New Melodica Build "El Gigante" (The Giant)

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    Time for another sneak preview of my latest melodica project “El Gigante” (The Giant). This is a conversion of a Hohner Organa Air Organ from 1958 converted to probably the largest melodica known (48 notes). Before I get to the back story, I would like to thank Bruno Trivi for gifting me the Hohner Organa for this project. Here is the back story. Just over a year ago, good friend and fellow Melodicaworld member, Bruno Travi, sent me an email to see if I was interested in a Hohner Organa Air organ he had. His idea was to convert it to a working mouth blown melodica as he had seen on You Tube. After some time working with it he decided to see if I was interested in a challenge. After receiving the Organa, I opened it up to see how it worked (reverse engineering of sorts) there were many challenges such as the materials used and the mechanical system and ,most of all dealing with moisture. My original though was to seal the air chamber and plug a hose and see what would happen, maybe this would be a no brainier. I immediately found that if I wanted to be able to play the entire keyboard, major modifications would need to be done to the current design. After disassembling the organ, I set aside parts that I would be able to use and those I would not. I was able to reuse the keyboard sections (4) total and a portion of the reed box section (now in a completely different position) and the reeds, all other materials were set aside and a new design would be required. The Melodica is complete for the exception of the mouth piece (Materials pending). I was able to use my modified trumpet mouth piece shown on this short preview. The melodica body is made entirely of wood, I even hand carve a removable Celtic style grill at the sound hole because I drink to much coffee and simply don’t know when to stop. also included in the build were (4) separate control valves for proper air distribution needed to balance air throughout the reed box. Originally, my idea was to play this melodica like an accordion because of the size, but I decided to build a walk up stand so I could play a different melodica and have this set up next to me already set to the right height and position needed to play without holding it. I am still making adjustments as I am using it. El Gigante is featured in a short solo on our new Monsters of Melodica Video to be released in the next couple of weeks. This recording is an excerpt of that video. Note the comping chords that sounds like an accordion is again that of El Gigante backing up the solo. The recording has reverb added but no EQ or compression at this time (Rough Mix).
    I have been taking pictures of the entire build so as soon as the mouth piece is completed, I hope to share with everyone here and on You Tube. I would love to read your comments and or questions you may have.


    AvatarAlan Brinton

    Looking and sounding very impressive so far. Kudos to both you and Bruno.

    AvatarJoanna Funk

    Hi MM,
    It’s massive alright ?. So good, you guys making melodicas and modifying other instruments. Looking forward to the video! J


    I like it! It is beautiful. I would love to play that instrument and look forward to hearing it Melodica-Me.


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