• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

FR-1xb sounds

123dwight

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2024
Messages
18
Reaction score
23
Location
Crescent City, California, USA
I'm considering an FR-1XB. Should I get the Dale Mathis edition or the Richrd Noel sounds? Does the Fr-1xb have room for both? I'm not looking for crazy synthisizer sounds. I just want an accordion that sounds good. I would also use other reed sounds such as bassoon. A pipe organ would be nice. That's all.
 
I'm considering an FR-1XB. Should I get the Dale Mathis edition or the Richrd Noel sounds? Does the Fr-1xb have room for both? I'm not looking for crazy synthisizer sounds. I just want an accordion that sounds good. I would also use other reed sounds such as bassoon. A pipe organ would be nice. That's all.
I have the Dale Mathis set. My friend has the Richard Noel set. We have compared them a little. I am not an expert on this, but I believe both sets can be loaded together in the FR1 (which I do not have).

I think both sets are good, with their unique properties. The advantage of the Dale Mathis sets are that they are pre loaded and Dale offers post purchase support. He is an actual person who actually answers the phone and answers your questions. This was (is) very nice for me as I am not a real “techy” with the sounds. Disadvantage is that you can only get them as a pre loaded set. (This is not to say that Richard Noel does not offer support, I just don’t know.)

I feel that the Noel sets are more broad based than the Mathis sets. That is to say, the Mathis sets are more geared towards traditional accordion music like polkas, waltzes, old time, etc. whereas the Noel sets will give you more options for jazz, classical, weird music. I could be wrong on this, please jump in. John on here is a master at tweaking the Hammond organ sounds. He may offer you some advice.

The big question is whether you like to get in there and play with the sounds. I do not, being happy to play with what I find. If you like to “tinker,” either set will give you a base to begin your discovery. Or just start with the base model and go from there.

Bottom line this is just my 2 cents. My advice? See if you can get the Dale Mathis version from Kraft Music for the same price you can get the FR1 elsewhere. If so, get it and see if you like it. If not, either get the Noel sets or start tweaking! Good luck!
 
I am not familiar with the Dale Mathis User Programs. I tried to get them some time ago, but they are not for sale. They only come with a purchased accordion from Kraft Music (previously available from Crown Music in Arizona). Tom has the best information on the Dale Mathis Programs.

I purchased the Richard Noel User Programs. They are $150 for 31 Program Banks of 14 User programs in each Bank. That's 434 User Programs. As Tom said there are a very wide variety of sounds, like 2001 Space Odyssey, Rocky 1, Star Wars, etc. However, Richard also has many more traditional Accordion sounds, Organ, and Orchestral sounds. I have never spoken to Richard, but I had several questions for him. He answered every one in detail. All correspondence was via E-mail,
John
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tom
Unless you purchase the v-accordion from Kraft, you cannot get the Dale Mathis sets. That makes the next available option much easier to take... Richard Noel was the FIRST guy out there that was making custom sounds for the V-accordions a looooong time ago.

I don't know Dale, I did communicate with Richard, he was a sincerely nice guy and very forthcoming.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom
I'm considering an FR-1XB. Should I get the Dale Mathis edition or the Richrd Noel sounds? Does the Fr-1xb have room for both? …

I would ask Dale Mathis if you can load and experiment with third party sounds (other than his preinstalled sounds) without loosing his sounds. If yes, then buying his edition Fr1x seems the only way to get HIS sounds and eventually try/buy other soundsets later. There are even free ones (custom build sounds from other v-accordion users. And maybe one day you may even want to shape your own or mix precomposed soundsets.

I personally can’t think why it should NOT be possible to use Dale Mathis’ sounds and other sounds on the same accordion - at least alternately. Dale shows in one of his videos on YouTube how to store and reload the “user programs” to/from an USB thumb drive and I bet you will need this method even to use all of his sounds because the FR1x can only store/hold 8 “user programs” at the same time. But you can have virtually limitless user programms stored on the USB drive and load them when you need them. This would also be the way to switch between user programs of different authors or even your own home made sounds.
 
Last edited:
hey here is a crazy idea

maybe presume that a many thousand dollar Roland accordion
might just come with a whole set of sounds and accordion sets that
DO NOT SUCK
and that therefore you could own, play, enjoy one without having to
immediately spend hundreds more dollars to scrap the original sounds
(which you have yet to even hear or evaluate in person)
in favor of other sounds you have also never yet heard in person

doesn't this sound absurd to anyone else that apparently
no-one thinks these instruments, as delivered by Roland,
are even worth playing as is for a New York Minute ?

i cannot fathom why on earth would anyone pay thousands of dollars
for an instrument that (apparently) sounds so horrible from the factory
that it isn't even useable without investing hundreds more $$
into it
 
maybe presume that a many thousand dollar Roland accordion
might just come with a whole set of sounds and accordion sets that
DO NOT SUCK
I distinctly remember a video by Dale Mathis himself in which he clearly states that the factory sounds on the FR-4x he was presenting were okay in and of themselves, that they were just not geared toward the usual US taste and his set explicitly contains sounds that do (the amount of Leslie sounds alone seemed staggering to me -- I personally dislike its sound, so I wouldn't dream of shelling out top dollar for them). It's the same with acoustic instruments: Not everybody likes a fat -20/+20 MMM musette. Nobody would say such an instrument "sucked" (to use your words), just that it's not the right one for them, and simply move on. The advantage of the Roland: You don't have to move on! You can actually change the whole character of the instruments by pressing a few buttons!

