The Grand Return

This is the story of how just joining an accordion forum changed my life in a very unexpected direction. This is how I returned back to playing the accordion after well over 38 years of not playing even one note…

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The Hohner Morino VI N Story

My Hohner is a very special instrument… It was truly a purchase driven by my passion and obtained by my parents with incredible amounts of love and devotion.

Let me share this very special story with you…

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Microphone cables are in!

I want my Hohner to be 100% and that means being fully functional and pluggable into an amplifier or mixer. So this becomes my first “repair”. I needed to find those cables, and since I could not find them anywhere in Canada, the USA or even the UK, I went to the source… the Hohner factory in Trossingen Germany…

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Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Those of us that have an issue with our accordions sometimes wonder if we can fix it ourselves or wonder if we should pay for the services of an expert. This decision for most people is not an easy one to make. Yes, acoustic accordions are not “rocket science” to take apart and in most cases, pretty easy to fix. In some cases, we need to take a little step back, evaluate our own skills and confidence level in being able to properly diagnose a problem and fix it properly. “Properly” being the key word here.

Here is the decision I made concerning my skills and my accordion…

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Special PDF Files

I have scans of factory original brochures that are year specific to my Hohner accordion and other scans of PDF format files for the preservation of my memories including scans of original Hohner time specific price lists. Enjoy!

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Solton 24 Programmer Setup

The Solton Programmer 24 is an excellent arranger with plenty of rhythms and other features to make playing quite a lot of fun, however, it has to be programmed to listen in on specific midi channels before it can work with the Elkavox 83 accordion.

Here is that process…

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Recording the Accordion Part 1

I had been playing quite a while and based on the requests of several family members, needed a way to record my accordion. Here I discuss the setup I used to have to start out with and what I use today…

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First practice!

I really wanted to start the first practice with the Hohner, but since life gave me lemons, I decided to make lemonade. In easier terms, I did my first practice today using the Elka instead of the Hohner.

This is how that first session went…

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Protected: “Les Accordeonistes” Concerts

Every now and then, my father brought a 9″ reel-to-reel to those concerts that I played at, used some long mic extension cords and a pair of cheap mics and recorded those events. This is where you can hear those concerts.

This post is password protected for possible copyright protection and for personal reasons.

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It’s ready, it’s back… YAY!!

It’s near 6:00pm now as I write this and I will be able to go pick it up at 9:00pm tonight. No, wait… push that to April 22nd… wait, push that to April 28th! Getting an accordion fixed sure takes a LOT of patience!

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Can you hear me now??

My Hohner’s mics are dead. This is the story of how I handled that situation not only effectively, but for only a few dollars and with results that meet or exceed the factory original quality!

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The Glove

I was watching several online YouTube videos where an accordionist was using some kind of glove to help reduce friction and control perspiration.

This is the story of how I made my glove which is better and cheaper and made to my requirements!

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New straps for the Hohner!

The story of how I got my new and super nice 4″ wide accordion shoulder straps. I basically searched the world only to find the perfect set in my own back yard!

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Mackie 1640i Mixing Console

The Mackie Onyx 1640i mixer features 16 mono mic/line inputs, each with a 4-band Perkins EQ, 4 subgroups and full 16X16 channel in/out streaming to the computer thanks to the FireWire interface, this is a diamond just wanting to be used hard and often! This is the story of how I acquired this great piece of kit…

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The most terrible loss possible.

The greatest loss Is the loss of a mother, father or sibling. In my case, I just so recently lost my father on June 3, 2016… and the pain is incredible and devastating.

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Surprising and Fun Little Project!

This is the story of how I was to create three 30-60 second German Polka style jingles. Indeed, a new kind if happening in my life with this little fun challenge!

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Superpower

I was on Facebook and saw a mug that was kind of cute. I wasn’t really interested in purchasing this cup, but I thought that it would be fun to make my own version of this cup using my own pictures… here is that little story.

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Recording the Accordion Part 2

In this post, I want to discuss it with a little greater detail and share what it takes to start the process from the hardware side. Now, of course, each song kind of follows it’s own path, but this will hopefully explain my process a little better. This is the first of a couple posts on the topic.

