So I thought I would post another recording of my efforts to get my melodica to sound like a harp. The recording is me playing a Hohner Piano 36 over a free blues backing track that was posted on YouTube.
I have further refined my EQ settings but it will still take some experimentation to fatten up the low end and find mid-range settings that come closest to the tone and harmonics of a harp.
As I mentioned in another post, I am thinking that a sound similar to this accentuated with a wha wha pedal and powered by an overdriven tube amp like harp players use should get me close to the Chicago blues harp sound.
That’s fantastic, Lowboy. You’re a real pro. But we already knew that. It’s inspiring. It demonstrates possibilities some people claim don’t exist for the melodica. The first thing I found when I Googled “Melodica bending” was a discussion in which people were saying it can’t be done.
I think what you may be interpreting as bending is actually the illusion of bending. In several places I am playing legato (playing smoothly and running the notes together) and using chromatic notes and scales to imitate bending.
Because I am blowing hard, I think some other notes are sounding a bit thick and wavy during the attach and release.
I am still working on deliberate bending, but it is not easy. It can be done, but I am not sure we (melodica players) will ever be able to bend notes as much as a harp player. That would be a dream come true.
I think you actually posted one of the best examples of note bending I have heard.
I’m not sure if you mixed up something: it was ME who tried bending and it was LOWBOY who made great (and successful!) efforts in influencing the melodica sound towards a harmonica.
By the way: Lowboy, I agree with you that bending on a melodica is heavier than on a harmonica, but it’s still possible (perhaps apart from chords) even if you take an instrument with thick reeds (in my case the Vibrandoneon) in comparison to cheaper melodicas. The big difficulty is the coordination between breath and fingers and the subtlety of pressing and releasing the keys (sometimes it depends on a fraction of a mm if a note bends or not or if you choke a note).