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Author Topic: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.  (Read 1280 times)

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Falconer

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Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:02:42 PM »

I am a newbie and have been listening to as much diatonic button accordion music as I can - especially in the keys of GC and DG. I notice that Castagnari and Loffet accordions for the most part seem to have what I would simply call a much more refined "Hohner" sound. But there are some instances when I come across players that are achieving a totally different sound to my ears. I would describe it as buttery, or something akin to hornets buzzing in a hive. I am wondering if anyone here knows how this is achieved. A couple instances would be Paul Young playing what I assume is a Loffet at a ceilidh in the Northeast of England https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s2sD1UNklA and Thomas G playing a Serafini in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIrhNiF8o1A.
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 04:19:11 PM »

The Thomas G is miked on the bass side as well as the treble, and it sounds like Paul Young also has a bass mike. This added to the long held bass notes, help to give that sound.

SJ
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george garside

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2018, 04:40:37 PM »

 I think its more down to the way paul is playing the bass  i.e. with little bursts of rhythm followed by chords held  over  a group of treble notes .  There is also ayoutube of him playing sally gardens  with a much more staccato bass.

george
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AirTime

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 04:45:52 PM »

I'm not sure what you are referring to - neither of those recordings sound unusual to my ears.  Dryish tuned on the treble side (ie little or no tremolo) ... & as George says chords held over a group of treble notes, which may be the "buzzing" you mention.
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george garside

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2018, 04:58:04 PM »

 AirTime, have just noticed that you have a 'pistelli'  presumably the name sounds less vulgar in its country of origin!

george ;D
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Stiamh

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2018, 05:13:47 PM »

I suspect that the different sound is simply because both boxes have a low voice on the treble side, MML.

GPS

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2018, 05:56:57 PM »

I suspect that the different sound is simply because both boxes have a low voice on the treble side, MML.

I agree absolutely. 

Incidentally,(thread drift alert!) the "Belgian Tune" caught my attention because it's closely related to a tune I picked up many, many years ago from a Flemish folk dance group. If I recall correctly, they used it for a broom dance. If I can find time I'll do a quick recording of the tune as I learned it and post it in a separate thread.

Graham

Sometimes I wonder at my own stupidity! It is, of course, a fairly distant cousin of the "Berendans" {Bear Dance)!  In which case, how did that Broom Dance tune go.......??
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 06:06:00 PM by GPS »
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tirpous

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2018, 06:11:19 PM »

Quote
I suspect that the different sound is simply because both boxes have a low voice on the treble side, MML.

Agreed, that and the dryish (swing?) tuning.
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AirTime

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2018, 06:17:29 PM »

I suspect that the different sound is simply because both boxes have a low voice on the treble side, MML.

"Buttery"  & "buzzing" seem like sort of opposite characteristics.  The buzzing is perhaps the drone effect of holding the note on the bass side. The buttery could be anything. To me, it implies drier tuning & also a less "reedy" sound. It seems to me that, in general, Castagnaris are more buttery & Saltarelles more reedy ... but it does vary from box to box. I don't, in general, hear LMM as more buttery than MM ... but whatever - it's all in the ears & brain of the listener.
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Stiamh

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2018, 07:25:16 PM »

Is this the difference in sound? Watch the video below between 4:21 and 5:00

https://youtu.be/Gdkb4o7R3-Q?t=4m21s

pete /acorn

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2018, 07:39:13 PM »

I know Paul and I think the box he is playing is a Saltarelle.
As others have said,you are hearing a box through speakers and  in a large room recorded on probably a phone not a true indication of the actual box sound
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Falconer

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2018, 08:04:58 PM »

Hmmm. I watched the video "Choosing an accordion for Irish Music II. Yes, I hear something similar there when he plays LMM. Michael R. suggested what I'm hearing might be LM. And yes, I see how some of the effect is coming from droning on the basses through many notes. This is another video that struck me as having the pleasing buzzing sound to the notes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KwJzViwWqw. The owner, PAF135, is droning his bass notes also, but the individual notes also have a smooth, buzzy quality.
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boxcall

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 08:25:32 PM »

I know Paul and I think the box he is playing is a Saltarelle.
As others have said,you are hearing a box through speakers and  in a large room recorded on probably a phone not a true indication of the actual box sound
Pete,
That would be this box then, looks like a two voice, I don't see any switches.
The buzzing only starts when he kicks in with the bass to my ear.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yOUQTrXabFo
Hearing the first video the OP posted it sound more like a three voice but that is probably the large room as you say.
Looks like he also plays a Loffet and other boxes also.
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Stiamh

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2018, 09:38:04 PM »

In this clip he is playing a Loffet with a L voice that he brings in partway through.