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Affordable Wireless Solution

There was one more thing that I wanted to play with, and that is a wireless solution, some way that I could connect the Hohner to the mixer and not have a wire hanging down from the accordion to the mixer, and my one requirement was that it had to be very affordable… I think that I found the answer too!

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Bose 802-E Equalizer Issues

In going through the system, I have found another source of hiss, and it’s a bit difficult to deal with. It seems that the Bose 802-E equalizer has developed a good hiss. Here is how I am dealing with it.

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Custom Microphone System

Well, I am officially jumping off the deep end even thinking about such a project. I am wondering if I could somehow, all by myself, make a sonically high quality microphone setup for my Hohner that comes close to being as good as the HATools system, just of course for a lot less. Here is where this rabbit hole leads me!

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First Accordion Meet!

A fun evening with the Quebec Accordionist Association… my first time ever at this kind of an event!

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Accordion Club Meet #2

This is a small posting about our 2nd time at the accordion meet… fun, fun, fun!

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My Roland FR-8x!

The story of how I came to find my Roland FR-8x. A good 20 or more special sets of circumstances had to happen before this accordion could be in my hands… here is the story of how that happened. Also, of how I stumbled on to a Roland BK-7m!

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FR-8x Tech Info

This is a place holder for all the stuff that is technical and concerns my Roland V-accordion.

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Accordion Meeting #3

Meeting #3, the Christmas meeting for the Quebec Association of Accordionists, my first public performance in several decades and how my night went!

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What is where?

To help me know what is where in terms of settings, set locations and so on, I am making this page of notes.

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Foot Pedals for the BK-7m

My BK-7m backing module did not come with any kind of a foot pedal, as they normally don’t, even from the factory. Here is how I tackled this challenge!

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Family Christmas Gathering!

Well, I think that this is going to be the event that caps 2016 for me. We were invited to my cousin’s house for the Christmas meal. Traditionally we arrive there, eat like crazy, have a few glasses of whatever… but this time I brought the new FR-8x accordion with me!

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Beautiful Buttons

I wanted to change the design on my bass buttons… but I never received any, so here is how this story played out.

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We have a new name!

We have a new domain name! Click here to read about this story!

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Bad Bass Vibrations

I saw online where some people experienced an annoying vibration noise from the left side of their accordion when using settings that produced deep bass at maximum volume. Well, I was testing out the maximum volume of my 8X, and there it was. This is how I dealt with this issue!

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Equipment Portability

Not too much, not too little… my solution for the times that I don’t need all my full setup of equipment at a gig!

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First Real BK-7m Usage

Trying to slowly integrate the BK-7m in to my playing, and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be! Here is that story.

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Accordion Meeting #4

Today was my 4th time attending an accordion club meeting. Like the previous ones, this time I decided that I would perform and have fun and that my mother was there. What I like is that there is something always different each meet. Here is that story.

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Video Studio

Today with the help of my good Floridian friend Ed, I made the decision to make some kind of a small video studio in the basement. Here is that story!

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My *FIRST* Video!

So this it, my absolute first music video, and it is a first on many levels… first, it is the first video I have made since I returned to the accordion! Here is that story!

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Why no more accordion club posts?

When I first found the Montreal Accordion club, I was very excited about it. Here is the story of how the club lost it’s luster for me.

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Recording the Accordion Part 3

In this article, I look at a few details of what it takes to record the accordion. Here is that story!

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A Nice Birthday Gift!

A nice birthday gift… the Owners Manual and Buyer’s Guide to the Piano Accordion!

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Ed Manfredi Accordionist Extraordinaire

Today I received a very cool gift from a man I have never met (yet), a man who’s hand I never shook (yet), but is a man that I call a friend. I received a t-shirt from Ed Manfredi, and it is a special one, because it represents a celebration that he will enjoy at a special accordion event in California next month. Here is the story!

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New England Accordion Museum Visit

About two weeks ago I decided to look in to this place and see if it was possible that I one day visit this place.  I heard several small stories, all amazing.  I saw a couple YouTube videos… all amazing.  NONE of that prepared me for the day that I would walk through those doors… here is that story.

