The man who sold the ....Omnichord

The NAMM did an interview with Abe Thomas, a remarkable man who introduced the omnichord to the Americans. I met Abe years ago at the Frankfurter Messe, we've been keeping contact since.
Together we started the facebook group and now, for the first time, someone took the time to interview Abe about how it all started. enjoy this video, it's really great!


Playing Sus chords on a Omnichord

Gabriel Velasco, one of the groupmembers in my Omnichord Facebook group, came with an explanation how to tackle sus chords on a Qchord. This also suits the later models omnichord. 
A little lesson in Music theory :-)

" Sus chords are a bit tricky. The QChord does not play Sus chords. I cannot explain the workaround without a bit of music theory so bear with me. I'll try to keep it simple.

A major chord is made up of the first note of the scale, called the tonic, the third note of the scale, called the third (duh), and the fifth note of the scale, called the fifth. If you flat the third, you now have a minor chord - 1 3b 5.  

All of the other chords that the QChord can play - 7th, minor 7th, diminished, and augmented - either have a third which gives you a "major sound" or a flatted third which gives you a "minor sound."

A sus chord is different. A sus chord drops the third. It "suspends" the third. You can't tell whether it's major or minor because it's neither. A sus chord will replace the third with either a second or a fourth. I know I just lost some of you, but hang in there a few more seconds.

You can sometimes find a suitable replacement for the sus chord, but the right replacement depends on the melody. If the melody is not using the 2nd, 4th note of the scale at that point in the music, then you can usually just play the major chord. So, if the song asks for an A2 (sometimes written Asus2), or an A4 (sometimes written Asus4 or just Asus), then you can try playing an A. So, that's usually the first thing to try. Just play the major version of the sus chord in the music. If that doesn't sound good, try the minor version of the chord. In this case an Am. Try the major first, then the minor.

If the melody IS using the 2nd or the 4th note of the scale, now things get slightly more tricky. If you just play the major or minor version of the chord, the 3rd in those chords will clash with the melody. So, if you try the major first and it doesn't sound good, then you try the minor and it doesn't sound good either, you have to try something else.

Sus4 is more common than sus2, and if all that's written is "sus", then it's probably a sus4. If the major and minor don't work it's probably because the melody contains a 4 or 2 at that point, so you'll want to try the IV chord of the song first or the II chord of the song next. I know. Some of your eyes are glossing over right now, but just hang in there. I'll give you a rule of thumb below.

Here's the order of chords to try. Let's assume that the song is in the key of C and the song wants you to play a Csus here.

1. Try a C (major). Does it work? Yay! You're done.

2. Try a Cm. Does it work? Yay! You're done.

3. Try the IV chord. In the key of C, the IV chord is an F. If the melody contains an F at this point, the F major chord might work. Does it work? Yes? Yay! You dealt with tricky one.

4. Try the ii chord. In the key of C, the ii chord is a Dm. If the melody contains a D at this point, the Dm chord might work. Does it? Yay!!! You just dealt with a VERY tricky one.

5. If none of those work, try all of the other chords in the key of C.

6. Doesn't work? You're hosed. Scratch the song off of your list of playable songs, and never bother with it again.

Here's a cheat sheat for chords to substitute for a suspended chord in order:

Csus - C, Cm, F, Dm, Em, G, Am, Bdim
C#sus - C#, C#m, F#, D#m, Fm, G#m, A#m, Cdim
Dsus - D, Dm, G, Em, F#m, Am, Bm, C#dim
D#sus - D#, D#m, G#, Fm, Gm, A#m, Cm, Ddim
Esus - E, Em, A, F#m, G#m, Bm, C#m, D#dim
Fsus - F, Fm, A#, Gm, Am, Cm, Dm, Edim
F#sus - F#, F#m, B, G#m, A#m, C#m, D#m, Fdim
Gsus - G, Gm, C, Am, Bm, Dm, Em, F#dim
G#sus - G#, G#m, C#, A#m, Cm, D#m, Fm, Gdim
Asus - A, Am, D, Bm, C#m, Em, F#m, G#dim
A#sus - A#, A#m, D#, Cm, Dm, Fm, Gm, Adim
Bsus - B, Bm, E, C#m, D#m, F#m, G#m, A#dim

Thanks Velasco!


Suzuki Nobara for sale in France!

It's a bit off topic, but if anyone's looking...The Suzuki Nobara, I would love to get my hands on one... this instrument rarely pops up on the net. It's one of these Suzuki inventions, Suzuki Japan kept hidden from the rest of the world I guess. Here your chance!


introducing Omnichord Players: Cornelia


Cornelia Dahlgren is a Swedish singer, songwriter and producer known by the stage name Cornelia. She runs her own independent label called Camp Mozart. Cornelia participated in the first season of Swedish Idol 2004, however dropped out of the show in the final stages as she did not consider the manufactured approach to the music true to what she was about. She also  participated in the Red Bull Music Academy in 2008

In search of her own musical voice and new collaborators, she moved from Stockholm to London. Six years on, her decision to jump into an unknown adventure has proven to be the the right one.
Now there’s her debut album Balun. Enchanting electronic pop songs that bear traces of her prolific collaborations with artists such as neo jazz band Portico, downbeat connoisseur Bonobo and dub step producer Scratcha DVA. Balun is a gem of mysterious melodies, playful beats and Cornelia’s mesmerizing tales about London. Here she reveals her favourite corners of her adopted hometown.

We hope to see Cornelia live at the Omnicon 2016!



'Wende' guitarist Maarten van Damme and his OM-84

I went to see a livegig by 'Wende' this afternoon in my hometown. She's an amazing dutch artist, and she played with this great 3 piece band. I know some of you here will definitely like her music. On arrival I heard a familiar sound....I rushed to front of the stage, quick scan and yes..an OM-84!
Wende did her show, great band, great songs, amazing performance...
she'll soon outgrow Holland I think.

After the gig I had a 'hi,helloI'mRobandIwriteaboutomnichords@the edge-of the-podium' talk with Maarten, the guitarist who also plays the OM-84. We just had time for a quick snapshot, but I asked him if he can send one of him and his omni. I hope we'll have a longer talk about his view on this instrument later. If you're interested, listen to Wende and her music here: http://wende.nu/en/enter


Qchord midi problems solved?

Another blogger, Simon Lawrence, built an application for Mac to solve the Q's midi problems.
Tells you someting about the internet & google searches : It took us 5 years to find it :-)
But, great work,  I'm going to test it right away! http://antifluke.blogspot.nl


Pascal Labrouillere posted a new documentary film about a funny frenchy Sunday afternoon in Marmande, town in south ouest of France. The sound track was made with a circuit bent - folktek - OMNICHORD! Hope you will enjoy this "broken" omnichord experiment. thanks for sharing Pascal!