[Harp-L] Compression: Pros? Cons?
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- Subject: [Harp-L] Compression: Pros? Cons?
- From: "Bradford Trainham" <bradford.trainham@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 17:26:22 -0600
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So after having trivialized Mr. Payne's interesting detective work earlier
this afternoon, I had to wonder what, good or bad I might get up to during
the rest of today that would top such impertinence.
I hadn't long to wait/wonder.
Before I "got serious" about harmonica, I reckoned myself... And was
reckoned by others as a guitarist.
While I usually preferred acoustic guitars, I was called on often enough to
play electric such that, over time, I've purchased, and occasionally play
One reason I never went further with electric guitar was my inability to
connect up with the vast body of lore about amps/guitar-gear etc..., that
said lore having people swapping out tubes, becoming intimate with the
details of diagrammed circuitry and a host of other aptitudes/proclivities,
themselves all bespeaking levels of discipline I've yet to achieve in any
context I'm aware of...
(Like organized authoring of a post on Harp-l???)
Ah, but to make a long story even more-so, I bought, a while back, one of
those Vox ADVT amps, a series of reliable enough amps which has Vox throwing
a bone to consumer-level players, modelling enthusiasts etc... And among the
features of this amp is its compression effect.
Compression, when applied to the sorts of settings I prefer with an electric
guitar, usually "shapes the tone", makes the attack we get from a pick much
more noticeable, and, if not over or under-done, gives us the impression of
a volume boost.
And now to my point, (You knew I'd get here some day, right?) I got out my
Strnad mic and a few harps, plugged it into the amp and decided I'd see what
difference compression might make with the harmonicas as rendered through
this Vox amp.
Again, as with the guitar, some "thin" aspects of tone are "thickened"; the
attacks (anything I do with my tongue, or any remotely percussive noise I
might inadvertently or purposely make with my mouth while playing) are
emphasized; and again, there's the sense of a volume boost having been
I slowly raised the master volume to levels higher than what I normally do,
even at a gig when using the amp with a guitar, but I never got any feedback
even with the volume pot on the Strnad set to the max.
So I'm curious as to where in the lexicon of the informed, compression
stacks up as a possible harp-specific setting/effect/affect.
When you use it at a gig, what advantages/disadvantages have you noticed?
And yes, if you're inclined, let me know what equipment you're using... As
long as you understand that if you get beyond brands/models... And start
describing the specific properties of tubes and such that you'll have lost
Up to now, I've never really had much of a desire to play electrified harp,
but I was enjoying the sound I got from this afternoon's pseudo-instructive
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