Jump to content

How to control volume


LoiS-sez
 Share

Recommended Posts

I want to use my concertina sometimes with my storytelling programs. I've been working on a song "Take me out to the circus" to the tune of "Take me out to the ballgame." The only problem is that some of the song is overpowered by the volume of my concertina.

 

This is an unusual problem. Loudness is something that is aimed for in all musical instruments. Their purpose is to make music audible to as many listeners as possible, so "good" instruments are usually louder (or more capable of being loud) than "bad" ones.

 

I don't know what brand of concertina you have, but would it be an idea to have a "cheap" one for story-telling purposes - one that you'd reject for solo work because it's not powerful enough?

 

I've been playing a Stagi Anglo happily for years in my group. Quite a few of our pieces feature a single-line melody on concertina with fiddle, guitars and double bass. When I got my Lachenal Crane, I worked up a couple of these melody lines on it, and took it to a practice evening. The lads in the group told me to forget it, and keep playing my old Stagi - it blended better with the ensemble!

 

I describe the difference in sound between the metal-ended Stagi hybrid and the wood-ended Lachenal with trad. steel reeds as the greater "presence" of the trad.-reeded Lachenal. What you need is less "concertina presence" than "voice presence."

So perhaps a wood-ended hybrid (Stagi or Hohner or, if 20 buttons are enough, a Klingenthal Scholer or the like) would be more suitable for your purposes, although generally regarded as "inferior" concertinas.

 

Cheers,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi John,

Thank you for taking a 2d look at this. It's funny but I play a wooden-ended Stagi Anglo. I admit that it's possible to play it "lightly" as is hinted in an earlier comment, but it is a style of playing or practicing that I may just need to develop. I'm still very much a newbie & the music is an addition to my storytelling. As a result it is always more difficult than the basic part of my work which is storytelling. My opportunities to get screwed up, whether it be with 'tina, guitar, or other instrument is always greater. If I'm working also to keep the sound down so I can sing over it, that just adds another layer of concentration.

 

Usually it will be just me & my playing, with or w/o singing. I'm also in a folk society & it's conceivable I may yet feel comfortable enough to play a piece with a few others, but for now it's just (a) how not to have it drown out my singing -- I've a strong voice, but want the words to be understood throughout if I'm using it in a program or (B) wondered about times I might be playing in a motel room or other location where the sound might be too much. The instrument seems perfect for Irish & Scottish songs, especially.

 

Saw the info on baffles & am not sure I want to do anything that might affect my instrument's value if the day comes I want to sell it & move up to a more valuable/useful concertina.

 

I want to use my concertina sometimes with my storytelling programs. I've been working on a song "Take me out to the circus" to the tune of "Take me out to the ballgame." The only problem is that some of the song is overpowered by the volume of my concertina.

 

This is an unusual problem. Loudness is something that is aimed for in all musical instruments. Their purpose is to make music audible to as many listeners as possible, so "good" instruments are usually louder (or more capable of being loud) than "bad" ones.

 

I don't know what brand of concertina you have, but would it be an idea to have a "cheap" one for story-telling purposes - one that you'd reject for solo work because it's not powerful enough?

 

I've been playing a Stagi Anglo happily for years in my group. Quite a few of our pieces feature a single-line melody on concertina with fiddle, guitars and double bass. When I got my Lachenal Crane, I worked up a couple of these melody lines on it, and took it to a practice evening. The lads in the group told me to forget it, and keep playing my old Stagi - it blended better with the ensemble!

 

I describe the difference in sound between the metal-ended Stagi hybrid and the wood-ended Lachenal with trad. steel reeds as the greater "presence" of the trad.-reeded Lachenal. What you need is less "concertina presence" than "voice presence."

So perhaps a wood-ended hybrid (Stagi or Hohner or, if 20 buttons are enough, a Klingenthal Scholer or the like) would be more suitable for your purposes, although generally regarded as "inferior" concertinas.

