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Does anyone know who made Bill Whaley's Midi concertina, I've seen him play it and it gets a mention on

http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/webrevs/bilda003.htm

 

I put together a MIDI melodeon some 10 years ago with Hall effect switches. A real problem as you say was with drift in the pressure sensor amp. In the end I put in a small two way pressure switch, centre off, which automatically zeroed the pressure sensor when it was in the off poition. I think the prototype is somewhere in the loft, it never got any further.

 

However, much better than MIDI (IMHO) is the fully modelled system used by Roland in their Virtual Accordion. Now if we could have bellows and button articulation in the same way, that would be a Virtual Concertina worth having.

 

Howard Mitchell

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I'm sure that Louis Lachenal would have been fascinated, indeed he would probably have already brought out a MIDI model himself, were he alive today, and I'm sure that he would have embraced CNC/laser production too.

 

Interestingly, his great grandson Bill La Chenal followed in his footsteps by building a tone generator, played by Dave Stewart on the album "Egg" in 1970, and has become quite a computer wizard since.

I was almost sure that Louis Lachenal would have turned in his grave..... however, my claim... 'first Lachenal MIDI' is a light hearted one while remaining true at the same time?

Louis Lachenal was certainly no "stick-in-the-mud", in fact he was a highly-skilled engineer who used "cutting-edge" technology to revolutionise concertina making.

 

I'm sure that a walk with him around the Machinery Court at the Great Exhibition of 1851 would have proved most revealing, he would have been in his element examining all the latest ideas. As indeed was Prince Albert :

 

post-436-1113332186_thumb.jpg

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's visit to the machinery department of the Great Exhibition.

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Ok it works!

 

The concertina is now fully operational and I am in the final stages of tidying up the exterior. As you can see below, the pressure transducer board is in position and restrictors are in place (cardboard circles).

Before drilling a tiny hole in these I just want the whole thing air tight and have been re-covering the bellows folds. When it's 'solid' I will drill it!

The bellows are good enough however to allow full testing of the pressure transducer an all I can say is...... works fine, the harder you push or pull the louder it gets and you get nothing if you dont do either. The most noticeable aspect of this is that the note DOES NOT GO FLAT under heavy pressure!

Great fun with orchestral sounds, nothing to full volume in a flash, very quick action.

 

post-623-1113413188_thumb.jpg

 

Sorry no video yet but wont be long.

 

Cheers

Roy

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Interestingly, his great grandson Bill La Chenal followed in his footsteps by building a tone generator, played by Dave Stewart on the album "Egg" in 1970, and has become quite a computer wizard since.

Now where else could you go to find fascinating nuggets of information like this? Magic! Totally!

 

Roy, if this all works (and it sounds very much as though you've got the whole business well under lock and key, I must say) do you have any future plans for further conversions? I should imagine anglos would be easier. I do like the idea of taking otherwise unplayable instruments and recycling them in this way. Is this something I should mention in the FAQ?

 

Chris

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Roy, if this all works (and it sounds very much as though you've got the whole business well under lock and key, I must say) do you have any future plans for further conversions? I should imagine anglos would be easier. I do like the idea of taking otherwise unplayable instruments and recycling them in this way. Is this something I should mention in the FAQ?

 

Chris

 

Thanks Chris I will contact you regarding the FAQ.

Today I have concentrated on the external appearance, the belows have new papers and I have opened up the holes and bushed all the buttons to improve the feel.

 

post-623-1113495961_thumb.jpg

 

John Nixon is going to try it out a week tomorrow and I'm taking it to Hobgoblin in Manchester on Tuesday or Wednesday next week to show Ken Thompson.

 

If anyone is interested in a similar English or Anglo restoration/MIDI then please give me a call.

 

Thanks for your interest, its been a busy week.

 

REGARDS

 

Roy Whiteley

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The bellows are good enough however to allow full testing of the pressure transducer an all I can say is...... works fine, the harder you push or pull the louder it gets and you get nothing if you dont do either.

If I understand this correctly, pushing or pulling the bellows controls volume, but doesn't move the bellows at all. Yes? That might take a little getting used to, though an obvious advantage would be that I'd never run out of bellows. In fact, with an English or duet keyboard, I'd never need to reverse the bellows.

 

My MIDI "piano" came with a volume control that I can blow into. I believe it registers air flow, rather than pressure. (It may well measure the flow through the Bernoulli effect on pressure sensors, but that's a detail.) Using two of those -- for flow in opposite directions -- could give the volume control, push-pull separation, and bellows movement. I suppose it would become a matter of personal taste whether to prefer that or the non-moving bellows.

