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And if you have a car, go out in that from time to time and practise in a quiet country lane with a view out over the valley and the sun setting over the distant hills. That's what I do.

I do that during my lunch break from work. No sunsets, but just right now newborn lambs bouncing around everywhere.

 

Bob Copper used to tell how his wife would complain about the noise when he was teaching himself concertina, so he used a pair of trousers to deaden the sound. He stuck an arm down each leg and wrapped the concertina in the, er, main bit of the trousers.

 

Chris

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I live in a small flat and wondered if there's any way i can make my concertina sound quieter?

 

Any ideas?

 

:huh:

 

When I go to sessions, I have difficulty making myself heard! I always practice at home and despite having a steel-reeded concertina with metal ends, provided I don't give the bellows too much wellie, I can play into the wee small hours without sounding any louder than your average radio or TV and disturbing the neighbours next door or even my lodger in the next room. You could, of course, play 'air' concertina. Going out into the countryside to play, or a to a local park or open space, is weather and daylight dependent and nice to do but cheating, if you live in a small flat and simply want to play at home. Alternatively, you could invest in a midi concertina and listen in to your playing via headphones, eh, Chris? The neighbours must be grateful that I don't play the bagpipes, or the melodeon even.

 

Chris

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Bob Copper used to tell how his wife would complain about the noise when he was teaching himself concertina, so he used a pair of trousers to deaden the sound. He stuck an arm down each leg and wrapped the concertina in the, er, main bit of the trousers.

 

Imagine, the sight of Bob Copper in his undies, his trousers wrapped instead around his concertina to deaden the sound while practising, so his wife wouldn't complain about the noise! That would make a good Youtube video. ;) Any volunteers? And no nobbly knees please.

 

Chris

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Old trousers aside, make sure you cultivate your neighbours; my experience is that (for example) when people know that the angle grinder they hear is being wielded by that nice car enthusiast next door who would be very upset if he thought it was disturbing them, they can put up with a noise that might be really irritating coming from the unknown. Get to know them, show them the concertina, invite them to tell you if it disturbs them, and get them interested and kindly disposed.

 

As Chris says, you can be more of a menace with the TV or a stereo; remember that fact, it helps to prevent paranoia.

 

You have to train them; you get them AND YOUR FAMILY used to it so they don't think about it. Play it quietly and moderately to start, you can build up to pumping hard with all the windows open later....

 

Finally, get a pair of old cords if it's that or not practice. Practice is all.

 

(I wasn't joking about family, they're the worst. I was told recently 'I don't mind you practicing but could you stick to tunes you know?')

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I am very fortunate. My upstairs neighbors just had a little baby girl. They are so concerned about all the noise of the baby over our heads (which will only get worse), that I feel very secure that their tolerance and acceptance for my concertina playing is wide and deep. My wife and I sealed the deal with a cute little child's book as a "welcome to this world" gift.

 

Richard

Edited by richard
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I live in a small flat and wondered if there's any way i can make my concertina sound quieter?
Installing baffles.

Removeable external baffles like those created by Danny (C.net member "Ratface") might be what you want.

(A quick Search here on C.net should find the information.)

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I live in a small flat and wondered if there's any way i can make my concertina sound quieter?
Installing baffles.

Removeable external baffles like those created by Danny (C.net member "Ratface") might be what you want.

(A quick Search here on C.net should find the information.)

 

Nope!

These are only altering the sound, if done correctly (and it's a big question, what is "correctly", but the sound is still loud).

Well, I was making and successfully constructed "Concertina silencer", but fell short of making one for practicing. The need is just not there, I am fortunate to have garage appartment in my house, where, if I close all the doors, the insulation is OK.

So there are two ways:

one is local and one is global.

1.Local:

two rings (that are used for "needle pointing") the size that is slightly bigger than radius of your concertina.

Then heavy vynil about a yard/half wide and long enough to be able to wrap around the rings.

Then wrap it around and fasten with upper part of the rings, leaving long "sleeves on both sides.

Punch holes in the opening parts of the sleeves and thread a long and thin piece of leather.

Put your concertina in, stick one arm in and tighten the sleeve, then put another arm in and tighten the sleeve.

Your concertina will sound wa-ay quieter and rather nice, like muffled clarinet. It'll be heard All right, but the piercing edge will be taken off, and people will be less annoyed.

To those humorous dudes, who will jump at the opportunity to joke about tightening the sleeves with arms inside: if you make leather threads long enough, so they reach the floor, you can tighten them by stepping on them and pulling sleeves up.

The hands get sweaty though, so you need to practice with breaks and letting the instrument out briefly.

It was fun project, I still have the vynil laying around somewhere.

2. Global:

Build a booth.

Put heavy thick rubber mat on the floor, some 2 yards in diameter.

Make circular rack out of some heavy plastic tubing and hang heavy draperies around it, so they overlap, and the bottom part reaches the floor.

On top place same draperies, cut in circle or square, so it makes a roof. Like a tent.

Go inside and play away.

