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Mic Questions from Gary in Ireland

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Brady Mills
Sep 23, 2011 1:45 AM GMT

I received this email from Gary in Ireland. Can you folks help him out??

Hi Harmonicaspace,

I have a quick question with regard to mics and im hoping you might be able to help me with it.

I just bought a small reasonable priced harmonica mic in order to achieve a megaphone (which i was using/currently using) type sound for some of my vocals, like a distorted high gain sound. i chose the only mic online that would ship to Ireland but it particularly mentioned this unbalanced high gain style, since arriving I have tried to use it through a p.a. system but it comes out as clear as day like a regular mic, im just wondering what i need to do to create this sound, does it need to run through a tube-amp or effects unit before hitting the p.a. system or for live simply running through a tube amp and then micing the amp? If you have any advice at all it would be greatly appreciated as i have a live show coming up soon which i would like to use it for if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,


Brady Mills
Owner Brady Mills Graphics
and Creator of HarmonicaSpace

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Comments (2)

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Sep 23, 2011 2:59 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

PA's for the last 30 years, like amps before the late 60's, every year have been designed to get rid of distortion and the last PA's that were tube PA's were made in the mid80's was the Fender PA100, which was a high impedance setup and low-z mics can't be used without a matching line transformer first. The one solution because of today's volume problems is get an old tube amp and mic it thru the PA, but you will also have serious feedback issues with this and just like with harp, I'd rather not send that sound thru the monitors.

Back in the early days of amplified harp, what the harp gear freaks don't understand is that those amps also functioned as the PA because thopse early PA's weren't loud enough to cut thru the mix in most clubs and so they sang and played thru them and what you're doing is really old school that today's gear freaks don't have a clue about.

Look thru Ebay and see if there are still a few old all tube PA's lying around like the Fender, Sunn, or the granddaddy of the portable, but powerful PA's, the Shure Vocal Master and you don't need expensive colums, but rather cheap stuff for that.

Sep 24, 2011 11:12 PM GMT
Mondo Replied:


Lots of player use a Digitech RP to accomplish this and other cool sounds with their harps. Richard Hunter does custom patches for harp players that have really nice distortion and tone. I'm sure that you could run your mic through it.


Balun (if needed)

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