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Everything posted by MatthewVanitas

  1. Fair enough - or get the iPhone app... Wow, I knew there were Hayden Duet, English, and Anglo apps for iPhone, but I hadn't seen that there was a Maccann one too! http://www.tradlessons.com/Canntina.html Apparently no Crane or Jeffries apps yet.
  2. Hello RoShayShay, you seem to have a pretty good grasp of what's within your budget. Getting a 20-button Italian or Chinese-made Anglo is really about all you can reliably find in that range, although those aren't necessarily a bad place to start, will at least give him a feel for the instrument. Mainly I'd suggest posting an ad on the Classified section here with a very clear title like "WTB: really cheap import 20b Anglo under $250 for beginner (USA)" just on the off-chance someone has one kicking about that they're not using. Off and on I've owned about a dozen of them, mostly Italian, and sold cheap or gifted them away, so maybe someone here is in that position at the moment. I would discourage you from trying to buy one used on eBay unless you're absolutely convinced it works by a seller who seriously/credibly knows music, otherwise odds are just too high you'll pay $75 for a used one and find out it has a few bum reeds and needs at least that much in repairs. Maybe you can find someone with a used Rochelle (Anglo) or Jack or Jackie (English) willing to cut you a little price break down to $250 just to help out a newbie. If you can find that, that'd be a great choice because you can actually sell it for what you paid for it if you move on, wherease a new Hohner D40 that's $170 new you can maybe sell for $99 if you post it on Craiglist repeatedly for a few weeks. I see the Hohner D40 (Chinese 20b Anglo) going as low as $166 shipped online, so while those aren't particularly great concertinas, they're a fallback option if you really want to get him one and can't find a cheaper beater-but-working one. Just make sure you buy it from some big-box online store with a strong exchange policy, so that he has 30 days to either decide he wants to return it and put the money to a slightly better concertina (you can find a used Rochelle Anglo for about $300), or doesn't like Anglo (or concertina in general), or can work it hard and find if there are any flaws to it that manifest themselves after an initial play-in. So, one man's suggestions. There are people far savvier than I who will insist that anything less than a Rochelle simply isn't worth even trying, but personally I've had some good experiences with cheap 20s, as have some friends of mine, so as long as you bear in mind the limitations of both the range of buttons and the quality, they can at least be an introduction to the instrument.
  3. Finally back in the US for the holidays and have my Beaumont in hand again, so voting for Abbot's since I think Duet concertina pulls off "haunting" quite well. Always liked that tune ever since I heard it on a Boiled in Lead album.
  4. I was worried about my Lachenal Crane, taking it to Colombia, but I've ended up in Bogota where it's eternally 50-70F and drizzly, basically an Andean version of Seattle. So as long as the apartment isn't too damp I don't fret it, though have a small dehumidifier tablet just in case. If at some point I ever have a semi-custom box built, what kind of soundboard holds up well against environmental changes but still sounds okay? I thought someone mentioned at some point that one of the Afrikaaner concertina makers uses perspex (acrylic plastic?); does that actually work well? I'm debating having a small Wheatstone Duett-copy in Hayden made for me to take traveling for work, little 24-button or so mini, and having it made of climate-resistant materials would be awesome.
  5. Hey Trayton! Glad to have another Hayden player aboard! We could definitely use your insight in any review threads we have of the Peacock, as only a couple of us have written of our experiences with the CC Peacock and BB Beaumont Hayden models so far. If you get a chance to introduce yourself in the General section later, it's always great to see the diversity of styles of players of the Hayden, since we seem to have quite a span of influences that lead people to choose that system.
  6. I'll note that this is another area where a MIDI Hayden would be useful, in that it would allow the user to customize the keyboard layout to their taste.
  7. I like button indentations to index the hands; not so much during play, but when first starting. I'd also like to see more modifications made in the interest of long-term durability, as some wooden fretwork tends to break at the small points. Especially as someone who often lives in the US (with its huge climate variations) and often travels, I'd like to see some use of materials/methods which helps to minimize swelling/contracting of the wood which leads to leakages and even potentially cracks in the soundboard. I'd particularly like to see some inexpensive starter concertinas of decent quality produced using casting/milling of quality synthetics to keep the price down and durability high. The "Stagi Brunner Beginner" is a plastic 20b Anglo that's supposed to be pretty okay for the price, and looks like it'd be great to haul camping, to festivals, etc. Something like that but done with a bit more quality and not so huge and clunky would be great. And, like so many people, I'm eagerly awaiting some clever tech cracking the code on the best way to produce concertina-type reeds in batches to narrow the price gap between accordion reeds and true concertina reeds.
