Re: [Harp-L] simulate horn section

"Jerome P." wrote:
To my opinion : Pitch Shifter (one octave down, mixed with your sound), a very little bit of auto wah can help to soften the attacks of the notes, multiple delays (at least two with different times) to simulate a sort of natural sustain, and a bit of distortion if you want to simulate a trumpet. Now the problem is not only the kind of effects you take but the effect itself, a same kind of effect can sound very differently depending on the brand or the software you use. It's the beginning of a long research process :-)

It's worth noting at this point that various techniques and FX can be applied to the harmonica to make it sound MORE like a trumpet, saxophone, etc.; I don't think it's possible to make a harmonica sound EXACTLY like a trumpet, sax, etc. Even dedicated sampling synthesizers have a difficult time producing completely convincing emulations of real-world acoustic instruments, largely because of the wide range of techniques and articulations that are available to the real things that aren't available to the sampler (or as easily applied in performance).

What is more readily possible is to create the same kind of emotional effect in the listener as another instrument, or to fill a similar role in a band. For example, a harmonica played through an octave-down pitch shifter might not sound exactly like a tenor sax, but it can deliver a similar experience (either solo or in a horn section) to the listener.

And of course, the closer you get the artificial sound to the real one, the more important the articulations native to the real instrument become.  Sax players don't usually play the same licks, in the same ways, that harmonica players do. If you really want to sound like a sax, you have to study saxophonists. (Which of course is a very good thing to do.)

Regards, Richard Hunter

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