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looking for any bass concertina that goes down to F1 or lower.


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nope i'm sure I mean F1. Bernard Wrigleys bass concertina goes down to F1.  

When I was a student in Leicester (1977-1980) I had the chance to buy a bass concertina I'd seen in a junk shop.  I'd been playing concertina maybe 6 months by then and I didn't really appreciate the

Steve,   I suggest you include a system of counterweights and pulleys to operate the bellows!

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The lowest note on the Bass clef is G, to be more precise G2 (just under 98Hz). The G bass is the lowest instrument of the range of English Concertinas, two octaves bellow the treble instrument. As with all English systems it is possible to tune the G# down to the F natural below, although on big reed instruments this is not always successful. This down tune would be to F2 (87.3hz), you would need a full octave lower to get to F1. (43.65hz).

 

I have heard of contrabass concertinas but never seen one, just bigger Bass concertinas yielding more power and improved tone. There are two ranges of Bass concertina, the C Bass which only goes as far down as the low 'C' on the Left hand side, and the 'G' Bass which goes down to the full two octave compass below the treble. Some people seem to refer to the 'G' bass as a contrabass. Given the size of the 'G' reed and the amount of air to power it, I doubt that anything over an octave lower than the 'G' bass would be practicable. You are into Harmonium ranges at F1. Bass instruments are more usually single action to reduce weight and eliminate valve issues, they are often less than 48 keys to ensure  that the size remains manageable. I shudder to think what the weight of an instrument going down to F1 would be.  I hope I am wrong, or you have your octave numbers mixed up, but I do doubt if you are going to successful.

 

 

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I sold a 20 key anglo bass that went down to C1 , the bottom reed was a harmonium reed from a maker in Paris. When starting to play the box vibrated before you actuallyheard the note! I have never seen a concertina to go that low and still be playable and then only at a pedestrian speed.

Mike

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23 hours ago, alex_holden said:

You could maybe get an English concertina MIDI controller, then configure it to transpose down (and hook it up to an amp with a subwoofer).

 

I have a guitar playing friend who has an octave pedal that plays the guitar an octave lower than sounded.   I see no reason why it wouldn't work with a concertina, but you would of course require a pickup, amp and speaker.

 

Some examples here

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23 hours ago, alex_holden said:

You could maybe get an English concertina MIDI controller, then configure it to transpose down (and hook it up to an amp with a subwoofer).

 

My midi concertina https://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_30566_midi/lachenal_30566_midi.html has octave transpose built in for four octaves using the buttons of the instrument - select the channel and say one octave down for cello, or two octaves down for double bass territory. You however seem to want an octave lower than that? You could then tell the synthesizer software (running on iPad) to transpose further down, although you would need a big speaker also!

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4 minutes ago, Paul_Hardy said:

 

My midi concertina https://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_30566_midi/lachenal_30566_midi.html has octave transpose built in for four octaves using the buttons of the instrument - select the channel and say one octave down for cello, or two octaves down for double bass territory. You however seem to want an octave lower than that? You could then tell the synthesizer software (running on iPad) to transpose further down, although you would need a big speaker also!

 

I'm guessing you'd also need to experiment with sound fonts to find one that doesn't sound terrible at that low of a pitch.

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5 hours ago, Theo said:

 

I have a guitar playing friend who has an octave pedal that plays the guitar an octave lower than sounded.   I see no reason why it wouldn't work with a concertina, but you would of course require a pickup, amp and speaker.

 

Some examples here

Two different types of pickups for guitar, the standard Fender type ones that work when they are near a metal string (or anything metallic/ferrous material) that vibrates and then there are the microphone types. The microphone type which would probably be used for concertina might not work so well because it can pick up lots of other frequencies.

 

I guess you could fit a 48 button concertina with 48 magnetic coil pickups each operated by the movement of each individual reed. It would be a cleaner sound in some ways though that’s a lot of wiring! And how to access the inner reeds, that’s another issue :) 

-and they’d all have to be individually adjustable.

Though on a 20b it would be simpler and you could probably go really Alice Cooper on it.

 

The advantage of this setup would be a lot more control of the final output, for example bellows pumping would greatly affect sound, and the concertina would play clean electric only when the bellows are being used, whereas I believe a midi operated concertina operates simply by pushing a button.

Haven’t got a vid link but someone must have tried this already...

 

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On 2/15/2021 at 12:56 PM, simon ds said:

... bellows pumping would greatly affect sound, the concertina would play clean electric only when the bellows are being used, whereas I believe a midi operated concertina operates simply by pushing a button.

 

Most midi concertinas have a pressure sensor to determine movement of the bellows, or replace the bellows by a spring sensor system. This is so that you can both vary volume by bellows pressure, and also separate notes by bellows waggle, without removing finger from button. So midi instruments are quite capable in that way.

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With the risk of advocating electronic instruments.. something I wouldn't dare ordinarily do 😉.. I think the results organists manage to achieve with Hauptwerk software can be  unbelievably good.

 

I am sure it wouldn't take much to knock up a program which will take these midi inputs and pass them through a high-res sample bank rather than a synthesizer. More of a curiosity than a serious instrument, maybe, but it would be great to have some real sample sets of various real instruments to mess around with. They could even have multiple samples for the same note, taken at different volumes to mimic a more natural tonal response. Change temperaments at the flick of a switch, try out really whacky ones.

 

Just a thought. Sorry if I'm only barely on-topic!

 

Jimmy

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On 2/14/2021 at 12:26 PM, SteveS said:

I've been thinking for many years to build myself a low bass using harmonium reeds.  

I'll put my thinking cap on.......

 

I've got a box with a full set of harmonium reeds here, including some pretty giant ones! If you (or anyone else) fancies a go with them, get in touch!

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On 2/14/2021 at 4:53 AM, d.elliott said:

The lowest note on the Bass clef is G, to be more precise G2 (just under 98Hz). The G bass is the lowest instrument of the range of English Concertinas, two octaves bellow the treble instrument. As with all English systems it is possible to tune the G# down to the F natural below, although on big reed instruments this is not always successful. This down tune would be to F2 (87.3hz), you would need a full octave lower to get to F1. (43.65hz).

 

I have heard of contrabass concertinas but never seen one, just bigger Bass concertinas yielding more power and improved tone. There are two ranges of Bass concertina, the C Bass which only goes as far down as the low 'C' on the Left hand side, and the 'G' Bass which goes down to the full two octave compass below the treble. Some people seem to refer to the 'G' bass as a contrabass. Given the size of the 'G' reed and the amount of air to power it, I doubt that anything over an octave lower than the 'G' bass would be practicable. You are into Harmonium ranges at F1. Bass instruments are more usually single action to reduce weight and eliminate valve issues, they are often less than 48 keys to ensure  that the size remains manageable. I shudder to think what the weight of an instrument going down to F1 would be.  I hope I am wrong, or you have your octave numbers mixed up, but I do doubt if you are going to successful.

 

 

nope i'm sure I mean F1.

Bernard Wrigleys bass concertina goes down to F1.

 

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