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Advice for specifying tuning specs of new LMMM

Beaubello

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Newbie hoping that some of the forum's tuning cognoscenti might please offer some guidance for custom tuning specs for the M+ and M- of an upcoming purchase of a PA, 41/120 with double chamber. I'm coming from converter bayan which has of course been lacking for wetness in"folkier" genres. My concept for the new instrument is that it have in the chamber [Lc] + a 4-cent "swing" [Mc+] and outside [M' 440] + [M-]. The intent is to have a mild tremolo with the [M + Mc+] along the lines of a Castagnari/Saltarelle swing for a version of "Irish" and with which chords wouldn't sound overly busy but at the same time fuller than the inherently thin single M. The M- value is my biggest sticking point. Although I don't foresee much utility for a register of just [M + M-], I'm looking for the triple-M sound to be more "French" than my modest [M + Mc+] but still civil. If my understanding is correct, an M- of equal offset to that of the M+ would mollify rather than accentuate the musette character. On the other hand, if the non-440, non chambered M were instead to have a higher positive offset than the +4 cent of the Mc, then the perceived average pitch would also increase higher than the 441 associated with the [ M + M+4cent ] register. How much to offset that 2nd M? Any help finding sound samples with corresponding tuning tables for MMM? Thanks!
 

debra

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In all cases that I have seen a (slightly or very) wet MMM accordion with one M voice in chamber has had the M voice in chamber tuned to 0 cent deviation (say exactly to 440Hz). one M outside is tuned high and the other M outside is tuned low. Almost always the MM register uses the one that is high but some accordions actually have MM with the second M tuned low.
In the "old" days accordions were often tuned very wet, with MMM being something like -15 0 +15 but this has gone down to -12 0 +12 and now even less at -10 0 +10. or even -8 0 +8. None of this gives you the 4 cent that is called "swing".
Sadly when you say "the intent is to have a mild tremolo with..." that is rather meaningless: for some 4 cents a a mild tremolo, for others 8 cent and for some even 12 cent. That's all "mild" considering that we're already coming from tremolo that used to range between 24 and 30 cents...
I don't know any site that demonstrates different tunings where the "middle" M in cassotto is not tuned to the standard.
To me an accordion (whether chambered or not) where LM has M a few cents sharp compared to L simply sounds "out of tune".
 

Ventura

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my dear Debra, this may interest you

i recently (finally, after all these years) got my hands on a PanCordion
built in the New York factory LMMH
beautiful dark wood body frame.. can't quite tell if it is black OAK or Walnut
(8 curved shifts on the grille.. the Crucianelli builds have 10 shifts)

took the reedblocks out last night actually to begin working on it, and
i can now verify for certain the M reedblock in the tone chamber IS in fact
the + tuned Meusette set... it is tuned roughly 444, while the in chamber L
reeds are at 442, (the out of chamber M and H reeds are also at 442)

when i bought the accordion, it was hinted that it came through the Welk
organization, but not verified in documentation

my working theory is that Mr. Welk, being devotedly and in excruciatingly detailed control
of his "sound" realized that his fans primarily heard his music through tiny speakers
in the Primitive Black and White Television sets of the time... and that having the M+
in chamber gave him better definition and balance in the living rooms of the world

Frank (Busso Music) did not know of any specific info of the many accordions provided
to the Welk organization that would bear this theory out, but also would not rule it
out as the man was known for his attention to detail and strong opinions

anyhow, the refurbishing process has begun.. i need to pull the keys also and
clean up the keybed, but the pads and pallets still look great

ciao

Ventura
 

Ventura

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Fisitalia used to have a feature like that on their website. I don’t know about now …
you remember my Fisitalia "woody" is LMMM artigana voci and sweet sounding

(i bought it directly from the Factory on a visit to CastleFi, watched him doing
his magic with the Tuning rig he had designed, programmed and built)

but no tone chamber... and in my opinion, a tone chamber for what is
primarily a MMM sound and useage is kind of a waste.. who needs the extra weight ?

Beaubello, if you want to occasionally play M solo then in your new accordion it
really must be the one in chamber so your lead lines have the best tonality

ciao

Ventura
 

debra

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my dear Debra, this may interest you

i recently (finally, after all these years) got my hands on a PanCordion
built in the New York factory LMMH
beautiful dark wood body frame.. can't quite tell if it is black OAK or Walnut
(8 curved shifts on the grille.. the Crucianelli builds have 10 shifts)

took the reedblocks out last night actually to begin working on it, and
i can now verify for certain the M reedblock in the tone chamber IS in fact
the + tuned Meusette set... it is tuned roughly 444, while the in chamber L
reeds are at 442, (the out of chamber M and H reeds are also at 442)

...
Interesting. I have (as I said) never seen such a configuration with the M in cassotto being wet tuned.
There is a first for everything.
 

debra

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you remember my Fisitalia "woody" is LMMM artigana voci and sweet sounding

(i bought it directly from the Factory on a visit to CastleFi, watched him doing
his magic with the Tuning rig he had designed, programmed and built)

but no tone chamber... and in my opinion, a tone chamber for what is
primarily a MMM sound and useage is kind of a waste.. who needs the extra weight ?

