[Harp-L] MIDI Sounds from a Standard Harmonica

bren@xxxxx bren@xxxxx
Fri Mar 27 06:11:46 EDT 2020

Great Laurent, I'm happy to do that. I have a bunch more videos coming on it - let's wait till they are all out, and then do the article 😊

Brendan Power

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurent Vigouroux <laurent.vigouroux at xxxxx> 
Sent: 27 March 2020 09:33
To: bren at xxxxx; harp-l at xxxxx
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] MIDI Sounds from a Standard Harmonica

Waouh Brendan, this is SO precious!
Very big thanks for doing this discovery work and sharing with the community!

I would love to make an article in Planet Harmonica about that

Le 27/03/2020 09:25, « Harp-L au nom de bren at xxxxx » <harp-l-bounces at xxxxx au nom de bren at xxxxx> a écrit :

    This is an interesting area which can apply to any type of solo harmonica,
    chromatic or diatonic, in any tuning.
    Over the past couple of months I've been spending a lot of time exploring
    various pitch-to-Midi solutions. This is basically about playing a standard
    analogue harmonica into some kind of interface to get Midi sounds from it. I
    had tried this in the past, but always gave up in frustration because of too
    many sound glitches, and latency. Those factors still exist, but with a lot
    of research and fine tweaking of settings they can be minimized to the point
    where I now feel this approach is really workable.
    I'm using the iPad as my Midi sound source, as well as for audio. It's an
    incredible playing resource for any musician, as millions of keyboard
    players and guitarists have already discovered! But up till now few harp
    players seem to have taken the iPad seriously, even for using guitar-type
    effects in an app like Bias FX. If you check the Facebook discussion groups
    on harmonica effects, the overwhelming view is that the standard old-school
    pedalboard with a bunch of your favourite foot-stomp pedals is the only way
    to go. Even floor multi-effects units like the Line-6 are frowned on by the
    Sure, there are some great foot pedals especially designed for harmonica out
    there, mostly made by the Lone Wolf company. Fair play to them, and I'm not
    dissing their great work over recent years in creating dedicated pedals for
    harmonica players. But to me, using floor pedals is a very poor approach for
    us harmonica players. Having them on the floor means adjusting settings
    means crouching down, and it's easy to hit knobs and mess up the sound with
    clumsy foot operation. Unlike guitarists and keyboard players, we have a
    free hand to quickly change sounds and do fine tweaking of settings, so it
    makes sense to have our effects units at waist height - preferably mounted
    on a mic-stand.
    This goes perfectly with using the iPad, because it's so small and light and
    is designed for finger operation. Combine that with its awesome processing
    power and the HUGE number of amazing music apps inside, and you have an
    incredibly powerful music workstation at your fingertips. That's the case
    even for the many excellent packages of digital emulations of guitar-type
    effects, such as Tonestack, Bias FX, Tonebridge, Amplitude etc. They are all
    fantastic in themselves, and have some stunning iPad versions of pedals that
    go wonderfully with harmonica. For example, Bias FX and Tonestack have their
    own version of the POG 2 Poly-Octaver. It sounds just as good as the real
    thing, costs a fraction of the price, and can be patched along with hundreds
    of other great pedals on your iPad screen - or even along with a traditional
    But then if you throw in the plethora of Midi synths in the iPad, you have a
    huge NEW area of amazing sounds that have never been accessed by harp
    players before. This is what I've been exploring recently. It's taken a lot
    of time, trial and error (and expense!) on various dead-ends or
    unsatisfactory solutions, but I've now got to a point where I have something
    stable and reliable happening, which is really usable in recording and
    I'm making a series of videos on the Harmonica and iPad combination. Here is
    the first one, a general overview of the possibilities:
    Brendan Power
    www.x-reed.com <http://www.x-reed.com> 
    www.brendan-power.com <http://www.brendan-power.com/> 
    www.youtube.com/brendanpowermusic <http://www.youtube.com/brendanpowermusic>

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