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

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Sun Feb 12 09:51:21 EST 2017

Bob Loomis wrote:
<Are the synth samples that you use on this harp stored in memory in the
harp so that you can play <directly to P.A. or amp in performance or do you
have to run it through a laptop or some such?

It's clear from the website that the DM48 is a CONTROLLER, not a
SYNTHESIZER.  A controller doesn't contain onboard sounds; it's a tool for
controlling an external instrument, such as a synthesizer module.  (if the
Dm48 contained onboard sounds, it would certainly cost at least 50%-100%
more than it does, and probably be much larger to boot--all those chips
have to go somewhere, and they ain't free.)  Part of the learning curve for
this thing is obviously learning how to use various synthesizers in
conjunction with the DM48.

The DM48 communicates with synthesizers via MIDI--Musical Instrument
digital Interface--which is a well-established protocol for interfacing
computers, electronic instruments, and controllers of various sorts.  The
DM48 uses a USB connection to transmit MIDI, so you'd have to connect it to
a computer (or perhaps an iPad) or to a synth that has a USB MIDI
connection.  (I think it would be a service to harmonica players if the
DM48 came with a list of recommended synths.)  The audio output would be
taken from the synth or computer, not the DM48.

For musicians who've been using computers and software-based instruments to
make music for a while, all this isn't a problem.  For musicians who've had
little experience making music with synthesizers and computers, it's going
to take some work to learn the various technologies involved, and the cost
of a computer (or iPad) and interfaces and/or software/hardware synths
needs to be figured into the purchase price.

These are non-trivial issues for many players, but there's no doubt that
this thing is a  breakthrough, and harp players are well advised to pay
attention even if they have no intention of running out and buying one
now.  I certainly am.

Thanks, Richard Hunter

"The Lucky One" 21st century rock harmonica project at
Author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
Latest mp3s and harmonica blog at http://hunterharp.com
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