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Roland FR- line bellows emulation

debra

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Interesting notion what we view as 'cheating' (and why) and what is seen as taking advantage of later technology to achieve one's aims. A whole philosophical debate there, I think! Shall I take out my manual gearbox car today, or 'cheat' and take the automatic...? There's some sort of threshold of perception involved, I suspect, and it may change over time.
Doug
True of course. I called it "cheating" because whoever wrote the music likely intended bellow shake to be performed, and the "tape-reverb" was not really designed for creating repeating notes... But whatever works works.
I would not accept the analogy with the manual versus automatic gearbox, because both are used for the purpose they were intended for. The echo setting on the accordion mimics the tape-reverb that was at one point popular. It was not intended to repeat notes at close to the original volume. So it's not used for its original purpose. But it still is a neat trick!
I sometimes use "tricks" in my acoustic accordion recordings as well, like partly closing a register slide while playing to simulate tone-bending that is normally done using the key, or partly closing the tremolo-M-reed to reduce the tremolo (without changing to a different accordion or changing the tuning)... Other than that my tricks are written in the score (of the arrangements I make myself) like using the H voice instead of a non-cassotto M voice, or L voice instead of M, doing "diviso" to make things easier (when it's written), and my most commonly used trick for obtaining "perfect" recordings is to do many takes and select the best take for each fragment! So in some sense there is a lot of cheating in my recordings...
 

OldSqueezer

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True of course. I called it "cheating" because whoever wrote the music likely intended bellow shake to be performed, and the "tape-reverb" was not really designed for creating repeating notes... But whatever works works.
I would not accept the analogy with the manual versus automatic gearbox...
I enjoyed your further commentary. I agree that the gearbox analogy was a pretty rough one, but I thought to a small degree it illustrated the point I was making about perception. Back in the fifties, there were some dyed in the wool double declutchers who considered a synchromesh gearbox was 'cheating', I suppose because it removed the necessity for one particular layer of skill. Still, enough of these imperfect automotive comparisons - your point is well taken.

I think the skill thing may be the key to what musically, or more generally, we may regard as a 'cheat'. And there may be an analogy here (I stand ready to be shot down!) with those who paint pictures. If you are an accomplished musician/entertainer you may be quite relaxed about employing artifice - by which I mean for example an arranger keyboard or a BK7 - to achieve your entertainment goals, because you feel it is an addition to, rather than a substitute for your own skills. When I (entirely non-accomplished) use one I quite often like the overall sound, but I quickly feel such little skill as I may have developed is being pretty much eclipsed by the automatic bits, and therefore the overall sound I am purveying is - for me - a 'cheat'. To pursue my analogy, it seems to me that a painter who is capable of producing recognisable portraits and landscapes carries more credibility into their production of abstract art than someone who has only ever splashed some paint haphazardly on to canvas and enigmatically titled it 'Black through Red and Green'...
Doug
 

Alan Sharkis

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True of course. I called it "cheating" because whoever wrote the music likely intended bellow shake to be performed, and the "tape-reverb" was not really designed for creating repeating notes... But whatever works works.
I would not accept the analogy with the manual versus automatic gearbox, because both are used for the purpose they were intended for. The echo setting on the accordion mimics the tape-reverb that was at one point popular. It was not intended to repeat notes at close to the original volume. So it's not used for its original purpose. But it still is a neat trick!
I sometimes use "tricks" in my acoustic accordion recordings as well, like partly closing a register slide while playing to simulate tone-bending that is normally done using the key, or partly closing the tremolo-M-reed to reduce the tremolo (without changing to a different accordion or changing the tuning)... Other than that my tricks are written in the score (of the arrangements I make myself) like using the H voice instead of a non-cassotto M voice, or L voice instead of M, doing "diviso" to make things easier (when it's written), and my most commonly used trick for obtaining "perfect" recordings is to do many takes and select the best take for each fragment! So in some sense there is a lot of cheating in my recordings...
There is actually a technique, or so I’ve heard for performing the bellows shake on Roland V-Accordions. Suposedly it works best when done on the FR-4x. Can somebody here verify?
 

