Re: Hot Tips For A Good Mic?

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Posted by IronMan Mike Curtis on January 24, 2001 at 04:43:23:

In Reply to: Hot Tips For A Good Mic? posted by Harpaholic on January 22, 2001 at 18:42:15:

My personal favorite is a Crystal Balls, a hot rodded JT-30.

But I'll add this caveat. Microphones don't make all that much difference. I'm quite comfortable playing through any decent mic and amp, including an SM-57 and the PA.

A lot of harmonica players spend a lot of time and money looking for that "magic" combination that will make them sound like James Cotton, Big/Little Walter, Charlie Musselwhite, etc. and yet every one of these has played killer harp through a standard vocal mic and PA.

The truth be told, a good rig can make you sould a little better. But it's not a lot. MOST of the sound comes from the player. A mic and amplifier can only take what you put in and make it louder. If you put in incredible acoustic tone and sound, it will make that louder. If you put in tepid vulture vomit, ditto.

I've had guest harmonica players actually accuse me of changing the amp settings. I play and it sounds big, fat, and sassy. They play (same rig), and it's fingernails on the blackboard, wimpy sound, and FEEDBACK. When this happens, I'll ask for the mic, and without touching a thing, will blow a couple of notes. Invariably, they'll be ear splittingly loud (WAYYY too loud), as fat as a pack of blue whales, and not a trace of feedback. I'll then hand the mic back, again without touching a thing, and generally offer a tip or two if I think they're up to it.

I've measured my acoustic harmonica against a beginners. Mine is a good +20dB louder, and the tone is a much more rich sounding sinusoidal waveform. +20 dB is like taking a 1 watt signal up to 100 watts.

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