 

I'm very interested, though for the moment I'll wait for further developments. If/when you develop a set of MIDI programming controls that fit on the end of the instrument, I may have a Crane duet for you to convert. :)

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If I understand this correctly, pushing or pulling the bellows controls volume, but doesn't move the bellows at all.  Yes?  That might take a little getting used to, though an obvious advantage would be that I'd never run out of bellows.  In fact, with an English or duet keyboard, I'd never need to reverse the bellows.

 

My MIDI "piano" came with a volume control that I can blow into.  I believe it registers air flow, rather than pressure.  (It may well measure the flow through the Bernoulli effect on pressure sensors, but that's a detail.)  Using two of those -- for flow in opposite directions -- could give the volume control, push-pull separation, and bellows movement.  I suppose it would become a matter of personal taste whether to prefer that or the non-moving bellows.

 

I'm very interested, though for the moment I'll wait for further developments.  If/when you develop a set of MIDI programming controls that fit on the end of the instrument, I may have a Crane duet for you to convert. :)

 

No Jim. I know I may have made it little unclear but the bellows DO MOVE. The pads in this instrument open as per normal and instead of allowing air to flow through a reed, it simply flows through a tiny hole. The more keys pressed, the more air flows as normal.

Because the flow is small, air pressure EITHER increases OR decreases within the bellows and can be measured with a SINGLE transducer. The Bernoulli effect is not applicable, we must measure PRESSURE NOT FLOW and it is perfectly possible to determine bellows direction AND effort in this way.

I have been designing electronic equipment for over 20 years and graduated 1983 in electrical and electronic engineering. I was principal engineer for a robotics company for 13 years and I do actually have a couple of claims to fame including working on Concorde after the Paris air disaster. Go to my website www.accordionmagic.com and click on my name for some other stuff.

MIDI accordions and melodeons AND concertinas are relatively easy stuff electronically but I think I have the advantage over other electronics engineers in that I have a major interest in and can also re-build the things. You would be amazed how many engineers cannot hold a screwdriver!!, there are not many PEOPLE who can turn a button from nickel silver and almost NONE who can french polish with any degree of confidence.

If you want MIDI buttons to control ANY aspect of MIDI then just ask.

 

If anyone would like to see anything extra on this concertina the please mention it. I have to get back to my normal stuff but am prepared to show what can be achieved if you ask.

 

Regards

 

Roy Whiteley

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I know I may have made it little unclear but the bellows DO MOVE. The pads in this instrument open as per normal and instead of allowing air to flow through a reed, it simply flows through a tiny hole. The more keys pressed, the more air flows as normal.

Ah, that's what I missed. The bit about the little holes.

 

Because the flow is small, air pressure EITHER increases OR decreases within the bellows and can be measured with a SINGLE transducer.The Bernoulli effect is not applicable, we must measure PRESSURE NOT FLOW and it is perfectly possible to determine bellows direction AND effort in this way.

That I understood, except I thought were simply measuring increase or decrease of pressure (relative to a "resting" state) due to pushing or pulling on an enclosed space. My other description was intended as an alternate design, not an attempt to explain what you have done. I think I see the advantages to your design.

 

If you want MIDI buttons to control ANY aspect of MIDI then just ask.

Once I get my budget back under control, I will. :)

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Hello all,

Just to let you know that I had the very great pleasure of spending a few hours with John Nixon playing my own MIDI concertina yesterday. He was genuinely pleased with the instrument and particularly with the bellows response.

 

I have a small 20 second video of john playing it if you would like me to email it to you (its about 2Meg long). Just let me know.

 

I have decided to offer the conversion to anyone who is interested.

Price for full (production quality) conversion of ANYTHING will be considered and the price will be based on £150 for the MIDI controller plus £10 per key.

 

e.g.

20 key Anglo, £150+£200= £350

26 key Anglo, £150+£260= £410

30 key Anglo, £150+£300= £450

 

48 key Anglo, £150+£480= £630

 

I'll do the conversion for less on a German model.

Duets, Chemnitzers, Bandoneons ALL possible. If it needs cleaning or fixing up first then I'll price to do that as well.

 

All that you need then is a MIDI compatible keyboard for a complete starter system or a suitable expander and amplifier for the more advanced user.

