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Discussions => Instrument Makes and Models => Topic started by: Melissa Sinclair on February 21, 2017, 09:24:26 PM

Title: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 21, 2017, 09:24:26 PM
I have a melodeon at work. I have times I could play it, but I do not want to be heard by anyone because a. that is annoying to others. b. it is embarrassing to me. I thought or was hoping there might be a space I could use in the building, but there isn't.

I know there is the Roland...and I asked the seller that posted today (though, my son who is showing interest in learning needs a silent one FOR SURE because he's in an apartment with 3 other people.) But I can't get quite past the sound of the Roland...

There is the Streb, but that is, IMO, like buying a grand piano for a beginning 6 year old. And there is a super long wait, regardless.

Is that it for options of those that can be used with headphones only? I could double or triple my practice time and get some stress relief at work... If you saw my post elsewhere, Last week:

Monday - 7 hours
Tuesday - 8 hours
Wednesday - day off at home
Thursday - 14 hours
Friday - 10 hours (but at home)
Saturday - Day off - so home.
Sunday - work 14 hours.

This week:

Monday - holiday - at home
Tuesday - office 12 hours
Wednesday - day off
Thursday - office 8 hours
Friday - work at home 10 hours
Saturday - day off.
Sunday - office 10 hours.

Every week I have one day a week I have a 10-14 hour day, so I usually work less on another day - like Tuesday or Friday.

I have the Hohner sitting right next to me - at this moment... no way to practice - even with an office with a door - I have work colleagues all around me and you can hear everything even with the doors closed. Even at home... I would practice right in the room with my son and husband - if I could be there and could be "silent".

Are Roland and Streb the only options?
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Edward Jennings on February 21, 2017, 09:41:39 PM
I've an old Hohner without reeds. But you may still get some clack from the unfettled buttons.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 21, 2017, 09:43:47 PM
I've an old Hohner without reeds. But you may still get some clack from the unfettled buttons.

Hmmm... but that is SILENT to you as well, right? I need sound for me. Headphones!
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Ray on February 21, 2017, 09:57:32 PM
Those are pretty much your options for silent playing - there's a Limex solution knocking about but I've not heard much about it, though there's also merit in just learning to play out loud.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Chris Ryall on February 21, 2017, 10:33:53 PM
You could "baffle" it?  My wife made my practice under a duvet … which is actually a great way to teach your fingers where the note lie
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Huw Adamson on February 21, 2017, 10:57:10 PM
There are various apps, although I wouldn't recommend them. Still, one might work for you.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 21, 2017, 11:24:38 PM
You could "baffle" it?  My wife made my practice under a duvet … which is actually a great way to teach your fingers where the note lie

That is hilarious! And no... that won't work. :D
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Michael Eskin on February 22, 2017, 12:39:11 AM
Well, there are my iPad and Android melodeon apps that you can use in headphones and only cost a few $$$.

http://appcordions.com/accordions/

specifically:

http://www.tradlessons.com/HohnerMelodeon.html


Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Broadland Boy on February 22, 2017, 01:07:01 AM
And you just cannot squirt as much aerosol foam into a Liliput as a Pokerwork will take Melissa  :o................

Suggestions in uncertain order of silliness

See a hypnotist, tell them you need treatment so you just don't care what others think about the noise

Turn up with a euphonium for a couple of days, its surprising just how much your colleagues and family will have grown to love the squeezebox when you revert to it.

Double your efforts and you may find they club together to build you either A) a soundproofed workspace / room or B) as A but padded and secured from the outside.

Ring Scott April 1st and ask him if he can turn the volume down for you if you send it / them back

Find & rent your nearest cold war bunker (filtered / conditioned air and a vast supply of just add water snacks often included as a bonus)

Feign deafness

Claim immunity or exemption from normal behaviour due to suffering from a recognised illness - (they'd never dare expect you to stop swearing if you had developed Tourettes instead of MAD)

Eat foods that cause chronic flatulence, (there has to be good mileage in just about anything which makes the squeezebox an apparently attractive alternative)

While you can practice playing quietly but there is still a pretty large gap between quiet and silent with free reeds - taping off one set of reeds reduces the volume and eliminates the musette so it may seem quieter or not carry so far.

