The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
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Brendan
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The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by Brendan » Tue May 21, 2024 3:18 pm

I'm proud to announce the MORBENDZ: a radical new diatonic harmonica, and the first harp to be released in my X-Reed partnership with Andre Coelho.

The name says it all: 14 easy bends (instead of 8 on a standard Richter harp). It's possible because of the combination of several innovative design features; watch the video to hear how this cool new harp sounds and works.

https://youtu.be/-z3WLTRymYU?si=6qygySGfOSKvZhK1

Some of you will realise this is an evolution of the harp I described in my Tech Tuesday series last year. Thanks to forum member Edvin Wedin for his suggestion of adding the 21st reed 🙏

Here's the MORBENDZ webpage:
https://x-reed.com/products.php#morbendz

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dominico
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by dominico » Tue May 21, 2024 4:59 pm

Congrats!

This is very cool, I like this concept even more than the slipslider!

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Brendan
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by Brendan » Wed May 22, 2024 4:05 am

Thanks Dom!

It's certainly simpler to use: just one easy button push gives all the new bends (instead of the more awkward twin opposite moves of the SlipSlider). And the high draw bends stay located in the same mouth hole Instead of shifting down one, which is easier to remember. Plus it's good for cupping with a microphone.

However it misses the option to bend both 7 blow and 7 draw in Richter tuning: they require different shaped mouthpieces and different extra reeds.

For regular breath tunings no extra reed is needed, much simpler to make! We have that version coming later.

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triona
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by triona » Wed May 22, 2024 9:26 am

Brendan wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 4:05 am
For regular breath tunings no extra reed is needed, much simpler to make! We have that version coming later.
What is meant with "regular breath tuning"?
Is that e.g. the "solo tuning" like in a default standard chromatic?

And does "much simpler to make" mean, that its price might be substantially lower?


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/@triona1367
https://soundcloud.com/triona-966519605

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Brendan
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by Brendan » Wed May 22, 2024 9:51 am

"Regular Breath Tuning" was a name I gave to my first ever alternate tuning back around 1980, and I recorded my first album 'Country Harmonica' with it.

https://www.brendan-power.com/CountryHarmonica.php

But now people are using the term with a generic, wider meaning. 'Regular Breath' now refers to any tuning where the breathing pattern is the same throughout the whole harp. In practice, that means the draw note is always higher than the blow, in every hole.

Yes: the Regular Breath MORBENDZ will be cheaper, for sure.

I hope that eventually the MORBENDZ could be a factory manufactured harp: in that case, the price would plummet! But let's see 🤔

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triona
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by triona » Wed May 22, 2024 9:28 pm

Brendan wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 9:51 am
"Regular Breath Tuning" was a name I gave to my first ever alternate tuning back around 1980 ...
But now people are using the term with a generic, wider meaning. 'Regular Breath' now refers to any tuning where the breathing pattern is the same throughout the whole harp. In practice, that means the draw note is always higher than the blow, in every hole.
Aha, that means that solo tuning is not included, and neither any of the Richter-based tunings which change breath direction at about hole 7 or anywhere else, including Paddy, Easy 3rd, Country, MM, Natural and Harmonic Minor, Dorian, and many others. On the other hand Regular Breath would include Power Draw, Power Bender, Power Chromatic, Diminished and maybe some others as well.

But if there is e.g. a blow B and a draw C or a blow E and a draw F in the same hole or any other semitone step, there were no bend possible in this hole neither? I do not consider Quartertone or any other Microtone instruments here (*).

I hope that I have understood this well now.

Brendan wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 9:51 am
Yes: the Regular Breath MORBENDZ will be cheaper, for sure.
So it might pay to be a little bit patient and wait till this might come one day. I just was thinking about ordering one. But the current price is quite a chunk - especially considering that my last teeths and my prothesis are rapidlly falling apart just now, and my general health is getting worse constantly, so I do not know how long I will be able to play harmonica ambitiously further on at all.
Brendan wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 9:51 am
I hope that eventually the MORBENDZ could be a factory manufactured harp: in that case, the price would plummet! But let's see 🤔
If this factory would be Seydel, Hohner, Suzuki or any of the other high priced major brands most propably this plummeting would not go so very much down. I would estimate that e.g. Seydel would have to charge at least about 150 € per unit, considering their average calculation on similar products in the near past. And I guess as well that those major brands are not very much interested in such niche products - not even Seydel as maybe the most innovative one. But - as you already wrote - let's see.

Brendan wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 9:51 am
my first album 'Country Harmonica' with it.
https://www.brendan-power.com/CountryHarmonica.php
"It was a chance to work on a solo album project in the studio for the first time ... Despite the tackiness of the pre-recorded tracks, I'm proud of the harmonica playing - quite advanced for diatonic harp at that time."

That seems to me like a kind of a bachelor's piece - like those which every young craftsman is making on the end of his education to show what he has learned. ;)


*) Btw: Roni Eytan will give a concert at a harmonica festival in Berlin at the next weekend. I am looking forward to this. And I hope, he will have his microtonal harmonicas with him and play them. :D )


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/@triona1367
https://soundcloud.com/triona-966519605

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Brendan
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by Brendan » Thu May 23, 2024 10:22 am

Hi Triona, I hope this will help. It's for the Richter version, but the pattern of the lower 6 holes would transfer to all 10 holes in a Regular Breath tuning. You can deduce from it what will happen when pushing the MouthSlider with various tunings.
MORBENDZ - Note Layouts with Bends.png
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Roni is fantastic - well worth travelling to Berlin for! 👍

suyash4376
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by suyash4376 » Fri May 24, 2024 4:01 am

I was going to build a version of this on Trochilus. Damn I should have done it :p

The idea was inspired by SlipSlider. Damn my procrastination

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Brendan
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by Brendan » Fri May 24, 2024 6:43 am

You should still go ahead Suyash! With 40 reeds to play with instead of 20 (or 21), you're bound to arrive at a different outcome.

Not sure what exactly, but it would be interesting 🤔

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Brendan
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Re: The MORBENDZ: As it Says on the Tin

Post by Brendan » Sun May 26, 2024 4:32 am

X-Reed MORBENDZ 001
A couple of inside shots from my X-Reed partner Andre Coelho of the first MORBENDZ off the 'production line' 😂

Note the front screws for super airtightness, and the 21st reed. The single outside valve enables a 15th valved bend on the 7 draw: a nice addition to the 14 juicy interactive-reed bends on the MORBENDZ (compared to only 8 on a standard Richter harp).

https://x-reed.com/products.php#morbendz
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