‘Take a loooook up the rail track, from Miami to Canada.‘ With a song on his lips and a bounce in his step, Otis strode into the Surgery to deliver a letter from America. The Doc was plinking and filing away at a Crossover reed plate on his Sjoeberg 7.5 rig. He peered over his glasses and smiled. ‘Your vocal chords would benefit from a go on here, Otis old boy!’ Otis stopped dead. ‘Whaddya mean?‘ ‘Well, if you were a dressmaker,’ the Doc replied, ‘you’d be tucking up all the frills, instead of which, you’re just..’ ‘I have the voice of an angel‘ Otis interrupted. (more…)
It’s been a while since we posted anything technical from the Harp Surgery, so pull on your overalls and let’s hit the grease pit. We’ve been busy refreshing our harp rig and look forward to reporting on all the fantastic hardware we’ve assembled. Customised harp mics, harp effects pedals and tuning equipment; they’re all here. So let’s start with some real harp mic cheesecake.
Four our final article in the Harmonica Microphones series, let’s ditch that cumbersome mic cable. Many players want to go wireless – fun, because you can go out in the audience and play, dance up on the bar, or simply have more freedom to roam around on stage. Here’s how:
A wireless system always consists of two parts. The transmitter stays with you, connects to your microphone and sends the signal out into the air using radio waves. The receiver is located near and connected to your amp. There are many types of wireless systems available to us. As a rule, you usually get what you pay for. But there are some practical considerations. (more…)
We continue with the Harmonica Microphones series with some thoughts on the knotty problem of microphone feedback: what it is and how to minimise it.
Feedback is that awful loud screeching, humming and/or whistling sound a system makes when a microphone picks up the sound from the amplifier’s speaker and sends it back to the amplifier for further amplification. Every system (in this case a microphone plus amplifier) has a feedback threshold. Turn the volume up loud enough and feedback occurs. Keep the volume below that point and it doesn’t. Unfortunately we often need to have our volume very close to the feedback threshold in order to be loud enough, and so feedback can come and go as conditions change. But some setups are less prone to feedback than others, and some microphones are less prone than others. (more…)
Our previous article in the Harmonica Microphones series mentioned impedance. Here we describe not so much what it is, but what it means to harp players wielding microphones.
The microphones we are talking about in this series of articles are referred to as either “high impedance” or “low impedance.” In general, a vintage bullet mic is a high impedance device and a modern vocal mic is a low impedance one. This is not always the case, however. (more…)
It’s been a while, folks, but at last we continue the Harmonica Microphones series with the second part of Greg Heumann’s exposition on microphone elements.
Last time around, we described two kinds of elements used for amplified blues harp – dynamic and crystal elements. So let’s name some of the most sought-after crystal and dynamic elements, and find out how to shop around for them. (more…)