Comparison of Four Melodicas with a Blues Backing Track

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  • #3089
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi All,

    For comparison, here is the sound of four melodicas I played to a jazzy blues backing track using a clean sound for the most part. I am using a Shure Green Bullet mic and going through some compression, delay, and some EQ, all of which minimizes the difference between the sounds of the melodicas. The delay removes a lot of high harmonics.

    Times are approximate:
    0 to 1:05 = Suzuki A-34C
    1:05 to 2:05 = Yamaha P-32D
    2:05 to 3:05 = Hohner Piano 36
    3:30 to 5:35 = Hohner Piano 27 (HM27)

    The link is https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6237809/COMOUT01.WAV

    Lowboy

    #3091
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Excellent groove, dig the Lowboy “Belly-Wah”(TM). I am torn between the Yamaha P-34c and the Hohner Piano 36. They all mix well with each other in the track. If you weren’t on the opposite side of the states I would love to have you record with the Monsters.
    Awesome tone.
    Melodica-me

    #3098
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Melodica-ME,

    Thanks for the compliments. Belly-Wah. I cracked up at that. That is a great name for the technique.

    Yes it would be a tough choice between the Yamaha P-34c and the Hohner Piano 36. You have to love the precise design and construction of the Yamaha, and its high quality and very consistent tone, and its excellent playability and response. You can still buy them and they are easy to repair. It is super compact.

    Unless you have 300 to 400 dollars and weeks to look around for a new one, the Hohner Piano 36 must be purchased used and the condition will always be a crap shoot. They are difficult to repair, not nearly as precise in design and construction, and playability and response, while pretty good, is not quite as consistent as the Yamaha. But in certain songs and genres, that big, full, harmonically-rich tone works really well. I love it.

    So lately I have been thinking, well, the Yamaha is the least troublesome to own and there is an endless supply of them. So while I am playing the Yamaha a lot more than the Hohner these days, I am happy that I own a couple Piano 36s. So if I had to choose one or the other, I would have to think about it a long time

    I always have my eye open for Hohners at a good price.

    It may be that we can jam one of these days. I can, and have, collaborated in recording sessions with people all over the world using Indaba. It is a free online music collaboration website. You record and post tracks and then others can add tracks to your recording. Then you can take all the tracks and mix them the way you want. You can record and mix using their web software, or most any other music software such as Garage Band.

    My profile is there. Search for Lowboy. Check it out.

    Regards,

    Tom

    #3099
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Bit of a mix-up here between the Suzuki and Yamaha. I’m surprised how much alike they sound in your demo, Lowboy. You explain that somewhat, but the Piano 36 has a noticeably different sound.

    It would be great to hear a collaboration between the two of you.

    #3103
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    And so I should credit the people who provided this wonderful backing track. According to their website, you can use, play along, and re-post your playing over the backing tracks as long as it is for non-commercial purposes.

    http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com

    It look like a great resource for tracks for practicing.

    Lowboy

    #3195
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Melodica-Me,

    I made my mind up and I will offer my opinion, which is of course, fully subjective. If I had to choose between the Yamaha P-32D (we were incorrectly calling it a P-34C above) and a Hohner Piano 36, I would take the Hohner along with all of it liabilities. First, I like the tone of Hohner slightly better for my style of playing, and second, while the Yamaha has a beautiful, rich, and consistent tone when played acoustically, I have found that it does not take well to being processed for amplification. The tone of the Yamaha seems to deteriorate quickly when run through my effects, while Hohner maintains its character even with heavy processing.

    That is my story and I am sticking to it . . . until I learn more.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #3198
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Lowboy, the Hohner Piano 36 is in a class by itself. As you know I have many great melodicas and the piano 36 is one that I use a lot because it is a great instrument. it is my belief that if you are going to play the melodica professionaly you have to have several melodicas to fit with the right piece of music. In the same way a guitar player uses different guitar or a keyboard player has several synthesizers. One melodica will not work for all musical pieces. So a Hohner, Suzukie, Yamaha, Hammond, they are all good in there proper place. I was recently ask during a acoustical jam session with Cajon, acoustic bass guitar and acoustic guitar by a musician, “how do you make the Melodica sound the way it does” simple I said “factory specs” a great melodica, sounds great an ok melodica will sound ok. The tone is built in you add the Vibrato and Dynamics. The piano 36 has a great tone.

    Melodica-Me

    #3209
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Melodica-Me,

    I misunderstood your question earlier in this thread: “I am torn between the Yamaha P-34c and the Hohner Piano 36.” I thought you were asking for ideas about which one to purchase, not which one you preferred in the recording.

    In any case, I fully agree with you that every type and brand of melodica has a place based on the composition and soundscape of a song. When heavily processed, the timbre differences between melodicas are sometimes disguised. When played accoustically or with minimal EQ and reverb, the wide range of timbres from various melodicas is amazing, and I have yet to meet a melodica I did not like.

    And now, while the Yamaha does not sound as good as others when heavily processed, it offer a very distinct and rich tone when played and recorded acoustically. I like them all!

    Regards,

    Tom

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