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A Missing Cord Provokes a Different Mic'ing Approach for Gigs

Posted by fiddlepogo on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Friday I had a gig with mostly singing and just clawhammer banjo and guitar.

I had the sound system all set up with two mics and a small mixer, and went to plug in the Y-cord that connects the mixer with the powered JBL speaker... and it was NOWHERE to be found in any of the containers I had brought in.

The start of the performance was getting delayed, and I thought of looking for something in the car, but finding the right cord there was doubtful, and a normal electric guitar cord might cause problems.

So I decided to improvise with what I had- I knew I could plug one of the mics directly into the powered speaker.  So I picked the Heil PR30 over the PR35 since it has a somewhat clearer sound for instruments, and turned the volume up higher than I normally would have, and  positioned the mic so it was farther away and a little low for voice, and too high for the normal instrument mic position.

And to my surprise, it sounded really good, everything sounded mellower, but still clear... and thanks to the PR-30's good feedback characteristics, no feedback.

So on Monday, I wasn't eager to replace the missing cord, because I wanted to see how the new approach would work for fiddle... and it worked well!

In both cases the audiences liked the "new" sound.  It seems to invite more dynamic playing too, so I think it helped me play better.

It's a richer, more complex sound.  It had sounded good before, but the sounds were more 2-dimensional sounding than this more condenser-like sound.  The Heil PR-30 isn't a condenser- it's a dynamic, although it does have a more condenser-like sound.

I'm going to have to try using the regular setup with two mics and see what turning up the volume and/or gain and moving the mics farther away gets me.


7 comments on “A Missing Cord Provokes a Different Mic'ing Approach for Gigs”

Larry Rutledge Says:
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 @8:03:30 PM

Hope your recording all of your discovery's If not you'll come back as a harmonica!!

fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 @4:09:08 AM

Recording as in- putting down the idea in a blog? Done!

Recording as in- making a sound recording? Haven't done that yet, although it may not be far behind... it seems to have definite implications for sound recording!


fiddleiphile Says:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 @6:28:04 AM

Harmonica??? = Suck and Blow

Larry Rutledge Says:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 @6:59:57 AM

in MHO a harmonica is a tune killer, and should only be played in prison facing 20 to life. :)

fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 @10:03:49 AM

Hmmmm... that doesn't sound too pleasant.

Now, if we're talking about the actual little instrument with brass reeds- I do play it a little- it was very handy when I was driving taxi, and waiting for a fare to kill the boredom... you never knew if you'd be sitting there 15 minutes or an hour and 15 minutes! When the call came, I could just pop it back in my shirt pocket, and take off. Guitar or fiddle just wouldn't have worked. But yeah, the little ones can mangle fiddle tunes pretty badly.
And I realized once I started playing fiddle again that I really don't have the energy or time to keep up more than fiddle, banjo, and guitar- and the fiddle takes up the lion's share of the practice time.

Larry Rutledge Says:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 @1:23:04 PM

I own one too, it's in a junk drawer. I agree they are great time killers, thus the prison remark. But it really irks me to be listening to a favorite musician performing a great song only to have someone take a harmonica break. Like drums, there styles of music they fit and others they don't. My point being, I didn't want you to come back as one :) Write the book, write the book write the book...

fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 @6:47:51 PM

Well, I'm just lucky I don't believe in re-incarnation! ;^)

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