- August 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm #7490
Hi Fellow Melodicians,
Here is a study (see link below) that demonstrates several modulations as performed with a Hohner Piano 26:
–True Doppler effect
–Leslie speaker cabinet effect
–Wah Wah effect
–Frequency modulation (significant changes in timbre)
The Doppler effect (heard first) is achieved by waving the instrument towards and away from an audience—or in this case, a microphone. You really cannot hear this effect much when you are performing it because you head tends to move with the instrument, and hence the sound source (the melodica), is not moving towards or away from you. But the microphone and audience can hear the Doppler effect.
Anyone familiar with the sound of a Leslie speaker cabinet (most organ players) will recognize that the Leslie speaker cabinet effect I am producing in the chords that follow the Doppler effects is nearly identical to the sound you hear when playing an organ through a Leslie.
Later in the study, I demonstrate some wah wah effects and tonal variations that are only possible (at least I think so) with the Hohner Piano 26/27/32s.
There are some minor bends in there as well. Some distortion too.
It is interesting to note that the Piano 26 was producing a wide range of peak frequencies (315 Hz to about 6.3 KHz) as noted on my Rane real time analyzer. I like that wide range.
These techniques are still not well developed, but I am refining them.
The recording quality is nothing special. Melodica to Shure SM57 through a LWBC delay that had a nearly dead battery to a Vox AC4C1-12 set to be dirty. I placed a decent quality mic at the speaker and recording to a Yamaha Pocketrak PR7 recorder. No other processing at all. All sounds come from this one setup.
LowboyAugust 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm #7491Alan BrintonParticipant
What a treat! You’re always pushing the envelope (Sorry for the cliche), Lowboy. I hope sometime to have the chance when I’m out your way to catch a live performance.August 14, 2016 at 10:35 am #7492
Thanks Alan. I have another study that takes modulation to the next level and I will post it in a few minutes.
LowboyAugust 14, 2016 at 10:53 am #7493
Here is a another study (see link below) showing significant variation in tonal coloration and a high level of expressiveness from a Hohner piano series melodica.
Everything you hear is from one melodica and one setup. The tonal variations are accomplished through technique and melodica design. Some delay was applied during recording.
The tube amp was miced to a pocket recorder and you can here the water heater a bit in the background.
So this is a study. Playing is not quite improv; recording quality is just adequate. However, if you are exploring the limits of melodica expressiveness, this recording may hold some ideas. Good playback equipment will obviously enable you to hear the nuances of some of the techniques.
In addition to physical manipulation of the melodica, I use a technique where I hold down lots of keys (a chord). Then, by varying the blowing pressure, notes come in and drop out of the chord.
LowboyAugust 14, 2016 at 1:14 pm #7495
Here is one last study that came out of my work several days ago. Listen at your own risk! This study is similar to the previous ones but uses my Vox AC4C1-12 tube amp cranked up for distortion. The sound is not always pretty nor is the playing, as I was just testing things. I edited the recording to bring it down from about sixteen minutes to about 3 minutes. The keyboard harmonica would sound better mixed with other blues instruments. This is not the blues sound I usually get. The recording is rough (pocket recorder) with no post processing; just delay added during recording. There is some note bending and other crazy modulations going on.
I warned you. You may not like it. For those that do, enjoy. There may be something to learn here depending upon your persuasion.
TomAugust 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm #7497
After listening more closely to my latest study, I decided to delete it. The first two studies probably provide enough food for thought. Regards, LowboyJuly 4, 2017 at 9:47 pm #9060amanda szostekParticipant
that sounds great–July 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm #9062
If this is of interest to you, I have a number of other studies on my SoundCloud page. Just go to SoundCloud and search on Lowboy Bootay. Below is one of the more popular clips that I have posted there.
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