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Brian Humphrey

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Everything posted by Brian Humphrey

  1. A few months ago there was a CNET discussion about digital recorders, and I'm pleased to see that several others have come to appreciate Edirol. For the Edirols and perhaps other small digital recorders, better-than-CD sound quality can be assured by using good external microphones.
  2. Geoff, Thanks for the diagram, and thanks for being so helpful. Brian On February 6, 2007 Brian Humphrey wrote: Geoff, The buttons on my C. Jeffries 55 button Crane are 1 cm. apart vertically, and 1.5 cm. apart diagonally... How do the button dimensions and spacing on my Jeffries compare with the spacing on the Cranes made by Lachenal and Crabb? Geoffry Crabb replied: Hi Brian, the attached may be of help. Regards Geoff.
  3. Quoting Geoffrey Crabb: It will be noticed that generally the key spacing and position on Crabb versions depart from the 'Crane' (properly Butterworth) original design as used by Lachenal, the Crabb being based on that of the English spacing. Geoff, The buttons on my C. Jeffries 55 button Crane are 1 cm. apart vertically, and 1.5 cm. apart diagonally. This is about the same spacing as on my Lachenal and Wheatstone English concertinas. However, the buttons on the Crane seem to be about 0.5 cm wide, while the buttons on the English concertinas are about 0.3 cm wide. How do the button d
  4. Hmm... I play button accordion as well as concertina, and I'm a chromatic button accordion novice. I owned a piano accordion for a while. I suggest that we not blame the accordions themselves. Perhaps certain accordion players would benefit either from tasteful instruction or an introduction to the cow.
  5. Wegates, If you are interested in a brief vacation that allows an immersion in chemnitzer culture", New Ulm, Minnesota has several festivals where chemnitzers may be heard. Check out: http://www.newulm.com/travel/travel_index.html Brian
  6. Discussions about Chemnitzer concertinas have come up on this web site before. In the U.S., Chemnitzers are most predictably found in the upper midwest, from Minnesota and Wisconsin to the Chicago area. I lived in Minnesota for quite a while, I learned to "speak Minnesotan", and I almost bought a chemnitzer once, so maybe I can offer some information. Here are some excerpts from notes I posted to concertina.net in 2004: Jerry Minar, 213 1st St., New Prague, Minnesota 56071; 612-758-4797, has taken over the manufacture of Hengel concertinas, a highly regarded brand of chemnitzer... Ken
  7. Peter, If you would like a portable digital recorder about the size of your hand, consider the Edirol R-09 by Roland: http://www.rolandus.com/products/productde...px?ObjectId=757 I have the R-09's predecessor, the Edirol R-1, and I like it. It records in wave or MP3 format. It can make 24 bit digital files, and CD quality is only 16 bit. I think the built-in stereo microphones are adequate for many purposes, but external microphones can be added for better quality and microphone placement.
  8. I'll just add that some of what I know about how the brain processes music is from my own ancient resarch. Back in 1973, when I was still a kid in college, I was lucky to co-author what may have been the first EEG (brain wave) study to show that there is more brain activity in the left side of the brain during language tasks, and more brain activity in the right side of the brain during musical tasks (for musically inexperienced people). Nowadays, I'm a speech-language pathologist, and I still have an interest in how the brain processes language and music. Brian Humphrey
  9. One might wonder if there is not some definite connection between the pathways of the brain and the structure of the concertina. Hmm... In Wheatstone's day, the study of neurology was not very advanced. That was around the time when we were just beginning to associate brain damage with certain kinds of language disorders. I think that Wheatstone's development of the concertina was guided more by his own experiences. I'm not sure what can be said about pathways of the brain and the structure of the (English) concertina, because people with differing amounts of musical proficiency app
  10. To make my life just a little easier, I was lucky to find very sturdy camera packs by Targus, with shoulder straps, for both of my English concertinas. The concertinas fit perfectly. and the bags make traveling and "carry-on" very convenient. I took my concertinas to the store and got permission to test the "fit" in several camera bags. Be very picky, though ... not all camera bags are of a proper size and sturdiness to be trusted with the task of protecting a concertina. The wrong camera bag could lead to disaster. If you already have a good hard concertina case, that should work on airplane
  11. For the moment, I have removed my "musician hat" and put on my "speech-language pathologist hat". First, I'll offer a couple of thoughts for Alan and Jim; then I'll follow with some thoughts about hearing loss, noise exposure, understanding women's voices, and a couple of other topics. Alan, your thinking that noise exposure may be a factor in your hearing loss could be on-target. My understanding is that up to half of the hearing loss customarily attributed to presbycusis (hearing loss due to aging) is actually caused by noise exposure. Jim, you are correct in suspecting that proble
  12. Some would say that Ft. Lauderdale is too far south to be in the south. There are two or three others in these parts not on CNet. Also, Paul Groff is down the road in the Miami area, and there's a fellow in Key West.
