Silent melodica

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Daren Banarsë Daren Banarsë 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #10197

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    Ok, here I’ve read discussions about muting the melodica and, on the other side, Midi controlling. What I would really love is a model like Silent pianos: you can play normally and acoustically but, maybe moving a lever, go completely digital.
    Technically, it shouldn’t be that difficult: key sensors, breath sensor and maybe an onboard synth, maybe bluetooth MIDI, but a simple USB port would do the trick (and save the cost and the weight of a battery).
    A manually operated valve could deviate the air flux from the reed chamber to the outside, so effectively muting the instrument. I really hope someone from Yamaha and Suzuki read us from time to time…

    What do you think? Wouldn’t you buy it?

    gl

    #10198

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Gianluca, on my Monsters of Melodica facebook page I posted some pictures of my Suzuki Midi Melodion Which we used on our “Peter Gunn Video” this is basically what you are looking for. Unfortunately Suzuki Stop Making these a long time ago “Mid 90’s” I was lucky that one of our members here on Melodicaworld read that I was interested in one and BOOM! someone found one for me.

    On the video I used it for All the organ sounds and orchestra hits.

    Melodica=Me

    Suzuki MIDI Melodion

    Posted by Monsters of Melodica on Friday, February 5, 2016

    #10199

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    Hi Melodica-Me, it is my understanding that the Suzuki Midi Melodion is digital only: isn’t that so? Does it have regular reeds too?

    #10201

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    I’m sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear in my first post. I wish I had a single melodica with both:
    1. normal, acoustical reeds
    2. digital MIDI output (at least)

    and the possibility to switch either of them off 🙂

    #10202

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Gianluca, no reeds only a Midi melodica. I would think that muting a melodica would be quite simple by just elimination the air to the chamber, but then you would need to have a contact on each key to activate a midi signal. I tried the Sonus G2M V3 like the one on this video and it worked on my hammond a couple of years ago but never tried it with a microphone. I would think this would solve part of your search but you would still have the reed sound.

    Melodica-Me

    Here is the Sonus G2M V3

    Here is video showing how they installed a Midi controller on a trumpet

    This is an interesting video showing a midi keyboard (NO REEDS)

    #10203

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    you would need to have a contact on each key to activate a midi signal.

    exactly, something like this:

    Midi melodica

    but preserving the reeds.

    I’ve tried e few Audio to Midi plugins not long ago, with the recorder, but they all suffer from the same problem: lagging! There’s a clear lag even with the Sonus G2M, as you can see when the dude sings. I don’t think that’s the way to go…

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s enough room in a standard melodica to allow for a DIY solution, that’s why I was hoping for a solution from some major manufacturer… But I see no interest so far from our fellow members…

    gl

    #10205

    Jerry Ballard
    Participant

    gianluca… can you provide a link to a source for these midi switches? I’d like to try them on Accordina. Missing from this discussion is using a breath controller for volume.

    #10206

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    Hi Alan,
    that picture comes from here: http://www.mariemusic.de/midi-melodica.html

    Of course there should be a breath sensor to control volume/expression!

    gl

    #10207

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    OK, so this conversion is a non reed instrument. I would love to try to intermix these electronics with a standard melodica and incorporate the breath controller to the mouth piece.
    Melodica-Me

    #10208

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    I’m sorry Jerry, my previous post was for you, not “Alan”…

    Melodica-Me, I don’t know if you are already familiar with the Akai EWI instruments: their mouthpieces include a bite sensor:

    EWI bite sensor

    and they come out internally with 2 tubes:

    EWI tubing

    one goes to the pressure sensor, the other one to the outside. This could be a perfect solution for a “Silent” Melodica: the second tube could be switched between the reed chamber and the outside, while the first one would always put the pressure sensor at work.

    (pictures from http://www.ewiusb.com/)

    I guess an Arduino board would be enough to build a prototype but, I repeat, I’m afraid there wouldn’t be enough room in a standard melodica to place all the switches and the cabling…

    gl

    #10250

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    As a first step towards the construction of a Silent Melodica prototype, I have assembled my own Midi Melodica:

    Midi Melodica

    I have used:
    TEControl USB MIDI Breath Controller
    M-Audio Keystation Mini 32
    – an old 2-ports USB hub

    On the software side:
    Plogue sforzando – free
    – TEControl software
    – optional: the Aria sound banks provided with the AKAI USB EWI
    – on Windows: ASIO4all to reduce latency.

    The EWI sound banks are already setup for breath controlling, otherwise we must change the MIDI CC sent by the breath controller.
    Sforzando offers a built-in MIDI merge, so both the keyboard and the breath controller directly control the sound without any further software.

    I will post a video as soon as possible. For the moment, I am very happy with the responsiveness of the whole system.
    gl

    #10252
    Daren Banarsë
    Daren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Great work Gianluca

    2 tubes: one goes to the pressure sensor, the other one to the outside. This could be a perfect solution for a “Silent” Melodica: the second tube could be switched between the reed chamber and the outside, while the first one would always put the pressure sensor at work.

    What’s the purpose of the tube going to the outside? Is it just to release air? That does sound perfect!

    I have assembled my own Midi Melodica

    Would love to see this in action. Excuse my ignorance, but is this prototype currently connected to a computer?

    #10254

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    Hi Daren, thanks!
    Yes, the outside tube would be for air and condensation release.

    is this prototype currently connected to a computer?

    I’m sorry I have not made it clearer: yes, it is connected to a computer (Mac or Windows, but there is software for linux too) through USB. Both the master keyboard and the breath controller generate MIDI messages that are sent to the computer over a USB connection. Once you install sforzando (or similar), you select both devices as input, select your sound and you are ready to go.
    I should add that the total cost is about 200€ and assembling and setup are pretty simple once you know what to do.

    #10291

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    Here’s a quick demo of my Midi Melodica 😉

    Sorry about the flickering :/

    #10294

    Joanna Funk
    Participant

    I can’t make any technical comments, but it sounds beautiful.

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