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Rich C R

What can be done to reduce the volume when playing at home?

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Thanks to all for your helpful replies.    Since posting, I have acquired another EC and find with this one I can play quieter, seems to have better control of the reeds they can be played loud, soft or in between and maybe I am finding bellow control easier.

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I suggest that you look for a YouTube version of a tune in the correct key. 

[...] The Mist Covered Mountain is one example.

 

 

As an aside, you have to wonder though, what''s the correct key? Junior Crehan, who composed the tune, used to play it in both Gdor and Ador and Paddy Glackin played it quite nicely in Edor in a documentary on Junior's life and music recently (still up on the TG4 player)

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I said key, but pitch is probably the correct idea. I play along with YouTube music that in in tune with my Morse Anglo. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 8:01 PM, Mikefule said:

When I used to live in a small mid terraced house, I used to drive to a quiet layby overlooking the river and practise in (or near, depending on the weather) the car.

Oh yes, practising in the car was also my answer to this question as I lived in a flat and with a concertina it went quite well 😉 

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I am happy to report that my latest instrument can be played quietly, so it is no longer a problem.

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Put a duvet over it on your lap.  As long as the room you’re in is cool enough.  I’ve been doing it for years.

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I have a 58 key Edeophone with radial mini f shaped fretwork, it has internal slides which reduces volume and alters the tone. It has a rivetted action and  a Low F and F# 6 fold bellows. One of the original bowing valves is no longer fitted(on the left side)

Mike acott

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1 hour ago, Mike Acott said:

I have a 58 key Edeophone with radial mini f shaped fretwork, it has internal slides which reduces volume and alters the tone. It has a rivetted action and  a Low F and F# 6 fold bellows. One of the original bowing valves is no longer fitted(on the left side)

 

Hi Mike, I would be interested to see pictures of that.

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1 hour ago, Mike Acott said:

I have a 58 key Edeophone with radial mini f shaped fretwork, it has internal slides which reduces volume and alters the tone. It has a rivetted action and  a Low F and F# 6 fold bellows. One of the original bowing valves is no longer fitted(on the left side)

Mike acott

 

Would be interested to see how that works...  Alas, I have no idea what a 'bowing' valve is..

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On 1/3/2019 at 7:10 AM, Geoff Wooff said:

 

I did try baffles  on  a  Duet  where  the amount of  notes  I wanted to play , as chords, on the left side  were  too  loud  for the single melody lines on the right.  I have also  experimented with  accordion  baffles  in a similar  way.  It is often seen  that  accordion players  remove the right hand grill  to  obtain  the maximum  output...  Stands to reason that Baffles do work  Fane... you'll just need to be  more assertive  with their use.  Thicker  cloth or  foam  and cover all the fretwork.

My "new" 46 Key Lachenal Maccann Duet arrived in the mail yesterday.  It's got Rosewood ends and metal buttons.  It has a beautiful tone, perfectly tuned and plays well with one exception.  Like the Duet you mention above, the chords on the left side are too loud for the single melody lines played on the right.  So...I was curious to know how  your duet-baffles experiment worked out, and did it cure your problem of the bass side overpowering the treble melody side without creating new problems?  I've noticed most on this forum talk about concertinas with metal framework, and mine does not have metal ends.  So I'd love to know if the accordion baffles did the trick, and if they'd work for a Duet that does have a metal framework.  Thanks.

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Indeed  Dee746,

 

 the experiment  worked well  but in the end I  decided to  modify  the  way  I  played  and  found a better balanced  instrument.  I  think  one problem for me  was  that  coming from the English  I  was so  used to  a  volume /tone balance    equality.  Well  it  was  some years  ago  and I  do not recall  exactly why  a  gave up on the baffling  BUT  if  you go  to  www.concertina.com  and    put  'baffles'  into the search box  at the top right... it will take you to    Robert Gaskins'  "Baffles for Maccann  Duet  Concertinas".  This is a comprehensive  guide to the subject.

