[Harp-L] amp-less performing (and recording)

Last year I hired guitarist Rusty Zinn (Mark Hummel, Kim Wilson) to provide guitar backing on the CD for the book Blues Harmonica For Dummies. 

I had already laid down scratch harmonica tracks and just needed to capture guitar. I hired a recording studio, thinking that Rusty would show up with an amp. But he showed up on foot (whatever happened to that huge Cadillac he used to drive?) with a guitar and a Line 6 Pod. He said he was done lugging amps around and that he could get the sounds he needed and wanted with that small, light rig.

And he was right. We didn't even use the main studio. We did everything in the control room with the engineer and he fed the Pod directly into the board, with perfectly fine results. Later, when we needed to do some follow-up sessions, we did them in my dining room - no problem with mics picking up the passing traffic on Highway 1.

So, yeah, the romance of amps and the fine detail of the sounds they can produce may be the path for some folks. But for others, even some of the finest in the business, dialing in your sound on an effects box and plugging into the mixing board is also a very fine - and practical - option.

Winslow Yerxa
Author, Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
            Harmonica Basics For Dummies, ASIN B005KIYPFS
            Blues Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-1-1182-5269-7
Resident Harmonica Expert, bluesharmonica.com
Instructor, Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance

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