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When you think about it, many instruments have developed over many hundreds of years; violin, organ, flute, and so on... And concertinas are unusual that they have been designed to exist, in one form or another more with a deliberate scheme in mind. Wheatstone ( although he maybe knew of the Chinese's Sheng, reckoned to be a free reed thing).. seemed to set out to make a new reed instrument, more intentionally. And around similar time, the Anglo range was also being developed... "Free reed mania" really took off from thereon.

I often wonder, though, if it has ever reached any completeness ( as far as build and structure goes)?

I often, for example wouldn't mind if the instruments were made easier to access for repair or renovation, and yet still long screws are fixed into the wood, making it more awkward to service.. I often think that if the tops were hinged ( with finely made hinges).. they could then more readily opened, if needed, and could still be made airtight once closed up again.

That's my own idea of a little innovation.. it is only a thought.. but what do you all ( on net.) Think?

What would you like to see in improvements to concertina design? Outside the tradition ( "because that's the way it always done").. approach?

 

 

 

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There are a lot of innovations out there, but its fairly iterative as the thing that most of us like about these instruments is linked to the tone and style of the best of the vintage period. Things like the use of more stable wood veneers and cleated woods (Dippers), and the use of cast resins or composite materials (Carroll and Kensington) for stability, improvements to the pivot mechanism (Carroll, Edgley) reed design and mounting (Kensington), efficiency in manufacture by utilizing CNC and wire EDM. 3D printing like Jay instruments. The use of high end accordion reeds among all of the hybrid makers. With the light weight and amazingly quick reeds in modern instruments, its hard to find anywhere that improvement is needed, but its interesting to see the minor improvements the best makers make to their instruments over the years. 

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Posted (edited)

Unless there is a huge uptick in interest. It is likely that we will be dealing with any “innovations” being making them cheaper and still decent, concertina connection and other lower end hybrids. And subbing in other materials in place of wood in the midrange.

 

I could easily see midi controller concertinas. And that could easily drive a lot of innovation. But without the economy of scale as far as volumes of production I don’t see that as viable.

 

couple that with the reality that these are acoustic instruments in terms of where they are played and the genre they are deployed in.  I don’t see enough demand from people to “go electric”, or go midi as they need a “Hammond” or moog sound to make them commercially viable.

 

if all of a sudden a  Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks or Snoop Dogg starts recording and touring with a midi concertina player, it’s not likely to get a lot of traction.

 

 

 

Edited by seanc
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5 hours ago, seanc said:

I could easily see midi controller concertinas. And that could easily drive a lot of innovation. But without the economy of scale as far as volumes of production I don’t see that as viable.

 

couple that with the reality that these are acoustic instruments in terms of where they are played and the genre they are deployed in.  I don’t see enough demand from people to “go electric”, or go midi as they need a “Hammond” or moog sound to make them commercially viable.

I am very impressed by the work that Didi is doing on his double Striso prototype configured as a very large Hayden duet.  It does not have bellows but each button has the ability to both change volume and to bend its note.  A single Striso costs about 500 euros/US dollars so the double at about US$1,000 would cost a lot less than a mid-range hybrid concertina and I imagine could be mass produced for considerably less than that.

 

See: https://youtube.com/channel/UCgZQA0NWrSlhziyANH9zzSw

 

and https://www.striso.org/

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6 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

I am very impressed by the work that Didi is doing on his double Striso prototype configured as a very large Hayden duet.  It does not have bellows but each button has the ability to both change volume and to bend its note.  A single Striso costs about 500 euros/US dollars so the double at about US$1,000 would cost a lot less than a mid-range hybrid concertina and I imagine could be mass produced for considerably less than that.

 

See: https://youtube.com/channel/UCgZQA0NWrSlhziyANH9zzSw

 

and https://www.striso.org/


that is pretty cool. And while the layout is Hayden. I think it falls short of calling it a concertina. You’d really need 2 to as a left and right to give some of the ergos. And possibly add some sort of push pull mechanism to provide some sort of dynamics or motion control. 
 

definitely on the right track and cool. But, I’d say short of a midi concertina.

 

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7 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

I am very impressed by the work that Didi is doing on his double Striso prototype configured as a very large Hayden duet.  It does not have bellows but each button has the ability to both change volume and to bend its note.  A single Striso costs about 500 euros/US dollars so the double at about US$1,000 would cost a lot less than a mid-range hybrid concertina and I imagine could be mass produced for considerably less than that.

 

See: https://youtube.com/channel/UCgZQA0NWrSlhziyANH9zzSw

 

and https://www.striso.org/

 

48 minutes ago, seanc said:


that is pretty cool. And while the layout is Hayden. I think it falls short of calling it a concertina. You’d really need 2 to as a left and right to give some of the ergos. And possibly add some sort of push pull mechanism to provide some sort of dynamics or motion control. 
 

definitely on the right track and cool. But, I’d say short of a midi concertina.

 

@seanc, it looks like you haven’t seen what Didie is doing with two of them mounted together.

 

 

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2 hours ago, seanc said:

And possibly add some sort of push pull mechanism to provide some sort of dynamics

You missed the bit where I said:

 

9 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

It does not have bellows but each button has the ability to both change volume and to bend its note

 

The sensitivity of the Striso board allows for an impressive variety of sounds, even from a single key. The tone responds to finger pressure, and subtle left-right and back-forth movement as variations in loudness, pitch and timbre. The keys of the Striso are carefully designed and have a unique feel. The horizontal ridge helps you keep orientation to play in tune, while their flexibility gives you exactly the right amount of haptic feedback.

sensitivity2.gif

There is also a motion sensor in the Striso that can be used to get dynamic effects.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, David Barnert said:

 

 

@seanc, it looks like you haven’t seen what Didie is doing with two of them mounted together.

 

 

You are correct. The link I hit only took me to a single board.

 

I think it is an interesting concept.
But needs a ways to go (imo) before I’d call it a midi concertina. Imo, you really need a bellows component to make it into a midi concertina.

 

I would say the same thing about a midi sax controller if it was lacking the wind/ breath element. Bellows action and bellows control (to me) is the expressiveness heart of the instrument. 
 

I would love to see a modular design. Of a bellows base with all of the electronic guts and cable outs.

Where you could easily swap out ends and systems. A standardized size to allow for many options. Or possibly have a small and large base.

 

For the absolute schizophrenic you could do a crane left and a Hayden right. Or a swap a 37 English for a 55b etc.

 

I think something like this could have a lot of appeal. As the standardized base common to the platform helps with scale and multiple ends lends itself to expansion and add on options. Then you could also have a standard end as well as an optional “higher end” version with all of the after touch, velocity or bend options. Or maybe lit up buttons? Who knows.
 

If it was an open source, people could make and offer different ends, fretwork, button options, etc.. Walker ends, Crabb ends, etc.

 

 

Edited by seanc
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Interesting concept that "midi" instrument; a futuristic addition I believe, but myself I still like the idea of something also more organic ( you don't have to recharge or plug in!

But I enjoyed the playing, and sound was very melodious.

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