Author Topic: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!  (Read 23023 times)

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Offline BeauKim

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #120 on: October 25, 2021, 03:12:07 PM »
It’s a very manly harmonica.

Gary  -  HAHA!!!  That's why chicks dig harmonica players!  Harmonicas are babe magnets, I tell ya!

Question... Does anyone own one of those multi-hundred dollar bass harmonica microphones?  If so, what is your opinion?  Are they really worth $200-$400?  Can only think it has a very serious mic element inside.  Or multiple elements.  Or everyone is getting ripped off.  Would like to tear one apart and see what's in it.  I use a mic stand at church, and even clipped on a dual lavalier setup once in a pinch.

Note:  Suzuki has a chord harp mic for over $800US.  WOW !!!  That more than 3 times what I paid for my Hohner 48-Chord.

I own one of these microphones.  It's a pretty great design based off of Dror Adler's earlier microphone design.  It's really good for several reasons but does have its drawbacks.  I also own a 48 chord mic model that was a gift but it's got some serious drawbacks.  I've been meaning to get a different cable and trying to use my impedance adapter for both of them.  Anyway here's a list off of the top of my head. 

Pros: No needing to position the bass harmonica properly to a mic on a stand, gets a pretty nice pure bass tone with a hint of the upper octave reed, has a volume control, is pretty light and fairly affordable to the average player, has extra hinges (At least mine did.). 

Cons: Has very low output (mismatched impedance?), requires a battery, doesn't readily fit the Hohner basses, attachment screws are easy to lose, CANNOT fit in the bass's original case, harder to get a, "raw bass harmonica," tone, and it can feedback easily due to the design. 

I'd love to be able to design my own bass harmonica microphone or modify the connector on this one, but I honestly don't know the first steps.  It would ideally feedback less and have more output readily.  I wonder how it compares to Dror's more recent design... That I think he just discontinued. 

The chord mic has even less output for some reason but feedsback much more maybe because it has a lot more treble to it.  It's also much bigger and as a result is much heavier which slows you down.  I think this is a reason why basically all of the harmonica ensembles in East and SE Asia just use a mic on a stand for the chord. 
 

Offline llumagsara

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #121 on: October 26, 2021, 06:17:37 AM »

I'd love to be able to design my own bass harmonica microphone




i made this one years ago, with a lucite tube, AKG mikes and preamp... with a previous design i made with one up and one down mic, one mic failed and only hear # notes, so i changed for this one and buyed a clone THOMANN (Europe) mikes and preamp, don't remember exactly but was about 200 € two mikes and preamp, cheaper than AKG and i don't notice the difference in sound...

good health

Agustín
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Offline BigDogDaddyD

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #122 on: October 26, 2021, 01:49:25 PM »
  I like the idea of not having to be in the best position in relationship to the mic stand.  Limits ones movement.  But I also don't like having to deal with the added weight, mounting mechanisms, and protrusion of a harp mounted mic.  I'm thinking of making something along the lines of the different neck mounts below, and adapting it to hold a mic vice a phone.   They even have ones with pillow necks.  I'm thinking I could take the leg anchored holder and just shove the base down the front of my pants.  But I realize that every option is going to have it's pros and cons.  Such is life.

  Please disregard the 70's porn mustache on the mannequin.

  I think it was an earlier Harmonicats video I saw where they were doing really well with their chest mounted mics.  Similar to these two:



« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 02:19:50 PM by BigDogDaddyD »
Never give up.  Never surrender.

Offline Swatne

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #123 on: October 26, 2021, 05:01:27 PM »
Dick Gardner still plays with his chest mic - same one in the picture (a Shure ribbon mic).  He plays through a Walter Woods amp (200Watt I believe), and two bass cabinets - one 10”, and two 8”.  It still sounds awesome.  He and I have done quite a few gigs together and I play through his rig every now and then when he plays lead (yes - he’s quite an accomplished chromatic player!) the chest mic is a good compromise for the bass (and chord). 

I spent the afternoon with him today and should have looked a bit closer at his rig for you folks.  Next time.. it was his birthday yesterday!

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #124 on: October 26, 2021, 06:23:15 PM »
Hello, Steve ("Swatne") Watne.

I thought that Dick's birthday was
October 24th, 1934.

Thanks for your update.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John Broecker
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline Swatne

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #125 on: October 26, 2021, 06:43:52 PM »
Hey John - you’re right!  I called him on Sunday and visited him today (and lost a day between).  I must be getting old.

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #126 on: October 27, 2021, 11:05:52 AM »
Hello, Swatne.

Anyway, we all wish Dick Gardner
the Happiest Late Birthday.

He is a giant among harmonica
players and harmonica repair
technicians.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline BeauKim

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #127 on: January 03, 2022, 09:05:34 PM »
Hey bass players,

To my excitement I found a copy of the Robert Berthiaume Bass Harmonica instructional book Vol. 1!  It didn't include a CD or cassette.  I'd love to see the second book.  Does anyone own the 2nd book and accompanying audio for either book? 

Offline BeauKim

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #128 on: May 06, 2022, 04:30:02 PM »
About a month later I was lucky on eBay and found a copy of both the Al Smith chordet 20 book and Judy Smith's bass book.  Both were used, and thankfully very cheap!  I've been seeing a book from both Suzuki and Hohner for bass instruction.  Does anyone have one of these? 

Another thing: I just bought a E604 microphone recommended by George Miklas.  Unfortunately, it requires phantom power, but it really does a fantastic job at targeting the lower frequencies of the bass harmonica!  I wish I could make a clip on microphone with several of these in it!  Next is to get a windscreen for this microphone!

The Suzuki mic is a good option, but takes a lot of work making it sound good and not muddy and it suffers from feedback and picking up ambient noise. 

