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Author Topic: single note left hand  (Read 701 times)

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Mike Hirst

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single note left hand
« on: January 03, 2018, 11:45:02 AM »

Following on from my parallel posting re chord voicing I would like to open discussion around the possibilities for having a stop to allow single note bass end configuration.

If we can have a stop to remove the thirds from left hand chords it seems logical to expect that the reverse should also be possible. i.e. a single stop, or combination of stops that would remove the first and fifth, leaving only the third exposed.

In this conjecture take for example a simple eight button bass. Let's imagine that we have four bass/chord pairs which sound the same on both directions of bellows movement. Let's say we have major chords G, D, A and E. Removing the thirds leaves open fifths giving possibilities for playing against minor harmonies Gm, Dm, Am and Em.

Using my imagined 5+1 removal stop we would be left with bass notes G, D, A, E and single notes B, F#, C# and G#. Although these are probably not in the same octave that would give us options for playing two full scales:

D E F# G A B C#
A B C# D E F# G

three five note scalar runs:

D E F# G A
A B C# D E
E F# G# A B

and multiple 1,4,5 root note combinations.

It's important to note that I am not basing this on any particular existing model or right hand system. It could be a semitone box, but any other right hand layout could be applicable. the choice of chords too is not fixed any other fourth apart chordal progression should work.

Now let's imagine that the standard bass note sounds low bass + octave above. If the removal stop also takes out the low octave bass note, this should leave our scalar runs in more or less the same octave.

My question then is this. Does such a system exist and if it does not, would such a system be possible?
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Microbot

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 12:27:33 PM »

Hi Mike,

this idea was recently considered also by Benammi Swift.

He has recently had work carried out by Emmanuel Pariselle to fit 4 additional stops to his ADG Handry 18. This has created the bass-end option of single notes (3rd, 5th or root) from each chord button, coupled with selecting only the highest reed from the bass-set. This last aspect means that the bass button produces a note which is in the same register as the chords.

The overall effect is a freebass-diatonic melodeon, where all 18 bass buttons can be used to create chords of any complexity.

I've seen and played the instrument ... the chordal options ... bearing in mind this is an 18 bass diatonic instrument with options on which notes are selected by the chord stops ... are simply mind-blowing. Pariselle's work is, as always, excellent and Benammi is a super player and just the right type to explore such a complex system.

cheers

Mike R

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Mike Hirst

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 01:51:13 PM »

Thanks Mike.
This is way beyond what I was imagining, but it certainly uses the same method.

The 18 bass option must offer multiple repeats. I can see that this might be fun to play with, but it might prove unhelpful in some instances.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 02:06:21 PM by Mike Hirst »
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squeezy

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 10:16:24 PM »

I've done similar with an old Hohner 12 bass model, although I didn't get all the way to putting stops in, I managed to prove it would work with a little judicious bending of bass mechanism parts.  The left hand is an old Corona and is tuned with thirdless basses - the chords are actually a linked mechanism to share bass reeds and by offsetting them you can make it such that pushing the button down fully gives the chord, but pressing it gently only opens the pallet which plays the root of the chord.

This gives a standard 12 bass melodeon layout, but with the option to play the basses in 2 octaves rather than just one.  It certainly is fun to play about with.
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benammiswift

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 10:59:11 PM »

Hi There

Just discovered this thread.

I came up with this idea from the Serafini Darwin which comes standard with 6 stops on the bass end (one for every voice, 3 bass 3 chord) and 24 Basses meaning all possible permutations of chords in both directions. I looked and saw that there should be room in a Handry. I love my box so much I wouldn't replace it if i could afford to so decided to get something fitted to my handry to make it do what I wanted. So I asked around and Emmanuel agreed to do it and it's so fantastic. there's loads of options. It's possible to set the bass to just play the mid octave reed and the chords just the root an octave higher giving Almost two full octaves. The idea at it's origin isn't mine but I was the only one mad enough to want it on a Handry, Also Simone Bottasso has a freebass casta and uses it to amazing amazing unbelievable effect and that's where me actively seeking to have it done started because my mind just raced thinking of the options and chords etc etc etc. Something I really wanted.

Castagnari do the Freebass convertor box called the Mas which is a bit like a flat keyboard handry with a few differences in stops and design. they did offer to fit my Handry with the Mas converter mech. Unfortunately it isn't flexible at all. You get full sound so Low Bass, Mid Bass, Root, Fifth (no thirds) and then it converts to Low Bass and Fifth i think. Great if you only want the freebass but me being me wanted all the options.

There are so many quirks to it though, such as the "root" of the chord and same pitch high reed on the bass being a single shared reed so you cant do certain things, Whereas i'm guessing the Darwin being a much bigger box designed to have those stops would have individual reeds. Also using anything other than the tonic is super super weird mentally especially since half the layout moves entirely and the other stays where it is so it's not like relearning a new layout. need to play more with it.

