Re: [Harp-L] Re: Using an RP in a live situation

Resending the completed post; somehow hit "send" too early on the previous version.  RH

>Robert Hale wrote:
><On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 6:11 PM, Richard Hunter <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>< I design my patches for maximum volume before feedback,
><Hi Richard,
><Since feedback is the sum of elements in the chain and the live room variables, how can a patch be designed "below" that point?
For a start, live room variables seem to matter less when the mic is cupped in the player's hands, which is how most players use a mic with my RP patches.  I typically assume that the RP is the only signal processor in the chain besides the amp. That might not be true for all my licensees, but it's easier for me than trying to work out how infinitely variable numbers and types of devices will affect the sound.

Beyond that, I just tweak the various elements of the patch over and over, using a neutral (keyboard) amp and a neutral (Fireball) mic to minimize frequency modifications in the signal chain, listening for feedback as I boost the output.  This approach makes it relatively easy to tell which frequencies in a patch are feeding back. When the patches are all assembled in a set, I do side by side comparisons, looking for patches that are weak in comparison to the others, and tweak those again to maximize volume.  The results generally are pretty loud.

I deal with some of the other variables in the chain and room in this post:

As a final comment, there's nothing on earth that's potentially louder than an electric guitar, which produces a very frequency-rich signal that's monstrously loud when you add any kind of distortion. If you're up against a couple of big electric guitars then it might be tough to get any harp rig loud enough to compete.  The solution is to get the @#$%^&*( guitars to turn down, which can be easy or hard depending on what kind of ego is standing behind the guitar.  (One of the reasons I like the jam sessions at Ain't Nothin But the Blues, in London, is that they don't let the guitar players turn it up to 11.) Otherwise, an RP running my patches with a Fireball (the lowest-feedback mic I've ever used) will give you a better chance than most rigs, especially if it's coming through the PA system, which is generally designed to be the loudest amp in the room. 

Regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
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