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #129 on: May 06, 2022, 08:35:57 PM »
Zoom makes a cute little inline preamp, with a "phantom power" switch, and a gain control that comes with an effects pedal. It powers my condenser mic well, but I can't find one for sale all by itself. :P  Can't be too expensive cuz they throw one in with effects unit.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2022, 08:39:40 PM by A.J. Fedor »

Offline Filip Jers

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #130 on: May 07, 2022, 04:00:23 AM »
I have a Suzuki and Hohner a 29 hole bass. And a red one that is single reed, don't know the name?

I use the Suzuki bass mic - perfect match. The mic works great on both. I bought the mic in 2009 for a tour in Europe and it is still holding up fine.
I played more bass around 10-11 years ago, I was in a world/folk music band and used it as a bass instrument on some songs. Recent years mostly for sounds and effects in the studio.
I just played a tour with Sväng, a Finnish harmonica ensemble, and I got a bass harmonica lesson from their bass player, Pasi Leino. I got really inspired to practice, so I hope to pick up the bass more now.

Favourite technique? Finding and choosing the right articulation. There are so many. Both ta-ta or da-da, but I also released that you can mute a hole with the tongue and then release and play and you almost get like a booom effect of a tuba. Fun stuff to experiment with! Of course it requires a microphone to hear and feel the full effect.

Offline BeauKim

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #131 on: May 07, 2022, 02:01:08 PM »
That's great, Filip!  I've watched the few bass harmonica videos you have on YouTube!  The clip-on mic made by Suzuki is pretty nice, but has some issues such as low gain and can easily feedback due to picking up ambient noise so well.  I have found that the microphone picks up sound from the backside so much better than from the front, the side closest to the reeds.  It is like it has the wrong impedance because it acts more like a low impedance microphone. 

I've actually have been wondering how much different the Dror Adler mic is, but it appears he has stopped making it. 

What the lesson was like?

Boaz


Offline John Broecker

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #132 on: May 07, 2022, 03:13:37 PM »
Hello, Boaz (Beau Kim).

Please contact me off-list, about
the Berthiaume Book II:

johnbroecker1962@outlook.com
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline Filip Jers

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #133 on: May 08, 2022, 04:15:59 AM »
That's great, Filip!  I've watched the few bass harmonica videos you have on YouTube!  The clip-on mic made by Suzuki is pretty nice, but has some issues such as low gain and can easily feedback due to picking up ambient noise so well.  I have found that the microphone picks up sound from the backside so much better than from the front, the side closest to the reeds.  It is like it has the wrong impedance because it acts more like a low impedance microphone. 

I've actually have been wondering how much different the Dror Adler mic is, but it appears he has stopped making it. 

What the lesson was like?

Boaz

Ah, ooopps do I have bass harps videos on Youtube? Haha, need to watch these myself... ;-)

Have you tried the 29 hole with its microphone or the 39 hole with its microphone?

The 29 hole mic has fewer capsules than the 39 hole mic, so it has a lot less problems. I think the 29 hole has 2 capsules and the 39 has 3 or 4.
I have used my 29 hole bass + its microphone for outdoors concerts up to 5000 people (big PAs and sound systems) and never had a problem with feedback.

But I have heard that the 39 hole bass microphone can have problems in bigger PAs and monitors. Even in smaller PAs. And it is probably because of too many capsules so it picks up too much noise.
In Sväng we use in-ear monitors so we never need to worry about feedback in monitors. Pasi uses the 39 hole mic.

I have a impedance matching converter with me for my bass, so that is an easy fix. Pasi too.

The lesson with Pasi was great. We talked about tone, timing, articulation and navigation. Have you heard him play? He is quite brilliant!


Offline BeauKim

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #134 on: May 11, 2022, 02:32:40 AM »

Ah, ooopps do I have bass harps videos on Youtube? Haha, need to watch these myself... ;-)

Have you tried the 29 hole with its microphone or the 39 hole with its microphone?

The 29 hole mic has fewer capsules than the 39 hole mic, so it has a lot less problems. I think the 29 hole has 2 capsules and the 39 has 3 or 4.
I have used my 29 hole bass + its microphone for outdoors concerts up to 5000 people (big PAs and sound systems) and never had a problem with feedback.

But I have heard that the 39 hole bass microphone can have problems in bigger PAs and monitors. Even in smaller PAs. And it is probably because of too many capsules so it picks up too much noise.
In Sväng we use in-ear monitors so we never need to worry about feedback in monitors. Pasi uses the 39 hole mic.

I have a impedance matching converter with me for my bass, so that is an easy fix. Pasi too.

The lesson with Pasi was great. We talked about tone, timing, articulation and navigation. Have you heard him play? He is quite brilliant!

Yes, I have the Suzuki 39 hole microphone for the extended bass.  That's interesting that you note about the number of capsules.  I guess Suzuki designed both microphones to pick up sound from the back side (facing the audience) to get a more balanced sound with some of the upper octave.  I wish it wasn't so omnidirectional.  Otherwise, I don't really know much about microphones though. 

I just got an 1/4" to XLR cord a few months ago to use with an impedance converter.  Is that what you're doing, too? 

At the moment, I mostly play out of a bass amplifier. 

I've only heard Pasi play with Svang, but he sounds great.  Usually not too many solos, at least on YouTube.   If you can recommend a song to listen for him, please recommend! 

Boaz

Offline BeauKim

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Re: Bass Harmonica players: Sound Off!
« Reply #135 on: May 11, 2022, 03:06:03 AM »
Hello, Boaz (Beau Kim).

Please contact me off-list, about
the Berthiaume Book II:

johnbroecker1962@outlook.com

I just emailed you.  Thanks, John.