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Smitbaas

Developed Midi Concertina

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Dear all,

 

We have many concertina players in my country but the problem is that we have very little material to learn from. Almost no song has been documented and therefore you can only learn to play if somebody teaches you. Well nobody does. You cannot take concertina lessons here.

 

We desperately need a midi concertina with the same feel as the real thing but with midi outputs to document our songs. This would aid us in the struggle against extinction. We could then ask some good players to play the songs and then have it documented.

 

Does anybody know if this has been developed yet? We play the Wheatstone 3 to 3 3/4 row and also the German 2 row (GD or CG)

 

Kind regards,

 

S

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Where are you, S?

If you put the word "midi" in the search function above, you'll find lots of threads with the word

If you go to the Teaching and Learning or the Tunes/Songs discussions (just click on "Discussion Forums" above) you'll find all sorts of references to sites where you can listen and play along. The Recorded Tune Links page is one fine example.

 

Good luck!

 

Allison

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Does anybody know if this has been developed yet? We play the Wheatstone 3 to 3 3/4 row and also the German 2 row (GD or CG)

Let's see... that terminology would put you in South Africa.

 

No such midi concertina on the market right now, as far as I know.

 

What about recording your players? (I already have a couple of private recordings from more than 40 years ago, which are wonderful!) Even better, a video, maybe with a split-screen to show both hands? Midi won't tell which button and bellows direction are being used, and I doubt that it would convey the expressive details nearly as well as the actual recorded sound would.

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I know of one respected company who a few months back believed they were close to producing a MIDI concertina for general sale. As yet they have not made a formal announcement of this, so it would not be fair to name them. However I believe the technical challenges of producing a MIDI concertina are significant, and I would not be surprised if it takes longer than they hope for it to arrive. I greatly look forward to it myself, and would try to be well up the queue for one when it does arrive.

 

There are also a number of pitch-to-MIDI converter software and hardware packages around. I experimented with one once (a PC package called Sound2midi) and it worked as advertised. Unfortunately I did not realise until that time just how staccato my anglo style was until I looked at the music transcriptions that it produced. It got the basic melody alright, but also all the pauses and gaps between the notes. Still, maybe that is what you want.

 

If you don't mind button accordions, there is always the streb eMelodeon.

 

Chris

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If you don't mind button accordions, there is always the streb eMelodeon.

I think not an option.

 

As I understand smitbaas, he(?) isn't looking for a midi instrument to learn to play, but one that experienced anglo players can use to make a record of their already expert playing of 20-, 30- and 38-button anglo concertinas. So it has to have the layout and feel of a real anglo, like a Wheatstone.

 

A century ago, the equivalent would have been a special piano setup to make the punched-paper rolls for player pianos.

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A century ago, the equivalent would have been a special piano setup to make the punched-paper rolls for player pianos.

There used to be punched-paper roll playing concertinas too, called the "Tanzbar" (Dancing Bear), but they were nothing like as sophisticted as some of the player pianos, more like a musicbox.

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...the "Tanzbar" (Dancing Bear)...

"Tanzbär", perhaps. I think "tanzbar", without the umlaut, would mean "danceable". B)

Maybe, but there are lots of "missing umlauts" around these days (even in Germany). Blame it on computer keyboards !

 

On the other hand, could it have been a deliberate play on words at the time ... :unsure:

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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[As I understand smitbaas, he(?) isn't looking for a midi instrument to learn to play, but one that experienced anglo players can use to make a record of their already expert playing of 20-, 30- and 38-button anglo concertinas. 

That's what I thought, but the eMelodeon was too good not to mention. For smitbaas's purposes a pitch-to-midi converter would be better, since the player s/he wants to record can play his own instrument. There is a drawback, though, and only smitbaas can say if it is major. Converters are monophonic, they cannot handle chords :(

 

Chris

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...the "Tanzbar" (Dancing Bear)...

"Tanzbär", perhaps. I think "tanzbar", without the umlaut, would mean "danceable". B)

Maybe, but there are lots of "missing umlauts" around these days (even in Germany). Blame it on computer keyboards !

American domination of the computer industry is more like it.

 

My computer keyboard has æ, ø, and å as single-stroke characters (i.e., keys) right on it, while ä, ö, and ü are each two-stroke (double-key) characters. (ß is a little trickier.) I can even type по-русски, but I need to know where the letters are, since they're not shown on the key caps. :)

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There is a drawback, though, and only smitbaas can say if it is major.

Converters are monophonic, they cannot handle chords  :(

You've heard Zak play. :)

I'd say it's likely to be a major problem. :(

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Hello Smitbaas,

 

Forget about shortcuts if you want to learn to play the Anglo. There are many players in South Africa who would be more than willing to help. If you need references, you can reach me through “Die Boeremusiekgilde”. No virtual- or midi gadget can ever give you the real feel for the instrument. Be prepared to practice a lot. I took the Anglo up less than two years ago and also looked for easy ways. I can assure you there are no shortcuts.

 

Go for it,

 

Flip Delport

Edited by Flip Delport

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As far as I understand was the idea from Smitbaas to use a MIDI concertina to bring tunes played on the instrument to a software e.g. Cakewalk or something and print out the notes. Just to have the notes printed on a sheet without writing them down from what you hear. Could save a lot of work.

With a pitch-to-midi converter this will not work, because it takes only single notes and no chords. And even the single note is not always the right one - the pitch of C is about a C but maybe a D, and thats what you see in your MIDI program on the computer. These converters are not very exact and takes sometimes any you noisy your make (bellow) as a note and gives it a certain pitch. The product you get can be very funny but not very usefull ;)

The only way will be, that the instrument puts out a specific MIDI note-number as soon as you push the button.

In an older message on concertina.net I found an article from Paul Everet about his "MIDI Gadget" - a toy but from the basic idea not so bad. You should find it at http://home.stny.rr.com/Peverett/gadget.html.

And there was Jim Plamondon asking in concertina.net for beta-tester for his "The Thummer" - a MIDI concertina, not so long ago.

Both use the Hayden Duet layout for their ideas.

Greetings from Vienna, Austria

Erich

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American domination of the computer industry is more like it.

 

My computer keyboard has æ, ø, and å as single-stroke characters (i.e., keys) right on it, while ä, ö, and ü are each two-stroke (double-key) characters.  (ß is a little trickier.)  I can even type по-русски, but I need to know where the letters are, since they're not shown on the key caps. :)

For writing in cyrillic, I don't think your keyboard being danish matters.

Pretty much all computers are able to type in different scripts.

On mine I can choose to type in cyrillic either in the russian typewriter arrangement

or a transliterated version. I find the transliterated keyboard проще.

An american keyboard doesn't make it easier, but for things like typing in different

scripts, we're all in the same boat.

p

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So whatever happened with Smitbaas? He hasn't made any additional posts or comments since his original one?

 

Maybe it is just me, but I think the only way a musical tradition can survive and thrive is if there are people who are willing to teach what they have learned. Sure written music can help, but ultimately it can only take one so far. I also find it odd that there would be alot of concertina players but few or none willing to teach. Most musicians I know are usually willing to make a quick dollar by teaching. Some will even teach for free :).

 

--

Bill

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If anyone wants a MIDI concertina then give me a call. I have been converting accordions for a few years now and have dveloped my own hardware and software.

Check out my website www.accordionmagic.com for details of MIDI and my concertina repairs.

English OR Anglo with bellows pressure! is possible.

Did'nt think there was much interest amongst concertina players but no problem.

 

Cheers

 

Roy Whiteley

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