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Reed busing


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Hello, I' am actually recording in a studio in Montreal and I have a big trouble with my Lachenal Edeophone (english concertina)... Everything was great, and then two notes began to make a buzzz sound... I don't have time to take to repair shop, I would have some advice, I need to finish my studio session.

I am in panic !!!

 

Please help me!

David Berthiaume

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Hope this isn't too late.

 

Work out which notes are causing the trouble and whether 'in' or 'out'.

 

Open her up.

 

Work out which REEDS are causing the trouble.

 

See if either has come loose in its groove. If so push back in firmly. If it doesn't grip scrounge a fag paper and a pair of decent scissors and use it to shim it a bit. If they were loose that was probably it cured.

 

If not I'd expect a tongue to have shifted sideways in its frame. Take out one of the problem children and hold it up to the light. Can you see a fine gap all the way round? Use a pencil to push the reed down. Does it pass through the slot cleanly? At this point I have an old fashioned razer blade for the next step; you will need to improvise; you might even get away with thin paper. Put the blade vertically into the shoe, next to the tongue. With your pencil press the tongue down; it will be forced to move across from the shoe wall to accomodate the blade. Finis.

 

(well it may take a little trial and error to sort it out in the field but it should be something along those lines.

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Thank you so much!

It feels great to know that some people have an idea of what I am taking about... I've followed your great advices but at the end I had to improvise (just as you told me). In a desesperate moment, I used my screwdriver, I loosed the screws, reoriented the tongue and it just did it! I will be able to go back to the studio this evening... I was close to my biggest nightmare, you saved my life!)

 

I am still wondering how come the tongue had moved : the screws were very tight! Could the variations of the french canadian weather have something to do with it? I had this same problem before, four years ago, Mr. Chris Algar told me it was probably the humidity (I had to reach the England humidity in Canada); he friendly suggest to take a bath and let the concertina on a chair near the water... After a week, the reed was cure. But now this time, I did't have a week to solve the problem.

 

If you were not that far from Montréal, I would offer you something to drink to that!

 

David Berthiaume

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In a desesperate moment, I used my screwdriver, I loosed the screws, reoriented the tongue and it just did it!

You'll probably find that reed is now out of tune.

Edited by SteveS
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Thank you so much!

It feels great to know that some people have an idea of what I am taking about... I've followed your great advices but at the end I had to improvise (just as you told me). In a desesperate moment, I used my screwdriver, I loosed the screws, reoriented the tongue and it just did it! I will be able to go back to the studio this evening... I was close to my biggest nightmare, you saved my life!)

 

I am still wondering how come the tongue had moved : the screws were very tight! Could the variations of the french canadian weather have something to do with it? I had this same problem before, four years ago, Mr. Chris Algar told me it was probably the humidity (I had to reach the England humidity in Canada); he friendly suggest to take a bath and let the concertina on a chair near the water... After a week, the reed was cure. But now this time, I did't have a week to solve the problem.

 

If you were not that far from Montréal, I would offer you something to drink to that!

 

David Berthiaume

Yes popping over for a beer would be complex and expensive, so thank you but another time. Glad I could help anyway.

 

We are all told NEVER touch that clamp; just to check the screws are very tight...You move the reed by main force; perhaps then you just check the clamp screws are STILL tight. I'd guess Steve is thinking that you will have done well to get the reed back to exactly the same free length it was before.

 

This does happen occasionally; they wriggle in their fastenings and it is as you found damned annoying. I don't see how the fit of 2 bits of metal is affected by humidity, I think it's just cussedness. Reeds loosening in reed pans is easier to believe.

 

So go on then David, what sort of stuff are you recording?

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Your problem is most likely lack of humidity which will cause the wood of the reedpan to shrink slightly and the reed frames will get squeezed and the slots will get smaller and the reed tongues will touch the sides of the slots. A temporary cure will be to slide those buzzing reeds back out of their tapered dovetails a very slight amount, this will relieve pressure on the reed frames whilst causing no permanent damage and the buzzing noises should stop.

If you loosen the reeds by sliding them too far back out of the reedpan dovetails then the sound will change from a buz to a rattle.

 

Usually the only reeds that are affected are those that sit accross the grain of the wood of the reedpan.

 

Recording studios are notorious for Low Humidity.

 

Good luck,

Geoff.

 

Edited to correct mistake; The reeds most in danger are those that sit in the reedpan along the grain of the wood, not across the grain (idiot)... this is because wood shrinks more and far more quickly across the grain. So, on an English Concertina the reeds that would usually be most in danger from cramping by the reedpan wood are the ones at the top and bottom, the very high and very low notes, because they lay along the grain or the wood.Usually the small reeds don't complain in the form of tinkling noises because their slot length (in the reed frame) is short. The low notes are most prone to this.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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In a desesperate moment, I used my screwdriver, I loosed the screws, reoriented the tongue and it just did it!

You'll probably find that reed is now out of tune.

 

It look's like I'm a lucky man: the reed is still perfectly on tune!

You were lucky indeed.

 

Best to always leave the clamps well alone.

 

BTW any chance you could let us hear some of your music?

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Your problem is most likely lack of humidity (...)

Recording studios are notorious for Low Humidity. (...)

The low notes are most prone to this.

 

Thank you Geoff,

I think it was effectively a lack of humidity that made the buzz sound, and you are also ritgh about the low notes : it was the low F that made me panic.

Cheers,

David

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BTW any chance you could let us hear some of your music?

I am very shy to share something that is not mixed with expert ears...

Please be honnest,and tell me what you think! You can be rude: I can take it!

 

David

 

Ruff mix Ti-Blanc à Richard

Very nice indeed!

Look forward to hearing more.

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