Author Topic: Blues Harp Mouthpiece and Mini PitchBender for the DM48  (Read 116 times)

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Offline Brendan Power

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Blues Harp Mouthpiece and Mini PitchBender for the DM48
« on: June 14, 2017, 01:51:51 PM »
The Lekholm DM48 is a very impressive MIDI Harmonica with incredible functionality and expression, but two things about it make it less appealing to diatonic harp players: an inability to controllably bend notes, and a 12-hole chromatic-harmonica-size mouthpiece.

For my own playing and to help make the DM48 more user-friendly for all harp players, I decided to develop two add-on accessory parts to address these issues. diatonic players are used to small 10-hole harps, so I designed a 10-hole mouthpiece with the same shape and close hole spacing as a blues harp - complete with real metal coverplates from the iconic Hohner 1896 Marine Band. It screws into the same sockets as the stock DM48 mouthpiece, and gives a familiar diatonic-size interface to the amazing world of MIDI harmonica.

The Mini PitchBender was something I could not develop on my own; it required a partner with sophisticated electrical and MIDI knowledge. After looking on YouTube I found the perfect person: London electronics guru Tim Jacobs. We struck up an online friendship and have been working hard together over several months to try various approaches to this gnarly issue. The first was based on a small pressure ribbon, and we also tried tiny pitch wheels. But the best approach turned out to be a mini joystick which allows a player to bend notes accurately to 4 different pitches with small finger movements.

After a little practice I was able to use it to mimic the kinds of bends I do on harmonica, and discover more cool bends that are not possible on any normal harp! This pitch-bending control adds so much soul to the DM48, which for me greatly increases the playing pleasure of this amazing instrument. Based on the success of the prototype, Tim and I have ordered the parts to make a smaller version on the Mini PitchBender for sale to DM48 and other MIDI instrument players.

MORE INFO, PHOTOS and DEMO VIDEO HERE:
http://www.brendan-power.com/DM48.php

DIRECT LINK to the VIDEO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZZkkb_qBqo

Offline jimjams

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Re: Blues Harp Mouthpiece and Mini PitchBender for the DM48
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 04:12:15 PM »
Awesome innovation as usual Brendan!

Could the pitch bender component alone be used with the DM48 as is for chromatic players?

(P.S. I really wanted to make it to see you and Bill last night.)
James
Musical artistry comes via a relentless pursuit of beauty.

Offline jimjams

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Re: Blues Harp Mouthpiece and Mini PitchBender for the DM48
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 02:36:41 PM »
Awesome innovation as usual Brendan!

Could the pitch bender component alone be used with the DM48 as is for chromatic players?

(P.S. I really wanted to make it to see you and Bill last night.)

I noticed you have this option on your site!  :)
James
Musical artistry comes via a relentless pursuit of beauty.