...
In my experience a tone chamber for MMM (middle M in chamber) is not just "kind of a waste" but the dominant tone of the M in cassotto actually results in an MMM sound I like less than a non-cassotto MMM sound. When we first got our Bugari 285/ARS (LMMMH with L and M in cassotto it took some getting used to the MMM sounding different from the non-cassotto LMMM accordions we had before.
 

Alan Sharkis

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my dear Debra, this may interest you

i recently (finally, after all these years) got my hands on a PanCordion
built in the New York factory LMMH
beautiful dark wood body frame.. can't quite tell if it is black OAK or Walnut
(8 curved shifts on the grille.. the Crucianelli builds have 10 shifts)

took the reedblocks out last night actually to begin working on it, and
i can now verify for certain the M reedblock in the tone chamber IS in fact
the + tuned Meusette set... it is tuned roughly 444, while the in chamber L
reeds are at 442, (the out of chamber M and H reeds are also at 442)

when i bought the accordion, it was hinted that it came through the Welk
organization, but not verified in documentation

my working theory is that Mr. Welk, being devotedly and in excruciatingly detailed control
of his "sound" realized that his fans primarily heard his music through tiny speakers
in the Primitive Black and White Television sets of the time... and that having the M+
in chamber gave him better definition and balance in the living rooms of the world

Frank (Busso Music) did not know of any specific info of the many accordions provided
to the Welk organization that would bear this theory out, but also would not rule it
out as the man was known for his attention to detail and strong opinions

anyhow, the refurbishing process has begun.. i need to pull the keys also and
clean up the keybed, but the pads and pallets still look great

ciao

Ventura
Are you referring to the Pancordion factory in Long Island City? If so, I was there somewhere between age 11 and age 13. My teacher at that time and his brother, who also taught accordion, rented a school bus and took us on a tour. This was WAY before OSHA, of course. Most of us kids didn’t have the slightest idea what we were looking at, except that all of the workers looked really old.
 

Beaubello

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Thanks for the interest and info, guys. I quite agree with Ventura that a single M', i.e. "giusto"/"base tuned", in the chamber has better tone than a non-chambered counterpart. However, I find that M' sounds worse in a LcM'c than a LcM' bandoneon register. Both in the same instrument and in general, I find the all-chamber LcMc too "mellow" and "muddy" relative to the "cleaner" LcM' bandoneon. Btw from my recent conversation with Cooperfisa (Vercelli, It), I got the impression that the sound of the bandoneon register was a main reason for their offering a double cassotto LMMM with options of the M' in or out of chamber. What I haven't actually compared though is a [M'c + M+] vs [M+c + M']. Given the same amount of tremolo, I'm thinking (and hoping) that the sound quality would not differ appreciably and that a [M+c + M'] would work better than my single unchambered M' for single note solo/ chords as an honorable concession to my preferred bando sound. In general as far as an Mc in MMM, it is admittedly not traditional musette and certainly not for everyone's taste BUT before passing too harsh a judgment check out this (IMHO) finer example: youtube.com/watch?v=OhZwWw15ZnE
 

debra

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Thanks for the interest and info, guys. I quite agree with Ventura that a single M', i.e. "giusto"/"base tuned", in the chamber has better tone than a non-chambered counterpart. However, I find that M' sounds worse in a LcM'c than a LcM' bandoneon register. Both in the same instrument and in general, I find the all-chamber LcMc too "mellow" and "muddy" relative to the "cleaner" LcM' bandoneon. Btw from my recent conversation with Cooperfisa (Vercelli, It), I got the impression that the sound of the bandoneon register was a main reason for their offering a double cassotto LMMM with options of the M' in or out of chamber. What I haven't actually compared though is a [M'c + M+] vs [M+c + M']. Given the same amount of tremolo, I'm thinking (and hoping) that the sound quality would not differ appreciably and that a [M+c + M'] would work better than my single unchambered M' for single note solo/ chords as an honorable concession to my preferred bando sound. In general as far as an Mc in MMM, it is admittedly not traditional musette and certainly not for everyone's taste BUT before passing too harsh a judgment check out this (IMHO) finer example: youtube.com/watch?v=OhZwWw15ZnE
Sadly YouTube tells me that video is no longer available.
You are very right that (at least on some accordions) LM with both dry and in cassotto sounds a bit "too mellow", and maybe not sufficiently different than just L alone. It depends on the accordion and on the type of music played. If the cassotto is working well, also on the M voice, then you can easily substitute McH for the suggested LcM (L in cassotto, M outside). You just need an accordion with enough notes. When I make arrangements for ensembles I make use of register settings some players find strange, but they do provide for more tonal variation. I get people to play a medium-low part using the H register, to get a dry-tuned M outside of cassotto. I make people play LM with very high notes for a mellow sound and MH with very low notes for a less mellow sound there... But the cassotto needs to work well enough. Victoria for instance makes accordions with 42 notes, going from low G to high C, and these are used a lot for jazz, playing everything in just the L register in cassotto, so having the extra high notes is important. You could play everything on M without the need for the highest notes, but the M in cassotto does not sound as mellow as the L, especially on the black notes (and white notes that are on the same reed block, which are E notes if I'm not mistaken). On a Hohner Morino the M sounds more mellow than the L... On a Morino the H sounds less loud than on other accordions like Bugari, Pigini, Victoria... I use a lot of indicators in my arrangement to use a certain register only if it sounds a certain way...
 