  8. Potential good news: I contacted Dean Onyon (S-Wave Instruments) and Steve Rouse (Streb eMelodeon) about MIDI Hayden concertinas, and they may have some insights to share with us. Nothing definitive at all, and I don't want to speak out of turn for them, but when their time frees up maybe after the holidays, they may have ideas to share. I still haven't emailed Wim Wakker about this thread, but as I understand he tried Anglo MIDI and felt it wasn't something he wanted to pursue, so don't know if he'd be interested at this juncture. And even if he were, the most likely option would just be offering a reedless Peacock, though that would be a decent option.
  9. Glad to hear the intent is to make the Striso a (moderately) affordable instrument. I hope you're run across some good labor-saving techniques (CAD-tooling the wood?) to maximize efficiency to help keep the price down. Definitely looking forward to hearing more about this instrument as you advance in your plan. Though I still am seeking a good solution on a MIDI concertina, since bellows are just such an intuitive way to manage dynamics.
  10. One thing I'm debating, based on advice from another member, is getting a cheap big ol' clunky celluloid 20b Anglo. Then have the tech slice off the end-face and put on a solid piece of material, and then drill it for 46, 52, or 65 Hayden-layout buttons, which have levers going to pads just wherever they fit on the new plywood soundboard. Then just drop in magnets that interface with the pads do the standard reedless MIDI conversion. That way I can have a working frame and bellows for $50, taking at least some of the expense out of the equation. Though at some point I might need to ask a tech how much it really would cost to make basic square ends and bellows. If it's just $150 or something to get a nicer handmade wooden carcass, I can pony up the extra $100 to not be basing on a cheap Chinese body.
  11. Piers, I play an acoustic Hayden (a Beaumont model by Morse/Buttonbox Instruments), as well as a vintage Crane Duet concertina. Overall I find your Striso interesting, though like Don I'd be more interested in it as a MIDI controller than as a standalone instrument. When the processor, amplifier, batteries etc. need to go inside the instrument that adds some expense and compromises I'd rather avoid. I also wonder if it couldn't be notably more compact if it didn't have to have speaker/battery/etc in it, but I understand that you're deliberately going for a standalone item, so just differing priorities there. But setting logistics aside, overall I find it pretty interesting. The limited left hand at first is offputting for a concertinist, but I read your blurb on "Perceived Pitch Height" (http://www.striso.org/the-striso/perceived-pitch-height/) and think I sort of get how that's supposed to make the bass end sort of sound like it has a much larger range than it has. Though for a Hayden player I think having to play inversions for chords based in the top half of the bass side would take some slight mental change, but not terrible. The slightly different angle of the DC layout doesn't look like it would confuse a Hayden player too much. The lack of bellow is initially one of the more problematic parts, so I'd have to get a feel for the dynamic control of the motion sensor before deciding how much the lack of bellows threw me off. Is there any tentative price that the Striso is aiming for? Not to hold you to numbers too early or anything. Is this going to be more a boutique small-scale handmade product, or is there a plan to semi-mass produce them by casting them in plastic, making batches of buttons, etc to cut down on production costs? In whatever case, I don't think the world has any surplus of compact isomorphic keyboards. I'm unsure whether I'd personally buy one, mostly depending on how pricey they come out to be, and how close we seem to be getting to a decent MIDI Hayden concertina or no, but if they were mass produced in the $500 range I think I'd be awfully tempted, since I like your design more than just a flat Hayden/hex keyboard like the Axis-49. Though if they're more like $2,000 I could probably find a MIDI Hayden concertina solution in that range that I'd be happier/more-familiar with. It's totally escaping me, but recently on Cnet we discussed an instrument very similar to yours, though with a fancier marketing campaign. It's also a two sided box hanging/strapped on the chest, the difference being that theirs is sort of an isomorphic English concertina layout, with the scale going back and forth between the hands. But otherwise pretty similar in being a MIDI instrument with pressure-sensitive buttons, etc. Can anyone recall what that critter was called so we can post a link and pics to clarify? EDIT: That's it, the Dualo. Thanks Graham!
  12. Actually, it should be necessary in any setting other that 12 Tone Equal Temperament, yes? Because a Meantone, Just, etc. need to be anchored to a specific pitch, and the intervals are better for intervals in that key, but worse in others, yes? Or is the computer constantly recalculating which is note to anchor the temperament to?
