RE: [Harp-L] TurboHarp develpment bench - ELX
Responding to: Arthur Jennings
On Friday, January 21, 2011 1:32 PM, you asked:
"What advantages does this system have over a mic plus processor combo to
offset its high cost and lack of flexibility?"
I understand your point, Arthur. My answer is not intended to sound
arrogant, but consider what Les Paul did to the guitar.... I'd bet that
people asked a similar question, "why not just mic an acoustic guitar?" It
basically opened up new vistas for electric music.
But a more specific answer to your question would be:
1) Zero feedback. You can turn up your amp to 10, and blow out your
eardrums. (But dont do this at home!)
2) The electrical signal is relatively pure sine wave, free of overtones,
for the most part. So this provides greater control over the timbre of the
resulting electronic signals. In the analog version, it means you can add
harmonics as you wish (3rds, 5ths, etc...)
3) Related to (2) if you are interested in using the harp as a midi
controller, it is actually possible to process the output (using software)
to create a midi file. (I plan to demonstrate this in the next few weeks on
4) In the original version, I had taken advantage of the fact that each reed
has its own pickup by clustering them in four groups: high-blow, low-blow,
high-draw, high-blow. These four outputs wer attached to a mini 4-channel
mixer with stereo output that allowed you to separate the registers so that,
say, the blow notes went to the left speaker, and the draw notes to the
right. On the website there is a sound bite of me playing (poorly) a
chugging rhythm where you can hear the sound bouncing back and forth
left/right. It adds a spatial element. (I think I'll call it "3-D Harmonica.
Note that the current version only provides one channel output. This
was in the spirit of making it more cost effective, and based on skepticism
that many performers would be interested in the above feature.
All of the foregoing blabbering could have been easily condensed if I only
had a really good demo to illustrate. Thankfully, Harmonica John has kindly
uploaded a few videos to Youtube. The most recent one can be found here:
Thanks again for your interest!
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