Of course it may seem like a disservice to customers that Roland doesn't ship a gazillion Accordion sets on their V-Accordions so everybody could find one they like. Even if they did, there would be tons of people that would still complain that there is no good sound for them. Hell, I could probably write you a nice little script to generate all the billions of parameter combinations that are possible. It'd probably take me less than a day to do it, too. So if it's the mass of different sets you're after -- that pain can probably be alleviated.

The one criticism of the Rolands, especially with the FR-1x, that I do share is the puny onboard speaker sound. However, building a "5000W Bass Machine(tm)" into a "strap on and walk around" instrument made mostly of plastics is just plain difficult if you want to keep weight, size and prize down and battery life up.
 
: Not everybody likes a fat -20/+20 MMM musette. Nobody would say such an instrument "sucked" (to use your words), just that it's not the right one for them, and simply move on.
ahh, but with this Roland buyer mindset, people in China or Oregon would
gladly order a factory tuned Scottish Zero Sette -20/+20 then have it sent
(sound unheard) directly to Paul Debra for immediate and costly re-tuning
before they ever gave it a first squeeze (or an honest chance)
 
I have heard samples on YouTube. The Mathis sounds better than origional. I have not priced the Mathis edition yet. Richard Noel costs $75 for the FR-1x
i wonder how much better than You Tube it would sound
through new $75 headphones plugged directly in to
the accordion ?
 
ahh, but with this Roland buyer mindset, people in China or Oregon would
gladly order a factory tuned Scottish Zero Sette -20/+20 then have it sent
(sound unheard) directly to Paul Debra for immediate and costly re-tuning
before they ever gave it a first squeeze (or an honest chance)
Well, that's what "knowledgeable people" like Dale Mathis advertise. And tbh, I did found his videos quite enlightening when I researched the V-Accordion, and probably a lot of other people did, too.
 
research is good

knowledgeable people can be helpful

my problem is this substituting of other peoples opinions onto
an expensive decision that does not even allow for the prospective
buyer to actually get their hands on one and try it first before they
come to a final decision

does no-one trust their own ears and fingers at least equally
against the ebb and flow of internet opinion anymore ?
 
You make a good point. It is not possible to install Dale Mathis after purchasing an instrument. The decision will depend on the cost after pricing them.

Richard Noel can be purchased later and the price seems reasonable.
 
research is good

knowledgeable people can be helpful

my problem is this substituting of other peoples opinions onto
an expensive decision that does not even allow for the prospective
buyer to actually get their hands on one and try it first before they
come to a final decision

does no-one trust their own ears and fingers at least equally
against the ebb and flow of internet opinion anymore ?
I bought my 8X and one the things I really enjoy about it is the ability to tweak the accordion and orchestra sounds and the bellows action to what you want. I wouldn’t buy Richard Noel’s or Dale Mathis sound sets because they have no idea what my own personal taste is for these sounds. If people would take the time to play with all the different settings you would have a customized instrument unlike anything that you could buy that you did yourself. I had a friend buy an 8X and Richard Noel’s programs and he sold it after 1 year telling me he’s not computer minded and couldn’t be bothered with all the tinkering - which I understand and offered to help him with but just didn’t catch on. The first thing he does when he visits is grabs my 8 X and says he loves the sound 🤔🤔. I guess for people who are not that computer friendly and do not enjoy tinkering with that sort of thing the Roland is not for you unless you buy it with being satisfied with the out of box sounds or buying someone else’s - I’ve had my 8 X for about 8 yrs now and still love tinkering with the sounds
 
I would ask Dale Mathis if you can load and experiment with third party sounds (other than his preinstalled sounds) without loosing his sounds. If yes, then buying his edition Fr1x seems the only way to get HIS sounds and eventually try/buy other soundsets later. There are even free ones (custom build sounds from other v-accordion users. And maybe one day you may even want to shape your own or mix precomposed soundsets.

