25 Mar 2014

Fragments of Dreams 11th April 2013

Fragments of Dreams 11th April 2013, composed by Ryusuke Koarashi

Melodica: Ayumi Toyama
Guitar: Ryusuke Koarashi

5 Mar 2014

Melodica Comparison, Before and After Repairing

Most of professional melodica players do adjust or repair their instrument for fulfilling their musical requirement, and so we do. Last November, we had repaired about 10 melodicas of students who bought newly for playing in ensemble. With two of those instruments, we made two videos of comparison before and after repairing to check how different they are.

Melodicas used in the video are products by Stagg, a Belgian manufacturer that produces musical instrument at a reasonable price, possibly the cheapest ones we can buy in the UK. The structure of the instrument is same to Hohner’s, so those have similar timbres. Two melodicas (Blue and Black) in the video have identical form, but the material of the reeds is different.

The example of the short piece is “OSHIN’s Theme“. Did you get the differences?

Here we had improved three points by repairing.

1. Response

When melodica needs too much blowing in for making a sound, we say the response is bad/slow. Most of the newly bought melodicas do not respond good usually, some keys need much effort to blow in, since the reeds are not adjusted appropriately. You can hear it in the video that some notes are very much delayed, sometimes even does not come out especially when playing soft sound or chords.

2. Reduction of key noise

There are some causes of making key noises, and some solutions to each of them. Here we mend only a noise which is caused by key touching the bottom. Sometimes we use the key noise for adding an attack to the sound but it depends on how much it is and how the quality is.

3. Reduction of spring noise

Keys of melodica put back in its place by small springs, but it is a cause of noise, do you hear a high, continuous sound like a reverb in the video? that is the spring noise.

These three points are very basic ones where the repair could be easily done for just 30 min to 1hour, but still may be very effective as you can see in the video. (We should adjust the pitch as well, but it takes much more time and cost, so this time did only for a few melodica students really wanted to do.)

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