Otherwise you are in a large club who must balance playing & enjoyment against the risk of physical injury, as you improve, the weight, hardness & sharpness of thrown objects diminishes proportionally  ;)







Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: stevejay on February 22, 2017, 01:18:31 AM
Practice at home, or wait for warm weather so you can go outside somewhere?
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: AirTime on February 22, 2017, 02:52:46 AM
I would seriously consider a Roland.  It will allow you to practice silently & additionally play in any key. If playing silently is that important, I'm not sure that the sound is that important compared to those advantages. For those who have a Roland - is it not possible to program it for a variety of different kinds of sound: drier, Castagnarish, as well as wetter Hohnerish?
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 22, 2017, 03:14:21 AM
Practice at home, or wait for warm weather so you can go outside somewhere?

Practicing at home if I've been away from the house for 12-15 hours (it's a 30-45 minute commute each way) is not going to happen. And, for spring and fall playing outside can work... sort of... but summer is a sauna - bad for the instrument and horrible for me. Humidity from hell.

Though, I was at work/commuting for 12 hours today and I practiced a bit this morning and will this evening... But see, like right now, my son is wanting to watch a part of a movie... I could go to a different room, but I do like to be with him... We're kind of a family that is "be together" but doing separate thing kind of family.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: george garside on February 22, 2017, 09:14:55 AM
a 'streb' is by far the best electronic melodeon. The roland is in my opinion far from brilliant!

george
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: stevejay on February 22, 2017, 12:23:18 PM
It does seem that an electronic melodeon is your only answer if you can afford it.

Even the quietist melodeon is fairly loud compared to playing a guitar or mandolin softly.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Chris OBJ on February 22, 2017, 12:40:28 PM
Speaking as an FR-18 owner of several years I would make the following observations. The FR-18 is IMHO not a melodeon it is a "Roland" I purchased mine as I have dificulty in remembering tunes without the dots before me (so far has not helped in this!). If you accept the Roland for what it is and are happy with the tones and sounds produced for private practice then go for it its great for learning fingering etc without disturbing the household. If however you expect a true melodeon sound (sounds) then stay clear as you will be disappointed. Having looked at a couple of Strebs before purchasing the Roland I would agree that they produce far nearer a melodeon sound, but, again IMHO they have the appearance of having the exterior made from odds and ends and if offered as a reeded instument would fall far below budget standard. I of course agree that the Streb electronics are magic. There would appear to be a market for a smaller, lighter two row electronic perhaps only producing true melodeons sounds without the addition of all the bells and whistles of either the Streb or Roland
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: streb on February 22, 2017, 01:21:33 PM
"Odds and ends"? Are you sure it was one of my instruments you saw?
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Steve C. on February 22, 2017, 01:26:27 PM
I could not disagree with Chris more.
Unless you get really close, the Streb looks like most any mid-price box, cherry casework, nice joinery, good hardware, etc.
Get close and you do see that it has a few switches, plugs and rheostats... (but very few, very discrete, to my eye)
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 22, 2017, 01:48:11 PM
I contacted Streb yesterday. :-)

THis is what I notice of my own behavior. Maybe it's just my personality. (probably) or maybe it's my history, but I cannot and will not "play out" when I know people can hear me while practicing.

In my horn past, My sister said I sounded like a dying cow while practicing (middle school). The last clarinet who sat next to the horns in band said to me in middle school that the horn sounded awful (and remember, she was LAST clarinet in middle school out of about 20... her sound was less than spectacular). I grew up the oldest of four children in always a too small house, and any praticing drove the family nuts. The kicker, when I was in university and was on a half tuition music scholarship, so practicing WAS a necessity, I was recently married (last year of university) and we lived in an apartment. I would go to the corner of the apartment, use a mute, turned away from any neighbor walls, but our closest neighbor (a Chicago public school teacher) would rant and rave when I would practice any time. She screamed at my husband using all kinds of foul language about having to listen to that monstrosity, etc... The school didn't have enough practice rooms and so practicing at home was a necessity.

Practicing a piece is always painful to listen to. ALWAYS. You don't practice what you already know. You practice what you don't know. It means repetition, repetition, repetition and missed notes and bad rhythm and starts and stops. It's not pleasant to listen to.

So, what I have been doing, and it's not helping me, is that I'm trying to play quietly... I sometimes don't give enough air to the instrument to voice the notes. It's almost definitely not leading to good habits of bellow playing either.  Essentially, I don't feel free which dampens my ability to practice more frequently and without worry of offending people I live with - my husband, my 11 year old son, my 81 year old mother-in-law, and when my college aged son is home, too.

