• 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

Regarding the bellows action of Roland accordions...

Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
USA
...how far can one pull the bellows on these electric accordions? All of the videos I've seen of musicians playing the Roland accordions never seem to pull the bellows very far, such as this one. Another big concern is that the musicians don't do much pulling or pushing of the bellows. I know the bellows are configurable, but I would like them to go far and require a lot of pulling and pushing, such as those in acoustic accordions. Is this possible? Anyone know of a video of someone configuring their accordion like this?

I would really like to purchase the smallest of the Roland accordions as my first accordion (FR-1x), as I can only practice quietly, but the feel on the bellows might be unsatisfying. Hopefully I am not sounding too picky or silly regarding the bellows... I just think that the pushing and pulling of bellows are the second neatest thing about accordions (the first being the sound that they make).
 

dunlustin

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
1,155
Reaction score
131
Location
S W England
A Roland bellows allows tremolo, dynamics and a cool look but a FR1X rarely runs out of air even with a fistful of notes held down.
If you insist on losing lots of air, there's a wheel thingy to open a bleed valve.
Get one but, unless wedded to a piano keyboard, buy a button box - FR1XB.
 

kep

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Here is an instructional video about FR-1X bellows:
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
USA
Again, there's not a whole not of bellow action going on in that video. But perhaps I am hoping for too much, trying to get the Roland accordions to feel as close to an acoustic accordion. Still, I can't be too picky. Thanks for the info guys.
 

jozz

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,584
Reaction score
301
Location
The Netherlands
I would really like to purchase the smallest of the Roland accordions as my first accordion (FR-1x), as I can only practice quietly, but the feel on the bellows might be unsatisfying. Hopefully I am not sounding too picky or silly regarding the bellows... I just think that the pushing and pulling of bellows are the second neatest thing about accordions (the first being the sound that they make).
a while ago I was in your position and thought about this too

i wanted the fr1x, but had doubts about playability and 'feel'

It is personal, but I am picky too, and I was pleasantly surprised: you can dial in the 'feel' with bellow pressure value, air valve and such to get to acceptable playability. Although it certainly is different than an acoustic, I find myself easily switching between them.
 

dunlustin

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
1,155
Reaction score
131
Location
S W England
Curious that the Kraft video suggests only using the 'wheel' to adjust bellows rather than the Bellows Curve (BLC) setting?
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
217
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Well, how far the bellows go versus how far the player wants or needs to go... 2 different things. :)

On my 8x the bellows came to me very stuff. The first couple months I over pulled the distance and strength needed to soften them up some. Honestly, it got a bit better, but never as easy as n an acoustic... and shoulders got stronger... lol

I read where someone hung their 8X off a door handle and left it stretched out overnight, and honestly though I never did it, I can see the benefit of it.

My 8X pulls to the full length of my arm as needed (with more effort than what I would need on an acoustic!), however, that is the key word... NEED. On this accordion, they way that I have it set up, one does not need to pull very much to get the desired effects, one of the advantages of a digital accordion.
 

Alan Sharkis

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
384
Reaction score
67
Location
East Meadow, New York, USA
My FR-4x is set rather stiff and the air control is set almost fully closed. That way, going from pianissimo to fortissimo and back requires only slight differences in pulling and pushing force without a whole lot of motion. On the other hand, opening the air control and chosing a light bellows curve can give you lots of motion and a sore left shoulder. You need to experiment to see which settings work for you. The goal is to accomplish what you want musically without hurting yourself, NOT to wow an audience with the visual of wide-open bellows.

Just my two cents.
 

davidplaysaccordion

Active member
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
105
Reaction score
65
Location
North Carolina, USA
On my 4x I found the air bleed valve to be very 'wheezy' when opened up and really annoying and distracting. I now have it almost closed so there's almost no movement of the bellows when playing. The bellows are using pressure to give you the volume dynamics, since there's no need for air to flow over reeds to produce sound, there's no real need for a large range of movement really, it's just down to personal preference and the visuals of the instrument.
Personally I prefer a smaller bellows movement anyway and much prefer to play my full size acoustic over the smaller one because the smaller one needs much more bellows work to get the same sound out of it.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
USA
a while ago I was in your position and thought about this too

i wanted the fr1x, but had doubts about playability and 'feel'

It is personal, but I am picky too, and I was pleasantly surprised: you can dial in the 'feel' with bellow pressure value, air valve and such to get to acceptable playability. Although it certainly is different than an acoustic, I find myself easily switching between them.
That is very good to hear!
I read where someone hung their 8X off a door handle and left it stretched out overnight, and honestly though I never did it, I can see the benefit of it.
That's so weird that I might have to try it!
On my 4x I found the air bleed valve to be very 'wheezy' when opened up and really annoying and distracting. I now have it almost closed so there's almost no movement of the bellows when playing. The bellows are using pressure to give you the volume dynamics, since there's no need for air to flow over reeds to produce sound, there's no real need for a large range of movement really, it's just down to personal preference and the visuals of the instrument.
Personally I prefer a smaller bellows movement anyway and much prefer to play my full size acoustic over the smaller one because the smaller one needs much more bellows work to get the same sound out of it.
By wheezy do you mean noisy? Hmm... might have to try out the instrument before buying it then (if it's possible).
 

John M

Active member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
116
Reaction score
26
Location
Medina, Ohio - USA
For me, I like to set my 8X to a "tight" settings that require minimal bellows movement. It took some getting used to it, but I feel like I have much more control to get "expression" in the songs I play. Also, I can get the volume balance between the right hand and the left hand exactly where I want it. I use the PC Editor to select from the many choices of bellows volume control:

Fixed Lo -- Fixed Med -- Fixed Hi
Low -- Med -- Hi
Fixed Lo + Bellows -- Fixed Med + Bellows -- Fixed Hi + Bellows,
Bellows only

Now that I have become accustomed to the 8X bellows, I can be much more "expressive" than with my acoustic accordion.

John M.
 
Last edited:

Valski

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
199
Reaction score
146
Location
Oakville Ontario Canada
Well, how far the bellows go versus how far the player wants or needs to go... 2 different things. :)

On my 8x the bellows came to me very stuff. The first couple months I over pulled the distance and strength needed to soften them up some. Honestly, it got a bit better, but never as easy as n an acoustic... and shoulders got stronger... lol

I read where someone hung their 8X off a door handle and left it stretched out overnight, and honestly though I never did it, I can see the benefit of it.

My 8X pulls to the full length of my arm as needed (with more effort than what I would need on an acoustic!), however, that is the key word... NEED. On this accordion, they way that I have it set up, one does not need to pull very much to get the desired effects, one of the advantages of a digital accordion.
I stressed about the feel of the bellows when I first got my FR8X and it bothered me that it took a lot of effort to move them as much as on an acoustic accordion and then I realized that this didn't matter. On the Roland accordions the bellows are for modulation and not really to generate sound.
Eventually I forgot about the feel of the bellows because I actually listened to the sound that was being produced. I have been complemented on my modulation so I think that I'm doing something right. When playing an acoustic it feels strange now because it feels unnatural to pump the bellows so much. As Jerry says it depends how much you actually need to move the bellows.
 

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
270
Reaction score
125
Location
Toronto, Canada
The bellows on my FR-1xb is very stiff... but since we do not need much air I got used to it. I was told it will soften with time.

On the other hand, the FR-18 (diatonic) feels a lot more than what we find on most acoustic instruments.
 

Similar threads

Top