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cryptastix

How Is Volume Level On Right Hand Of A Duet?

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well the topic is the question.

 

but I'm also curious how the volume is on the English too. I cannot have the bass over-power the treble

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That is like asking 'how long is a piece of string ?'...

 

Balancing the volume of the two hands of a Duet can depend on lots of factors :

 

The quality of the instrument and how it is set up ( or designed ) will control what is possible and what is not.

 

The word Duet suggests that two voices will be used, one on each hand probably, and a reasonable volume balance would therefore be required between each. But controlling the output of low and high reeds using a single air supply and then adding the factor that many people wish to play chordal accompaniment to a single melody line and want that to balance as well......

 

The player needs to adjust and make an arrangement that suits the instrument. You can look at the Duet scores available at www.concertina.com to see what other people have devised.

 

On a FINE concertina there can be a balance, top to bottom ,playing single notes against chords and doing whatever one likes. On an English, of course one needs the left and right to balance as both hands are engaged with melody and /or chords whereas a Duet could be organised in a way that makes the left hand side quieter so the player can use bigger chords... like an accordion. There have been lots of discussions regarding Baffles, how to make and fit them and their usefulness .

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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That is like asking 'how long is a piece of string ?'...

 

Balancing the volume of the two hands of a Duet can depend on lots of factors :

 

The quality of the instrument and how it is set up ( or designed ) will control what is possible and what is not.

 

The word Duet suggests that two voices will be used, one on each hand probably, and a reasonable volume balance would therefore be required between each. But controlling the output of low and high reeds using a single air supply and then adding the factor that many people wish to play chordal accompaniment to a single melody line and want that to balance as well......

 

The player needs to adjust and make an arrangement that suits the instrument. You can look at the Duet scores available at www.concertina.com to see what other people have devised.

 

On a FINE concertina there can be a balance, top to bottom ,playing single notes against chords and doing whatever one likes. On an English, of course one needs the left and right to balance as both hands are engaged with melody and /or chords whereas a Duet could be organised in a way that makes the left hand side quieter so the player can use bigger chords... like an accordion. There have been lots of discussions regarding Baffles, how to make and fit them and their usefulness .

 

 

holy crap that was useful. I'm going to look up baffles soon. I haven't decided what direction I'm going in..

 

but wow. I couldn't ask for a better answer

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I struggled for a long time with the LHS overpowering the RHS of my Peacock. I tried leather baffles which certainly muted the volume but also made the tone sound muffled.

 

In the end I settled on using some craft foam (EVA/PVA) sheets that you can buy at hobby shops (e.g. Joanne's) or off eBay for not much money. I used 2mm and 3mm sheets and fitted as much as I could without the foam fouling the action. It does not mute the volume as much as leather but neither does it dramatically change the tone of the reeds.

 

I am also learning that less is often more on the LHS - that is to say fewer notes of shorter duration.

Edited by Don Taylor

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"The player needs to adjust and make an arrangement that suits the instrument." Right O.

"fewer notes of shorter duration." that is how I do it on the Anglo and I bet the duet works the same way.

 

Chords and even um-pa rhythmic accompaniment can often be expressed as single low notes. If those notes are played shorter than the melody notes then the melody notes come forward to the listener and so the apparent volume of the melody is increased. The principle of "accompaniment short, melody long" makes the melody louder... regardless of which hand might be pressing the buttons.

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The left-hand side of my Maccann definitely overpowers the treble, but it does depend on the volume you're playing at, and as others have said above; your style of accompaniment :)

 

Doing full 3 note chords in the bass can certainly cause difficulties if you're playing up high on the treble side, but I've gotten better at allowing for this over the past year. The balance evens out a bit more at higher volumes, I usually play with the bass-end pointed away from other people, and doing different accompaniments such as harmony lines or arpeggios certainly helps.

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Some of this has been covered recently in another topic on baffles. See posts 10 and 11 in particular:

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=19695

 

Very briefly, if the reeds are set up to all start speaking at the same pressure there shouldn't be a problem with balance. Also, you're probably the only one that perceives the imbalance anyway!

 

Apart from duets, there are thousands of people play anglos in the duet style and probably hundreds who do likewise with the English system. Do any of them complain about the imbalance? Is an imbalance evident in the recordings of, say, John Kirkpatrick, Brian Peters, Steve Turner or Dave Townsend?

 

Take a listen to the two recordings in posts 1 and 3 of this recent topic:

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=19791

 

Lots of sustained bass chords but the treble doesn't get lost. Some of this might be down to technique, but I suspect it's mostly down to John Watcham, like the others above, playing a very well set-up instrument.

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