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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Questions, mics, and MacGyver...


You know, I get it. This instrument isn't as common as the guitar...

http://accordionnoir.org

The accordion has a certain stigma in most minds, or assumptions, or stereotypes, or romantic nostalgia, or who knows, I'm not a mind-reader - except when my legs ache and that means it's going to rain, but that just means my legs are psychic.

What was I talking about again?

Okay, so I am a female performer that plays the accordion. This causes a stir, and small talk at parties can be a bit mind-numbing after I've been asked the same questions over-and-over about the accordion, for example if it is "hard to play", followed by the same lame joke/question of if I have ever gotten "things caught" in the bellows. Ha. HA. HAAA.

No, no. I'm glad you're asking. Go ahead. Interview me about my career. I may turn into a total spitfire though, and demand you come up with more creative questions.

So... after years of being asked the same questions, over and over and over and over, I decided to make a cheeky video to answer a few of them. Stayed tuned for Part 2 of the "Frequently Asked Questions" series!


Ahem, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel, ahem...
http://www.youtube.com/natashaenquist

Song "Dance Me (DecadeSelector remix)" - Miss Natasha Enquist
https://soundcloud.com/accordiongirl/dance-me-decadeselector-remix

In other news...

The on-going journey of mic-ing an accordion continues.

I have had such an adventure with proper pick-ups. I have borrowed several different kinds of clip-on mics, some which were far too sensitive and created so much feedback, then there's the sound technicians usual choice of just pointing a mic at my box (pun) and hoping for the best. I am never pleased with this option because it becomes totally directional, the sound isn't as good as a result and you have to remain stationary to the mic stand. BORING!

Finally, about 3 years ago I had pick-ups installed inside of my accordion. A 1/4 inch jack goes in, it's simple, easy, and sound techs are still afraid of my instrument.

Some feedback occurs, which is of course seen as MY FAULT (the battle between sound techs and accordionists has a long history), but the feedback isn't as much as with the clip-on mics. Sometimes this impresses the sound techs quite a bit, they have that raised eyebrows/delighted look on their faces, of "Okay... WOW".

I had these very delicate and intricate strips of mics installed inside both the left and right side of the instrument. I'm definitely pleased, except that on the right-hand side it's become an issue of the hammer of certain notes now HIT the delicate mics. This is fine for live performances, but during recordings where all is silent, you can HEAR the hammers hitting the mics on certain notes. Not good.

I've since been MacGyvering the inside of my accordion. Not the first time I've had to do so. Probably not the last.

I have been padding down the tiny mics, and hammer of the keys... the other night I had the help of my friend and we discovered that a piece of kitchen sponge would do the trick, FOR NOW.

Oh, the accordion... such a beautiful and sexy BITCH.




P.S.
Now that I think about it, I had a pretty hardcore crush as a young girl on MacGyver...



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