 

Cheers,

John

Edited by LoiS-sez
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woops! just realized this wasn't a "2d look", but me accidentally rediscovering some Forum info when I sifted through old email in an overstuffed Inbox. That said, I still think this topic is worth having available in the knowledge base. It covers some info that fit style & technique as well as instrument info & possible modification.

LoiS(econd look for me at least...hope it's not cluttering the Forum that I reopened the topic)

 

Hi John,

Thank you for taking a 2d look at this. It's funny but I play a wooden-ended Stagi Anglo. I admit that it's possible to play it "lightly" as is hinted in an earlier comment, but it is a style of playing or practicing that I may just need to develop. I'm still very much a newbie & the music is an addition to my storytelling. As a result it is always more difficult than the basic part of my work which is storytelling. My opportunities to get screwed up, whether it be with 'tina, guitar, or other instrument is always greater. If I'm working also to keep the sound down so I can sing over it, that just adds another layer of concentration.

 

Usually it will be just me & my playing, with or w/o singing. I'm also in a folk society & it's conceivable I may yet feel comfortable enough to play a piece with a few others, but for now it's just (a) how not to have it drown out my singing -- I've a strong voice, but want the words to be understood throughout if I'm using it in a program or (B) wondered about times I might be playing in a motel room or other location where the sound might be too much. The instrument seems perfect for Irish & Scottish songs, especially.

 

Saw the info on baffles & am not sure I want to do anything that might affect my instrument's value if the day comes I want to sell it & move up to a more valuable/useful concertina.

 

I want to use my concertina sometimes with my storytelling programs. I've been working on a song "Take me out to the circus" to the tune of "Take me out to the ballgame." The only problem is that some of the song is overpowered by the volume of my concertina.

 

This is an unusual problem. Loudness is something that is aimed for in all musical instruments. Their purpose is to make music audible to as many listeners as possible, so "good" instruments are usually louder (or more capable of being loud) than "bad" ones.

 

I don't know what brand of concertina you have, but would it be an idea to have a "cheap" one for story-telling purposes - one that you'd reject for solo work because it's not powerful enough?

 

I've been playing a Stagi Anglo happily for years in my group. Quite a few of our pieces feature a single-line melody on concertina with fiddle, guitars and double bass. When I got my Lachenal Crane, I worked up a couple of these melody lines on it, and took it to a practice evening. The lads in the group told me to forget it, and keep playing my old Stagi - it blended better with the ensemble!

 

I describe the difference in sound between the metal-ended Stagi hybrid and the wood-ended Lachenal with trad. steel reeds as the greater "presence" of the trad.-reeded Lachenal. What you need is less "concertina presence" than "voice presence."

So perhaps a wood-ended hybrid (Stagi or Hohner or, if 20 buttons are enough, a Klingenthal Scholer or the like) would be more suitable for your purposes, although generally regarded as "inferior" concertinas.

 

Cheers,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 years later...
On 7/13/2010 at 10:56 AM, RatFace said:

What Boney says "You can try starting a note or chord at normal volume, then almost immediately taking practically all pressure off the bellows". That's a really good technique anyway - shaping each note.

 

Also, when accompanying avoiding playing the note that you're singing will help, and generally one/two notes rather than thick chords (this is probably rather obvious!).

 

As for the "baffles" - photo here and videos, e.g.

.

 

I made them out of MDF, sculpted slightly on the inside so that the fit more snuggly over the raised concertina ends, and attached with sticky-backed velcro (which, after using it for many years, I find leaves no permanent mark on the concertina ends). It's been pointed out that MDF is particularly noxious to work with, so if you use that make sure you cut it somewhere with lots of ventilation, or use something else.

 

 

Really nice, thanks. Very motivating! 
I like the way you’re playing B,c and d accompaniment with you’re ring finger almost hidden there. (c on the left, I guess)
These baffles are a great idea, I guess being make from leather makes them more acceptable too -I have discussions with people about the acceptability of capos on long necked mandolin-family instruments. 
I’m wondering about sound that bounces off the baffle inside and comes out through the limited number of holes, did you try different internal materials? 

 

-and oooops! just saw the date on this thread... :) 

Edited by simon ds
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...