TurboSlide (and SlipSlider?) dimi

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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TurboSlide (and SlipSlider?) dimi

Post by EdvinW » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:03 pm

I watched the nice video in your thread about combining the TurboSlide and the SlipSlider, and rather than derailing that thread I make a new one here instead. (also, what follows is probably more "alternative" than "Brendan Power-related")

I can't resist some additional wisealeckery: In the past you've expressed a fondness of diminished tuning for diatonics, could a TurboSlide , or the full setup, be used with this tuning?

A great advantage of the dimi is that it's chromatic using only bends, and that it's very regular in the sense that different scales can be found in a very predictable way. A disadvantage is that only every third note can be bent down, namely the draw notes.

Pushing a TurboSlide while playing a blow note or a drawbend note, you can lower them as well. The result is a very regular instrument where every chromatic note can easily be lowered a half step, and every third note can be bent a full step down!

Most likely, simply adding a TurboSlide is the most reasonable augmentation to the dimi.

How to make a SlipSlider useful with a dimi is less obvious. As each blow only differ a half step from the draw to the left, no new blowbends are gained, and the drawbends you get slipping to the left are large, near the limit of what's probably useful.

Time for the wishful thinking that's mentioned in the description of this board!

One approach would be to raise all the blow notes of a dimi one half step:

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Blow: C# E  G  Bb C# E  G  Bb
Draw: D  F  Ab B  D  F  Ab B
As a tuning for a "vanilla diatonic" this is not a very exciting tuning. No bends are possible, and you need overblows for any diatonic scale. But with the augmentations it becomes more interesting!

Pushing in the TurboSlide, you now have an almost completely ordinary diminished diatonic. The difference is that the notes C#, E, G and Bb can be reached either by bending down or by releasing the TurboSlide and thus bending up!

If we ignore the TurboSlide and turn to the SlipSlider, this variation of the dimi has usable blow bends when you slip right, and the large drawbends you get when slipping left are the size of that in hole 2 on a Richter! Pushing the TurboSlide and slipping left gets you a bend the size of Richter hole 3.

I have my doubt's about the playability of this monstrosity, and using magnet-bent notes this much will give a different sound than what most players are used to, but you have to agree it has some nice features in theory (?) ;)

Using just the TurboSlide with a dimi seems rather natural though, and when I think about it it's almost too natural not to have been attempted by someone at some point. Does anyone know if this is the case?
Last edited by EdvinW on Sun May 02, 2021 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Edvin Wedin

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Re: TurboSlide (and SlipSlider?) dimi

Post by Brendan » Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:48 am

Very interesting ideas as always Edvin!

Talking of the Diminished harp with TurboSlide: funnily enough, I've been discussing this very recently with a guy called Jason Rogers. He plays diminished tuning exclusively, mostly on chromatic:


Jason also plays diminished diatonic. After I released the Lucky 13 Diminished he got in touch, and we've been emailing back and forth about various aspects. Though I haven't tried it myself, I recommended he get a Diminished Seydel Session with TurboSlide for the good reasons you describe, and others.

For example, besides enabling the nice deeper draw bends, using the TurboSlide will compress the scale to avoid or reduce big jumps. They are one of the few weaknesses of Diminished Tuning, I feel. On a draw note you have to jump two holes to move a major third in Diminished, unless you use overblows.

By substituting an enharmonic magnet bend one hole to the right you can reduce that third interval to adjacent holes. For example, D to F# could be played with the magnet bend on the Eb blow note, lowering it to D. With an overblow, that interval can be increased to a fourth, D to G.

The highest interval on adjacent holes without overblows is a fourth; eg. blow C to draw F. By lowering the C to a B with the TurboSlide, that interval could be increased by a semitone, and to a full fifth B to F# with an overblow.

(A wise aleck might want to increase the magnet lowering to two semitones. It would mean these scale-compression effects are amplified, and the new draw bends can increase to three semitones on each hole).

Anyway, Jason liked the thought of this harp: his Dimi TurboSlide is on order, and should arrive with him soon. I'm looking forward to hearing what a dedicated player of Diminished Tuning makes of this cool combination. I'm sure he will discover some nice new stuff very quickly! I've invited him to post on this forum if he wishes.

As for your alternative scale Edvin: that's interesting too! Maybe you should order one of those with TurboSlide and report back. To cover your bases, you could buy a separate reedplate set from Seydel in case you prefer the standard Diminished Tuning.

Yes, you're right about the SlipSlider and normal Diminished Tuning: they are unfortunately not a happy couple. Whilst not totally incompatible, definitely unsuited for each other, and they're better with other partners.

But your alternative scale seems to overcome their differences, and make them a pretty good match, as far as the bending is concerned at least. Whether that's enough to sustain a long term relationship when the base scale is perhaps not optimal, I'm not sure.

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Re: TurboSlide (and SlipSlider?) dimi

Post by jasonrogers » Sat May 01, 2021 2:47 pm

Hi Edvin, Hi Brendan!

Thanks for the excellent discussion. I haven't received my dimi turboslide harp yet, so nothing concrete to report at this time.

But I agree with everything you both have said, and especially about the jumps necessary for major thirds. (The dimi chrom has a similar issue when it comes to fourths.) I am looking forward to trying the slide for minimizing the jumps, and also for the extra blow and draw bends of course! Or, as an alternative idea, I started dreaming about maybe tuning the magnets to produce quarter tones...not sure how possible that would be. Anyway, we'll see.

BTW, the turbo-slipslider looks like the coolest thing ever! :) (even if not primarily for dimi)

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