  13. Pretty empowering to be able to add info, isn't it? I'm feeling a little clever for a bit I found to add to Duet Concertina: The source didn't mention what the Afrikaans word for 5-row or 6-row is, so I had to do a little bit of googling, and managed to figure out that Afrikaans spells "row" as ry rather than the modern Dutch rij, and finally I managed to google up SAfrican sales adds selling concertinas as "5-ry" and the like, confirming the spelling. I did need a source to prove that the Boer use the instrument, but finding the correct Boer term for it is kosher as a common-sense extension of the fact. Steve, while you're fixing English, Dan Worral notes at least one notable Boer musician playing the English: http://books.google.com.co/books?id=JKZO1aevsiIC&pg=PA30&dq=boeremusiek+duet+concertina&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C2RqVIalIYqkNsusgsgH&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=boeremusiek%20duet%20concertina&f=false And note per the Boeremusiek.org.za site I cited above, the English is called the "four row", which would be "4-ry" in Afrikaans. The same site also notes that the Boer use the term "English" to mean "English-style build" vice German, so "English concertina" doesn't mean what we call English, but rather an Anglo by Lachenal or Wheatstone (or in niche cases an English or Duet). Note: if there are any GoogleBooks pages you want to cite, http://reftag.appspot.comcan instantly turn any GoogleBooks links into a full Wikipedia footnote with just a click.
  14. Steve, great work! That helps catch some missing details, introduce some more names, etc. I've sectioned "Folk music" by region, showing the different areas (England, Ireland, Latin America). Any suggestions on other regions/cultures with a documented history of at least some use of the English? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_concertina#Folk_music @Ann-p: Photo looks good, would you like to go ahead and add whichever you prefer to Wikipedia? Though I could do it, for legal reasons it's way easier if it's you to check the box "I took this photo and I release it under Creative Commons". Otherwise there's an email form I'd have to send you, etc. If you want to give a shot uploading, in under three minutes you can sign up for an account at https://commons.wikimedia.org, then just click the "upload" button and follow the clear instructions as to how to mark the image, and we can then easily add it into the article. So glad to see a few folks willing to chip in; I've got good wiki skills, but I'm not the greatest concertina expert, so happy to help the concertina-savvier folks get down the utter basics of editing Wikipedia. Steve, did you find it intuitive enough at first? Your edits look well-formatted and clear, seems you've taken to it fine. Also, if someone can find one or two ITM players who use English, where we can cite a serious article/paper/book that notes said musician and their use of the English in ITM, that'd be a great fleshing out of that small section.
  15. Still working down here in Colombia, though contracts slower to become profitable than I'd like, so haven't yet jumped on my clever ideas to take advantage of low-low labor costs down here to get some cool stuff done. One idea I have is to find a local accordion technician, and get him to make me a basic hybrid concertina. For ease of an accordionist building it, simplicity of design, and also because I like it, my current vision is to have him build me a Wheatstone Duett, but hybrid and in Hayden layout: It's smaller than the usual (though will have to scale-up size to fit hybrid reeds), minimal angles and curves, looks to be a pretty simple action to adapt to using stock accordion levers/springs, etc. Plus I've always loved the look of the little things, and I'm fine having a more limited instrument if it means I can have less-expensive and durable small instrument for travel. Does this sound like a broadly-reasonable idea? My impression is that most accordion techs in Colombia work on Hohners, don't know how common building from scratch is. But if I can find a guy who's repaired/fabricated actions and boards, knows reed settup of course, and has decent woodworking skills, might this be feasible? I don't know if such a tech makes his own bellows, but if somehow he doesn't, perhaps I can get the smallest rectangular off-the-shelf bellows we can source and build around those dimensions. Any of you concertina builders/repairers/enthusiasts have any input on the feasibility of this? If doable, what would I have to explain to an accordion tech about (hybrid) concertinas that might not otherwise be intuitive to him?
  16. This is pretty much what I do. As noted in some other "how you got into concertina" threads, I had far less interest in existing recordings of concertina experts, and more in having a small portable instrument that would allow me to do uilleann-like stuff, imitate Nico's harmonium as heard with Velvet Underground, etc. (Here's some Nico for folks unfamiliar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl2abkTndAw) I favor Hayden for that kind of playing because the uniform fingering system is convenient for me, but you have to balance that against market availability. Hayden has the real affordable student models ($400), but after that for a decent hybrid concertina jumps to $2500 or $3800, and for one made with traditional concertina reeds, $5,800. Cranes and Maccanns you can find a medium-small one (46b, 48b) for maybe as low as $800. I spent $500 on my 35b Crane, thought it needed $150 or so of repair done on it, and 35b comes cheap because most folks find that few buttons rather limiting. Like I was saying to the fellow in "Duet for Irish music" thread, if you want to have some long, slow drones for singing, Duet handles that quite well and also frees up the right hand to fill in some high bits for contrast. Exciting to see more folks taking a hard look at Duet these days!