Back to Belgian tune clip - never mind the buttery sound: I'd love to be able to call a dance while supplying the music at the same time. In fact I'd love to be able to say more than three words together while playing! Fair play to you Paul Young!

pete /acorn

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2018, 10:25:55 PM »

Don't know if it is that one but he does have an older Saltarelle.

Re playing and doing other things,Paul is a stand in musician in my two daughters band, www.fiddlerswreck.co.uk.
Marie plays accordion and Nicky Fiddle,they regularly can be seen playing,keeping an eye on the dancers and chatting all at once
Michael also calls and plays concertina

« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 10:27:46 PM by pete /acorn »
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Andy in Vermont

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2018, 03:02:35 PM »

After listening to these clips, I think I know the sound you are referring to, which I would describe as “buzzy.” I believe it has something to the way the octaves are tuned but I also would like someone to explain it!

I know Paul and I think the box he is playing is a Saltarelle.
As others have said,you are hearing a box through speakers and  in a large room recorded on probably a phone not a true indication of the actual box sound
Pete,
That would be this box then, looks like a two voice, I don't see any switches.
The buzzing only starts when he kicks in with the bass to my ear.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yOUQTrXabFo
Hearing the first video the OP posted it sound more like a three voice but that is probably the large room as you say.
Looks like he also plays a Loffet and other boxes also.

Paul Young

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2018, 11:48:27 AM »

Hello. Paul Young here (from some of the videos mentioned).

To the original poster -
Yes I definitely know the buzzy sound you mean. I've always liked it too. There are a few factors that contribute, including the box, how it's played, and how it's miked up (where applicable). A couple more good examples are the Youtube video of Andy Cutting playing the Origin Of The World and (the first time I ever noticed and thought about it, I think) Jack Robinson on the Spiers & Boden album Bellow, where John Spiers's left hand sound has an incredibly grunty, growly, distorted electric guitar power chord type vibe going on.

I think the main common factor when you hear this sound is thirdless left hand chords held long. On Jack Robinson, the left hand accompaniment starts with just the long held chords (classic Spiersyness), but then when he brings in the basses you still definitely get the effect of the chords "buzzing" over the top. If you want to get this kind of effect while doing standard bass-chord-bass-chord accompaniments then just make sure you're holding your chords down as long as you can - "lock" the chord finger down until the next bass rather than just tapping it (personally I recommend always playing this way for English tunes).

This effect can then be increased with the way you use the right hand. As others have mentioned here, LMM three voice definitely contributes. It's all about adding to and thickening out the left hand chords. With LMM a lot of the notes the low voice plays are going to be in the same range as your left hand chord notes and higher octave bass voices, so you've got the opportunity to really "stack up". Try holding down your G chord and G bass on the left hand and your lower D and G on the right hand (and add the higher ones if you like), have a squeeze and listen to the buzz. If you can pulse the bellows as well that makes it better, but I won't get into that here (I'm already going on a bit). You'll often hear Andy Cutting holding down one right hand note while continuing to play the melody elsewhere - all helps to thicken out the chord and add to the buzz.

Finally, if you're miked up, don't be tempted to roll all the treble off the left hand to sound more bassy. It kills the buzz!

Couple of notes on the videos of me people mentioned -
In the ceilidh video I'm playing my Loffet.
In the Bouree de Thiers video, actually that Saltarelle is a 3 voice (it's a Le Romane, there's a switch on the grille) but only played with the two voices in that video.

Falconer

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2018, 08:22:33 PM »

Thanks Paul. I watched the Andy Cutting video and yes he has the buzz going on the right hand and the growl going on the left. And John Spiers has something similar going on with Jiggery Pokerwork. I understand the number of factors you discuss. Interesting that it does not have anything to do with the tuning. But I assume we are talking about a dry tuned box - so that we don't have a lot of undertones throwing off the stacking of the notes.
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Rees

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Re: Puzzled on How a Certain Buttery/Mellow Sound is Achieved.
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2018, 08:29:41 PM »

Yes, it works best on a dry tuned box. It's common to use the same techniques with tremolo tuning which produces more of a shimmer than a buzz.
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