Re: [Harp-L] Another Half Valved Chromatic Question

Hi Bob,

I think Brendan Power explains it pretty well.  I've dug out the text
to the post and attached it here.  In summary, take off the covers of
the chrom, and rip off the valves on the outside of the harp.  Try
taking off one valve in the middle of the harp, then try the draw note
and see if it bends.  If it works pretty well, do the others.  I've
sent you a sound sample offlist.


Ken Hildebrand wrote:

"Hi Brendan, I need to replace the windsaver valves on my CX-12
(Tenor C), .....What would the half-valve setup be for my CX-12 (blow
and draw holes to valve) ?"

As I described in a recent post, the way to half-valve a normal
Solo-tuned chromatic is to leave all the inside (blow) valves intact,
but remove the outer (draw) valves from the odd numbered holes
(1,3,5,7,9,11), on both top and bottom reedplates. These are the holes
where there is a full tone difference between the blow and draw notes.
Removing the valves will allow you to draw bend the D, Eb, A, and Bb
notes a semitone. It is the same type of bend you have on a diatonic in
holes 1, 4 and 6.

You should definitely leave the outer draw valves on holes 4 and 8, and
possibly on holes 2, 6 and 10 (depending on your preference). These are
draw notes that can't be bent in Solo tuning, and leaving the valves on
still allows you valved bending expression on them.

A few caveats though:

1. You need to have a really airtight chromatic for it to sound good
when any valves are removed. The stock CX12 is pretty good in this
respect, but you can improve airtightness by putting a very thin film of
Vaseline on the slider. There are other mods also, but that is a simple
and quick way to get a significant improvement.

2. You should reduce the blow reed gap on the holes where you remove the
valves, to give better response to the draw reeds.

3. Even with these tweaks, the unvalved draw reeds will sound slightly
less "pure" and clean than when they were valved. There will still be a
slight difference in tone between the valved and unvalved draw reeds.
It's personal choice whether you feel the new bending expression
available on half the draw notes outweighs these issues.

If you want a consistent bending ability on all draws, you need to alter
the tuning to make all blows and draws at least a tone apart.



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