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Loud bass

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mjh

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On the other forum, I saw many mentions of taping over some reeds to reduce the volume, and there was supposed to be a thread about it, but I never found it. Could anyone point me in the right direction? This is just to weigh my options for the future, if it really starts bothering me. Tried covering the holes on the bass side, but as far as I could tell, it didn't change much.
 

Glenn

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Hi Mjh,

How many reeds/voices do you have on the bass side?
Are there no couplers to remove some of them?
I once played at a small party and some of the guests said in a small room that sitting on left of me made the bass sound rather heavy.
Maybe if we keep rotating as we perform we could create a Leslie organ effect and keep everyone happy.
 
S

smdc66

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hey i was thinking of posting a bass question :cry: :eek:

i thought mine were loud but got used to them i think on my concerto

my question is a slight variation now - can the sound of the bass be altered in the same way that treble tuning can be

what annoys me more is the harshness bass tone maybe more on some chords than others

i know the german bassess are a bit um pah 'ish so part of their make up - but do they have to be

if not i guess the question is how difficult - how costly - is it worth tinkering ???????
 
M

mjh

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Glenn, yeah I figure if I were to record anything as it is, the bass side just has to be facing away from the microphone. There are 4 sets of reeds and no couplers on the bass side. It doesn't bother at all when playing staccato, but playing legato, and more so with drones, you can barely hear the treble. I like your Leslie organ idea, maybe a motorised swiveling chair?
 
M

mjh

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smdc66, for me, I just checked the manufacturers site. If it's a question of an older accordion, I can't really say, I'm just such a noob :oops:
E: Actually, if I'm not mistaken, don't some more informed sales ads provide that info, even for older second hand instruments?
 

BobM

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It’s a big ask to expect a single RH clarinet reed to compete with say, 4 LH bass reeds. These balance issues are the same for church organs, symphony orchestras etc, the arrangers are taught how to leave space around the weaker instruments, but of course an orchestra has greater control over internal dynamics than an accordion.
The standard idea about touching the LH buttons as though they are red hot does seem to work, it also helps to have more reeds working on the RH as well. I’ve found that having a L reed “swing” tuned has helped playing slow melodies against a sustained bass much easier, having a bridge register between the straight tuned and the Musette.
 
M

mjh

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BobM, correct me if I'm wrong, trying to get my head around some new concepts here. When a 3 voice accordion is marketed as LMM, for instance, it means that's how the treble reeds are set up. And the same for a 2 voice accordion, MM. Bass reeds have their own setups. With 4 bass reeds, the most common register setup seems to be LMMH, which I think I have. So, if all this is correct so far, what helped you was having the L register reeds of the bass side swing tuned?
 

BobM

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mjh said:
So, if all this is correct so far, what helped you was having the L register reeds of the bass side swing tuned?

Sorry, I meant a L reed on the right side. On mine being sub swing tuned (-5%) means that at the lower end of the keyboard, the reeds are almost in unison, with the resulting gain in volume.

Another point is that both side of the instruments have to balance when using the “master” RH register as well as with just a single reed, tricky.
 
M

mjh

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Oh right, reducing mussette tuning makes the sound louder. The treble side on my accordion has 2 sets of reeds musette tuned, so that might still work. I think I'll run that by a local accordion repair guy. Thanks for the idea! I can see how the balancing could indeed be tricky, but I suppose it's just a matter of compromise. It seems we just can't have our cake and eat it too. Nevertheless, I'm still intrigued if there's a thread on the old forum about taping off reeds.
 

BobM

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mjh said:
Oh right, reducing mussette tuning makes the sound louder.

No, It won’t make them louder, I assumed that your straight tuned reeds where the problem not the musette.

1)Try this little exercise.. With a bass note and chord, slowly play even quavers in time and make them as short as possible until there is almost no note at all. Stop and repeat a little faster etc etc.

2) Play a slow melody and instead of playing a rhythm part play even notes as above till the RH comes through, then revert to your normal pattern.
 

