Accordion bass part section to MIDI

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jjj, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    120-single contact buttons accordion bass section to MIDI construction:

    For years I used to play the piano accordion and since I own the Yamaha Tyros 3, missed the convenience of playing the accordion bass section, for it's so much easier than learning to play manual basses + chords. That's why I thought to connect an old accordion bass section to MIDI and (surprise...) I just finished successfully wiring up my 120-button (with single contacts) Farfisa accordion bass section to MIDI.

    Result: It's amazingly compact; i.e. smaller than a normal accordion bass section: measuring a mere 80mm x 80mm x 400mm and the single contact buttons make ea. button even lighter to press than a regular, mechanical accordion bass section buttons!
    Here's why: ...on a mechanical bass each button has to open 3 to 4 air flaps and with additional spring contacts the buttons are getting harder to press, whereas mine sounds 4 to 5 chord notes via a single button press!

    Jeez, that was a crazy job, for I had to wire each chord combination!! - It took me about 3 weeks to get it wired up and working. Yes, it looks pretty messy, but at least it works and sounds truly great. I'm excited about the result! For easy wiring, I made myself a wiring tool: from a thin tube and yarn spool, using Philips 0.09mm polyurethaned copper wire.
    The thing I like most on it is that it offers accordion players the chance to combine manual and Yamaha styles accompaniment. Actually, it can be used as an accompaniment for all MIDI instruments.
    Now I am able to randomly, manually enrich and vary the bass + chords as to make the great sounding Yamaha styles automatic accompaniment sounding far more natural/ less automatic.
    Since I was unable to attach the project details, I uploaded them here: https://app.box.com/s/994hzfqhsnjksguqa22t

    My last challenge regarding this MIDI accordion bass & chord accompaniment is to recreate that typical accordion "bellow shake", which at the same time controls volume and tremolo variations, like on an accordion. That creates emotional presents! The foot pedal delivers not quite the same... (unless one is able to benefit from Parkinson's etc.)

    I did some testing and discovered that connecting a cable to the 10K potentiometer in my Yamaha's MFC10 (Midi-Foot controller) allows me to operate this foot controller's circuitry via an LDR with a LED on the 120-button box.
    My basic idea was to place the whole bass button box onto soft springs, but then I discovered that its horizontal movements need to be vertically stable as to operate with the LDR-LED control.
    Also to firmly control the box movements a leather strap or rigid bar above the hand is needed to hold the hand onto the buttons during the up and down movements. That's one of the reasons why accordions have a leather strap on the bass side.

    Now I'm about to finish the whole project. The spring mount is already made. All I need now is to test and create the shutter between LDR & LED and decide, whether to mount a leather belt or a rigid bar...
    Next, I'm going to build a wooden, removable 4-layer JANKO keyboard on top of my Tyros's zebra piano keyboard.
    I already invented and designed a WYSIWYG JANKO notation for it, in which even the team of the new Terpstra Keyboard is interested in.

    Saludos de...
    Joh K. Drinda from St'go de Chile
     
  2. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    Well, it seems... I have gotten there, already!
    Here are some sound examples of my new 120-button accordion MIDI + with its Vol-Controller connected via MIDI to my Yamaha Tyros3:

    I uploaded them, here: https://app.box.com/s/ndkzvzlj1zpzb0qlj4g4

    1= Tyros3 accompaniment only without my Vol- Controller
    2= Tyros3 with my accordion MIDI + with (!!) its Vol- Controller
    3= Tyros3 accompaniment only without my Vol- Controller
    4= Tyros 3 with my accordion MIDI + with (!!) its Vol- Controller
    5= Only my accordion MIDI + with its Vol- Controller connected to Tyros3
    6= Only my accordion MIDI + with its Vol- Controller manually played
    7= Only Tyros Kbd sounds with my accordion Vol- Controller
    8= Some bellow shake samples...

    Result: I reckon the rhythmic volume fluctuations of the 120-button accordion bass MIDI + with its Vol-Controller adds expression to the melody and make it sound far more realistic and lively. Without this expression the melody sounds... "rather emotionally poor and almost boring!"

    Secondly, the irregular/ random bass and chord injections of the 120-button accordion MIDI bass section makes the automatic Yamaha styles accompaniment sound richer and less automatic or more natural.

    Last ...not least, the advantage of playing the Tyros3 or any MIDI-Synth via the 120-button accordion MIDI bass section accompaniment only seasoned accordion players know to appreciate.

    Note: I'm not too sure if my Vol-Controller is really able to produce that authentic accordion's bellow shake, albeit it sounds pretty close and requires some practice, because the bellow shake is rhythmically applied.
    At least for now, its effective volume and tremolo variations are able to significantly enrich the melody.

    Conclusion:
    Musically viewed, my project brought me a huge step nearer to what I enjoyed on the accordion. It feels like having over night acquired 5+ years of practice!!

    Thus, this easily adaptable project opens new musical opportunities to accordion players, for now they are able to extent and effectively apply their skills to great many MIDI instruments and workstations, such as the Yamaha Tyros etc. of their choice; i.e not limited to a specific make.
    Roland accordions: In my opinion, technically the pricey Roland MIDI accordion is great, but I happen to prefer the Yamaha sounds.
    Since many accordion players might have difficulties to construct my project, it might be a good idea for someone to manufacture and sell it for under $600.

    Hence, my next and probably last Tyros project will be constructing the 4-row (removable) JANKO Kbd layout on top of the Tyros' zebra piano Kbd.

    Result: That will enable me to play all major and minor scales, without having to put up with many years of practicing the irregular zebra piano Kbd.

