New Bellows, New Seals

A project log for Concertina MIDI Controller

A Bluetooth LE MIDI controller in the shape of an English concertina

Dave EhnebuskeDave Ehnebuske 08/28/2019 at 04:430 Comments

I slightly redesigned the bellows to eliminate most of the pasteboard at the hinge points -- both mountains and valleys -- to decrease the overall springiness. I also reworked the way the bellows attaches to the two keyboard assemblies and added a beeswax-filled gasket to cut down on air leaks.

The result is a big improvement. The whole concertina now rests comfortably in a more-or-less closed position. It's still a bit springier than a traditional bellows, but not horribly so. Although there are clearly some I missed, going after leaks really helped with two things: 1) how responsive the MIDI "expression" is to bellows pressure and 2) how long I can sustain a note (or chord). More work in that area would be good, for sure.

I'm still fiddling with the parameters for the Bézier curve that maps pressure to MIDI expression. It's surprising how much it changes how the concertina feels when playing it.

A really good set of improvements overall.