think the zoom H4n recorder works great, I got mine for mobile recording when I play at Open mics.
  6. Hexagonal Coffin Poor Little Concertina, withering away in its box, too vaulable to play, too fragile to trust. only an expert can mend it, only a fool dare tinker with it - fluterring reeds ready to bust, stowed away and left to rust. a golden paper weight, a faberge ornament? - yet, it cries: of misuse or use, with frustrated fingers abused, till Charon oars it across the Styx - "oh foul Chronus, leave my box be!" beneath overcoats and tennis rackets, the hexagonal coffin is stacked - in the honeycomb mausoleum, far from the sun, unseen by the moon.
  7. back in the day we had a similiar contraption that was easy to fold up and held a good amount of water or other beverages, it was made out of readily available materials, lasted years, and would degrade if buried long enough in a land fill. True it wasn't the easiest to clean, but you could have more than one after all. It was called a "waterskin", choice of the meandering traveler for untold generations. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/waterskin ahh technology...
  8. Thanks!! Its so rare these days to get a vote of confidence, though I was hoping one of our talented builders would take up the cause. Perhaps I will win the lottery (don't hold your breath) and offer a reward for setting the new record.
  9. I think you could make a 4 button box that's square in shape, might be more efficent in space than attempting a traditional hex case. I may not be a builder, but I believe that 2" size can be beat. I'm surprised that the smallest boxes are english style, I would think with the constrained dimensions you would want as much bang for your buck on each button. Leather may be out, but I don't believe leather bellows is a component of the definition of a concertina. This is to beat a record, not to be a work of fine art. and I'm not fully convinced you couldn't use thin leather or something leather like. Its easy to scoff, harder to create.
  10. yes, it must be playable. otherwise its mere quackery. Leo is right in line with my thinking on this micro-concertina design, however I'm thinking a pair of bottle caps might make a nice end. I like the idea of 3 buttons on each end: on one side would be the first 4 notes plus a chromatic button, on the other side the other 4 notes plus an air button. I would like to see its flats at 1" - 1.5" across or thereabouts, two buttons per side would be acceptable as well. This must be a record breaker, must be less than 2". Maybe I can buy just the highest octave of an anglo's reeds and shoes rather than trying to use or chop a micro harmonica. I'm thinking for the prototype paper bellows would be ok for testing and sizing.
  11. Still need to be careful of the possibility of extreme interpretations. Some plastics are made from cellulose or other plant-derived -- and thus once living -- materials. Others derive from coal and petroleum, which are the remains -- albeit millions of years distant -- of formerly living things. ahh Jim you got me again, too true. ------------------------------------------------------- a bit late I admit, but, wait what's this? or·gan·ic    [awr-gan-ik] Show IPA adjective 1. noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon. 2. characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms: organic remains found in rocks. 3. of or pertaining to an organ or the organs of an animal, plant, or fungus. 4. of, pertaining to, or affecting living tissue: organic pathology. 5. Psychology . caused by neurochemical, neuroendocrinologic, structural, or other physical impairment or change: organic disorder. Compare functional ( def. 5 ) . its been a while since I've been to these forums, thought I might update some old posts.
  12. That's a hell of a lot of bellow! It looks like the search is for a playable tina less than 2" across. Though I suspect the lowest number of notes you could use would be a tetrachord (4 notes) to actaully play a tune and not just sound a note, most peopel would want an octave to be safe. Ive seen some Hohner tiny harmonicas, I bet you could use one of those to make an even tinier tina (for novelty of course). I may even give it ago myself, just for a laugh. all you builders, you've seen the biggest, the longest, the tiniest, now its time to hit the work bench and break those records! Ive seen that footage of Noel Hill, cool stuff. thanks to all posters for your pics and links.
  13. Ok we've seen the monster big boy boxes, now we need to see the smallest playable concertina. Its hiding out there, maybe its been lost in a sock drawer, or accidentally swallowed by the dog. Lets see pics of the tiniest tina of them all that can play a tune! No tiny replicas, an actual working tina. I think there is room here for you builders out there to set some new records (either tiniest or biggest). Think of the other records you could break: Most buttons Longest Bellows Heaviest biggest material cost (Faberge anyone?) most ridiculous button layout the list goes on and on...
  14. He's got a point: you need to specify which tribes when talking about Native Americans, what the Cherokee did is not the same as the Hopi. Its almost as bad as saying "Europeans did ______". For California its difficult to discuss "Indians" in general terms due to having over 100 tribes, all you can say is "some tribes did _____" or state the specific tribe. I'm going to guess the Native Americans that hunted that way had no choice but to kill lots at once with that method. and I agree, the thread has deteriorated. Speaking of which - I think I prefer the idea of a concertina made of organic once living materials, rather than a synthetic one with parts that take thousands of years to disintegrate.
