So yesterday I was hanging out and trying various melodicas, sound system settings, and playing techniques. I put together a clip below that may be of interest.
My friend, who is trained in sound engineering, often says this when he hears musicians misuse reverb: “Musicians should have to get license before using reverb.” Well I am one of those musicians without a license, particularly when I am just fooling around informally. WARNING: Some surf music effects coming up.
The clips in this recording are of course made with my favorite type of melodicas using a freestanding mic. Some clips are recorded from a tube amp with distortion and some are recorded through my PA, which is a very clean amplification system.
I just stuck my pocket recorder with a good mic in front of the speakers, so there is some background noise and the sound of my heating system running on occasion, but it does not take away from the primary purpose, which is to give you an ideas of some sounds and playing techniques that are possible on the melodica, or keyboard harmonica as I like to call it.
Some tracks blend into each other. I was trying to be fancy.
Here are a few things to listen for:
00:20 Doppler effect, not bending 01:15 Adding high accents notes to an interval 01:30 Humming into the melodica while playing. Humming adds distortion and harmonics 01:43 Who is that guy? 01:49 Humming into the melodica while playing, then not humming. Humming results in natural acoustic distortion and added harmonics. 02:00 Ghost notes (sympathetic notes or some harmonics) that are sounding without being played. Listen closely. The ghost notes appear to sound softer, in a lower register, and smoother than the notes being played. The most interesting thing is that the third ghost note sounding in each sequence of the four notes (walking down) actually rises up compared to the other three ghost notes. Weird things happen inside a melodica when you choke the outlet. 03:00 Use of high accent notes and choking the outlet for effects 04:09 Use of muffling to achieve wide variation in timbre 04.45 Use of keyclick