Casio DH-100 Digital Horn

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Casio DH-100

The Casio DH-100 is a monophonic MIDI instrument with 6 tones : Saxaphone,Trumpet,Synth Reed,Oboe,Clarinet,Flute.

All of the tone's timbre changes depending on the breath control from the mouth piece. The Horn is especially useful as a MIDI controller - as the breath control message is produced from the MIDI out allowing expression to be added to keyboard performances. With the use of MIDI-ox [downloadable from the web] it is possible to filter out the note message and use the horn as a breath controller which produces only the breath control necessary to alter the timbre of other instruments which respond to breath control.

The horn also has a portamento control - and produces this MIDI message - to produce glide between notes,and a rear key which alters the octave.

It is possible to produce alternative fingering for the DH-100 by holding down the portamento control upon switching on.Then the instrument can cover a wider range of octaves.

The instrument suffers from a failure, causing it to "squeak" - but this is repairable for about 50p by adding a capacitor.I have carried out this modification and mine is now fully functional. The details are at [homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.fox4/casiofixes.htm].

Fingering
The fingering method supports 2 modes - one of which is a conventional wind instrument mode with the octave being changed from a key on the rear of the instrument.The other is brought about by holding down portamento whilst switching on and allows a wider range of notes and uses a CASIO fingering mode to create the notes and some of the keys to change octave

Voices
The 5 voices respond to the breath control from the mouthpiece whilst the breath control is switched to the ON position,but the mouthpiece can be switched OFF and breath control is no longer active in creating any sound. The voices are all monophonic and respond dynamically to breath,varying the timbre and loudness in response to the mouthpiece. Portamento can be added creating a glide effect between notes.

MIDI
The MIDI OUT terminal supplies control information for linking to other synthesizers,and supports the breath control,though this is sent out as afterpressure information.In order to get breath control on instruments such as Yamaha DX series it is necessary to alter the afterpressure to a breath control signal - this can be done with a PC and MIDI-ox which is obtainable from MIDI-ox.com.

 

Good points: The dynamic response to the mouthpiece is quite effective and the capacity to create MIDI messages from breath control cannot be underestimated,though having to alter the message for other synths can prove a problem. Overall - if you want fun on the move - then this suffices.The DH-100 is battery or mains driven [via PSU] and it's capacity to produce breath control is well worth it,and if for no other reason,it is worth owning purely on this basis - especially if you own a breath response keyboard and have no other way of controlling it. The MIDI signal produced by the horn is actually "Aftertouch" and so you may need some sort of MIDI processor in order to alter the signal to "Breath Control" - this can be done using a PC and MIDI-ox (from MIDIox.com) - how to carry out the procedure is shown on my page at Atspace - [templarseries.atspace.com/dh100.html]

Niggles: The actual sound produced by the instrument,the tones sounding rather "toy",but they do respond to the breath controller.The DH-100 is prone to a "Squeal" fault which can be fixed for 50p by soldering a capacitor onto the circuit board - how to do this can be found online - a link to the info and more info on the DH-100 can be found at [templarseries.atspace.com/dh100.html]

Expect to pay: Amazingly the prices of these can go quite high -£70 is not unheard of - luckily I picked mine up for £16 in a pound shop because the ladies there had no idea that it was not a kids toy!
Personally I think that sort of price is far to high - even though it can be used as a breath controller and £35- 40 would be more realistic - look out for the DH-200  and DH-800,the latter having a card for accompaniment songs.

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