Cupping Technique 101

In his latest article in the Harmonica Microphone series, Greg explains what happens when your cup overfloweth. The secret is getting a good seal.

The Harmonica Microphone Series beginsGood amplified tone starts with the player’s tone, and is accentuated by microphone technique. Cupping is an art; a learned skill that is neither obvious nor easy in practice. Properly done at its extreme, no air you suck or blow can escape “the seal” and therefore no sound at all comes out of the harp. Your goal is to visualize that all your breath must enter and exit through the microphone itself. In reality it is very hard to do this, and it is hard to even come close at first.

When the seal with a microphone is very good, the air pressure changes are effectively “coupled” to the microphone’s diaphragm in a way that is very, very different from the normal “free air” mode in which mics were designed to operate. The result is a very distorted signal sent to the amp. (more…)