  15. Actually, Randy, until the Spaniards introduced the horse to them, American Indians got their buffalo "parts" by driving a herd off a cliff, then stripping whatever they needed from the pile of carcasses below - an extremely wasteful method. Examination of remains below old 'buffalo jumps' indicates that many of the victims may not have been utilized at all. As for felt, sheep tend to shed their wool naturally. Unharvested, wool becomes a waste product, like lost hair, molted feathers and dandruff. I do prefer the revised historical perspective I learned in school. So much more comforting. As for molted sheep dandruff, I doubt would make for an appetizing concertina. rss yes, as do most people. Native Americans (and even that term is wrong btw as North and South "America" were named after the explorer "Americus Vespucius", local tribes have their own names for themselves) had impacts but since their populations were small and the resources so vast, they could do pretty much anything. In California tribes would burn forests/woodlands to flush out game. There are locations along the coast where abalone once was, but is now extirpated from these areas by native Americans. Indians of California had money, ware fare, theft, drug use, gambling, slaves, and transvestism. The concept of the wise and "living-in-harmony-with-nature" Native American is a myth: the modern interpretation is a romantic view. Much like modern day Wiccans have romanticized the folk medicine and beliefs of pre-christian pagans. As for plants having feelings... what on Earth will you have for dinner tonight??? Dirt?? Mold?? You can look out on a peaceful meadow and sigh saying to yourself "aren't plants so peaceful", but in reality plants are competing with each other for water, minerals, sunlight and space. Some even produce toxins to poison the soil so no other plants can grow there, and lets not forget the Carnivorous plants. Tonight I'll have salmon and corn (I'll try to muffle the screams of the kernels as I chomp away). As for the "vegetarian" concertina, good luck, I believe it could be done, but all your replacement parts have their impacts as well.
  16. I've seen triple ocarinas too (sounds like a type of dive), so for those you could do harmony, I was trying to point to something simple as the author of the thread was aiming at simple. You may be right, it may be difficult to control the pitch with the bellows, I like the bagpipe idea though.
  17. do you really need the ability to play every tune you know on one box? You say you need 60 notes to be "meaningful", I disagree. 60 notes is roughly 5 chromatic octaves, there aren't that many instruments that can play 5 chromatic octaves. There are instruments which play less then this and are quite functional for many styles of music. I'm going to guess that a tymphani drum which plays about 1 octave is useless to you, as is a tin whistle, in fact a standard tuned guitar only hits about 4 chromatic octaves, I guess that ol guitar needs to be tossed out as it just isn't "meaningful" enough... Many tunes are arranged to fit within 2 octaves, two fully chromatic octaves for each key would be about 36 notes (to make sure each of the 12 keys is fully represented by a full 2 octaves). For the Hayden system I believe you need more due to the arrangement of the notes, but I haven't looked at the Hayden layout in a long time. If you really need 60+ notes then just play an accordion, the box is so big at this point it may as well be one: at some point you lose the "tina" in Concertina. Ive seen some concer'tina's as big as stop signs! People like concertinas as they are small and compact not because they can play every piece of written music on them. My 48 keys is good enough for me, though admittedly I would rather have zero overlap and some extra notes. However I do agree that when it comes to a mini-design, bisonoric makes a lot more sense, 2 to 1 is hard to beat when fighting for space.
  18. I have thought for a long time why even bother with the reeds - couldn't somebody make an Ocarina that has a bellows? You wouldn't be able to play chords, but so what, chords are boring anyway. There are some companies that make "in-line" ocarinas: a nifty project would be to get one of those toy accordions and rig the bellows up to the inline ocarina, or make an ocarina for this purpose. Maybe a circular flute, or even a series of small whistles, unless you really need it to be a free-reed instrument.
  19. It sounds like you like the Hayden system, I say pony up the bucks and get that custom box. I play pretty much only my Crane 48 key duet now (though I like my MaCcaan 46 for that neat blues scale that rolls right off the buttons). Now that I can read music better for the Crane, I'm playing more songs. I wonder sometimes if the need to transpose is alleviated by just knowing how to read music (I can always transpose digital sheet music on my computer, and use that.). Still, working with singers they sometimes on a whim say "Oh, lets play it in E" though Ive memorized it in D... But this is rare, for the most part I learn it in one key and stick with it. Since I mostly play alone anyway, no real need to transpose. The Crane rocks hard: its jazzy, bluesy, folky, uptight and out of bounds. I was very tempted to buy that brass reeded one on Ebay then a voice in the back of my head said "you could buy a Rickenbacker for that much..."
  20. It looks very nice, I like that you included three rows in a 5" box.
  21. I do - but only on my Crane 48key duet, I use my MacCaan only once in a long while, I switched over to playing the Crane system and haven't really looked back (though I do still believe MacCaan was ahead of his time). I was going to post a sound clip but haven't had a chance to record one. Most of the songs I play are ballads, not the mile-a-minute reels and jigs you often hear. I believe the instrument is capable of it, but I play Guitar and Mandolin, and that takes almost all my free music time as I use a variety of tunings (currently I'm focusing on bottle neck blues). Eventually I will get around to house stomping reels. I have heard some very fast EC playing, such as the epic "Flight of the Bumble-bee": for the most part a Duet is just an EC with the buttons re-arranged. I believe that has been stated before, the obvious lurks round every corner. Liam Clancy was noted for playing the EC, and he was Irish. Also the Band "Horslips" while not exactly ITM, has an EC on the cover of one of their albums, and you can hear a track where the box is playing alternate left/right side notes. However its not at gut-busting reel speeds. Sadly, the Salvation Army is a temperance outfit, not going to hear to many Irish drinking songs from these guys, so perhaps the Crane duet has not been used much for Irish music simply because it became associated with the SA and its later development in the evolution of concertinas. The 46 key MacCaan was immediately cast aside as it lacks that proverbial low D and we all know how dear that single note is. Although bigger MacCaans have the precious note, most introductions to the system are via the 46 key, probably why the MacCaan duet did not gain much favor with Irish musicians. (apparently Irish folks can live without C#, but not D) The Hayden/Wiki system is a late comer, and the infamous Jefferies I have read is virtually unplayable, possible reasons for these systems not being adopted. Then, there is the future...
  22. I had not been to concertina.net for many weeks, then today i saw this picture and it reminded me of all the folks on concertina.net.
  23. I think its easy for people to forget how much an influence the Clancy Brothers had, and Liam was one of the best. Of course now that he's made it past the pearly gates, he's playing a Crane.
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