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(((((((( Machine with Soul ))))))))

 

Please check back or better yet, email for updates and availability.

info@xharp.com

Update Notes Below July 24 2017:

The Xharp was dreamed up and developed by a harmonica player who wanted more than just a harp. It was not created to replace or even simulate a standard harmonica. It does not have reeds like a harmonica and has a totally different feel and response. The Xharp can be tuned like a harmonica (diatonic) or can be custom tuned to whatever the player desires. This takes it to a whole new level of playing experience.

The latest beta version, the V-24 is now coming together. V-24 has twelve holes for a total of 24 notes. We now have sound on board. The V-24 can switch between keys with the push of a button allowing the X-Harp to play along with other musicians regardless of chosen key, making it a great “jam” instrument. The X has a general MIDI chip on board with over 100 different instruments. Air pressure also controls dynamics allowing for a more soulful expression using your breath. The X-Harp is really a brand new stand alone instrument allowing the player to create and develop their own sound and style. Oh , I forgot to mention The X is a "Full Blown Chromatic " on stereods.... It will be very cool to see what future Xharpists (new word) will create.

 

 

UPDATE JULY, 2017

Hello out there, we're still here and working on the X. Updates coming soon.

w.

 

 

 

Wayne Read

Remember John Lennon

 


First of all let me just thank all of you who occaisionally stop by our website to check on our progress.

 

X-harp engineer's notes Oct 4th 2016

It's been a little while since I've posted here, but we haven't been inactive.
We chose a smaller sensor for the latest version of the X-harp, and while more compact, it presented some interesting challenges. Among those challenges were temperature compensation and calibration.

For all of you who have been waiting, you'll be pleased to know that the challenges have been met. Wayne's been playing the X-harp with the latest version of the software, and it's quite stable.

So now, we're in the process of assembling more X-harps.

Thank you. Dee

 

 

 

w.

On another note: We have lost a friend and great inovator Ralph Baer . Ralph received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, IEEE Edison Medal, IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award, also known as the "Father Of the Video Game and inventer of SIMON, the memory game from the Sixties and many other very cool inventions, like PONG. You may have watched him in the video above playing and earlier version of the X at the age of 91. He was very x-cited to be on the list to receive his very own X but time was not on our side. He will be missed by many and Dee, David and I will miss our luncheons with Ralph.

 

 

We appreciate all your enthusiasm, don't give up on us, we're working as fast as we can. Also, on April, 2nd we were awarded our patent for our existing technology used in the Xharp. On another note we have been awarded the trademark "XHARP"

 

 

Wayne Read

 

 

Check out Pat Missin's article on MIDI Harmonica

A True Legend and Teacher

Please for now....just hit "back" button to return

 

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Article in Foster's Daily about XHarp

w.

Email: info@xharp.com

A note from our engineer


Hi, I'm Dee.
I've been working in the electronics industry since about 1979, and I've worked on just about everything from 2-way radio equipment to projection televisions, watthour meters and automated test equipment. About a year ago, Wayne asked me if I knew anyone who might be able to help him build an all-electronic harmonica. I jumped at the opportunity.

At that point, he had been working with a MIDI computer chip, and that enabled us to build an instrument that responded fairly well, however, changing keys required sending System Exclusive messages, and breath dynamics required a voltage controlled amplifier applied to the entire audio signal. This also meant that note volume could not be controlled individually.

In the end, our prototype was still a very playable instrument, but we felt we could do a great deal better. We made a list of things that we wanted to improve. These included:

Increasing the number of notes to 24.
Individual dynamic control of each note.
Back lit display for navigating menu using rotory encoder.
The ability to change keys on the fly.
The ability to modify tuning and create tunings on-board.
On-board generation of sounds with headphone and line-out.
MIDI-Out for use with Garage Band and off-board synths.
Rechargeable built-in battery, providing enough power to last at least a few hours.
Easy to re-charge or provide external power via USB.
Firmware that can be upgraded in the field.

The design challenges are substantial. We needed a low-power but fast processor, with the ability to read multiple analog inputs. To build the software in a reasonable amount of time, we needed a high level language, but we also needed fast and efficient code, so we chose the Cypress PSoC 5, which we program in C.

The next challenge was finding a way to generate sounds on board. There are a number of ways to do this, but we found a MIDI Codec built by VLSI. It provides easy access to 128 different sounds.

We needed a way to charge the internal battery, so we're providing a USB port that will charge that battery. But the USB port will also allow for in-the-field firmware upgrades, as well as the ability to save and upload settings.

What does this all mean? It means that we are creating a versatile instrument that is flexible and upgradeable - an instrument that is easy to play, but responsive enough to satisfy the virtuoso. From an engineering viewpoint, this thing just rocks.

Deirdre Hebert (Chief Engineer)