  17. Are you quite sure about that? the more valves you open, the less air flows through each one and consequently, less air is left for the melody notes if you push more than one left Hand side button at the same time.
  18. Just threw together a short article for Lachenal & Co. We don't have too many articles about concertina producing firms, so again if anyone wants a hand in starting up an article for George Jones, John Crabb, etc. let me know and I can walk you through some pretty easy and at-your-own-pace steps to get an article on there.
  19. I'll echo hjc: I don't have any problem with left-hand multiple notes sucking away too much air from my right side. I do tend to use just one or two left-hand notes while doing melody-heavy stuff, but that's more because of the volume of having too many bass notes playing. Still plenty of air getting to the right side, right side note(s) still playing clear, just they get drowned out in sheer volume if I use too much left hand. Another reminder that I need to finally get around to recording some Irish sean-nós melodies with drone on my concertina.
  20. Can't speak for Maccann, but I play both Hayden and Crane, and both work pretty well for drones, but the Hayden definitely the better of the two. A Crane drones fine, but depending where you are in the scale the fingering patterns are different, whereas for the Hayden every root-fifth drone is one button, and then the button up and to the right of it. If you want a root and fourth, pick your key button and then go one up and to the left. It's a very regular, consistent system. Hayden system: note D-A, C-G, Bb-F, etc. are all identically "play root, and the button up and right", throughout the layout. And here's Crane; note D-A, C-G, Bb-F, etc are all totally different finger shapes. It's not necessarily terrible to get used to, same as being on a piano and having to figure out white and black keys, but it's not as dead-simple as Hayden. And here's a Maccann, note even less consistency. That's not to say it's a bad system, just that forming chords isn't as immediately intuitive, but supposedly it's a better/smoother system for complex harmonic play, once you get the system integrated into your brain.
  21. Update: just heard back from Piers: he got the Wicki QWERTY app up and running again here: http://www.toverlamp.org/static/wickisynth/wickisynth.html It doesn't have tight enough timing to play serious music, but it's just lovely for trying out intervals at different temperaments. As an example, on the "12 Tone Equal Temperament" settings "3" and "K" are the same note, and in are the same pitch, whereas in Meantone or Pythagorean the D# and Eb are distinctly different notes. I realize this might not appeal to everyone here, but I'm finding it fascinating. Piers has some larger Hayden interests to include concertinas, and so hopefully he'll be able to drop by and provide some insight.
  22. For the record, sold as a Buy-It-Now yesterday for £1,600 (US$2500), just a nudge below the US retail price, but I suppose the buyer gets to skip all the cross-pond shipping and taxes.
  23. Been messing with more non-concertina MIDI stuff (I'm new to the format), trying out my Qunexus. Once I get a feel for it I'll ping the manufacturer and see if there's any possibility of a Hayden version. They were able to launch the Quenexus with only 230 backers on Kickstarter, and a Hayden version would likely be only marginally more expensive than that $150 25b piano-style MIDI board. The AXIS-49 keyboard (98-button Hayden) is only $250 though, maybe I should just get that. There is a cute little online Wicki-Hayden app that lets you use your computer typing keyboard to play notes. I love the idea, but it's a little too balky to play smoothly enough for serious music (programmed in 2010), but I love the idea: http://www.qwertonic.com/ There's an ever cooler equivalent, which (be still my beating heart) is set up for microtonal scales at http://www.toverlamp.org/static/wickisynth/wickisynth.html, however it's not running right. I pinged the programmer, and he said he'd try to get it tweaked for modern browsers (also programmed in 2010), but is a little tied up on his professional project, which uses a similar Wicki-Hayden-derived keyboard layout: http://www.striso.org/ <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HFzxqmWpM50" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Keyboard is basically W-H but with slightly different angling. Not to get off the topic of concertinas, but just demonstrating that the Wicki-Hayden layout has some broader applicability outside the concertina community. Though a MIDI Hayden concertina might not attract as many concertinists as a MIDI English does, it has a larger potential audience outside our small community.
  24. I suppose too early in the game to start bugging them to make Haydens? I do love their modernistic metal end fretwork!
  25. Now I'm really interested to see some examples of this on YouTube for posterity! Are these specialty reeds terribly hard to make, a lost art?
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