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Video Editing: The Basics

I created a series of short educational videos in response to my friend Ed’s specific questions in areas he wanted some fill-in info on and I tossed in a few hints to aide him in making his videos a little better.  So, this is my way of taking that info/work and making it public.

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Video taping yourself with ONE camera

Video taping yourself with a single low end camcorder… it can give you good results. Use these tips and learn how to draw the most out of your accordion videos using these 5 simple tips!

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NEAM – Take Two!

The first time I visited the New England Accordion Museum, I was overwhelmed. The second time I saw more, did more… and was still overwhelmed, but not by the accordions, but the by the kindness of the man that runs it as well. Here is that story.

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New Baby in the Family!

Today I’ve added a new tiny member to the family, another Hohner and another Free Bass accordion… this is this story!

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Never on a Sunday!

A new addition to my videos! I recorded “Never On A Sunday”! Here is that story.

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Video Camera Settings

When using one or two cameras, and trying to get the best possible results, the preparation can start to get a little complex, so I created this page to help me keep track of those little things I want to configure. Here is that story.

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Old Recordings

I found some of my old 4-track cassettes of music that I recorded back in the 80’s… here is the story of what I am going to do about them!

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FR-8X Firmware Update to V.2.50

I put together the recordings that I made during my own update process and shared it, with the hopes that it helps a few people.

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An Old Memory

Funny how the mind works. A memory that took my frown and turned it up-side down.

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Remastered Tapes

The story of my lost and now found and remastered 4-track tapes!

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Silent Night (Christmas Song)

Around December 10th, the accordion forum that I visit mentioned the idea of everyone that wants to, to pitch in and record their favorite rendition of Silent Night. This is MY rendition of that song!

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Christmas Music

Remember those old analog 4-track recordings I had brought back a little while ago?  Here are a few of the Christmas songs that I had recorded all those decades ago.

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Small Lighting Upgrade

Ever since I did my little Silent Night videos, I’ve wanted to get a little more in to the green screen thing, but I had a couple of limitations. Here is the story of how I dealt with those challenges.

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External Condensor Mics

I love my toys! Here is the story of my condenser microphones, the supporting accessories, an unboxing and impressions discussion and several great hints about making good recordings with them!

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Roland FR-8X, Mild to Wild, the video series!

Mild to Wild is here… whoo-hooo!! Welcome to my home-made educational series for the Roland FR-8X . On this page is where I am going to centralize all the videos in this series. Enjoy!

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Uber cheap voice recorder!

This is the story of how I got my audio finally up to snuff!

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Going All Wireless!

One of my very old dreams was always to have had an amplified stereo setup but with no wires between me and the amp or mixer. Well, I’ve taken the first step to begin this process… here is that story!

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Recording Acoustic Accordions Part-1

A super nice set of quality condenser mics, a high quality recorder and a set of mic stands and cables to tie them all together. This is the story of how I got those!

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Recording Acoustic Accordions Part-2

As a continuation of the last post, the experimentation about various mic techniques finally starts a bit… read how this story goes!

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Besame Mucho

A loving homage to my father… let me tell you how this story went!

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Accordion Fills

Accordion Fills… my small answer to a question asked on the accordion forum… here is that story!

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Have You Ever Been Lonely?

Wow, seriously? A country piece? Let me tell you how this story came to be!

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How Strong?

What is the most minimal computer strength needed to capture your accordion? I explore this question and offer my answer. Read that story here.

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Making Memories!

The story of this month’s visit to the New England Accordion Museum!

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Exercise in Frustration

Computer software and computers are never where we want them to be… but this is the story of how I got around one of my major issues that will result with me making more and better videos in the future. Here is that story.

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Making Memories – Part Deux

This post is a little addendum to my post of a couple of weeks ago. I want to present to you a little post about another video that I made after the event was completed. The topic? His wonderful and at the time, just newly released book!

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Accordion Dreams

A brief documentary of the history of the Conjunto accordion style… lovely!

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5:32 PM 4/10/2016