Gonk

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I'm looking for the triple-M sound to be more "French" than my modest [M + Mc+] but still civil.
Disambiguation of terms might be helpful. "French sound" a slippery concept.

M- and M+ together will give you the greatest aural beating. It's the deviation between the two that creates the pulsing that we call "tremolo." Tremolo results from the constructive and destructive combination of the two soundwaves in a regular pattern.

The addition of the third M reed, in the middle, adds complexity and breaks up the regularity of that pulse. It adds richness, complexity, and depth, but it does not add tremolo; it mitigates it.

The "French musette sound" can mean either a strong MM sound with a great deal of tremolo, or a lush MMM sound with a more complex timbre, depending on what the term conjures for the listener. Both are used in French music.

If my understanding is correct, an M- of equal offset to that of the M+ would mollify rather than accentuate the musette character.
M- having an "equal offset" to the M+ will not "negate" it. The two tones aren't "averaged" when played together. For example, if the M- reed is -10c (measured at A4) and the M+ reed is +10c, you have a difference of 20c, or 1/5 of a semitone. This will result in very noticeable tremolo - in fact, wetter than your typical Hohner tremolo (~15c).

My humble suggestion would be to start with a spread that you like as your wettest setting, and let this define the difference between your M- and M+. That will determine the setting with the most tremolo you can produce. Put the chambered M reed at 440, and position the M+ a little higher than the M- is low. For example, if you want a maximum tremolo of 15c, then try an M- tuned to -7c, and a M+ tuned to +8c. This will perceptually center the MMM sound at 440, with a classic "continental" sound to it. The M-/M+ setting will be more crisp and less lush. It will also offer two settings with roughly half the maximum tremolo (what some call 'swing').
 

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Debra, I get and dig the creative arrangement registrations you describe above. They also go to the core of the confining range of PA vs CA especially without an H. In other words, G - C is better for the L-based registers while E-A is better for the M-based registers. Accordingly, I've come to the realization that my tolerance for compromise demands a dedicated "drier" and separate "wetter" accordion.
Gonk, besides the good notion of a max tremolo tolerance, you've highlighted some lack of clarity in your 2nd quote of mine. I meant to refer to the addition of M- to [M' + M+]. The resulting [M- + M + M+], setting aside for a moment the location of the reed sets, has been discussed in this forum in terms of adding a dry Mc to [M+ + M-] with a perceived effect of "mollifying"/"sweetening" the harshness of the latter's tremolo. I'm just arriving at the sum of the 3 Ms in a different order because the M- is the last tuning I need to figure out.
Excuse my bad link above. Here's the original source from which I got the youtube link of my nice triple M sound in a double chambered instrument: https://cavagnolo.com/en/accordeon/compact-plus/ I share this because poetry is just too limiting and ambiguous for describing musette. My aim with the video is not to crusade but if I attract a potential believer that's ok ; - )
 

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Ok, but if you add M- to [M & M+], you will increase the tremolo. The amount of tremolo is created by the two reeds on the low and high end of the set, whichever they are.
 

debra

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Ok, but if you add M- to [M & M+], you will increase the tremolo. The amount of tremolo is created by the two reeds on the low and high end of the set, whichever they are.
True: you will increase the tremolo. But subjectively, to the listener, you do not double it. A more or less "standard" MM+ tremolo on German or Italian accordions is between 14 and 16 cents. The perceived amount of tremolo this gives I can subjectively approximate using an MMM register that is -10, 0, +10. Although this in theory has 20 cents tremolo, the middle M (especially when in cassotto) makes it sound like the accordion has less tremolo than that.
I never understood why Hohner decided that the Morino V and the 5-voice Gola accordions only offered M and MMM settings and not MM. When you have an LMMMH accordion it really makes a lot of sense to offer MM, MMH, LMM and LMMH registers in addition to the ones with MMM. The only reason I can think of is that you can be sloppier with the tuning if MM cannot be selected separately, and I have found that sloppiness in tuning an a lot of these Hohners.
 

