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About Paul_Hardy

  • Birthday 08/20/1953

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  • Interests
    English concertina. Computers. Walking/rambling/hiking.
  • Location
    Cambridge, UK

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. Given that I help run a music group called Greenshoots (http://greenshootsmusic.org.uk/), this would be a good theme tune! Do you have dots available?
  2. It doesn't! There is a standard technique of pressing lots of buttons on each end (e.g. by using two curled fists), so that no one reed gets enough air to sound, but the bellows can still close silently and gently.
  3. Bluetooth audio will be a problem, for anything other than listening to recorded audio tracks. The Bluetooth standard includes a latency (delay) of 400 milliseconds, so nearly half a second. This is so that lost packets (due to interference or distance) can timeout and be retransmitted, get sorted into order, and still make up a coherent stream. For playing an audio album this is fine, but problematic for anything where the audio should be synced with video (real or recorded). I encountered and investigated this for my MIDI concertina - https://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_30566_midi/lachenal_30566_midi.html. This doesn't apply to wired connections, so I wouldn't have expected significant latency on these - I find no noticeable latency on my iPhone with wired headphones.
  4. It's fun suggesting workable solutions to problems which because of combinatorial expansion would take a very long time to explore all possibilities exhaustively. As an ex-programmer who ran projects to do map generalisation (automated change of scale), we tended to use "Simulated Annealing" where a nominal 'temperature' starts high and then falls slowly. You set up an initial starting state, then while the temperature is high, you allow drastic changes, and as it falls, only smaller perturbations so that the overall system settles into a stable state. Not necessarily the best state, but a 'good enough' one. If I were to try this (which I won't), having allocated an initial default button and finger to each note of the tune, I'd get each note to assess (as a fraction) its overall 'happiness' (ease of access). if it was unhappy then try actions to improve its happiness (swap buttons/fingers). If the result improves the overall happiness of the tune (sum of all the note happiness), then keep the change, else roll it back and try a different action or a different note. The aim is to maximise the overall happiness. Implementation is left as an exercise to the reader!
  5. It's a website with a mix of videos, diagrams, articles to read, with quizzes to pass to prove that you have understood stages.
  6. Don't panic. I had an instrument with rusty reeds (https://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_32801/lachenal_32801.html) and was pleasantly surprised how application of a fibreglass pencil followed by retuning with a diamond file produced a quite playable instrument.
  7. I did the free Coursera course on Music Theory (https://www.coursera.org/learn/edinburgh-music-theory) from Edinburgh University, and found it useful. Like most music courses it does tend to assume that you play piano keyboard, but not excessively. I should declare that I did Music 'O'-level aged 16, so had a starting point.
  8. More the latter - If I want a concertina that sounds like a concertina I have several real ones! bs-16-i does support soundfonts, so It's quite capable of sounding quite tina-like - see https://www.bismark.jp/bs-16i. However I like it's ability to handle multiple MIDI channels playing different instruments. My MIDI concertina can output three channels at different octave transpositions, so with bs16-i it can play a viola at pitch, a piccolo flute an octave up, and a cello an octave down. More commonly I choose two instruments - saxophone and glockenspiel?
  9. I agree that Thumbjam is a very good app, but I also use Bismark bs16-i in my iPad, as a favourite synthesizer for my MIDI tina. See https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bismark-bs-16i/id388149926.
  10. Yes, I first saw a concertina aged 22, and got my first aged 40. However I've left some money in my will to the ICA to encourage concertina playing by young people.
  11. I use a CME WiDi Jack (https://www.cme-pro.com/widi-premium-bluetooth-midi/) to stream the MIDI signals over Bluetooth LE to my iPhone or IPad. Then a synth app like ThumbJamb. The latency is negligible. Works well. A recent recoding using that tech is https://pghardy.net/concertina/recordings/midi_concertina_cello.mp3. The same WiDi Jack can talk bluetooth midi to a Windows 11 laptop, where MidiBerry and LoopMidi can feed it into a synth that uses soundfonts, such as SynthFont2 or Syfon1.
  12. There are several apps that read midi files (e.g. output from EasyABC) and use soundfonts to render them to sound formats such as wav or mp3. I use Synthfont2, and Anvil Studio. Admittedly on Windows not Mac.
  13. I assume it's some standard barometric sensor - either resistive (strain) or capacitive (parallel plate). Google search for "miniature barometric pressure sensor" for examples. I will note that it is important to power up the concertina (which sets the zero point) before picking it up, or else you end up in a mode where notes are louder on the push than the pull or vice versa!
  14. I recorded https://pghardy.net/concertina/recordings/midi_concertina_cello.mp3 on World Concertina Day 2022. It's Planxty Irwin using a Cello voice synthesized using ThumbJamb on an iPad, driven by midi from Lachenal 30566 described up the thread. There are more midi recordings at https://pghardy.net/concertina/recordings/#midi.
  15. Yes, it has a bellows pressure sensor - I'd prefer it a bit more sensitive, but it's good enough to play Captain Pugwash with the repeated notes being a bellows shake. I might post a couple of tunes on it later.
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