Reply To: My dream melodica

Daren Banarsë

Lowboy, thanks for all your ideas and suggestions. Great to talk to someone who’s clearly been thinking about this for a while! Your ideas are all very creative. I suppose it’s a matter if incorporating whatever I can into a neat design. Your idea:

“…creating a single sound hole at the bottom of the instrument, perhaps with an internal or external trumpet-like bell. Insulate the instrument so that all sound is emitted from the bell or sound hole. Provide a means for holding the instrument at the sound hole and enabling the player to cup and uncup the sound hole with her hand to module volume and timbre”

could really help with harmonica-like expression if it can be included while easily gripping the instrument. Bendable reeds would also be great, but I imagine my research won’t go that far for the next instrument. I’ve already got quite a long checklist!

I think, once I’ve got the basics right, e.g. tone, size, playability etc, I might be able to then branch out into adding more capabilities.

Ofir, I reduced the air chamber size of my Vibrandoneon Mk I. It had 2 reed banks, but I only used one, so I didn’t see the point in having to work so hard to fill up such a huge chamber. I did it with foam and gaffer tape, and it worked well! No discernible difference in the sound, but then again, the outer casing was still the same size.

Quetscher, you said:

“It would at least be very interesting to find out in which way a bigger or smaller air chamber influences the sound. I strongly suspect that apart from the reeds it is the bigger air chamber that causes the rounder and warmer sound of some instruments, so perhaps you will have to find a compromise between sound and playability…”

I agree that the air chamber size will make a difference to the sound, and there may be some compromise involved. I think it can be compensated for through the shape and material of the outer casing though. So maybe not a traditional accordion tone, but hopefully a beautiful melodica tone 🙂

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