It would only be something to practice on, probably. A Streb would be lovely (no idea of pricing), but if I can get the fingering the same on a Roland as I would on my hohner, and I can keep it silent, that will work for "learning"... however, if their bellows, fingering, etc is way off, that will just add confusion.

I obviously have the desire to learn if I sit down with this thing nearly every day and even lug it to work, but only TWICE did I play at work and tried to play so quietly, it was ridiculous... and that was only when one other person was in the office... normally there are 3 others. And there is no "silent" space at home either. It can be quieter in different rooms, but not silent... and "my" room (we have a spare room that is "mine") - it's right over my mother in law's bedroom and I often times only have time to practice when she's already in bed.

So, I'm trying to find ways to be more successful about finding practice time... having the instrument be quiet makes it SOOOOO much more likely I'll practice more often. Like I KNOW I will double practice time - at least!

It's how my son can practice piano in his apartment. He has a decent keyboard in his room. He puts on his earphones and practices - disturbing no one. First thing he did when he came home last weekend was to go to the piano (still digital, but with weighted keys, etc) and play the piece he's been working on to hear how it sounds in the open, on a truer feeling instrument.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Helena on February 22, 2017, 01:49:30 PM
"Odds and ends"? Are you sure it was one of my instruments you saw?

I'm with you Steve - the Streb is very well made and offers an experience much closer to a real melodeon than the Roland which I found heavy and very plastic.  Mine's an old one and has had a full and active life (to say the least) so is not as pretty as the newer ones but still a lovely piece of kit.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: malcolmbebb on February 22, 2017, 01:59:03 PM
Yes, very tidy looking. However, Melissa's problem (apart from cost, maybe) would be the lead time.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Theo on February 22, 2017, 01:59:30 PM
Melissa, do you have a car?  That might make a better practice room than your house or office? 
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Steve_freereeder on February 22, 2017, 01:59:50 PM
The Roland e-melodeon has (or at least had) issues with the air button. As I recall, the pallet and opening were too small to allow a decent volume of air in and this made playing the instrument hard work. Also the Roland has no internal speakers - you have to play it through a separate amplifier and speaker.

The Streb has neither of these disadvantages.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: James Fitton on February 22, 2017, 02:11:03 PM
I have a Streb, as of last year, and the ability to practise silently is one of its great unexpected advantages. It's great to be able to play away at full throttle in a hotel room, irritating nobody at all. A further advantage, which might be pertinent to you, Melissa, is the ability to make tweaks to the layout. I've played a  D/G/accidental pattern which I settled on about 20 years ago, and have since just got used to, but the threshold between getting/trying a whole new box, and just trying something differently on the Streb couldn't be more different. If you're still finding your way towards a settled, preferred pattern, this could be a way of trying it out. Of course, the Streb also offers the ability to add a wide range of sensible or silly noises to my band, but that's a whole other story....
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 22, 2017, 02:21:32 PM
Melissa, do you have a car?  That might make a better practice room than your house or office?

I have absolutely no idea how I would manage that at all. Though, one time while I was stuck in traffic north of DC, there was a man driving his car while playing his guitar. We were not stopped, just lots of stops and goes... I think my husband was with me and so whichever one of us wasn't driving took a photo...hm... wonder if can find that?
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Steve_freereeder on February 22, 2017, 02:40:50 PM
Melissa, do you have a car?  That might make a better practice room than your house or office?

I have absolutely no idea how I would manage that at all....

Easy:
Make sure your car is stationary and the engine is switched off.
Sit in the rear seat or the front passenger seat (with a LH drive car, the passenger seat is well situated to accommodate extending the bellows).
Play your melodeon until you've had enough. 

 >:E  :|||:
 
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Tufty on February 22, 2017, 03:10:28 PM
"There would appear to be a market for a smaller, lighter two row electronic perhaps only producing true melodeons sounds without the addition of all the bells and whistles of either the Streb or Roland".
I would agree with this. I looked into the Streb but found it was more than I needed (also as someone who can just about cope with texting the Streb seemed too complex for me). If I could find something that allowed quiet practice and could switch from DG to GC and that sounded like a normal box, that would do me fine. I don't need to sound like a church organ!

Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 22, 2017, 03:25:10 PM
Melissa, do you have a car?  That might make a better practice room than your house or office?

I have absolutely no idea how I would manage that at all....

Easy:
Make sure your car is stationary and the engine is switched off.
Sit in the rear seat or the front passenger seat (with a LH drive car, the passenger seat is well situated to accommodate extending the bellows).
Play your melodeon until you've had enough. 