I personally can’t think why it should NOT be possible to use Dale Mathis’ sounds and other sounds on the same accordion - at least alternately. Dale shows in one of his videos on YouTube how to store and reload the “user programs” to/from an USB thumb drive and I bet you will need this method even to use all of his sounds because the FR1x can only store/hold 8 “user programs” at the same time. But you can have virtually limitless user programms stored on the USB drive and load them when you need them. This would also be the way to switch between user programs of different authors or even your own home made sounds.
I agree that you should be able to user the Dale Mathis Sounds and the Richard Sounds on the FR-4x. However, I don't think you can have them both in the 1X simultaneously. I looked up in the FR-1X manual and it has capacity for 8 User Programs. My 8X has capacity for 100 Banks of User Programs with 14 User Programs in each Bank. That's 1400 User Programs. When I bought the User Programs from Richard Noel for my 8X, he supplied 31 Banks of 14 User Programs in each Bank. That's 434 User Programs. The Cost was $150 -- A very good value. I think I saw in this or another post, that Richard's cost of User Programs is $75 for the 1X. It's probably because the 1X only has enough memory allocated for 8 User Programs.

So, my guess is that you cannot use both the Dale Mathis and Richard Noel User Programs simultaneously. What you could do is Export/Save the Dale Mathis User Programs to a Flash Drive and then load Richard Noel User Programs. Try them both and see what your favorites are and then get a group of 8 favorite User Programs (say 4 from Dale Mathis & 4 from Richard Noel). With this "mix" you could have both together in your 1X.

There may be another possibility. I am not familiar with the 1X or how Dale Mathis configured his sounds. They may be in "Sets" and maybe he didn't use the memory reserved for 8 User Programs. In that case, I think you could also load Richard User Programs and also use Dale Mathis "Sets". The 8X also, has "Sets", I have not used them -- I only use User Programs.
John
 
I bought my 8X and one the things I really enjoy about it is the ability to tweak the accordion and orchestra sounds and the bellows action to what you want. I wouldn’t buy Richard Noel’s or Dale Mathis sound sets because they have no idea what my own personal taste is for these sounds. If people would take the time to play with all the different settings you would have a customized instrument unlike anything that you could buy that you did yourself. I had a friend buy an 8X and Richard Noel’s programs and he sold it after 1 year telling me he’s not computer minded and couldn’t be bothered with all the tinkering - which I understand and offered to help him with but just didn’t catch on. The first thing he does when he visits is grabs my 8 X and says he loves the sound 🤔🤔. I guess for people who are not that computer friendly and do not enjoy tinkering with that sort of thing the Roland is not for you unless you buy it with being satisfied with the out of box sounds or buying someone else’s - I’ve had my 8 X for about 8 yrs now and still love tinkering with the sounds
I agree with what you said about tweaking your 8X accordion and orchestral sounds. You can really modify the tones a lot. It takes a lot of time, as I am sure you will agree. However, Richard Noel, spent a lot of time in creating his 434 User Programs for the 8X. I would be very surprised if you couldn't find several Richard Noel UPG's that you really like that won't sound the same as yours (maybe even better). I have used many of his and then "fine tuned" them to get the exact "sweet spot" in tone that I like (Bass/treble Balance, EQ settings, etc.) I use an external speaker. When I do my fine tuning, I use the external speaker and tune the "whole system" to what sounds best to me.
John
 
When I do my fine tuning, I use the external speaker and tune the "whole system" to what sounds best to me
Excellent advice! All external equipment adds their own characteristics. Some more, some less. I imagine you could create a set that’s perfectly fine on your external amp but sound weak on headphones that for example don’t have much „oomph“ to them or vice versa.
 
I don't use headphones. My external speaker is a Bose L1 Pro8. I only use it, whether I play out or practice at home. When I turn the Bose off and go on the 8X internal speakers, it sounds like I have a totally different accordion. There is so much clarity with the Bose. The low end is extremely nice -- full/rich. The Tuba on the left hand bass is very real. On the 8X internal speakers, there is no resemblance to a Tuba. It's just sort of a "rattaling" sound.
 
hey here is a crazy idea

maybe presume that a many thousand dollar Roland accordion
might just come with a whole set of sounds and accordion sets that
DO NOT SUCK

A FR-1xb is not "many thousand dollar". It's two. The 4x and 8x are generally reported as having at least decent sounds included, even if they're not sufficient for everyone. But it's a nearly universal experience, as far as I can tell, that the included accordion sounds on the FR-1x are generally quite poor (yes, even through headphones). It's certainly my experience. Dale Mathis has said that he refused to sell the FR-1x, even while very happily selling 4x and 8x, because of how very crap a sound it made, until he played with it a bit more and discovered that a significant chunk of the problem was the included sounds.

Why did I throw a couple grand at an instrument whose sound I mostly hate? Because (a) it's worth having an instrument I can play at night while still keeping my relationship with the household intact, and (b) it's the cheapest damn free-bass converter you'll ever see (and actually, the free-bass is IMO the one exception to "sounding like crap" on the instrument, much better than the bass reeds of affordable and compact converters I've had my hands on).

Seriously, have you played a 1x? Do you genuinely not consider it to sound like absolute poop, out of the box? If so, you would literally be the first person from whom I've heard that opinion.
 
Back
Top