[Harp-L] The One Harmonica to Rule Them All?

Brendan Power bren@xxxxx
Sun Feb 12 07:41:28 EST 2017

Thanks for all the interesting comments. To answer a couple of points:


@Bob Loomis: The DM48 has no on-board sounds, it's a pure MIDI wind


@ Sheltraw: "Improved air tightness with less slider friction would be the
place to start." There is no slider, and no reeds. What looks like a slider
button at the right is simply an electrical on-off switch. There are now two
such note-changing switch buttons, one on top as well.


@ Jordan Friedman and Chris Hofstader: Thanks for your expert insights into
audio latency issues re. apple/android and EWI experience.


UPDATE: Last night I got the latest firmware with the added top button.
Let's call the main right-hand note-changing one Button A and the new top
one activated by the left hand index finger Button B. Both buttons can be
programmed to move all notes up or down whatever interval you choose. Even
after a short time experimenting using both buttons, all sorts of new
possibilities are emerging. 


To start with, assume the DM48 is in standard chromatic harmonica
configuration in key of C with Button A raising the notes a semitone. Button
B tone-up is great, as is semitone down - both very useful overall settings.
Tone-up is perfect for easy key changes/modulation. D major is so easy now,
and A with B button pressed is like playing in G, not nearly as tricky
trying to play in A with C scale as the basis. Plus the wholetone trills are
really nice: you can get the correct trills for each note, far more musical.


Semitone-down is excellent for my SlideDiatonic tuning, as it gives me the
missing chromatic notes I would normally get via bending. It's nice
alternating between the up and down decorations, giving more musical
variety, and I find the left hand finger speed is fine for typical slider


I'm also finding I can use both buttons in fast sequence to get lovely
decorations not possible before. Wow! This is a whole new world of playing
possibilities, only possible with my expensive analogue DoubleChrom before. 


Talking of which, check this out. It's the very talented Israeli musician
Roni Eytan playing my Quartertone DoubleChrom: two C chromatics a
quartertone apart, for Middle Eastern music:




In this case both sliders are at the right, and he's using two fingers on
his right hand to select each in turn. The upper chrom is in C, lower one is
a quartertone flat. The upper slider selects between the two chroms and the
lower slider plays the semitone-up notes. Roni has developed good technique
with this.


Jacob Venndt is another guy who has got the twin-slider DoubleChrom working
well. Check out this excellent demonstration:



Two-hand use with the upper B button on the DM48 is an alternative ergonomic
approach; it's hard to say which is easier. But of course it has far more
musical flexibility, as the extra button can be programmed to shift the
notes in so many different ways by changing the menu.


Once I have the technique mastered I'll post a video to show the



 <http://www.brendan-power.com/> www.brendan-power.com



More information about the Harp-L mailing list