 

Suitable keyboard prices range from £150+

Expanders are more expensive at £500+

Amplifiers from £50+

 

Dont forget, I've been converting accordions for a few years now and I'm glad to say have never had one returned!, I also developed a full speed radio system for MIDI two years ago but this is no longer available....... as soon as you get a band to transmit on legislation changes and the next thing you know is that car key fobs interfere with it, just not worth the hassle. Cable works fine unless you want to walk around the audience and its a lot more reliable.

 

ANY combination of voice change switches, 'all notes off', octave switching and even key (C/G, D/G etc) switching can be incorporated. If you want to select the MIDI channel also then no problem.

 

Regards

Roy Whiteley

Accordion Magic Ltd

www.accordionmagic.com

 

P.S. the site is being moved to a new server and updated with the above included shortly.

 

Interesting units from concertina connection, nice one CA! .........

thought it had gone a bit quiet.

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Hello all,

Ive decided to enhance the first MIDI Lachenal with a few features normally associated with the accordion world!! NO dont panic, just functions not sounds.

 

I'm going to add 2 more MIDI channels and allow the player to vary the volume of each from the instrument. i.e. 3 channels in all, each with its own master volume!, bellows then controlling expression. i.e. 0-100% of the 3 volumes set.

 

3 channel voice selection will be added to the instrument, voice selected using the normal (playing) keys, i.e 48 voices.

 

So in summary I wil add 3 potentiometers (knobs to you lot) and 3 pushbuttons so that you can vary the master volume of, AND change the voice of 3 instruments.

 

Octave switching I will leave to the expander, if you want a violin down 3 octaves then select a flippin cello or double bass or whatever it is?.

If you insist on a piccolo double bass or a treble tuba then I will add the controls!

 

Watch this space over the next couple of days!

 

Regards

 

Roy Whiteley.

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If you really want to go crazy with experimental features, you can get some kind of solid state gyro (like hobbyists use in radio control airplanes/helicopters), and install them on the ends to measure the instrument's orientation.

 

This way the player can tilt one end upward or downward while playing, and that effect can be converted to something.

 

Then again, I don't know how cheap those gyros really are.

 

Caj

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If you really want to go crazy with experimental features, you can get some kind of solid state gyro (like hobbyists use in radio control airplanes/helicopters), and install them on the ends to measure the instrument's orientation.   

This way the player can tilt one end upward or downward while playing, and that effect can be converted to something.

Since I already do that (and other movements) while playing, the results might be interesting, but not necessarily what I would want. Or else I would have to seriously constrain/restrain the use of my body in adding expression to my music. (I think this also relates to another recent Topic, which I'm in too much of a hurry to locate right now.)

 

Meanwhile, those who play seated, with their instrument braced againsst their leg in a fixed orientation, might have trouble utiliizing such a feature.

 

Interesting idea, though.

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Actually what I'd like to see would be a split point so up to a given note it sends on one channel and above that it sends on a different channel. If on an anglo or duet you play melody on the right hand and accompaniment on the left, you could then assign different instruments to each hand. Wouldn't that be nifty! (Note to Wim Wakker, too).

 

Chris

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Actually what I'd like to see would be a split point so up to a given note it sends on one channel and above that it sends on a different channel. If on an anglo or duet you play melody on the right hand and accompaniment on the left, you could then assign different instruments to each hand. Wouldn't that be nifty! (Note to Wim Wakker, too).

Good idea Chris, it sounds a lot like what you can do with the stops on a pipe organ, harmonium, or (dare I say :unsure: ?) electronic organ. Though the "split point" might need to be variable, depending on what you are playing ? :huh:

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...Octave switching I will leave to the expander, if you want a violin down 3 octaves then select a flippin cello or double bass or whatever it is?.

If you insist on a piccolo double bass or a treble tuba then I will add the controls!

...

Roy Whiteley.

 

If the controller sends the same note numbers, it doesn't matter which voice is selected on the expander. The same pitch will result no matter which voice is selected. It would be useful to able to transpose the whole instrument up or down an octave (or 2) and also when transmitting on two channels, to have them in different octaves to give a double reed effect.

 

Also for a decent expander, the voices for the different instruments in a family are not the same so transposing a violin down doesn't produce a double bass.

 

Howard Mitchell

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If on an anglo or duet you play melody on the right hand and accompaniment on the left, you could then assign different instruments to each hand. Wouldn't that be nifty!
It would be pretty weird on an English, though. :unsure:

Then it's definitely worth a try! :D

 

Might be interesting to try composing tunes to take "good" advantage of such an effect. I think of some of the things Wendy (bellowbelle) has described in the past.

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