[Harp-L] Blues Harp Mouthpiece and Mini PitchBender for the DM48

Brendan Power bren@xxxxx
Wed Jun 14 13:36:58 EDT 2017

The Lekholm DM48 is a very impressive MIDI Harmonica, only just released. As
the first beta tester, I helped the inventor Erik Lekholm add extra tweaks
to its amazing range of useful features. The DM48 has incredible
functionality and expression, but two things about it make it less appealing
to diatonic harp players: an inability to controllably bend notes, and a
12-hole chromatic-harmonica-size mouthpiece.


For my own playing and to help make the DM48 more user-friendly for all harp
players, I decided to develop two add-on accessory parts to address these
issues. Diatonic players are used to small 10-hole harps, so I designed a
10-hole mouthpiece with the same shape and close hole spacing as a blues
harp - complete with real metal coverplates from the iconic Hohner 1896
Marine Band. It screws into the same sockets as the stock DM48 mouthpiece,
and gives a familiar diatonic-size interface to the amazing world of MIDI


The Mini PitchBender was something I could not develop on my own; it
required a partner with sophisticated electrical and MIDI knowledge. After
looking on YouTube I found the perfect person: London electronics guru Tim
Jacobs. We struck up an online friendship and have been working hard
together over several months to try various approaches to this gnarly issue.
The first was based on a small pressure ribbon, and we also tried tiny pitch
wheels. But the best approach turned out to be a mini joystick which allows
a player to bend notes accurately to 4 different pitches with small finger


After a little practice I was able to use it to mimic the kinds of bends I
do on harmonica, and discover more cool bends that are not possible on any
normal harp! This pitch-bending control adds so much soul to the DM48, which
for me greatly increases the playing pleasure of this amazing instrument.
Based on the success of the prototype, Tim and I have ordered the parts to
make a smaller version on the Mini PitchBender for sale to DM48 and other
MIDI instrument players. 









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



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