 

For my part  if  you  wish to hear  how I  got on  without  baffles  you could  go to  www.soundcloud.com     and search  'Geoff Wooff'.  There you'll find  three  recordings made for  the  Tune of the  Month  forum:   Josephins Dopvals  and  ITMduet3   are  played on a 46 key  Hayden  with wooden ends  and  La Luna dins L'aiga  on a  57 key  metal ended  Maccann.  A  function of making these recordings  with the microphone  positioned  off centre to favour the  right hand  end  is  to  give a better balance.

 

Good luck.

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I found that playing with the left hand side of the concertina close to a wall, and right side with lots of space, made the left side sound louder.  Moving to a different place in the room helped.

 

I did try various baffle materials but found that most made the sound a bit muffled.  The least sound affecting was some simple EVA foam sheet from a hobby shop.  Unfortunately, there is not really enough space inside the ends for more than maybe 2mm of foam.  This helps a bit but I have learned to live with the more dominant sound from the LHS and to realise it is much more obvious to the player than it is to a listener.

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Another thing would be (as always): exploring possibilities in the playing of the instrument; I tried to include another harmony note (rather a drone) in the playing on the RHS of  my Crane (two notes on the RHS, two to three notes on the LHS), which is of course easier with larger Duets. My experience is limited though, because at a certain point the Anglo was more tempting, but I'm determined to come back to the Crane shortly and would love to keep you updated.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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For quiet play I use a reasonable grade brass reeded instrument, Messing about with baffles is good, but it's not want you want to be doing on your main instrument every time you want to learn a new tune or play your scales.

 

Daev

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1 hour ago, d.elliott said:

For quiet play I use a reasonable grade brass reeded instrument

 

a brass-reeded George Case - as far as the EC is concerned - might be perfect for this purpose, as it can be very quiet!

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On 6/5/2019 at 10:34 AM, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

a brass-reeded George Case - as far as the EC is concerned - might be perfect for this purpose, as it can be very quiet!

 

I second that. My favourite round-the-house concertina these days is my George Case brass-reeded English (http://www.pghardy.net/concertina/case_2760/case_2760.html). It sits out on my desk (with bellows closed, of course!), to pick up and play at any time I pass.

 

It took over from my previous house favourite, a Wheatstone brass-reeded tutor (http://www.pghardy.net/concertina/wheatstone_8461/wheatstone.html).

 

I wouldn't play either of them in a group with other instruments, or outdoors, but they are great indoors solo instruments.

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On 1/1/2019 at 4:51 PM, mdarnton said:

My metal-end Lachanel was too strident for my taste. Since I play a lot of harmony, upper partials of the various notes were clashing in bad ways and I was bothered by a slightly different quality in some notes. As a test, I decided to put in baffles such as came in many old instruments. I bought thin dense foam, about 1mm thick in a craft store. I think the real use is to cut up pieces and layer them to build things like Christmas ornaments--this type of thing:   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/421368108856837725/?lp=true

 

I cut pieces that fit loosely (1.5mm all around the edges, casually around the keypad) and fastened them in to the underside of the metal ends with double stick tape. If I were to do it again, I might go tight at the edges, loose in the middle, far away from the pads. 

 

Anyway, the result was a very slight drop in volume, but a much nicer tone that people around me didn't mind listening to. I didn't lose a bit of dynamic range, just the uncomfortable harshness that seemed to penetrate throughout the house and irritate those around me. 🙂 I wouldn't call the sound mellow at all--just "right" and very clean.

 

It might be worth a try. Or you might cut pieces to fit outside, in the same manner, that you could remove when you wanted the normal sound. The foam cost me about a dollar, so it's not a big deal to try it. It's available in black, and is basically invisible. I was hoping for red, but none of the other colors were deep enough to satisfy.

Be very careful when you use foam it eventually breaks down into minute particles that would be a disaster inside a concertina and would block all your reeds.

Al.

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