DM48

12 hole, 48 note, digital chromatic harmonica.
Expressive control over any electronic instrument.

Introduction

The Lekholm DM48 is a unique electronic instrument controller in the form of a chromatic harmonica. Twelve independent pressure sensors puts players in control of a world of synthetic sounds, silently at night or loud on stage without feedback. The DM48 is a pure MIDI controller without onboard sound synthesis.

"It’s a really amazing instrument."

Brendan Power, UK

"That instrument is awesome! It is an incredible amount of fun to play."

Steve Hamilton, USA

"It’s just too cool, congratulations on an amazing invention."

Jason Keene aka "Bluesbop", USA

"I am enjoying the DM48 more than any other instrument I have played in the past 48 years."

Jonathan Spool, USA

“My dream since 20 years is real and the door is open to a universe of sounds! Thank you!!”

Laurent Maur, France

"Absolutely incredible. Thanks again for making this amazing creation."

Tim Scanlan, Australia

“I’m very happy and impressed with all the work you spent developing the DM48.”

Specifications

12 precision pressure sensors · USB MIDI · Instant key changes · Stores multiple settings & tunings · Built-in tuning editor ·  Export & import tunings · Highly adjustable response · Adjustable breathing resistance · Single or multichannel output · Compact size · OLED display · Anodized aluminum mouthpiece · Protective nylon case

Videos

Performance demo

Laurent Maur + YOUPI quartet plays the DM48 live in Paris using Acoustic Electro Waves in Reason.

Performance demo

Jason Keene playing Benny Goodman's "A smooth one" on the DM48 using Sample Modeling's "The Sax Brothers".

Performance demo

Cole Porter's "You'd be so nice to come home to" played on the DM48 paired with a Yamaha VL70-m.

Technical demo

Harmonica virtuoso Brendan Power playing and demonstrating various features. Prototype instrument.

Technical demo

DM48 together with the excellent SWAM Flutes virtual instrument. Showcases a range of possibilities including start/stop of backing tracks using the buttons, easy improvisation with custom tunings and more.

Performance demo

Adam Glasser plays his song "Tourmalet" on the DM48 together with a Yamaha VL70-m.

Performance demo

Jason Keene playing "Bye bye blackbird" on the DM48 and Sample Modeling's "The Trumpet 3".

Performance demo

Laurent Maur improvising using Sample Modeling's "The Flutes".

Performance demo

Laurent Maur playing "Isfahan" on the DM48 together with Sample Modeling's "The Trumpet 3".

Performance demo

Jason Keene doing a beautiful rendition of "Have you met Mr Jones?" using a flute patch in Logic.

Technical demo

Laurent Maur demonstrating some more exotic applications, including unusual tunings and single-hole triggered chords with the help of Reason refills by EWI Reason Sounds.

Technical demo

Brendan Power showing his pitch bender and blues mouthpiece accessories. Prototype instrument.

Performance demo

John Shirley does looping/layering of bass, organ, and sax sounds, with a live drummer.

Performance demo

Laurent Maur triggers chords and play organ using the DM48 over a dance beat.

Technical demo

DM48 together with iOS-based synthesizers (GarageBand and DXi) using the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter. The demo includes positive and negative bending, custom slider intervals and easy key changes. Prototype instrument.

Technical demo

Demo of tuning editor and tuning-related features, including Richter tuning. Also shows DM48 together with the Chris Hein sampled chromatic harmonica plugin, as well as playing with an external arpeggiator. Prototype instrument.


More videos are available on our YouTube channel.

Information & FAQ

Blows and draws
The pressure sensors can sense both positive and negative pressure, enabling both blows and draws.

Bending
Only one parameter is measured: air pressure. Traditional bending is therefore not possible. A pressure-controlled bending feature has been implemented on the DM48, where bends are triggered by strong blows/draws. Bending threshold and sensitivity are adjustable.

Feel/response
In contrast to an acoustic harmonica, one cannot use mouth geometry, hands, and classical bending/overblows to modulate the sound. MIDI breath data is however transmitted continuously, such that sound intensity can be modulated throughout the duration of a note. The DM48 responds and transmits MIDI data almost instantaneously, but total latency depends on what software and computer is being used.

