[Harp-L] RE: Vocal Mic

Thanks, Richard. I will make those adjustments next time I play through a PA. 
Question: Would you reccommend the same for playing through an amp, in general? With both my Fender Deluxe and Fender Reverb, I always turn the treble way down to around 2, and turn the bass up to around 8. Is this also overkill on the bass?

"Hellerman, Steven" wrote:
<if you gotta use the vocal mic: Back off if you have to; you can still cup your harp, but keep your <hand beteen the harp and the mic. And on the board: always turn down the highs, turn up the lows, <little bit of effect if they have it.

I agree 100% with 2/3 of the above statement: the parts about cuttin gthe treble EQ and addin ga little effect (meaning delay or reverb).  Most vocal mics have a big bump in response at about 8-10kHz, which flatters a vocalist, but is utterly deadly for an instrument that puts out as much energy in that range as a harmonica. So turning down the highs is a very good idea.

When it comes to turning up the lows, though--which lows?  On most mixing boards, the bass EQ knob has a fixed frequency response set to 100 hZ.  In that range, about thee only thing a harp puts out is breathing noise.  Even if you're playing a low D harp or some other equally bass-heavy instrument, turning up the EQ at 100 hZ is going to put the harp into conflict with the bass guitar and muddy up both instruments. What sounds good for the harp by itself may not sound so good with everybody else playing...

If you're working with an EQ that allows you to set the frequency for either the bass or the mids,  you can pump up the harp in the neighborhood of 250-300 hZ, which is the fat zone for harp, and doesn't conflict head on with the bass.  Otherwise, I'd advise leaving the bass EQ alone, or even reducing it a little.

All that said, a harp player with a decent tone unamplified should be able to get a good sound out of a vocal mic through the PA.  It will certainly sound better than a Bullet through the PA.  (But what doesn't?)

Regards, Richard Hunter


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