Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

DM48 interview with Erik Lekholm and Jason Keene

August 19, 2022 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 67
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
DM48 interview with Erik Lekholm and Jason Keene
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Erik Lekholm and Jason Keene join me on episode 67.

Where we talk about the innovative DM48 midi chromatic harmonica, designed by Erik initially as a means to practise silently. He posted his creation on a harmonica forum and it soon gained interest, with people eager to purchase it. So Erik and his father started building and sold the first ones in 2017, with the updated version, the DM48X, coming out in 2022 .

Jason Keene joins me in the second half of the podcast, to provide the perspective of one of the leading players of the DM48, which he describes as a game changer for his music. Jason talks us through the set-up and the limitless possibilities that this midi chromatic harmonica  brings.

DM48 website:

Jason Keene website:

Reviews of the DM48:

DM48 User forum:

Millioniser 2000:

Millioniser 2000:

Erik Lekholm demos some of the capabilities of the DM48:

Erik Lekholm explaining the DM48 at the NAMM show, 2020:

Brendan Power compares DM48 to HM12 and gives overview of DM48 features:

HM12 midi harmonica video from Brendan Power:

Jason Keene talking about the DM48 being a ‘game changer’:

Jason Keene demoing using the 8K Controller to combine instruments:

Laurent Maur playing the DM48 live:

Podcast website:

If you want to make a voluntary donation to help support the running costs of the podcast then please use this link (or visit the podcast website link above):

Spotify Playlist:
Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains most of the songs discussed in the podcast:

Podcast sponsors:
This podcast is sponsored by SEYDEL harmonicas - visit the oldest harmonica factory in the world at www.seydel1847.com  or on Facebook or Instagram at SEYDEL HARMONICAS
and Blows Me Away Productions: http://www.blowsmeaway.com/

Erik Lekholm is the creator of the DM48 midi harmonica
What is the DM48 midi chromatic harmonica
Connects via USB on old version, or option to connect wirelessly in new version
Erik initially came up with the idea of the DM48 as a means to practise silently
Possibly the first midi harmonica was the Millioniser 2000, which came out in the late 1980s
Was interested in electronics when younger, so had some of the skills to develop a midi instrument
Worked on a midi instrument for a drum machine as a student
Now works as a Professor at the university in Gothenburg
Came up with prototype of the DM48 and started the company: Lekholm Instruments, alongside his father
Much interest in the DM48 when Erik posted about it on an online harmonica forum Slidemeister
First DM48 batch sold in 2017
What was the learning curve like for Erik to build the DM48
Uses CAD software to print the physical harmonica
Most of development is on software side now
DM48X model brought improvements to the hardware design, released in 2022
Had some experience using piano midi instruments before came up with the DM48
Company is a sideline, not planning on making it his full-time career
Most satisfying part has been seeing good harmonica players use the instrument
The DM48 has 12 breathe sensors across the 12 holes of the chromatic
What is a midi instrument
DM48 is mainly a chromatic harmonica, but it is possible to use it as a diatonic harmonica too (with some limitations)
Bending ability of the DM48
Is it more suited to wind instrument sounds?
Can store 18 different tunings
Slide can be configured to change note in whole tones rather than half-tones, and actually up to 36 half-tones
There are effectively three slides on the DM48
Speed of slider can be configured and new slider design on X model
X model can be played wirelessly and bandwidth issues
The DM48 is highly configurable but the default set-up gets you going quickly
Set-up of software instruments is straightforward using tablets or phones
Hardware synthesisers
HM12 midi harmonica has on-board sounds
What does the DM48 cost
The DM48 is not currently available, with limited stock coming soon
How to get hold of a DM48
Showcased the DM48 at the NAMM music convention in 2020
Meeting Stevie Wonder at NAMM, where he had a play on the DM48
The parallel life that creating the DM48 has brought to Erik
DM48 can become part of your harmonica arsenal
Harmonica sound on DM48 isn’t that great, so unlikely to replace actual harmonica
Jason Keene section start, who sees the DM48 as a game changer
Jason is now based in Los Angeles and has played the chromatic from a young age, mainly jazz
Doesn’t play any diatonic
When did Jason first get the DM48
Differences between original DM48 and X model
Set-up involved with the DM48
Use of the Yamaha VL70 hardware module
Has some experience using midi instruments before taking up the DM48
What are the advantages of the DM48 over a standard chromatic harmonica
Brings great variety to your sound when playing live
Quality of the sound it produces
Can play multiple sounds at the same time, such as different horns, using an additional controller
How do other musicians react to the DM48
How to transfer the techniques needed to play a different instrument to the chromatic
Jason is a lyrical player
Demo sounds from the DM48
Has released an album where DM48 is used
Guitar and piano sounds using DM48
Playing single or double notes on the DM48
Learning curve of the DM48: Jason gives lessons on the set-up
Will Gallison and Mickey Raphael has taken some lessons on using the DM48 from Jason
Cost of buying the software instruments
Cost of the whole package
Jason’s current live set-up
Newer iPad needed to run multiple instruments and more advanced set-ups
Uses Bose L1 amp
Uses DM48 wired (not wirelessly)
Volume level is all good
Don’t need to use a mic with the DM48
Other external accessories that can be used with the DM48
10 minute question
Plans to release an album where Jason is playing only the DM48
Community of DM48 players, including Laurent Maur
What does the future hold for the DM48