Thursday, April 30, 2009

Harp Tone Trouble and Diamond Rio?

Since our last show I have been a bit in my head about my tone and the way my harp is resonating in the sound of our band. My biggest dilemma is that I want a good crunchy Chicago sound on our blues songs, but for the others I need to maintain a more acoustic sound. I have thought about getting two different amps, one for blues one for more country, but have ruled that out as impractical. I looked into setting my amp on a very clean setting and then using some type of pedal to bring some distortion in. I used to play straight through a D.I. box running to the P.A. with a BOSS Blues Driver pedal for the blues songs, but that was never a very good sound. The Blues Driver with my amp just spikes too much feedback since it's essentially a gain maker. I looked into Lone Wolf Blues Company and their Harp Attack pedal, but don't think that will do the trick either. My rig I am playing through right now is as follows; Shure 545 S vintage mic to BOSS Harmonist octave pedal through a never used Blues Driver to my Hohner 5W Hoodoo amp. Right now I set the amp somewhere in between scooped and bright and use my hands and positioning to set the tone one way or the other. I cup tight for blues tone songs and the mic distorts great. I usually have an open hands approach for the acoustic tone and vary my distance from the mic so to not be overbearing in some parts. I also use a stand now for the mic since it helps a ton in all of this choreography for tone. I was hoping there was a simpler way to do it. It works fine for me right now, but eventually I would like to just carry the mic and not rely on the stand and all this hand and distance finagling. If you are reading this and have some good advice please leave a comment. I might have it better than I think and am getting manic over things, but I would love to see some suggestions on the matter.

In other news, I was just informed by our manager that we are playing this Saturday at the Midland County Horseshoe Arena opening up for Diamond Rio. The event is for the American Cancer Society and is their Roundup 2009 Cattle Barons Ball. I am happy to be a part of an event that is related to furthering our research in fighting cancer and whole heartedly support the American Cancer Society in all their efforts. There have been a few people in my personal life who have dealt with cancer and the terrible mess it tends to bring along. Live shows are fun, but live shows with good intentions are always better. We are the opening act before Diamond Rio goes on. Also, we will be the band playing for the after party once the formal concert is over. I have no idea what to expect for this one. The Horseshoe Arena is a big venue and sadly our sound equipment can't quite cover that much square footage. Will they provide sound? Are we borrowing Rio's rig? Are we just going to pump our P.A. to eleven and see how far the soundwaves go? No idea. We also don't know if we are playing on the huge stage or in a smaller convention area. I like shows like this where this is a lot to speculate about. It makes it more fun to see what turned out like you guessed in the end. I can't think of a Diamond Rio song off the top of my head, but I know they have a strong following. It'll be cool to see a larger band and sound crew hustling around doing their thing from the backstage perspective. I have never set foot in the Horseshoe Arena but I know it's the same place that many large touring bands play at when they pass through town. For instance Korn is playing there May 5'th. I've wanted to check the place out before but never had an incentive. The complex is a hundred plus acres and can accommodate an event for three thousand people or more. I think there are three or four different areas available to rent for an event like this on the grounds. For all I know, we could be playing on a couple of card tables in the parking lot. I really can't wait to see how all this goes down and of course, I'll let you know.

Something Witty......


  1. so is it what you expected??? I soo wish I could have been there! I love Diamond Rio!

  2. I would think that you could probably use some type of setup similar to that of Chad's meaning you have a distortion pedal (you could even try it with some electric guitar pedals) that you run your mic through. Play clean when you want to, then 'stomp' the pedal for distortion and vice versa.

    Sounds like it would at least be fun to try.

  3. Ya I've used the BOSS Blue's Driver like that before, but it just causes too much feedback and gain issues. Using a microphone instead of a guitar makes working with pedals and amps a little touchy. I think I figured the problem out though.