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Howard Mitchell

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About Howard Mitchell

  • Birthday 12/30/1951

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    I play the Anglo - Wheatstone 40 button in C/G, Norman 36 button in G/D, Lachenal baritone 30 button in C/G and Lachenal 20 button bass in C/G.

    I have a baritone English but don't play it very much.

    My repertoire is mostly English.

    I also play melodeon and double bass.
  • Location
    Thorpe Satchville, Melton Mowbray, UK

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. I'm not familiar with Amplitude but looking at its spec it has everything you'll need and more besides. I can recommend the microphone articles at dpa. Much is about placement for live sound but try https://www.dpamicrophones.com/mic-university/stereo-recording-techniques-and-setups for stereo placement. I've heard recordings done with mics facing inwards on each side of a concertina which are unnerving when you listen, particularly with headphones, with the image skipping from side to side. I'm using a Focusrite Scarlett for most of my current YouTube recordings normally with an AKG 414 mic but many of my earlier recordings were done with stereo pairs in various configurations. You can see the mics in shot at https://youtu.be/xDFjUYvKt5o in a mid-side configuration. Mitch
  2. Steve, here are a couple of examples, one on concertina and one on melodeon. https://youtu.be/1s1gt-UXJGY https://youtu.be/xyqgikYeRA4 in both cases I started with the treble line and then added others. I find a click track is not always necessary but it’s useful to have a lead in either counting or clicks so you know when to come in. Which DAW are you using? It may have some features which will help you e.g. do multiple takes and select sections from each take. Are you recording with one mic or in stereo? Are the mics and placement the same for all instruments? Be careful with eq-ing differently for each instrument and their stereo placement so that the instruments sound as if they’re in the same place. Let us know how you get on.
  3. Steve’s code (and hardware) produces midi over usb. My code and hardware produces midi on a 5 pin din. There’s no reason you could not do both as long as the arduino you use has native usb ( not a nano) and you have a spare I/O pin for the serial midi..
  4. Nicely done Steve. I’m using an Arduino nano which hasn’t got native USB capabilities hence the 5pin midi. Future versions will use Arduino Micro. I have the decoder there not only to address 40 buttons but also to release pins for the display. interesting to see your use of the square root to provide a compression algorithm. I found that mounting the load cell with offset blocks so that they attached to each end centrally made a significant difference to the sensitivity and speed of response. I’m now testing fluidsynth on a Raspberry Pi loaded with a real concertina soundfont and also a one row melodeon version with different channel numbers for treble, bass and chords. I’ll then look at a “prettier” construction. Mitch
  5. I've made a few modifications. The load cell is a beam, as in the attached picture. It was attached directly to the two ends of the concertina and so the push/pull was not centred. I've now modified the attachment to make an "s" beam. You can see it in the video https://youtu.be/t2LwOGqYavQ This arrangement has also made the two ends a bit further apart which feels better. This also altered the gain of the sensing system so I've changed that in the code so that a good hard push gives a midi channel pressure of 127. Additionally I've adjusted the response curve (like a compressor) to give higher gain at lower pressures and lower gain at higher pressure. The video is using Logic Audio as a sampler and a concertina SoundFont. Still lots more to do, but making progress.
  6. 1kg. It’s sensitive enough at the low end and doesn’t peak at the high end. I wondered about springs or maybe foam buffers. They might affect the response time when changing bellows direction. I’m working at the moment at making the ends further apart and at an angle to mimic the way I normally play. Also plugged it into a computer with your concertina sound font. Had to modify the code as the Logic Audio sampler doesn’t recognise “all note off”.
  7. I've put a schematic, an Arduino .ino file and 2 .dxf files for the hex ends with holes for the switches in a dropbox at - https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/mhjby3ht9931ijvjbtpge/h?dl=0&rlkey=6vaxarmjt0zd28jz2kphnjpyu The code needs a bit of tidying up and optimisation but it works as is. Here are links to the load cell, the switches and the oled display. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254500986126https://www.switchelectronics.co.uk/black-on-off-miniature-momentary-push-to-break-switch-spsthttps://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203920721729 Mitch
  8. Steve, I’d be happy to publish details. Give me a little time to put something together ( some parts of it are in my head!).
  9. I help to run a community workshop including running a weekly electronics drop in session. A couple of weeks ago one of our members asked if I could help with a midi concertina design. At this stage he didn't know that I play the concertina (I tend to keep music and engineering lives separate.) I started with 15 small buttons mounted on a pcb just to get the electronics sorted but of course the feel wasn't right being click switches and with just a couple of extra switches to indicate directions the bellows. The resultant midi signal was sent to a convenient Yamaha synth module which was lying about. Then I acquired a batch of "press to break" push switches. These produce a signal immediately the button starts to move and then there is about 3mm travel after that. The spring pressure is a little bit high but quite comparable with the button on my Wheatstone 1950s 40 button C/G. Draw up the hex ends and switch positions and laser cut 3mm ply boards, leaving space for the Arduino nano, a strain gauge to connect the ends together along with a small HX711 electronic module to connect it and later a small oled display. The result is in the attached pictures. Not fully enclosed so you can see some of the innards. The small switch enables you to go into "setup mode" where some of the buttons are used to change, pitch, octave, sensitivity and program number. Also the shape of the response curve for pressure to volume which I haven't yet fully explored. There's a video of me playing it at https://youtu.be/XSPmpdLq0fc Be kind, this is just the accordion patch in Yamaha MU15 synth and me getting used to the feel of the thing including how the strain gauge responds. It feels strange, not moving, and there's an urge to reach for the air button as your hands are close together but of course it's not necessary. Howard Mitchell
  10. I’m guessing you mean that the threads in the wood are stripped so that the screws will no longer bite. You can fill the holes with a mixture of baking soda and super glue. Then drill pilot holes and re-fit the screws.
  11. And just for fun, in the lower key of C on a Lachenal baritone anglo https://youtu.be/_D6LED_P9Uo
  12. Here's my contribution played on an Andrew Norman G/D Anglo https://youtu.be/JXqQj_8RSFA
  13. I had the pleasure (?) of deconstructing the blue meanie (Scroll down a bit from this link.) to find out how it worked, fix a few reeds back in place and seal some joints to make it playable.
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