Slider
Rather than mechanically redirecting the airflow, the slider is electronic. It has a shorter stroke length and thus a different feel compared to a regular chromatic. This may take some time getting used to, but has the advantage of being faster.

Peripherals
The DM48 is a MIDI controller without sound synthesis. Similar to a MIDI controller keyboard, a synthesizer (software or hardware) is needed to generate sounds. The DM48 can be connected directly to a computer via USB. An Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter allows connection to an iPad/iPhone. With newer iPhones without headphone socket, a USB hub plus a USB headphones adapter is additionally needed to connect a pair of headphones (Bluetooth headphones have latency issues). A MIDI USB host adapter is needed to connect the DM48 to a standard 5-pin MIDI connector. A third-party mini pitch controller and diatonic-style mouthpiece is available from Brendan Power - note that we do not sell these independently developed accessories.

Suitable synths/sounds
Like other electronic wind instruments, the best results will be achieved with sounds that are specially adapted for the purpose. The acclaimed Yamaha VL70-m virtual acoustic modeling synth sounds great and works really well with the DM48, but note that it is monophonic. The SWAM virtual wind instruments from Audio Modeling are outstanding in terms of realism and a joy to play with the DM48. Note that some of them are now available on iOS through the GeoShred app, finally making SWAM portable and also very affordable. Wind instruments in GarageBand are a decent budget option. The Acoustic Electro Waves wind synthesizer plugin for Reason is great together with the DM48, and works on both Mac and Windows machines. Together with Reason in demo mode (song loading disabled, but otherwise full functionality at no cost) it is a bargain at $13. ThumbJam on iOS is another good budget option that conveniently handles DM48 multichannel data correctly by default, for independent breath pressure control of each hole. MPE synths/patches can also be used with the DM48.

Harmonica sounds
Decent realistic harmonica sounds can be achieved with physical modeling synths as well as sample-based software instruments. However, the DM48 cannot replace or convincingly emulate an acoustic harmonica.

Firmware
The firmware can be updated by the user via USB, and the latest version (v1.56, which adds a default Global preset for GeoSWAM instruments), can be downloaded here.

Manual
The DM48 packs a wide range of features and adjustable parameters, all detailed in the DM48 User Manual, available in English and Chinese.

User forum
Please visit the DM48 Google Group.

In the media
See our press archive for a selection of articles, interviews and other news features about the DM48.

Ordering & Contact

The DM48 can be ordered below using any standard standard debit or credit card. Payments are processed by PayPal without need for registration. We ship anywhere worldwide by tracked and insured parcel. Instruments are typically dispatched within three working days and shipping takes around two weeks to most destinations. Do not hesitate to contact us if needed before ordering, and sign up to our mailing list if you want to receive news about the DM48:

Note that the DM48 is MIDI controller without onboard sound synthesis, and third-party software and hardware is needed for a complete setup. Some setup suggestions are given in the user manual and the FAQ above, but we cannot provide support for products beyond the DM48 itself. Potential buyers are advised to first consult these texts.

The instruments are assembled by hand in in Gothenburg, Sweden. The casing is produced using high-quality SLS 3D printing, which gives it a slightly rough surface. The mouthpiece is manufactured in aluminum by precision CNC machining, and has a smooth semi-matte anodized surface. Each unit is shipped with a USB cable and a custom protective case.

Carefully select the appropriate order button depending on your location:

DM48 Digital Harmonica - EU customers (non-corporate) incl. UK
SEK 8625 incl. VAT plus shipping (approx. EUR 850)

Please state cell phone number when ordering!


DM48 Digital Harmonica - non-EU customers (or EU corporate)
SEK 6900 (no VAT) plus shipping (approx. USD 800)

Note: local duties may be added depending on destination.
EU corporate customers: please state VAT number.
Asia: please use Latin characters only.
Please state cell phone number when ordering!


DM48 Digital Harmonica - Sweden
SEK 8625 incl. moms plus shipping

Please state cell phone number when ordering!


info@lekholminstruments.com