 >:E  :|||:

You all are quite a bit bolder than I ever could be. At work - no way... This is DC, people would be walking about... I would become that weird woman who sits in her car and practices that odd thing. Inviting questions, looks laughs. I would still be too self-conscious.

At home? Something similar. AND my husband and probably mother in law would try to convince me I'm being silly for not practicing inside when we have this big house, it doesn't bother them, yada, yada. It's not about THEM... but ME!!!!

Even still, I cannot imagine being comfortable in the car. Especially with trying to play with sheet music. AND... I would hurt my own ears in a confined space... and would need either air conditioning or the heat half the year, which means running the car. Nope...

But I am laughing at the though of it.

I did find that photo of the man driving while playing guitar. Not the best photo, but you can see the tuning keys of the guitar and he WAS PLAYING, we were stopped by him for a second and saw him!



Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Steve C. on February 22, 2017, 03:37:15 PM
Speaking to the OP, the electronic boxes really do allow more playing and practice time.  Firstly, you don't annoy or distract the family and second, you can even irritate oneself a bit less by changing the midi tones or voices when playing the otherwise same stuff to try and get it right.
ON THE OTHER HAND, some of the nice aspects of a Roland or the Streb (easy action, near endless air, changeable buttons) can be disadvantages when going back and forth to playing on an "analog" box.
Having just had my Streb for a month, playing a Tommy, which is a pretty responsive box, feels like the difference between a manual and an electric typewriter, as I was telling Steve R.
(FR18's seem relatively available still, though I would try and get one before they disappear)
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: MatlockBather on February 22, 2017, 03:45:18 PM
I often get an hour or 2 practice in while sat in the car waiting for the kids to finish scouts/swimming/football etc. I also carry a harmonica with me and will play this whilst sat in stationary traffic on the way to work everyday!!!
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Pearse Rossa on February 22, 2017, 04:56:30 PM
... I do not want to be heard by anyone...

Have you given this option (http://www.acousticbooth-studiobox.com/application_practice.php) any consideration?
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Huw Adamson on February 22, 2017, 04:58:26 PM
There have been a couple of DIY attempts at this sort of thing, if you or a close friend/relative is handy with such things you might want to give it a go. These are the two links I found if you are interested.

http://jim.hawkridges.co.uk/projects/melodeon/
http://www.bassmaker.co.uk.webserver1.reidhosting.co.uk/moolodeon.html
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: george garside on February 22, 2017, 05:20:44 PM
 for two years I lived Monday to Friday in a shared hospital staff flat with 2 other people.  I took to playing in the car in a quiet part of the grounds  I was regularly accosted by the security bods  getting exited thinking they had found someone up to no good!  Eventually they got used to it and left me alone even on dark nights!

I also always keep a mouthie in the car  in case 'her indoors' decides to extend shopping beyond the expected time limit!!!

george
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 22, 2017, 06:37:00 PM
You all crack me up.

I just practiced an hour - alone here in the house. Or mostly alone, My son (whom we homeschool) is down in the far corner of the house. I tell ya, playing at bigger bellow play makes it easier to play than trying to keep quiet. Or at least if felt that way today. Now, I have a couple work calls I'm waiting on for my 2nd job... and then some homeschooling, and then maybe some more playing before my mother in law gets back.  ;D

And first call was quicker... sneak in another 20 minutes tee-hee!
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: havaLaff on February 22, 2017, 07:17:28 PM
Buy a set of Scottish bagpipes and then give them a choice -bagpipes or melodeon.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Steve C. on February 22, 2017, 08:57:38 PM
On a practical note, I used to play in the closet, one with the more clothing hanging the better.  The soft really kills the sound, no hard walls to hit and reflect.  You can hardly hear a pokerwork, proven in my laboratory.
Of course, now I am out of the closet, mostly.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 22, 2017, 09:05:14 PM
On a practical note, I used to play in the closet, one with the more clothing hanging the better.  The soft really kills the sound, no hard walls to hit and reflect.  You can hardly hear a pokerwork, proven in my laboratory.
Of course, now I am out of the closet, mostly.