Again, people will hear you, but muffled and a bit rounder and nicer.

I think you'll get sweaty and will need to crawl out frequently.

 

Or.

Buy a MIDI instrument. To avoid paying too much, buy a Rochelle or Jackie and send them to Bolgaria, to that guy, forgot his name, and he'll MIDIfy it for some $500.

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These are only altering the sound, if done correctly (and it's a big question, what is "correctly", but the sound is still loud).

 

I fitted internal leather baffles (as described on the C.net site) to my Jack and they've reduced the volume considerably. I can even feel the extra resistance.

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My approach was to buy a very early Wheatstone tutor with brass reeds. It's the quietest concertina I've ever encountered. Very sweet tone, too. One might be cheaper than a sound booth.

 

 

If its a large pro sound booth, then the concertina could be cheaper. I priced ready made booths, and for the size I wanted they were quite expensive. However, voice over booths are much smaller and thus cheaper, though you may find your self a bit cramped.

 

If you only need a little quieting (a 10db reduction equates to a human perception of half as loud) you might be able to get away with a rubber maid garden shed or as M3838 suggetsed some nice heavy curtains.

 

I will be be starting a seperate thread on the booth I'm building once I have a few more pictures.

 

For Concertina I had thought of building a small plexiglass rectangular box with arm inserts on each end, like a chemists isolation chamber, you could see the concertina inside, there would be plenty of air internally to push/pull, plus you would have movement room of the box. (You could possibly use clear flexible vinyl and make a see through bag)

 

You might look and feel a bit foolish with an aquarium on your lap, but then again if youve gone this far and actaully own a concertina....

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Aquarium is an interesting idea, but there is a problem of holding.

Inside soft bag concertina can be placed on your knee (with the bag), or if it touches the bag - iit's safe.

When inside of hard plexyglass box, you have to be very careful not to touch the walls, but it's impossible, so you are in danger of damaging the polish, the corners ans what not.

A garden shed is attractive option, but I think it will cost from $300 to $500, no?

Is there room inside for adult to sit? I will have to look into it.

Hmm. A little toy house for concertina, sounds mighty attractive.

Nobody walks into my Concertina's house! I'll have it nicely arranged, with carpet and a tiny TV and tiny Stereo, and pictures of various concertinas, old and new.

Next thing I'll new is my wife calling the doctors.

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Hi,

 

Living half a mile from the nearest neighbours, and having a concertina tolerant wife, I do not suffer from your problem.

 

The most attractive (and expensive) solution is to buy a top quality concertina. A good instrument with well made and set reeds can be played very quietly but can be 'wound up' to full volume when the circumstances permit.

 

A top instrument should be capable of being played at every level from 'quiet as a church mouse' right through to levels that are likely to result in noise induced hearing loss. A good long scale reeded wheatstone is particularly suitable for quiet responsive playing. I have a Linota that so sensitive that it can sustain a mid range note played quietly for up to two and a half minutes on one 'lungful' yet, when you open the throttle a bit, produces more than sufficient volume to serve, unamplified, as the sole instrument for dancing at an outdoor ceilidh.

 

By all means, try fitting baffles or making some sort of indoor or outdoor booth/shed structure to sit in, but personally, I think that anything that wraps around the instrument would prove unwieldy and would only serve to increase frustration levels and take the fun out of it.

 

Regards

 

Dave

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Hi,

 

Living half a mile from the nearest neighbours, and having a concertina tolerant wife, I do not suffer from your problem.

 

The most attractive (and expensive) solution is to buy a top quality concertina. A good instrument with well made and set reeds can be played very quietly but can be 'wound up' to full volume when the circumstances permit.

 

A top instrument should be capable of being played at every level from 'quiet as a church mouse' right through to levels that are likely to result in noise induced hearing loss. A good long scale reeded wheatstone is particularly suitable for quiet responsive playing. I have a Linota that so sensitive that it can sustain a mid range note played quietly for up to two and a half minutes on one 'lungful' yet, when you open the throttle a bit, produces more than sufficient volume to serve, unamplified, as the sole instrument for dancing at an outdoor ceilidh.

 

By all means, try fitting baffles or making some sort of indoor or outdoor booth/shed structure to sit in, but personally, I think that anything that wraps around the instrument would prove unwieldy and would only serve to increase frustration levels and take the fun out of it.

 

Regards

 

Dave

 

$8000 equals of one nice concertina.

Or two Hawai'i vacations for 3 weeks.

Or one Hawai'i vacation for 4 weeks and one nice midrange instrument.

But you are right, and the benefit, besides having a nice instrument, is that after initial wife shocking, marriage shaking, kids crying payment you are in the club of very nice instruments. You can exchange them, with very good trade-in value. It's like buying luxury car. From that moment on, with only moderate installments, you are "sentenced" to spend your life driving luxury cars.

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is that after initial wife shocking, marriage shaking, kids crying payment you are in the club of very nice instruments. You can exchange them, with very good trade-in value. I

Do you exchange them as a package or does the wife go to one place and the kids to another?

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