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Good Harp Pick-up?

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Gloredhel 02 Sep 01 - 09:05 PM
John P 03 Sep 01 - 09:42 AM
George Seto - 03 Sep 01 - 11:03 AM
mooman 03 Sep 01 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Jennifer Wyatt 03 Sep 01 - 06:06 PM
pastorpest 03 Sep 01 - 09:17 PM
Gloredhel 03 Sep 01 - 10:56 PM
alison 03 Dec 01 - 09:46 PM
wysiwyg 17 Jul 02 - 09:04 AM
alison 17 Jul 02 - 09:29 PM
wysiwyg 17 Jul 02 - 10:35 PM
black walnut 11 Dec 05 - 01:29 PM
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Subject: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: Gloredhel
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 09:05 PM

Lately I've been finding microphones unsatisfacory for stage performances. Does anyone know what kind of pick-up might be good for a harp? I've used one I bought from a guitar shop in the past, but I stepped on it (please don't laugh) and I don't think they make that kind anymore. Your advice is appreci

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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: John P
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 09:42 AM

Hi Gloredhel,
I'm assuming you are talking about Celtic harp, not harmonica. I've spent a lot of time amplifying harps through my job at Dusty Strings. Call me (206-634-1656) or send email there and I will shoot off info on what we have found that works well.

What kind of harp do you have?

John Peekstok

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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: George Seto -
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 11:03 AM

I'll pass this on to a couple of harpies I know.

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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: mooman
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 11:34 AM

I would also check out "Pick up the World" pickups. They are excellent quality and a fair price and normally require no pre-amp. A couple of our 'Catters here, including BlueJay, are involved with the company and, I'm sure, can give you further valuable advice. I believe they make a model suitable for harps.

Good luck


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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: GUEST,Jennifer Wyatt
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 06:06 PM


Just thought I'd add my two cents worth about the pick-ups. My partner and I use condenser mikes, and we find they are really great. These are the same mikes that are used on a lot of acoustic instruments (saxaphones, trumpets, cellos, etc.) They fit right inside the harp, so there's no mike in the way when you're playing, and they are suspended inside the sound box, so they get the optimum sound with the minimum "finger noise". I have yet to find a pick-up with a sound I like, but these condenser mikes ROCK.

(so there's my two cents!) -Jennifer

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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: pastorpest
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 09:17 PM

My partner plays harps. The best miking I've heard used a good instrument outside about two thirds of the way down the soundboard. If you have a way of attaching the mike to the harp body then the mike will always stay in the same position relative to the harp even if the harpist moves it around.

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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: Gloredhel
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 10:56 PM

Thanks for the advice guys, I'll look into the stuff you've suggested.

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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: alison
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 09:46 PM

I know there was another thread on using condenser mics inside a harp(probably in the last 2 years)... does anyone have a link to it? or remember vaguely what it was called?



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Subject: Good Harp Microphone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:04 AM

We have been asked to lend our Crate acoustic amp (two inputs, one for voice) to a harpist who will be playing outdoors in a semi-enclosed area. She has played there before, and they say they just need a LITTLE amplification, so I am sure the amp will be "enough."

I have not seen the harp yet and the person asking us did not know if it was an orchestral harp or a folk harp. I am sure she does not have a pickup nor will want to get one-- and I am pretty sure she will not want to suspend the mic inside the sound box.

Do I lend her our little mandolin pickup to stick on, our condenser mic, or our Shure omnidirectional mic?

Do I suggest she double-mic it to catch the higher tones, with the voice-input, if it's a big 'un?

The problem here is that we will not be in town the day she actually uses the gear, to help her adjust things, and if it's a big harp I am sure she will not bring it over so we can check it all out ahead of time. And I need the gear up until we leave.


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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: alison
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:29 PM

phone her up and ask her Susan.... only she knows how big her harp is..........

I put 3 small condenser mics inside my little lap harp... works pretty welll except you need to block off the sound hole to prevent it squealing........

in my bigger harp see here and here for pics I have used a condenser mic stuck in the back (from an ordinary mic stand)... and I have sat in a chair with a Shure vocal mic between my legs (shut up right now 'spaw!!) and projecting very slightly into the sound hole... sort of balancing on the wood of the harp... that worked pretty well too.... if you can ignore the laughter and comments from the others in the band!!

putting mics outside the harp pointing at the strings doesn't really pick up the noise very well....



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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:35 PM

Oh Alison! You BAAAAD girl! *G*

I have already invited her to come see me, so I will get to ask her, I just wanted to know what to offer her, because I think she's orchestral in worldview if not gear, and may never have been properly folked.


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Subject: RE: Good Harp Pick-up?
From: black walnut
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 01:29 PM

I just got myself a David Kortier acoustic-electric Irish 34 string harp. It has a pickup on each string. It's so easy to use - just plug it in to a small amp, as you would a guitar.   I love the house it has a very natural sound, but larger. I'll be using it for the first time in public this New Years'...with the choir doing the Britten New Year Carol.


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