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Any recomended sets for a 4x player?

eric

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Howdy folks! I got my FR 4x a few days ago and have been trying to get used to it. Slowly, I think I'm starting to make progress. Lots of things that I hadn't expected to have to get used to, key action (much, much stiffer than any accordion I've played before), huge amount of effort with bellows to drive the sound, etc

However, one that is really taking forever is the huge amount of sounds available and slowly working through each of the sets. I am kinda wondering if folks might have some favorites they can recommend. The button accordion played in this Dervish recording is kinda my goal for a general accordion sound: It's very wet by not dissonant. Also, I'm guessing it would be considered a musette since I don't hear anything more than a single octave. I'm up to set 24 or or something and so far, the musettes and accordion/masters are either too dry or too dissonant to suit my target sound. I've got tons more to go through and I do have Richard Noel's sets as well.

Also, what do you typically do with reverb chorus? I've been fiddling with changing those up and haven't quite settled on whether I prefer them on/off/type of setting...
 

davidplaysaccordion

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Surprised you found the action stiff. I thought is was much easier than a regular accordion, more like a synth keyboard. Re bellows pressure, don’t try too hard, use the volume knob to set the general vol level. I have the air bleed button almost closed and my bellows hardly move when playing. You are just trying to affect the pressures on the sensor rather than push air over reeds. I find that with the air bleed open it wheezes far to much and being neer the top is very distracting.
 

davidplaysaccordion

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I have dale Mathis sound set so not a stock setup but I use a lot of string bass and stings on the bass side. On the right hand I either layer a string musette with strings for a very string heavy orchestra sound or use the sax or clarinet or a very twangy guitar for solos.
About the only thing I play with raw accordion sounds is music for a found harmonium.

also, pretty much as soon as I got my 4x I realized I wanted/needed a bk7m backing module. The two together are awesome and a LOT of fun, even makes me sound good😆
 

eric

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So, it turns out I had set the bellows curve to x-hvy hoping to make it behave most like a real accordion as possible. Playing around on std does make it somewhat easier, though, there are some notes that seem to jump out at super high volume without what seems like an appropriate difference in bellows pressure. This usually happens when changing directions, possibly on one particular direction, though, it was not super predictable. I probably can figure out how to avoid that.

As for the orchestral sounds, at least for the standard Roland sounds, a lot of them don't use the bellows, but instead use the pressure on the keys to determine things like volume. I haven't even tried any of those sounds yet, lol. Way too much to choose from.

After playing some more this afternoon, switching the bellows curve down to std, I bumped the chorus up to the halfway mark and some of the folk instruments sounded pretty good. But, not quite as watery as the Dervish accordion player's sound.
 

davidplaysaccordion

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I think the biggest thing for me was to realize that while it looks and to some extent, plays like an accordion, it isn’t one. It’s more like an electronic keyboard with a wind controller.
 

dan

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However, one that is really taking forever is the huge amount of sounds available and slowly working through each of the sets. I am kinda wondering if folks might have some favorites they can recommend.
me too! Very time consuming, not many I liked. I eventually settled on the I-folk set (33 on the 1x, may be different on the 4x)

I would suggest trialing one register at a time (all sets) rather than one set at a time (all registers). Easier to compare. Your desired sound is either a dry tuned musette register (three middle reeds, one tuned flat, one sharp) or a slightly wet violin register (two middle reeds, one tuned sharp) I think.

If master is too heavy (5 reeds) try a register with two or three middle reeds and a low reed but no high reed.

Chorus also will affect your orchestral instruments and bass side. If you want more reverb or wetter musette there are other settings you can adjust
 

Glenn

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You can of course edit your own sound and “dial in” the amount and kind of detuning your heart desires. The change in volume between push and pull is a skill you will need to master with bellows control. I think the Roland line of accordions are not that forgiving and it takes conscious practice to get it right.
 

Alan Sharkis

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The editor software is definitely worth installing and learning for anyone who owns an FR-4x and is not completely satisfied with Roland’s pre-set sounds. I, too, keep my volume high, my bellows curve on heavy, and my air control almost closed. That way, the subtlest changes in force can give me big dynamic changes. However, that’s a personal preference. Just don’t go too light with the air control opened, or your left shoulder will wear out quickly!
 

