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Demonstration of 10 musette tunings by Liberty Bellows

Scuromondo

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I'm on my way to meet the owner of Compadre accordion who wants 30 cents in the middle of the keyboard.
Should I offer him a set of ear-muffs?
Maybe just tune each note to the next semitone and tell him you’ll give him 100 instead of only 30.
😉
 
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Pipemajor

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Thanks for the very generous offer but I'll give it a miss.

Some day, when covid is over and I can play better, I'll go to an accordion shop and try out all the toys :)
Then when I know what I really want next I'll get a cheap one and fix it up.
Hi Glug, I hope you didn't misconstrue my offer. I'm not wanting to sell it, I just thought, as it's not being used, you may like to try a Musette tuned box.
 

Pipemajor

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No problem, I understood perfectly :)

I did have a recent phase of wanting to try a (Victoria Super) musette box but now I think violin is going to sound the same to me until I can play better or develop a better ear. I will try one at some point.

On the other hand I do have an Orfeo LMM: https://www.accordionists.info/threads/converting-a-lmmh-accordion-to-mmm.7558/
Thanks Glug. I just didn't want you to think I was trying to push a sneaky sale.
By the way I think you will find full musette versus violin a totally different animal no matter how your hearing is :eek:
 

Hongyu

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MM dry tuned, even without cassotto has a subtle richness to my ear. In fact I prefer it to one M in cassotto and one out. "Simulating" other instruments seems part of the accordion's second class reputation to me, like it's an acoustic synthesizer. I find myself increasingly preferring the non-cassotto sound, or a weaker cassotto effect, like Galliano's over VanDamme's for example. Just my predilection, but I wonder if others share it?
I absolutely agree with you Craigd! It's interesting that Richard's Victoria does has Cassotto, but its effect sounds very weak for my ears... He mentioned in a recent interview by "Jazz Accordion Solos" that Cassotto accordions normally have the problem of lacking power. My old Titano has a weak tremolo tuning and I'm considering tuning it dry, but I'm worried that this would damage the original Catraro reeds inside...
 

debra

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I absolutely agree with you Craigd! It's interesting that Richard's Victoria does has Cassotto, but its effect sounds very weak for my ears... He mentioned in a recent interview by "Jazz Accordion Solos" that Cassotto accordions normally have the problem of lacking power. My old Titano has a weak tremolo tuning and I'm considering tuning it dry, but I'm worried that this would damage the original Catraro reeds inside...
Cassotto actually increases the power. It's a resonance chamber that works a bit like a "bass reflex" found in some speaker systems, intended to amplify the (bass) sound. A cassotto amplifies the base frequency of the reeds and reduced the volume of the higher harmonics, producing a louder but more mellow tone that carries further. Cassotto was mainly invented to increase the volume, and this was in an era when electric amplification did not exist or was only just appearing.
If you want to change the tuning, when it is done by a professional who knows what he's doing (not a butcher with a Dremel) then the reeds should be able to handle it without damage.
 

Hongyu

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Cassotto actually increases the power. It's a resonance chamber that works a bit like a "bass reflex" found in some speaker systems, intended to amplify the (bass) sound. A cassotto amplifies the base frequency of the reeds and reduced the volume of the higher harmonics, producing a louder but more mellow tone that carries further. Cassotto was mainly invented to increase the volume, and this was in an era when electric amplification did not exist or was only just appearing.
If you want to change the tuning, when it is done by a professional who knows what he's doing (not a butcher with a Dremel) then the reeds should be able to handle it without damage.
Thanks Paul! Very interesting! Here's the link to his recent interview and he mentioned the cassotto at 2:06 I don't know what exactly did he mean by "the lack of power", maybe its the translation or he just personally doesn't prefer cassotto mellow sound. He mainly play European musette style jazz not "traditional" American jazz, so it makes some sense..
 

debra

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Thanks Paul! Very interesting! Here's the link to his recent interview and he mentioned the cassotto at 2:06 ...
I don't know what exactly did he mean by "the lack of power", maybe its the translation or he just personally doesn't prefer cassotto mellow sound. He mainly play European musette style jazz not "traditional" American jazz, so it makes some sense..
He does indeed say that cassotto generally lacks power, but this is a common misconception. If you measure the volume cassotto is really louder. But... cassotto makes the base frequency stronger and reduces the higher harmonics. The more mellow sound can be mistaken for less powerful because our ears are more sensitive to the higher frequencies (but not extremely high, especially as we age).
What Galliano stresses is that his Victoria has a "homogeneous" sound. He does not explain it, but his accordion has just two reed blocks in cassotto and then the sound is more homogeneous than with accordions that have three blocks in cassotto (like French models and Russian bayans).
 

