MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
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Brendan
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MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by Brendan » Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:16 pm

Long in the making, it's finally here!

https://youtu.be/3pauVwDmayY

(More Info and Ordering Link in the Description under the video.)

---

Thanks to our forum members who helped me by Beta Testing the Modular-Reed Harmonica back in 2019 - for your excellent feedback, and occasional enquiries about when it would be ready for public release (Triona! 🙂).

Good to finally get it out there!

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Tyler
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by Tyler » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:33 pm

Congrats, Brendan!

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Brendan
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by Brendan » Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:01 am

I've released two new videos on the Modular-Reed Harmonica:

MAKE YOUR OWN MINI CHORD HARMONICA
https://youtu.be/Tj3KSUyUyX8

EXTREME REED SHIFTING
https://youtu.be/W5lAjzSi9Aw

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Brendan
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by Brendan » Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:06 am

Pat Missin, one of the Beta Testers for the Modular-Reed Harmonica, has written an excellent, informative review:

https://patmissin.com/reviews/modularreed.html

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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by EdvinW » Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:12 pm

As Tyler said: Congrats, Brendan! After all these years they're out!

It's a really cool product with lots of possibilities, even if you just use a standard Richter tuned harp without any extra reeds. Here are some additional ideas, on top of the ones Brendan covered in his videos, which new owners could check out :)

They could of course be used with harps of different keys, but for simplicity my diagrams will denote the notes from a Richter tuned harmonica in C as follows:

Code: Select all

Blow: C  E  G  c  e  g  c' e' g' c* 
Draw: D  G  B  d  f  a  b  d' f' a' 
  1. One cool effect which is not really present in "normal" tunings is to have a bendable and a non-bendable reed next to each other, play them together and bend. The non bendable note will stay put, while the bendable note will go down. This means you can play one chord or double stop, and transition smoothly into another!

    The following tuning alters holes 3-6 of the standard Richter, and demonstrates the effect. (It might not be a good tuning for anything else, but you could use it together with a standard harp and switch to it when you want the effect.)

    Code: Select all

    Blow: C  E  c  B  a  f  c' e' g' c* 
    Draw: D  G  G  d  g  e  b  d' f' a'
    The draw notes in holes 3, 5 and 6 won't bend, as the blow note is higher, while 4 draw will bend. Without bends, the draw notes in the lower half produce a G chord. If you bend the hole-4 d down to a c, however, it will sound a C power chord together with any one of the adjacent G notes. You could possibly extend it to a full C major chord with the 6-draw e, but it might be tricky to bend while playing many holes. If you think it's hard to do this with draw bends, just flip the reeds and try it with blow blends, that works well too :D

    It's a really cool sound!

    (With more different reeds, of course you could produce more versatile tunings with this property. This one is just to demonstrate it and possibly use as an effect with another harp.)
  2. It's the most convenient way to test out some of the more unconventional tunings out there, like my Wedin tunings I've talked about in other threads. To test out the two main scales that don't require a button you could rearrange the reeds in the following ways:

    Code: Select all

    Blow: E  C  c  d  e  G  c' d' e' c*
    Draw: D  G  B  f  g  a  b  f' g' a'

    Code: Select all

    Blow: c* D  G  B  f  g  a  b  f' g' 
    Draw: E  G  c  d  e  C  c' d' e' a
    The first major scale starts at 3 blow, and the second on 3 draw. The A minor scales and D dorian minor scales are nice too, especially the Am scale in the top of the second tuning. There are some "holes" in the tuning where, in my original tuning, there should be notes from outside the scale. I've filled these up with notes from the bottom or top of the harp to create useful double stops where possible. (The 1 blow c* in the second tuning is placed there just to get it out of the way. ;) )

    This might not be as interesting as suggestion 1 to most players, but if you are one of the lucky buyers and feel the least bit curious it's easy try it out :)
Edvin Wedin

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Brendan
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by Brendan » Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:04 pm

Thanks for those ideas Edvin! Would it be OK to post them on the ModReed webpage for Richter players to try out with their reed sets?

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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by EdvinW » Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:44 pm

Brendan wrote:
Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:04 pm
Thanks for those ideas Edvin! Would it be OK to post them on the ModReed webpage for Richter players to try out with their reed sets?
Sure! Totally OK, use either one of them or use both :)
Edvin Wedin

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Brendan
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by Brendan » Wed Dec 01, 2021 9:41 am

BTW Edvin, Triona, Pat and Paul: thanks so much to all of you for the excellent feedback you sent on the ModReed harp as Beta Testers back in 2019!

As a mark of appreciation, I'd like to offer you all a 10-reed case with a choice of 10 reeds inside, to add to the ones you already have in your test harp. Free parts and postage. I have told David Ireland about this, so he's prepared for if/when you take advantage of this offer.

It's best to use the webpage reed selection tool here:
https://www.brendan-power.com/ModularHarp.php#mhreeds

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triona
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by triona » Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:04 pm

Oh, thank you.
I had just been in the prosess of thinking about which I would like most the last days. I guess I will buy me some more in addition. And I have already prepared some questions about this. I think it is good to ask them right here. Maybe some others may have similar questions as well.

And since the Modular Reed Harp is out in public now, it might be discussed here and anywhere else openly as well. Just be patient a little bit until I have gathered and worded everything properly. Soon come, promised. :D


dear greetings
triona
Aw, Thou beloved, do hearken to the Banshee's lonely croon!
sinn féin - ça ira !
Cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yI3H ... 9ktgzTR2qg

EdvinW
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Re: MODULAR-REED HARMONICA - Released!

Post by EdvinW » Fri Dec 03, 2021 1:52 pm

Thank you Brendan! I've been doing some more experimenting with my set lately, so new reeds could definitely be useful. :D

I woke up early this morning and, half awake, I came to the realisation: If someone would like to know what a tremolo blues harmonica sounds like, the Modular Reed system is is probably the easiest (and cheapest!) way to find out!

After waking up some more I decided it's not for me (I never owned a tremolo and I don't play the blues, especially not with Richter tuning...), but it illustrates some of the strengths of the Modular Reed system so I thought I'd share it anyway.

You could tune it as follows: (using the same note labelling as in my previous post)

Code: Select all

Blow: D¹ E  E  G  G  c  c  e  e  g
Draw: D  G  G  B  B  d  d  f  f  g²
Notes:
¹) Both notes in hole 1 are draw notes.
²) Both notes in hole 10 are blow notes. Note that both g's must be front-mounted, as there are no rear mounted g's that low that fit hole 10. Advanced options for the configurator are needed! 10 bottom could also be replaced with a draw a-note to extend the scale.

I've sacrificed the notes normally found in 1 blow and 6 draw on Richter, to get the full first octave of the blues scale and the 1 draw needed for a good fat draw chord. All notes but the first and last bend and overblow just as they would on a standard blues harp.

Of course this project would require some fine tuning to sound good, but I don't see any other way of building it other than cutting the plates yourself. If you own the basic harp, even if you special order 20 reeds it's still not more expensive than ordering the cheapest custom Seydel plates. IF you then decide that tremolo blues isn't your thing, the left over modular reeds can super easily be used in another harp, as opposed to an old-fashioned experimental reed plate.
Edvin Wedin

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