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Electronic (Midi) Concertina - Current Options?

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Hi all


I red these topic with high interest. The original topic is the same question that I'd will post for advice about old concertina conversion. My aim is to have only a "silent" concertina to play in my flat in the evening to practicing, so I'm searching for the solution. I haven't your tecnical skills so I must send an old concertina to a "midi factory". I'm not very happy to sacrifice one EC but the cost of new "ready to use" is too high (I'd prefer to use the budget to buy another concertina). Midi boutique send to me his quote and, with an old Lachenal Tutor EC, the total cost results doable. Has anyone experience with this midi convertion?





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  • 3 months later...

OK, well here it is............................... I believe this to be the very first totally self contained MIDI concertina!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If anyone knows of an equivalent then I shall withdraw that statement if you show me video evidence!


It's a 36 key Anglo, traditional riveted action, BUT in place of the reeds is a MIDI controller/stereo GM expander/power amp/speakersx2.


It's battery powered (12 hours), has 'clever' bellows sensitivity and a hefty audio output from the full range enclosed speakers.


It also has a stereo 'line out', a mute for the internal amp and the controller/expander can run from a normal power supply with or without batteries.


This has taken MANY months to complete during my quieter periods BUT is possibly the most satisfying project that I've ever undertaken!

This instrument FEELS real because of the vibrations from the speakers, something I had not truly anticipated.


This particular instrument is now in the hands of it's very patient new owner/test pilot.............


Please watch the following Youtube vids:







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Congratulations Roy. What you have done is amazing and exactly what I think a midi concertina should be, totally self contained. So where to from here? When does the mass production start? I guess that's not going to happen tomorrow! Seriously though, wouldn't it be wonderful if an inexpensive concertina, say less than US$100, was available for new and younger players. It seems you've converted an existing concertina or am I wrong? The hurdle with manufacturing a cheapie from scratch would I guess mostly be producing inexpensive bellows as Robert(Conzertino) has pointed out in another thread.


Ah to dream. One would just need a couple of hundred $K to set up a little factory in a country where labour is affordable and perhaps every household could have a concertina!

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I add my congratulations! What a cool device, and Steve's comment regarding the self-containment is spot-on. It strikes me that there was, at some distant point past, no doubt negativie response to early attempts to add mechanical contrivances to the actual sound creation device, like piano linkage to beat a string, or relatively removed keys to open organ valves. While this adds another "dimension" of "removal" it does allow a person to sit at a session without plugging in, or busk at a train station bench, or just sit in her kitchen (with a headset...my wife will invest!) and make any instrument she desires come from the simplest keyboard. Wow! And, it's only gonna get even better, I suspect. Bravo!


And, the bellows thing.....Can't some of the fancy urethane/whatever industrial bellows work? You must have tried, but it seems to me that there must be some lurking analog for that task.


Anyway, thanks for sharing, and regards,



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Thanks for those kind remarks.


Its actually not a retrofit, this is a new instrument. The ends are machined entirely from solid timber on my CNC machine!

The mechanism is almost identical to a traditional Jeffries.

There are many difficulties developing something like this, namely speaker enclosure/size/shape, battery type/size/location/lifetime, MIDI expander location, amplifier power/voltage/current consumption/efficiency, bellows pressure measurement, SOFTWARE, the list goes on.................


Bellows are relatively easy to make, even in the traditional way but even cheap ones cost £150+ in the UK.


When it comes to mass production, definitely possible BUT expensive to set up. If I wasn't already an electronics engineer AND a concertina maker/repairer then I would need to find people who were! The instrument in the videos is packed with separate electronic 'modules', some off the shelf and some (4) of my own design and construction. These would need to be re-designed and a TOTAL of 4 modules/pcb's should suffice.

Luckily I found a guy (in the videos) who was prepared to invest and who had the patience to wait while I tried various ideas.


My own opinion is that to flood the market with cheap, plastic, printed instruments would be akin to replacing the worlds pianos with xylophones. (I cant stand what Bose has done to traditional speakers)


Ok, you cant print wood.......................... or could you?


The danger is going too far and producing a toy.


Something in-between would be better.

How about CNC ends and printed mechanism.


Finally, have you seen how slow a 3D printer is?


Cheers for now

Edited by accordionmagic
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