The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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EdvinW
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The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by EdvinW » Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:11 pm

You know the feeling: The band start playing an Irish reel in Ab or C#m, and you left that particular slide diatonic at home. What if there was some way you could play all the diatonic ornaments in any key, with a simple push of a button!

The waiting is over!

At least if you have a spare of Brendan's double chromatics lying around. Simply retune it to the following:

Code: Select all

Button 1+2: Blow:  ab b  d  f  ab b  d  f
            Draw:  c  eb gb a  c  eb gb a  
            
Button 2:   Blow:  bb c# e  g  bb c# e  g
            Draw:  c# e  g  bb c# e  g  bb
            
No button:  Blow:  c  eb gb a  c  eb gb a  
            Draw:  d  f  ab b  d  f  ab b
            
Button 1:   Blow:  d  f  ab b  d  f  ab b
            Draw:  eb gb a  c  eb gb a  c
Buttons always change blow notes by a whole step and draw notes by a half step. Button 1 increases pitch, button 2 decreases pitch, and both together decrease even further. It should be half-valved.

Behold the fantastic properties:
  1. With no button pushed, this is your trusty old Dimi tuning, capable of chromatic playing with bends alone.
  2. Every note has an enharmonic that can be raised by a full step or a half step by the push or release of a single button. Diatonic trills in any key!
  3. Every note appears as a bendable draw note, for expression!
  4. Every note can be played as a controllable full bend!

-----

Now... I realise this might not be all that practical and the above description is quite tongue-in-cheek. Mainly, I wrote to post it to show that something like an all-key slide diatonic is actually (at least in principle) possible.

After writing it up up, however, I can't help to look at all the bending opportunities and let the mind wander. It's actually kind of neat, isn't it? :)
Last edited by EdvinW on Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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triona
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Re: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by triona » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:52 pm

EdvinW wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:11 pm
It's actually kind of neat, isn't it? :)
Actually it seems like. Not that I have understood everything you told here thoroughly. But as a matter of fact - double diatonics are are a frequently used and beloved speciality of mine. :D


But some questions:

1. "Brendan's Double Diatonic" ?
Do you mean the "Irish Session Harp" (ISH) with its slide shifting any note (blow or draw) by one wholestep on its default?

If yes, a Seydel Sampler would do as well. The Sampler is even available configurated, what maybe can prevent a lot of retuning work, or at least can minimize this.

2. "Button 1", "Button 2" and "Button 1+2" ?
What do you mean?
This implies to me more a harmonica with two slides like the Hohner Chordomonica.


Anyway:
EdvinW wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:11 pm
You know the feeling: The band start playing an Irish reel in Ab or C#m
I do not intend to rein your enthusiasm. But Irish reels mostly come in G or D or in one of their respective modes. Therefore this "feeling" is rather a more hypothetical one. ;) The problem however could probably appear more virulent, if you intend to play a Scottish reel together with Great Highland Bagpipes. 8-)

But maybe this is what you meant with this:
EdvinW wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:11 pm
Now... I realise this might not be all that practical and the above description is quite tongue-in-cheek.

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: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by EdvinW » Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:22 pm

This would require a double chromatic, unfortunately. A double diatonic wouldn't do. Brendan used to make them: https://brendan-power.com/discontinued- ... uble-chrom

Such a harmonica has two buttons: one that alternates between two chromatics, and one that work like a normal button for both chromatics.

They are not made any more, so it'd be quite a project to realise this tuning :P
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Brendan
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Re: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by Brendan » Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am

The Double Chromatic does indeed offer some amazing possibilities, and this is one of them. To be half-valved for bending it would need to be very airtight, which is more challenging given the two sliders. But, assuming that's a given, it's interesting speculate on the many new options it opens up. Hopefully the real instruments embodying some of these ideas will follow on time - I'm working on that.

While this would be a very expressive chromatic for many styles, I'm sceptical about its use in Celtic music. At the speed the tunes go, you need to have all the notes of the scale as in-built notes without a button push.

In Diminished Tuning, even a basic major scale requires bends. In this version, to get a simple C major scale, bends or a button push are required. In addition, the intervals between tonic and fifth above are still quite wide; ideally they should be on adjacent holes at least.

Personally I would stick to Solo Tuning for trad music, and create a double Slide-Diatonic which offers more keys in one harmonica. Or make a DoubleChrom version of the Wedin Chromatic: that would be interesting!