  13. Crankygal, I carried out that procedure about 20 years ago, after I had graduated from my own "Italian-fixing stage" but before some of my friends had. I don't remember the specifics now. Your ideas for fashioning a new pad, if needed, sound quite reasonable. However, I would think about using something other than chamois; it may not make as tight a seal as a smoother leather. A change to one part of the mechanism may have effects on the whole mechanism. For example, depending on how your air button links to the valve, the thickness of the pad that you make may affect the height
  14. How about a photo of another New Model for comparison? This photo was taken by Paul Read, before he sold the instrument to me. Although the pattern is not the same, the "y" seems to be present, so is not unique to Nils' concertina.
  15. Enlarging the air valve can be done. I did it once for a friend who had a cheap anglo. It made quite a bit of difference.
  16. Alan, How have I developed my style? John Hartford said that all style is based on limitation. Limitation certainly has been a factor for me. Not by nature a lightning-fast player, I previously gained some facility with chords, harmony, and rhythm on other instruments; so on EC I've built on those to drive a tune and compliment what other band members are doing. After a few times through a tune, in my head I hear lines or rhythms that others are not playing, so that's what I try to add, if others are holding down the melody. I've also learned that what I don't play is just as important as
  17. I recently examined a wooden-ended Wheatstone from the early 1950's - a treble English - to help the owner decide what materials would be needed for repairs. The owner bought it used about 25 years ago, and used to perform baroque, ragtime, and traditional music with it. The construction of the bellows looked traditional. The instrument had plastic buttons, and some of the wood looked like perhaps it could have been plywood, but the general construction seemed solid. The instrument had steel reeds in aluminum frames; the reeds appeared to fit in the frames closely. It was fairly well
  18. I would have learned my first concertina tune in 1978. Its identity is lost in the mists of time -- or is it only a mental fog? It could have been something off a Michael Cooney album (his baritone EC was the first concertina I ever got to try); or from the Richard Carlin book; or maybe it was something that I knew already on guitar.
  19. In recent discussions on midi concertinas, some interest has been expressed in having midi concertina files. For example, these quotes from Jim Lucas, May 7, 2005, in "Anglo Midi Photos Added": " ...what if you sometimes want to sound like a concertina, and sometimes like a trumpet, marimba, percussion ensemble, string orchestra, or "Thai bath house" ...?" "Or what if you wanted to be able to select between different concertina voices? Even though you would have to record your own samples, you would presumably only need to do that once, and then you wouldn't have to carry around an amb
  20. Pete, I very much enjoyed listening (and occasionally playing along) to the latest archive. The mix of old and new recordings evoked some pleasant memories of people and places and sparked my interest in a new release or two. Thanks for the tip.
  21. I see that I've been outed! As Stephen says, Ballad of America Volume 1 is available for sampling and purchase from CD Baby. I provided backup harmonies on three tracks of Matthew's album: Shenandoah, Once More a Lumbering Go, and Streets of Laredo. The antiquated instrument in question is my 1917 Wheatstone extended treble. The recording process was fairly far along by the time Matthew pulled me into the project, so he provided me with some rough mixes on CD a couple of weeks before my time in the studio. My task was find harmonies that worked with the rough mixes that he provided
  22. Wes, Thanks for an interesting article! Where did it appear? Do you have additional reference information or information about the author that you could post on your site or share with us here?
  23. I got blank pages too, when I tried to open the file with Preview (the .pdf program pre-installed on my Mac). Preview has given no problems until now. My fix was to install the latest free Adobe Reader (v 7) for Macintosh. I still can't open the file directly because all my browsers are still defaulting to Preview. However, I was able to save the article to my desktop and then open, view, and print the saved file using Adobe Reader.
  24. Perhaps I have been lucky, in light of others' reports. I have been routinely using three Microvox preamps at once (for an English, a duet, and a button accordion). I had to solder the nut on the back of one phono connector to keep it from loosening, but I have not personally encountered other connection problems. I probably should have written that in less favorable acoustic situations I prefer contact microphones over stationary microphones. Microvox is the only system that I have experienced. Regarding uneven loudness due to movement when close-mic-ing: for me, close-mic-ing with o
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