Ha!
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Lyra on February 22, 2017, 09:11:28 PM
There was (is?) a bagpiper in Brussels who practised regularly on the roof of the short term car park at the airport. You could just catch the odd skirl between planes.
Seemed an expensive way to do it, given the way they rob you at those places.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on February 23, 2017, 04:56:57 PM
So, I passed on that Roland and will get in line for a Streb. Mind was pretty much made up today. It's gorgeous today. I could practice outside... but front door is on 16th street... that is the center street of DC. Way too many walkers and cars, etc. Back door/back area, the  two nursery schools are out playing in the yard. Um no... maybe in the UK, France, etc you can get away with practicing outside, but here in DC? It just doesn't happen unless you are a street performer or are in some super urban area of town where you can expect almost anything to happen. Yes, I work in DC, but up at the very tip-top where it's mainly suburban feeling, but urban enough to be busy. Seems I wont get to practice till night again.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: diatosoldo on February 24, 2017, 12:45:20 PM
I saw this link, it is in french but with some pictures. Maybe it is not so difficult to make ?
https://www.mon-accordeon.com/faq/112-sourdine
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Martin J on March 16, 2017, 10:39:13 PM
Earlier on you dismissed baffles but I made a simple set for an Erica using plywood sheet and acoustic foam.  Worked very well.  For the bass hand completely blank off all the holes in the woodwork. On the treble side you can make it as quiet as you want by making your baffle out of a thin but firm sheet with foam to go against the grill. The better the fit, the quieter it is. I also blanked off one one of the reeds in the treble and the thirds and one bass reed in the bass.  This is simply done by cutting up a crisp packet and trapping it between the reed block and facings.  Non destructive and easily removed later. On the base side there are three holes to each pallet with the pallets set alternatively.  Run a strip up the the middle it gets rid of all the notes you wish to temporarily loose.

You still hear enough to know what you are playing but should satisfy the neigbours.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Jonathan Arnett on March 17, 2017, 06:33:37 PM
... I do not want to be heard by anyone...

Have you given this option (http://www.acousticbooth-studiobox.com/application_practice.php) any consideration?
Need to get one of them to stuff the kids into so I can practice in peace and quiet. I did try playing under the quilt. Got a bit hot and I couldn't see to read the music. Now a caravan would make a great practice room. In a field in the middle of nowhere.
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Melissa Sinclair on March 17, 2017, 06:44:33 PM
... I do not want to be heard by anyone...

Have you given this option (http://www.acousticbooth-studiobox.com/application_practice.php) any consideration?
Need to get one of them to stuff the kids into so I can practice in peace and quiet. I did try playing under the quilt. Got a bit hot and I couldn't see to read the music. Now a caravan would make a great practice room. In a field in the middle of nowhere.

Thanks for the laugh! "I need one of these to stuff the kids in!" :-)

Must say, the borrowed Streb has come in handy a couple times already - twice at work, and last night at home. My son didn't run away.:-)

And sorry I've been away, I had a crazy busy time with work - both jobs- and with being part of a show which was a success... then, of course, after that was all over, I promptly got sick!
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Maggie on March 20, 2017, 08:41:56 PM
I sympathise, Melissa.  We are just back from a few weeks in south-west europe in our elderly camping car.  Not possible to practice in campsites at all!  My husband, who plays the cornemuse; central France bagpipes, and I headed off to the beach to practice most days.  Quite an expedition with dog, instruments, seat for me - as well as all the usual picnic paraphernalia.

As my playing improves, I am less self-conscious about being heard and even gain a wee audience sometimes  :|||:
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: Jonathan Arnett on March 21, 2017, 09:40:38 PM
Had an idea to try a lunch break practice in the car today at work. Remembered the box. Got sorted out in the front with  tutor book etc. But there wasn't room to open the bellows much. Kept hitting the center console. So decided there'd be more room in the back. Things were going ok until I needed to get out. O b****r the child locks are on. Now I have a large car with large seats. There isn't an easy way into the front. I had to dive between the front seats and my legs got stuck behind the armrest. Ended up head first in the passenger foot well. Don't really recommend it. Especially not with the postman watching and pissing himself. I mean he could have opened the door for me. If you practice in the back seats. Make sure the child locks are off!
Title: Re: I really need a silent melodeon
Post by: JimmyM on March 22, 2017, 12:58:09 AM
I'm a delivery driver and use laybys to practice in or if I arrive at a delivery early and have to wait, I'll have a play. My box is always on the passenger seat of my van - with its own seatbelt (:) and I use a clothes hanger to hang my music up.
Like a previous poster, now I can play a little I don't worry about people hearing. Though if I know people are listening I'll often abandon any attempt at whatever I might be trying to learn in favour of a tunes I know I can play easily ;)