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triona
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Re: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by triona » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:55 am

EdvinW wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:11 pm
You know the feeling: The band start playing an Irish reel in Ab or C#m, and you left that particular slide diatonic at home.
EdvinW wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:22 pm
This would require a double chromatic, unfortunately. A double diatonic wouldn't do. Brendan used to make them: https://brendan-power.com/discontinued- ... uble-chrom

Such a harmonica has two buttons: one that alternates between two chromatics, and one that work like a normal button for both chromatics.

They are not made any more, so it'd be quite a project to realise this tuning :P

Aha. That's the fly in the ointment!
Thanks for clarification. Maybe you should correct this in your opening post, as long as edition is possible.

And I do not have one of these double chromatics. And actually I am very sorry about this. As it still has been available I had been seriously thinking about ordering one. I had been clearly fascinated at once by this ingenious "monstrosity" - like Jacob Venndt had called it. But I did not have over the 650 pounds those days. And suddenly it has been discontinued. :?

So I must stick to my various double diatonics further on. That is working pretty fine as well. It is just restricted to one or at least two keys and their respective modes. And because I mainly play Irish folk and similar styles with these,
most of the tunes come along in the keys of D and G and related anyway. And even for my newly discovered love for playing baroque music these are excellent keys.

At least I have planned to purchase the one or the other additional configurated Seydel Sampler in some other key combinations. But meanwhile those are more than 300 € each as well. And a custom made Chordomonica II - with 2 slides on one body - comes pretty more than 400 € either. So these dreams will last some more time just as a dream. :D

It seems that all the special harmonicas I love to play either are discontinued or not yet invented. :o


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

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triona
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Re: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by triona » Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:06 am

And Brendan already has got the touch. :D
Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
While this would be a very expressive chromatic for many styles, I'm sceptical about its use in Celtic music. At the speed the tunes go, you need to have all the notes of the scale as in-built notes without a button push.
Besides the already mentioned dominance of the keys of D and G in those styles, this is still one more reason why the ingenious Edvin Tuning most propably might not be able to create big sales in the future. It is a fascinating idea for harmonica nerds anyway - but most propably limited in some way to DIY customizing and tinkering.

Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
In Diminished Tuning, even a basic major scale requires bends. In this version, to get a simple C major scale, bends or a button push are required. In addition, the intervals between tonic and fifth above are still quite wide; ideally they should be on adjacent holes at least.
This is a problem which is solved by the double diatonics with the slider switching between 2 reedplates respectively keys by a fifth / fourth on the same hole (like ISH or Sampler). Anyway this feature is restricted naturally on one key and its related modes.

Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
Personally I would stick to Solo Tuning for trad music, and create a double Slide-Diatonic which offers more keys in one harmonica. Or make a DoubleChrom version of the Wedin Chromatic: that would be interesting!
That would possibly be a solution for the restriction concerning keys. Btw, the ISH and the Sampler actually are based on Solo Tuning - just as a reminder.

Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
Hopefully the real instruments embodying some of these ideas will follow on time - I'm working on that.
We will hopefully await this. :D

Btw, are there any news about the Modular Reed Harp? I really long for an answer to this question, best by a new thread or at least by private message or email.


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: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by EdvinW » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:09 pm

Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
While this would be a very expressive chromatic for many styles, I'm sceptical about its use in Celtic music. At the speed the tunes go, you need to have all the notes of the scale as in-built notes without a button push.
You are right of course. I view the ornamentation properties of the tuning I proposed more as a theoretical curiosity than a real tool to use for Celtic tunes. I thought of the first paragraphs as a sort of joke, but I don't seem to have made a very good job getting that through. :)
Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
In Diminished Tuning, even a basic major scale requires bends. In this version, to get a simple C major scale, bends or a button push are required. In addition, the intervals between tonic and fifth above are still quite wide; ideally they should be on adjacent holes at least.
At least for playing in D or Bm the fifths, and in fact the full tonic arpeggio spans two holes when both buttons are pressed. But again, I'm aware this might not be the most practical way to achieve this.
Brendan wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:02 am
Personally I would stick to Solo Tuning for trad music, and create a double Slide-Diatonic which offers more keys in one harmonica. Or make a DoubleChrom version of the Wedin Chromatic: that would be interesting!
The Double Wedin Chromatic has been in my mind for a long time ;) I'll update the thread (or make a new one) about it soon!
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Re: The All-Trills All-Bends Dimi (aka Edvin's newest curiosity tuning)

Post by Brendan » Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:01 pm

Good points Triona, and thanks for your encouragement. I am still intending to release those harps you mention, hopefully at least a couple by Christmas.

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