Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

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Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby harmonicatunes » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:14 am

Randy Landry, owner of the Lone Wolf Blues Company has kindly donated an article titled "Electronic Effects and the Harp Player" to my Harmonica Academy library.

Randy is harmonica player who has applied his professional electronics experience to developing effects pedals for harmonica players. The guitar pedals we normally use, designed for guitar inputs and sounds, generally lead to compromises which Randy's pedals avoid. His article explains this in greater detail.

"Since sixteen year old Christian Buschmann invented the modern harmonica in 1821, harmonica players have been using effects to enhance and add color to their tone. Tongue blocking, articulation and hand cupping were there in the beginning and are still at the heart of harmonica playing today. In this article we will consider the role electronics has played in effects for the harmonica player and guidelines on choosing devices...."

The remainder of the article is at

http://www.harmonicaacademy.com/categories/20090601_1
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Re: Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby jeffl » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:24 pm

Nice to see Brian Purdy gettin' his props in that article. Maybe I missed something, but I was hoping for more in depth info. No big deal to me though... I use an analogue or digital delay into a tube amp & that's it, other than mic'ing the amp into the mains. I know of guys who play into a pod right into the mains though; no amp.
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Re: Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby thebluesbox » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:41 pm

im with you Jeff, a little delay to add some fatness to the sound and thats it.
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Re: Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby jeffl » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:58 pm

I like my little Danelectro BLT delay, but mostly 'cuz it fits in my harp case and I don't need a gearbag with me when I use it. There is that "cool" factor of using an old Fender reverb tank though, except that they're about the size of a Showman head. Alotta of the "newer" harpers ( see Ricci, etc.) use all kinds of effects though, and they do a good job with 'em.
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Re: Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby harmonicatunes » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:19 am

At Randy Landry's suggestion I've starting using an impedance converter with my low impedance mic (an Audix Fireball V). The improvement is substantial, the outlay minimal ($20) I should have done it years ago. I use an old Ibanez delay pedal, and a Fender Bassman pedal. I like to keep things simple.
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Re: Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby Raggedyman » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:11 pm

harmonicatunes wrote:Randy is harmonica player who has applied his professional electronics experience to developing effects pedals for harmonica players. The guitar pedals we normally use, designed for guitar inputs and sounds, generally lead to compromises which Randy's pedals avoid. His article explains this in greater detail.

Fanbloodytastic.I've been mucking around blowing harps for years,jamming with friends miked up,accoustic jams at parties,always the former with feedback and other problems.I've been at my mate (guitarist) for a while now to lend me one of his extensive collection of old (not the newies) effects pedals until I can afford one,now that I've got serious :D .I think a transaction (monetary or barter sytem) soon could/should be ok.
Anyway,the information in that article was invaluable,something I've thought about for a long time.I play harp a coupla' times a week,that's if I'm not drumming,usually when me and 2 or 3 friends get together to smoke,drink,eat,listen to something,then jam.I need to play more,that's the plan.I now carry my gear in the car with me at all times,I never know when I'll just drop in !.
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Re: Article on Electronic Effects and the Harp Player

Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:18 pm

Whatever a harper decided to put into his "chain" for normal giggin', you still better have some flexibility in your ability to get some tone out of whatever's available to you. It's not good to get too dependent on gear that requires setup time, 'cuz if you get asked up to play and can't set up ahead of time, you'd better be able to step up to a vocal mic and get yer tone. That's where things like Harp Commanders can be useful, but if nothin' else, a ballsy small amp with a lightweight mic that is designed to dangle from the amp handle over the face ( like a Sennheiser 609, about $100. U.S. ); these will save you from hauling heavy mics and those inconvenient amp mic stands. An amp with reverb is helpful if you're accustomed to delay and don't have a delay with you. If you're not into a steady gigging outfit, you may find that alot of your stage playin' amounts to partial nights on stage, and not having the opportunity to set up much, and having to get your stuff outa there between sets. It depends on how well you know the band, and how accomodating they are.
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