Daxophones and Hans Reichel

This forum introduced me to the amazing sounds of the daxophone. Been searching out members’ recordings here. This has brought much delight. Like borgue - #48 by yobink daxo & borgue made for one another. Its inventor Hans Reichel poured his genius personality into an amazing website that unfortunately was built on Flash. There are ways to explore it using special software but for lazier people like me I will post this YouTube walkthrough I discovered: Daxo Walkthrough - Hans Reichel's Flash website - YouTube

It was tempting to put this in #process because this instrument is so inspiring, expressive and unique. But it’s a thing. I would love to hear stories of how people discovered the daxophone, decided to learn to play them, role they’ve played in your process.


I think my first exposure was from a woodworker friend years ago who came across an article in a trade mad about making one. I was intrigued for sure but wasn’t able to come to with much in my research at that time.

A few years ago I stumbled across some videos by the Daxophone Consortium and knew I needed one. I found a builder in NC and later bought some custom tongues made by Daniel Fishkin of said Consortium. I really love the timbres of the instrument and find that it is a great pairing with Norns and/or eurorack gear. I also play the Dax in a trio with an acoustic bass and a tuba and it sits really well there, sonically.

My current process is creating some unsynced loops in the Boomerang and then piping that into the eurorack via a Befaco instrument interface. Then using the envelope follower, gates and trigger to launch various other events, like this


Kazuhisa Uchihashi, who has both recorded his own daxophone albums and rereleased Reichel’s daxophone operetta Yuxo has a video series on YouTube going through the basic technique of daxophone.

I haven’t built or played one (yet) but what strikes me is how randomly the various pitch zones look to be distributed. It seems like it would take a lot of time to learn just where a note would even roughly be, let alone intonate. What’s the experiences with this of anyone who’s played one?


@yobink love it. space and texture very well composed in that soundcloud. kept me alert and curious wondering where we were headed next. lots of grinning at surprised. physicality and immediacy of playing that combo must be thrilling.

@oot yeah, looks intimidating playing the different tongues. like playing prepared piano where everything changes between songs. key dimensions, length pitch & weight of strings in different order, wire & weights & clips placed at different locations on strings. Just getting to know one tongue looks challenging. such a wide range of timbres and techniques.

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I’ve been experimenting more this week with the Daxophone processed by the Rossum Panharmonium, which analyzes the audio content and “re-synthesizes” it according to whatever parameters you choose (and at whatever level of detail). I think it’s a good pairing. Here’s a noodle from last night:


A close friend of mine… http://dfiction.com/

Daniel is an instrument maker and daxophone maker/player that studied with Hans Reichel.

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Really nice. How long have you been playing with a Daxophone? What kind of Daxophone do you have? :slight_smile:

Thanks! I’ve not been playing very long, I ordered the tripod kit from JLInstruments last summer, and took delivery at the end of 2021. Frankly, I’m sure I am technically horrible at it, but I am enjoying the quest to discover some of the timbral possibilities.

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What kind of bows are you folk using to play the dax?

I caved in and ordered one after weeks of consideration — it’s an amazing instrument. I’ve been playing it with a violin bow only though, and I read somewhere that some prefer a contrabass bow.

My friend showed me Le Bal last summer. I immediately made a few Tongues with materials I had laying around. Clamped it to a small charcuterie board with a mini stomp box that has a piezo.

I’ll post some of my shapes soon.

Very glad this thread started.

I’m using a 1/4 German bass bow, working quite well.

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4/4 German bass here, works great

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