Goin electric for the 1st time

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Goin electric for the 1st time

Postby gogs » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:30 pm

I've just bought a Yamaha Budokan amp and a Shure Prologue 12L mike,and I've got a couple of questions and observations.Is this a reasonable combination?(bearing in mind I only play at home).You guys talk about reverb,what is it exactly,and is it better than distortion?I've got distortion and it's nearly the sound I want when it's cranked right up,but the mike picks up a lot of noise from my hand,so then I can't do flutters.Wah wahs don't work either.I also get cramp in my mike hand really quickly,but hopefully that'll pass.Any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated,thanks.
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Postby tobie » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:48 am

grogs, I'm using the Shure SM57, so can't give feedback on the Prologue. Reverb makes you sound 'distant' and tends to hide sharp pick sounds on strings, breath, etc. I use a little of that (2 out of 10) but no distortion, with good effect. If you pick up a lot of noice, try and turn your mic sound down a bit and play closer to the mic. Enjoy the world of electrics!
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Postby t bone bruce » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:59 pm

I fixed up one of those Budokan amps for a friend a while back, and I tried it out with my harp through it. For a small solid state amp it was OK, and didn't feedback too much. They have a simple LED clipping circuit for distortion, which is more "overdrive" and softer than some distortions built into amps. For home practice it should do fine. The prologue mic is low impedance, and it will sound a bit muffled into a guitar amp. you can buy an impedance convertor, or save up and get a harmonica mic, like a Green Bullet or Bluesblaster which you can then take out to jams, or when buying a bigger/better amp as you get more experience.
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Postby bosco » Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:51 pm

You guys talk about reverb, what is it exactly, and is it better than distortion?

Reverb, delay and echo are all effects that are generally used to fatten up an input signal and make it sound fuller when amplified. A straight unaltered amplified signal, be it from guitar or harp, is called a dry signal.

Imagine hearing a person sing. Now imagine two people singing in unison and the fuller, richer tone you hear. That exact effect would be "chorus" a doubling of the signal...but reverb, delay and echo work in much the same way as perceived by the human ear. Amplified harp especially benefits from any of these (within reason) so you aren't hearing a completely dry signal.

Easy does it though, as a little effect will go along way once you ear is trained and you know exactly what to listen for. Too much reverb or echo will produce a distant or tunnel sounding effect.

Distortion is exactly that, some decay is added so the signal becomes fuzzy and less clean to the ear. This generally is not used much with amplified harp as a cleaner signal will cut easier through a stage mix so you can hear yourself. As the signal decays from distortion, the gain needs to go up to maintain the same volume level. Louder isn't always better, as anyone who has ever heard heavily distorted guitar cranked up can attest.

have fun with your new toys!

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