    To promote and perpetuate the irregular zebra Kbd is only OK for music teacher's profits and helps professional musicians to discriminate themselves from hobby musicians. Their motto is: "Why make it easy, when it can be made complicated!"
    I am rather interested in simplicity! Thanks to my bit of practice in playing the accordion, I gained some basic insight into music theory, which enables me to simplify the lot, incl. the music notation.

    The end result will be: having created the easiest and fastest method to learn and play modern Synths!!
    It means a lot to me, because musical sounds and harmonies happen to be a major part of my life's enjoyment. That's why football and other emotionally poor, non-creative hobbies, such as gambling, drugs, motor bikes etc. are meaningless to me...
    Yes, I'm into "philosophical pondering" and writing, as well. That's why I believe that only by discovering and fulfilling our (inherited, positive mental, emotional and physical default values) mission, we will be truly able to enjoy our life to the fullest!
    ---------------------
    When a man steals your wife the best revenge is to make him keep her...!!
     
  3. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Very cool! In another lifetime I was a bass player/music major before becoming a mad scientist. Pictures, pictures how about some pictures of your creation.

    Mark
     
  4. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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  5. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    WOW!!! GREAT BUILD!! You must be very proud. Great passions lead to great inventions. Well done.
     
  6. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    Thx for the flowers... but I'm still not quite happy with the "bellow shake". It sounds somewhat like it, but maybe there's a better way? You "scientists" might have the key...
     
  7. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    When I click on your links i get a popup box about bad certificates.

    You should just post the pictures here on the forum so we are not subject to the whims of some other web site. :)
     
  8. Lestraveled

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    May 19, 2014
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    Quote: but I'm still not quite happy with the "bellow shake".

    When you say "bellow Shake", is this the tremolo I hear in 8.mp4 ? Is it human generated or software generated?

    Mark
     
  9. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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  10. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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  11. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Got it. So it is not just a tremolo but also an alternating of timber between in and out. (I have a strong musical background, I am just a little weak in the accordion department.)
    I imagine you would need something that would allow you to articulate crescendos as well as the bellows shake. what are you using now?

    Mark
     
  12. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    As might have read in my forum postings... I have and play that Yamaha Tyros 3 and now added the 120-button accordion bass section with that LDR/LED Vol control, wired to the 10K potentiometer from the Yamaha MIDI Foot Controller (MFC10).
    The LED is mounted on the 120-button accordion box and the latter is hinged on one side and the other side hooked on a spring.
    I''m playing the button box horizontally and so, when I press the box down the LDR gets nearer to the LED and the Vol increases.
     
  13. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    Just a "breaking news":... I might just use the echo function of my Tyros 3. That sounds very much like an accordion bellow shake or not?
     
  14. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Sorry, I read your post but I didn't connect that section with "Bellow shake". Your LDR/LED control is very similar to a joy stick I designed a long time ago. May I suggest, instead of a simple shutter between your LED and LDR, use a shutter with an widening slit. You can change the shape of the slit and that will change the dynamics of your control. You can also use more than one LED which will increase your dynamic range.

    Mark
     
  15. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    Yes, like a v-slit. I saw that years ago, on an old electronic organ foot pedal.
    Yes, I guess I'll have to do much more trial & error.
    But doesn't that bellow shake sound like an echoes?
    For now the that LDR/LED Vol control serves to introduce manually guided, rhythmic accents and tremolo into the melody. Without it the melody sounds emotionally rigid.
     
  16. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    "Without it the melody sounds emotionally rigid."

    The power and emotion comes from movement of the left arm. Notes create ideas, volume changes create drama and feeling. You have done a great job with the notes. Now work on the feeling.

    Mark
     
  17. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Still faulty;
    "server's certificate is not complete or not registered"

    When you post a thread, please post the images as attachments. Then they are stored on the forum and will always work, and not require people to go to another site (which is faulty), AND it means the images will remain here to help people even if they are lost from the other site later.

    There is a button "manage attachments" when you post a thread or a reply. :)
     
    jjj likes this.
  18. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    I just discovered that $200 "HOT Hand 3" audio volume (etc.) controller. I think that could get me progressing... to better bellow shakes.
    I suppose its built around that "MMA7660FC" chip or similar.
    My electronics hobby knowledge is too poor to enable me to work out on how this chip could control the brightness of a LED. Because, if I knew that I could easily control the LDR, I soldered in parallel with my Yamaha foot controller's 10k Pot. I fear that this solution would be too complex!!
    Something simpler:
    How about using a tiny mercury glass switch, found in Chinese "Driver Anti-Sleep" devices? I have a couple of these. Of course, they only turn on and off, but that might be good enough to swing audio volume up and down or not? At least the liquid mercury allows me to shake-switch and so, vary the turn on & turn off events via lateral hand movements.

    The volume should not just abruptly turn on or off, but rather permit varied, smooth (click-free) volume swings.
    I'm thinking of a simple circuit, based on an electrolytic, which softens and briefly delays the mercury switch's turn on and turn off events?

    That way I could build it into a tiny box and attach it to a ring on my finger.
    This would allow me to rapidly shake the mercury switch horizontally and thus, create the desired volume and tremolo variations.[/u]
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  19. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    How about an accelerometer that would drive a voltage controlled amplifier or a voltage controlled resistor or a voltage controlled current course that powers an LED. An accelerometer chip is small and you could easily mount it in a ring assembly.

    Mark
     
  20. jjj

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2007
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    Yes, that's what the "MMA7660FC" chip does, but for that I need to do Arduino programming and the circuit schematics... Pretty complex! Now this technology is still too new. Maybe soon there will be a number of MIDI accelerometers on sale, which offer ready programmed kits at reasonable prices.

    Before I couldn't upload my .rar achive, because this forum's attachment application only allows .zip uploads. Now I changed it .rar to .zip and it went OK!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
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