Soulsaver

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yes Dave you can check t'internet or if you're a little brave pull the pins out for either the top or bass from the bellows connection. Keep the pins seperated &stick them on a bit of masking tape so you can put them back in the same holes in the right order - will avoid leaks or splits 'cos of small size differences. Then you can have a look - keep fingers off reeds and take care, dont damage anything.
Bass usually have 4 reeds, 5 quite often on more expensive boxes. You'll see the reeds usually rows of 12 reeds on each side of 2 blocks=4 rows = 4 'reeds'; when people say 4 reed they mean ' reed sets' or 'voices'. If 5 there'll be a 3rd smaller block reeds just to one side, although sometimes managed by a different configuration.
Actually there are 2 reed (tongues) in each visible 'reed' - another on the inside of what you can see - for suck and the other for blow.
 

jarvo

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mjh said:
Glenn, yeah I figure if I were to record anything as it is, the bass side just has to be facing away from the microphone. There are 4 sets of reeds and no couplers on the bass side. It doesnt bother at all when playing staccato, but playing legato, and more so with drones, you can barely hear the treble. I like your Leslie organ idea, maybe a motorised swiveling chair?




Oh I got to draw a cartoon of that !!
 

jarvo

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This reed talk really makes my head swim .....honestly I find it fascinating but it will not stick.....still I am crap with numbers and maths so it must be all the numbers ...............You can compensate (in myexperience ,humbyule that it is ) by placing your mics away from the left box (if being amperleafeyed) or in an acoustic situation play in a corner and move to which ever side you want to resonate more.....I personally love the bass oomp from my welty and stand with the left next to a hard surface and bask in the oooommmps and the farty pahs ..........now where is george garside to tell me to use lightning stabs on the buttons as if they were
red hot ? (which ,to be fair ,is a valid technique....to be fair...I just don't want to be .....not this morning)
 
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mjh

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BobM, it seems I just don't get it what you mean with sub swing tuning and the lower end being in unison. There's no problem with the treble side, or staccato style bass/chord progressions, only when playing drones or long chords the treble gets drowned out by the bass, regardless of what registers are in use. Less so on long chords but it's still a bit much.

Soulsaver, I don't even know what I'm looking at here :D I just may end up having to pay to get this done in the end. Thanks for the instructions, it's pretty clearly explained but there are just too many moving parts. It's good to have this posted here for reference, even if it's a little buried in this thread. There's still the question of how to proceed with taping out the reeds, and which reeds should they be.

Jarvo, re cartoon :D I'm in a little bit over my head here myself. Noticed that amplification effect too playing with the bass side towards a corner, sounds pretty sweet! Thanks for the tips.
 

BobM

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[quote="mjh”]

BobM, it seems I just don']

I meant, if the the bass is too loud, that the treble could be too quiet. My re-tuning an M reed gives me another option for a “straighter” louder sounding melody register that can compete with the the bass side because it’s almost in unison, ie, 2 separate voices.
I don’t think that this is the answer for you.
 
M

mjh

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Strangely enough, it still sounds to me like you're reducing the musette by re-tuning towards drier tuning. In any case, it does sound like it might not be enough to catch up with the bass. Thanks for your patience, and trying to spell it out for me :oops:
 

jarvo

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Bob how do you re-tune a reed...? is it something that you can do at home with an electric tuner or is it a specialist practice (s?)I never remember which is which :|)

How do you play he reed or do you have to pop it and back in again ?

How much are reeds ?

Can you retro reed an accordion ?

How are you ?

Am I asking daft questions?

Chris
 

BobM

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jarvo said:
Bob how do you re-tune a reed...? is it something that you can do at home with an electric tuner or is it a specialist practice (s?)I never remember which is which :|)

I think it’s specialist, but definitely don’t use a drill or a hammer..

jarvo said:
How do you play he reed or do you have to pop it and back in again ?

Play on a bellows arrangement thing.

jarvo said:
How much are reeds ?

How long is a piece of string?

jarvo said:
Can you retro reed an accordion ?

I guess so.

jarvo said:
How are you ?

All typed out!! :lol:
 

jarvo

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hang on a minute...........a thought just struck me like a bolt of lightning.....seriously for once.........if the reeds are the "sound" of the machine ,and you can obviously remove and refit reeds then surely you can upgrade reeds into a reasonably performing box and improve your accordion that way.....won't be cheap ,but similar to putting better quality strings on a guitar ............food for thought....??
 

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