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Good additional point Paul. I just wanted to make sure we had cleared up this misunderstanding:
I'm looking for the triple-M sound to be more "French" than my modest [M + Mc+] but still civil. If my understanding is correct, an M- of equal offset to that of the M+ would mollify rather than accentuate the musette character.
The main thing I want to impart is that an M- of any offset will add to the tremolo.
 

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So at the risk of going too nerdy, I took a foray into some physics forums. Knowing the simple formula for the beat frequency of 2 superimposed tones, i.e., Beat frequency = l freq1 - freq2 l , I was curious to find a formula for the beat frequency of 3 superimposed frequencies. No such luck today but I did find the following qualitative and quantitative illustration of how tones of 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2Hz attenuated the beat intensity vs that of just the pair 1.0 and 1.2. "attenuated" is my interpretation of the wave superimposition graphs because the troughs are less deep for the 3 tones than for the extreme pair of 1.0 and 1.2 thereby attenuating the difference between crests and troughs of the beats although the frequency is the same in both cases. https://physics.stackexchange.com/q...quency-of-superimposition-of-three-sine-waves So at least in the special case of these superimposed frequencies, the beat frequency looks the same for the three as for just the two extreme frequencies but the height of the crests relative to the floor of the troughs is reduced for 3 vs 2. The math and superimposition graphs get pretty hairy once the 3rd reed comes into play. So what's all this mean in the real world for my latest notion of: [ Mc+5 + Mdry + M-5 ] in comparison to my Cavagnolo link above?
 

debra

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So at the risk of going too nerdy, I took a foray into some physics forums. Knowing the simple formula for the beat frequency of 2 superimposed tones, i.e., Beat frequency = l freq1 - freq2 l , I was curious to find a formula for the beat frequency of 3 superimposed frequencies. No such luck today but I did find the following qualitative and quantitative illustration of how tones of 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2Hz attenuated the beat intensity vs that of just the pair 1.0 and 1.2. "attenuated" is my interpretation of the wave superimposition graphs because the troughs are less deep for the 3 tones than for the extreme pair of 1.0 and 1.2 thereby attenuating the difference between crests and troughs of the beats although the frequency is the same in both cases. https://physics.stackexchange.com/q...quency-of-superimposition-of-three-sine-waves So at least in the special case of these superimposed frequencies, the beat frequency looks the same for the three as for just the two extreme frequencies but the height of the crests relative to the floor of the troughs is reduced for 3 vs 2. The math and superimposition graphs get pretty hairy once the 3rd reed comes into play. So what's all this mean in the real world for my latest notion of: [ Mc+5 + Mdry + M-5 ] in comparison to my Cavagnolo link above?
You explained quite well what happens: the low and high reeds produce an average frequency with a volume beating. If you add a reed that has that average frequency it will reduce the amplitude of the beating. And subjectively, to our ears, this gives the suggestion that the beat frequency is lower whereas in reality it's the beat amplitude that is lower. And if the MMM tremolo is not symmetrical then the average of M- and M+ is not the same as the "dry" M and the situation becomes even more complex. Also subjectively people tend to prefer the "sound" of MMM over that of MM and the reduced amplitude of the beating may be a physics explanation for this.
 

Beaubello

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You explained quite well what happens: the low and high reeds produce an average frequency with a volume beating. If you add a reed that has that average frequency it will reduce the amplitude of the beating. And subjectively, to our ears, this gives the suggestion that the beat frequency is lower whereas in reality it's the beat amplitude that is lower. And if the MMM tremolo is not symmetrical then the average of M- and M+ is not the same as the "dry" M and the situation becomes even more complex. Also subjectively people tend to prefer the "sound" of MMM over that of MM and the reduced amplitude of the beating may be a physics explanation for this.
Even when M' is nearly the average of M+ and M-, the resultant wave becomes more complex indeed, so much so that it can even become completely aperiodic. In such cases, there are relatively confluent crests with no discernible beats as graphically illustrated for the trio of 200, 203 and 206.28 Hz. One couldn't presume though that there wouldn't be beats in other parts of the range for this tuning. FYI: https://physics.stackexchange.com/q...-from-the-superposition-of-3-sources-of-unequ I see 3 ways to avoid such surprises. One could stick to the likes of tried and true frequency combinations, use an app in advance to display the resultant superimposition of sine waves of the 3 proposed component frequencies, or get lucky enough to find the right tuner-accordionist-physicist to calculate the primary beat frequency (if it exists) and its amplitude. Physics aside, I welcome pls feedback from anyone's experience with something similar to my latest inclination for -5 + M 440 + 5+ or expectations of how it might fly (subjective character) relative to more customary options. Would these seem close to the sound of that Cavagnolo in my link above?
 
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