Valski

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The editor software is definitely worth installing and learning for anyone who owns an FR-4x and is not completely satisfied with Roland’s pre-set sounds. I, too, keep my volume high, my bellows curve on heavy, and my air control almost closed. That way, the subtlest changes in force can give me big dynamic changes. However, that’s a personal preference. Just don’t go too light with the air control opened, or your left shoulder will wear out quickly!
Absolutely get the Roland set editor it's exactly what you need to set up your accordion to sound good. I would go a step further and recommend investing in the Richard Noel sets which will give you instant gratification because there are so many great combinations of sounds ready to go. These sets are a bit pricey but your time and frustration also carry a price. You've already spent quite a bit on the accordion do yourself a favour and get as much enjoyment out of the instrument as possible.

As far as the bellows pressure, you have to remember that this is not an acoustic instrument and never will be. This will bother you for a while and then you'll forget about this detail. You can play around with the settings but at some point it will become immaterial
 

pentaprism

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The first thing I did to my V-accordions was to turn off velocity sensitivity. I’d rather control the volume with the bellows.
 

dan

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The first thing I did to my V-accordions was to turn off velocity sensitivity. I’d rather control the volume with the bellows.
I have done the same. I was getting more unintentional dynamic variation than deliberate. Although it may be easier to control, or at least more familiar, on a piano style keyboard than CBA.
 

eric

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Hm, I was under the impression the accordion sets were already set to ingore key touch. That might explain some of the unexpected (and totally inappropriate) blasts I have experienced. I do have the Richard Noel sets but am still trying to familiarize myself with the stock ones first. Maybe that's a mistake?

For what it's worth, I have very little interet in the orchestral stuff. I'm hoping to play this in Irish sessions and I don't think they would be very appreciative if I were to play anything that wasn't an accordion sound.
 

eric

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Cool! I've actually been going to a newbie session for the last few months, playing only my flute and whistle. I've only started playing accordion again for a few weeks, so I'm not anywhere near ready to let anyone hear me play, lol. But it's good to know that people may be more tolerant than I had assumed.
 

eric

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That said...once I manage to find a handful of accordion sounds I want to use regularly, I was planning on layering a banjo over a few of them as alternates. I LOVE the sound of the banjo and accordion (and banjo and flute) playing together on fast tunes with a lot of rolls and crans (the same note repeated in rapid succession).
 

Valski

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Hm, I was under the impression the accordion sets were already set to ingore key touch. That might explain some of the unexpected (and totally inappropriate) blasts I have experienced. I do have the Richard Noel sets but am still trying to familiarize myself with the stock ones first. Maybe that's a mistake?

For what it's worth, I have very little interet in the orchestral stuff. I'm hoping to play this in Irish sessions and I don't think they would be very appreciative if I were to play anything that wasn't an accordion sound.
The orchestral sets from Roland are in my opinion best left until you have the time and energy to modify them. With the Richard Noel sets you can dive right in and enjoy playing. It's all up to you because your accordion is versatile but this can get you playing something that sounds great.
 

JerryPH

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The Noel sets were a huge time saver for me for sure, and really opened my eyes as to the programming capabilities of the 8X. I keep saying it, with the Noel sets, that is they way that the 8X should have come from the factory!
 

Valski

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The Noel sets were a huge time saver for me for sure, and really opened my eyes as to the programming capabilities of the 8X. I keep saying it, with the Noel sets, that is they way that the 8X should have come from the factory!
That's exactly what Keith Anderson told me when he sold me my FR8X. He was including the Richard Noel sets when he sold a V Accordion in order to prevent a lot of frustration and disappointment because the programming can be difficult.
 

JerryPH

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That's exactly what Keith Anderson told me when he sold me my FR8X. He was including the Richard Noel sets when he sold a V Accordion in order to prevent a lot of frustration and disappointment because the programming can be difficult.
I'll be right at his place in a few weeks to pick up my Morino, it's almost as hard for me like a kid waiting for the sun to rise on Christmas morning! :) :)

He doesn't have a ton of accordions for sale, but man-oh-man what he does have is AMAZING!
 

Valski

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I'll be right at his place in a few weeks to pick up my Morino, it's almost as hard for me like a kid waiting for the sun to rise on Christmas morning! :) :)

He doesn't have a ton of accordions for sale, but man-oh-man what he does have is AMAZING!
Yes, quality not quantity. We're a small market in Canada. I remember dealing with Castiglione Accordion in Detroit, they were perhaps one of the biggest accordion dealers in the USA and John Castiglione carried a lot of great gear. Unfortunately John died and they shut down which is very sad.
 

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