Monday, March 31, 2008

Pedals for Harp Amp

Your harp rig needs some delay. Some guys prefer reverb, but for me a little greasy slap-back is exactly the right sound. Debates rage about which delay pedal is the "best"... Digital or Analog? Digital offers a greater range of delay times and effects, while analog sounds warmer and has a more natural decay to my ear. I've tried 'em all, and I use the Ibanez AD-9 analog delay pedal.

Some players insist the more expensive sister to the Ibanez pedal -- the Maxxon -- is superior, but I honestly can't hear the difference, and it costs more than twice as much. I don't demand much from a delay; in fact I usually set it and forget it. I just need a little thickener and I'm a happy harpoon man.

You may not know it, but you also need this Boss GE-7 EQ pedal. This thing is the harp player's best friend. Vintage tube amps have little or no tone control, so if you need to tailor the frequency curve of your mic you need an external tool to do it. This is just the ticket

This pedal has 7 useful bands. I use it pretty much as shown: I roll off the highs and also cut the lowest band. The slider to the right of the 7 EQ bands is a gain control that allows you to make your mic as "hot" as you like, to drive your input tubes crazy. This pedal is a must-have.

I admire the harp players who use the digital processors and modelers; their sounds are very cool. But for me the best processor is a smelly old tube amp all heated up and smokin'. These two pedals enhance the great tone without introducing any digital harshness.

The pedals are pictured next to my EV M43U mic which I sent to Greg Heumann at BlowsMeAway Productions for a little retrofitting. He shoe-horned a Shure CM element into that little mic body and it is now my best-sounding mic. Excellent workmanship. Greg's stuff is highly recommended.

1 comment:

Paul "Kingley" Routledge said...

I often use just an EQ pedal direct into the PA. It acts as a kind of preamp and gives a pretty good amped sound.

Ideal for jams and sit in gigs, where taking an amp is not practical. But where you still need an electric sound.