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In order to figure out the cents on my current accordion, would I solo the M+ register, play an A and see how many Hz it is off from 440?
So 443Hz=12 cents, 444Hz=15 cents, etc?
 

Glug

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Basically yes, but replace 440 with whatever the A4 M is tuned to .

1 cent = 1/100 semitone on an exponential scale

So F2 relative to F1 is 1200 * (log2 (F2) - log2 (F1)) cents.

My Scandalli at A4 has M (opening) = 441.4 & M+ (opening) = 443.3.
So difference in cents is 1200 * (log2 (443.3) - log2 (441.4))
= 1200 * (8.792 - 8.786)
= 7.2 cents
(it needs tuning)

log2 (x) is the log base 2, see https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/log-2
and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_logarithm#Conversion_from_other_bases

What I did was measure M and M+ for each note and put it in a spreadsheet, then have that calculate the cents for each note.
You can then plot a graph to see what the tuning would be if each note were in tune and fit a curve to it etc.
Here's the graph for my Hohner Lucia

Lucia.1.jpg
 

Hongyu

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He does indeed say that cassotto generally lacks power, but this is a common misconception. If you measure the volume cassotto is really louder. But... cassotto makes the base frequency stronger and reduces the higher harmonics. The more mellow sound can be mistaken for less powerful because our ears are more sensitive to the higher frequencies (but not extremely high, especially as we age).
What Galliano stresses is that his Victoria has a "homogeneous" sound. He does not explain it, but his accordion has just two reed blocks in cassotto and then the sound is more homogeneous than with accordions that have three blocks in cassotto (like French models and Russian bayans).
Thanks for the information Paul! Which three reeds are in the cassotto for french and russian accordion? All L M and H reeds? They do have a more metallic sounds compared rather than woody sounds
 

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Thanks for the information Paul! Which three reeds are in the cassotto for french and russian accordion? All L M and H reeds? They do have a more metallic sounds compared rather than woody sounds
The same reeds are in the cassotto, typically L and M. It is because these accordions have so many more notes that you need more reed blocks. These accordions all have 6 treble reed blocks. L and M are on one set of 3 and the other M and H are on another set of 3. And for convenience each reed block has all the notes from one row of buttons. The first row of buttons sits deepest into the cassotto, the third row is closest to the "exit" of the cassotto and that's why the M reed (which is closest to the exit ) of the third row of buttons has the least mellow sound of all reeds in cassotto. If you listen carefully to a chromatic scale being played on such a button accordion, on the M register, you can detect whether the accordion is C system or B system just by listening for which notes are more mellow and which ones are sharper. On a C system C, Eb, F# and A are on the first row and are most mellow and F, G#, B, D are on the third row and are least mellow. On B system it's the other way around. (The second row of buttons has the same notes on either system.
 

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@Glug That is a great explanation and analysis. On my Bugari A4 is tuned to approx 12 cents. From the graph, the tuning changes over the range of the keyboard, which makes sense. So, if I asked a manufacturer for 12 cents tuning, which note would be exactly 12 cents? IE where would the curve start?
 

Glug

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The curve is always measured at A4 (440Hz or 442 ... etc).

The other consideration is what shape the curve is, ie. how fast the amount of tremolo changes as you go up or down from A4.
Apparently you need more tremolo at higher pitches for it to sound 'sweet'.

The 'curve' is used to refer to the beats per second for each note and it's usually exponential or linear. Also know as 'beat progression'.

I use some software to fit exponential and linear curves to the measured bps to try and see what the original tuning curve was intended to be. That's what the 'exp' and 'linear' lines on the Lucia Tremolo graph are. Since the difference is minimal I concluded Hohner originally tuned it with a linear curve (my 1950s Scandalli is also linear), so when I retune the Lucia I will use that linear bps curve as the target.

Here's an old discussion on curves: https://www.accordionists.info/threads/learning-to-tune.6469/#post-69755

But an easy way is to find a tuning you like (for example a recording or another box in a shop) and ask for the same curve.
 

oldbayan

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On the Roland V-accordions there is a "musette detune" function but it does not tell us the cents values, only names such as Dry, Classic, American...
 

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