Author Topic: Paolo Soprani Elite 3 with midi.  (Read 182 times)

Littlejohn

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  • Location: Limavady, N. Ireland
Paolo Soprani Elite 3 with midi.
« on: August 03, 2019, 10:00:45 AM »
As I am new to the forum I thought I will introduce myself.  I am from Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and play a three row Paolo Soprani Elite 3 BCC# which is fitted with a full treble and bass midi.

I have owned several three rows over the years and started playing as a pure amateur around 50yrs ago.  I started on two row BC Paolo Soprani boxes before purchasing a three row from Clinkscale many years ago when they brought a van load of instruments to a Limavady hotel for a huge sale.  I later found a three row diatonic in Dublin that had a full factory fitted midi system.  It was in great shape, having hardly been played by the elderly owner who couldn’t play it.  It came complete with an amp and Ketron X4 expander.  Think it was made around the early 1980’s.

I used it at home for a few years and found the old factory midi system was very dated and response was slow during jigs and marches.  It was looked at by Jim McAllister, Ballymoney who was our local Ketron agent but sadly Jim passed away last year.   A huge loss to the accordion community.   I eventually got fed up trying to fix the old midi and decided it was time to update the system.

I finally took the plunge last year and treated myself to a new modern midi fitted by Scotland Accordions of Perth.  The accordion had a very unattractive grey metal interface controller unit attached over the grill, which when removed left a very untidy hole.  A very nice patch was installed to cover this hole and overall the new modern midi system works extremely well.  I upgraded the X4 to a new Ketron Audya 4 and nice new amp.  I now have a really good setup that works very well.  The Audya 4 is absolutely amazing, producing highly professional sounds and registrations.  With the accordion I am only using a fraction of what the Audya is capable of producing.  I wouldn’t have taken this step if the accordion hadn’t been in such a tidy condition.  The bellows have absolutely no sign of wear for a box made nearly 40 yrs ago.  The box itself was virtually unmarked.

My only problem with my playing is my inability to master the 80 button stradella bass setup.  I was always used to playing the traditional Irish Paolo Soprani two row, with only the eight bass and would really love to master the free bass on the three row.  I did take some lessons on the bass but while I can use it up to a point and know which note is which, I never quite managed to play the bass end properly.  The Ketron modules make it very easy with the auto bass feature where you can use the single bass buttons to change major chords to get a very nice accompaniment to what your are playing.  It makes it a little two easy and you can get away from playing free bass which is not ideally what I want.   Would be amazing to hear Brandon playing it.

I will be putting a small selection of tunes on youtube shortly and will add links to this post in due course if this is acceptable.  Don’t expect anything near the level of playing you guys are at.  I play merely for my own pleasure at home and love the button accordion.  It takes my mind to a really nice place when I play.  As you are no doubt all aware, you have to play the diatonic box to realise the pure pleasure it gives you.

Finally thank you for allowing me to join your Forum.

Littlejohn

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  • Location: Limavady, N. Ireland
Re: Paolo Soprani Elite 3 with midi.
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 04:39:54 PM »
Here are some pictures of:-

1. The original accordion with factory midi.
2.  Box with the interface removed.  The circuit board is part of the factory midi from 1980’s.
     New 2018 system much neater under the grill.
3.  The new grill panel to cover hole fitted by Scotland accordions after installation of new midi.
4.  Expander setup.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 04:59:00 PM by Littlejohn »

Littlejohn

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  • Location: Limavady, N. Ireland
Re: Paolo Soprani Elite 3 with midi.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 07:02:55 PM »
Photo with grill removed showing detail of new midi system fitted last year.  Note the mics also fitted.  Quite a tight fit but it works well.