Ventura

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well i figured out the "cheat" through a mixture of necessity and opportunity

i should begin by saying that i am not an afficionado of bellows shaking, though
Toby Hanson kindly taught me a method so that i CAN do one with good results on occasion

Roland had just given me the FR7 and i was under a short deadline to be ready to
demonstrate the V-Accordions at the Coupe Mondiale in Alexandria... Faithe Deffner
had graciously gotten Roland squeezed in at the last moment for a Booth and official
presence there after i talked Roland into it

i was furiously learning to program it late into the night and all day every day whipping
it into "shape" as to tones and combinations, and then for specific songs, riffs, and
medleys that would show off these sounds and features to their best advantage...
the FX section of the FR7 allows almost an infinite ability to program, tweak, and
shape the sounds of the V-accordion, which the wavetables are actually NOT very accessible
through the software or allowed to be manipulated (and i was not happy with the factory settings)

also, it was obvious the Bellows were going to be a difficult "sell" as they had their own
feel and response, which had to be gotten used to, but which also had to be shown
to be at least as EFFECTIVE and SENSITIVE in actual use as normal Accordion bellows
(and damn good reeds) can be

(different is OK as long as it is as good or better, but not if it feels like a disadvantage)

one thing you will always get asked eventually and sometimes frequently at
public shows and tells is "can you/it do a bellows shake" and i expected this
would be the case during the event... so i followed the Repeats and the echo
section down a rabbit hole for a few hours, as it became obvious this had real promise !
i figured out a way to tweak the echo and mimic a popular Yodeling song, and
then the mock bellows shake came next, and then that dance-beat version of "Venus"

we were setup in the Vendor area right next to the main doorway, and i played that
FR7 for hours on end sitting on my stool and basically welcoming everyone as they entered,
and even strolling at times when the room was full
(i was joined in strolling one afternoon by Busso the Elder, which was a great pleasure)

anyhow, that was where the "cheat shake" saw the first light of day and performance
and it was met with lots of smiles and "how you doing that" looks

as to the integrity of the feel the FR7 had for this type of Music, i can add that
a German Lady who was there with a contingent of students and competitors
from Europe, and who KNEW the song, hearing me play from the Hallway, she
came rushing in and said "play that again" in no uncertain terms !
then she BELTED OUT HALLE HANNER's part to perfection
(as i switched to accompaniment fast)

anyhow, that is the how and why of it !

ciao

Ventura
 

JerryPH

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Bellows shaking is not the strongest forté of a V-accordion, one has to get almost brutal with the bellows. I've tried many a time and just ended giving up because the 1-2 songs I play that have a bellows shake can be played without it, so I don't bother, its just not that important an effect in my repertoire.

That said, I have seen Cory Pesaturo do a good bellows shake on a 7X, and as mentioned, he was really aggressive with the bellows, it takes a lot more work than on an acoustic.
 

oldbayan

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Why is it a problem that air can be pumped in and out without a button pressed? :sneaky: Heck, you can even play without moving the bellows! If they would have made an air valve that also reacts to buttons being pressed, it would have complicated the whole circuitry and made the valve way more complicated, for little result achieved. They kept it simple: there is a pressure sensor independent of the air valve.

This is a MIDI instrument, as long as it can play similar to an acoustic, everything is good!
 

Alan Sharkis

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Yes.

Those are some features (not necessarily drawbacks) of Roland V-Accordions, FR-1xb in particular.
Phrase the question like this:

WHY would anyone want to play without moving the bellows?

1. You’ve connected your accordion to a computer through a midi interface and you’re running a DAW on the computer. But every time you move the bellows even a teensy-weensy tiny amount you get a stream of messages that interferes with note-entry. You don’t know that you can stop those messages from being sent with a setting on the V-accordion or that they can be filtered out with a setting on the DAW, so you close the bellows and fasten the bellows straps.

2. You’re experimenting with the audio file player or the looper on your V-accordion, so no need to put the accordion on or open the bellows straps.

3. You’re experimenting with a new expression pedal.

I could think of a few more.

WHY would somebody move the bellows all day without playing a note?

I haven’t the foggiest idea.
 

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