At the moment I mostly just use the stops to create odder sounds and effects rather than the "freebass" but I have used the freebass on a To Be Released record which worked beautifully for an intro section because you can do drones, chords and tune all on the bass. Makes a very interesting and unique sound.

It's a very exploratory thing though because almost nobody has a box that can do the freebass thing so in terms of learning you're very on your own. Which for me is a wonderful thing because it allows me push further and further how I want to with no external help. I like doing things just cos they're a challenge and it's kind of the ultimate mental challenge for me to explore a relatively unknown system because whether people have done it before or not our layouts will be very different and have different capabilities.

Hope this isn't just pointless rabble haha

Drop me a message if you want  more info. pics, recordings whatever just give me a bell

Benammi
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benammiswift

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 11:13:40 PM »

Ive had an idea for a 12 bass system

It would require a box with each bank of reeds separated and a stop fitted allowing individual control. So what you do is modify the normal voicing slightly to give you Bass (Low bass, Mid Bass) no root and Chord (Root, Fifth) no thirds. what you could then do is in these " spaces" fit reeds for a Haydn style unisonoric 12 bass system as on Owen Woods' Impilliput. This would allow a smaller 12 bass melodeon that is a "proper" Freebass convertor.

Silly idea maybe

Benammi
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Grape Ape

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 02:44:51 AM »

I may be misunderstanding here, but my Gaillard basses and chords are thirdless to begin with, with two stops to take it down to the the root note, i.e. a single note, and seems very much to me like a free bass system.  Also still wrapping my head around the possibilities but it IS good for drone effects as well as for hitting short crisp basses, almost as accents to the right hand...
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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 10:04:38 AM »

Interesting reading concerning left-hand stops ! Nice to see things are moving on on this end of our accordions too :)

I'm wondering, wouldn't be easier, for 12-basses, to transform the chords to fifth only, and not third only ? This way you're sure to have always the same interval between the bass and the "chord" button. If you're using thirds, you end up sometimes with minor third, sometimes with major third, which is a bit confusing IMO.
If I've done my napkin calculations right, it doesn't change anything in terms of notes that are available (except when using the standard continental 3-rows – i.e. A/D/G or G/C/F – which has a really poor bass layout), but with the benefit that you have a constant interval (fifth) when moving your fingers one button up. Of course, with an 8-basses model, thirds are a better option (even with this minor/major drawback).

It's a pity you can't have the low bass removed from a Mas (as you do in a regular Handry), it would be extremely beneficial, seeing that they are fitting the Milleret/Pignol layout as standard : with the added row of free basses, having the high or mid bass allows for counterpoint and manual chords.
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benammiswift

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 08:10:17 PM »

Y

Interesting, I didnt know they were Norbert/Pignol. I get that not being able to remove the bass would be annoying but I guess you could ask then to it a Handry mech but then it wouldnt convert haha

Grape Ape

I'm not sure I understand, Is there a stop on the root and fifth? this would allow you both options which is good. There are so many possibilities, it's mind boggling

Benammi
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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 09:07:09 PM »

Y

Interesting, I didnt know they were Norbert/Pignol. I get that not being able to remove the bass would be annoying but I guess you could ask then to it a Handry mech but then it wouldnt convert haha

Grape Ape

I'm not sure I understand, Is there a stop on the root and fifth? this would allow you both options which is good. There are so many possibilities, it's mind boggling

Benammi

A friend of mine has a Handry 18, and has asked for the third removal stop to be transformed as a fifth-only register. She has no thirds though. But as always with our instrument, it's all a matter of compromises  (:)
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benammiswift

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 10:11:10 AM »

Yeah that would be possible, they'll just put the 5th reeds where the thirds normally and remove the half reed block that usually has the 5ths on. Cant say I'd be able to manage with out 3rds personally. I need/use all of the options that the additional stops give me.

they are definitely a compromise but mine never restricts me at all which i love

Benammi
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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 05:26:05 PM »

I'd have thout that they put the fundamental where the thirds normally are, so that the stop would have only the fifths, but yeah that's the general idea.

It also depends on your playing styLe. I realize with this discussion that I do not play at all the same way with my Handry than with the Hohners. For the first it's mainly drones, basses and harmony whereas for the latter it's mainly bass + chords alternated (more classical).
For the matter of singLe left hand notes, the Darwin system really shines (for instance Aurelien Claranbaux is doing a good job).
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benammiswift

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Re: single note left hand
« Reply #12 on: Today at 01:13:49 AM »

Yeah I love what aurelien does. Thats where I got the idea from, him and Simone Bottasso. He uses it in much the same way I've found works for me. I tend to use it for effects rather than single notes but I do use the single notes and having two octaves is a god send. I don't think it'd work on 12 basses just because of the lack of notes. Where on 18 you're covered.

Benammi
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