HANDCRAFTED HARMONICA MICS - A NICE MIC FOR HARP, ORIGIN: 'ARKANSAS'

What's new on harmonica learning

Many a time, new harmonica enthusiasts ask for suggestions about kind of microphones that would be most compatible with their harmonica. Other than many famous brands, well known by everyone, there are some really great microphones that you can find online featuring quite a lot of interesting characteristics.

Owing to their body shape, impedance and the internal element, each of these microphones gives you a unique playing experience. Even some small-scale manufacturers do this job really well and leave it up to us to discover which product fits our needs, not to mention technical characteristics of these instruments that also matter a lot.

When you want to buy a harmonica microphone you may also want to have a look at its size, weight and ergonomic property. How would the touch of this little object in your hand feel like? Are you going to use it to play an old dirty ‘Chicago’ blues style music or are you aiming for a more modern, clean harmonica sound? Answer to all these questions are crucial to guide a harmonica player when it comes to choosing a harp mic.

Today, I want to show you a particular microphone for harmonica which comes from Arkansans, USA. The name of this microphone is simple and in some way reminds me of a musical instrument that I usually use when I perform with my musical duo: the shaker. This microphone is called Shaker Dynamic Retro Rocket. The manufacturer has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, about the time when I started to work after school; in 1992 to be exact. There is a particular aspect of the material used in the production of these microphones, that it mostly comes from The United States, which is undoubtedly a good thing; we should all praise and support our local products and materials.

Let's see the Shaker Dynamic Retro Rocket. The one shown in the picture is the model with a Switchcraft 332 AX Stem Adaptor:

The Shaker Dynamic Retro Rocket, custom bullet microphone for harmonica

This microphone has been designed to be extremely 'technique sensitive', but what does that mean anyway? It means that every small modification in your embouchure, playing  technique articulations, breathing and cupping, will be directly transferred to the harmonica  sound. In other words, you will have a full control over the quality of your sound by your ultimate performance.

Take a moment to think about it. e.g. when you play a harmonica in the microphone, you, the instrument and the microphone itself, become one thing making you a unique player. The relationship between you and the harmonica becomes really intimate.

The Shaker Dynamic Retro Rocket has a good feedback rejection feature. It has been developed utilizing the manufacturer's special technology called GNS. This technology lets you achieve much more nuanced amplification of sound, and allows you to get different sounds and effects. I am marvelled at this technology, knowing that it was developed soon after the manufacturer who attended a convention, where a discussion about hearing aid technologies was taking place. I like it when people show curiousity and collect information, interpret them and develop something really nice. There are many good technology-developers out there doing great job, let alone the advancement of small yet fascinating objects like a harmonica microphone.

No wonder how this microphone gives you a clear and smooth voice when played open, but it gets nasty fast if cupped in a tight way. This little harmonica mic will function well with any tube amp without any problem. If you use an impedance matching transformer on the amp, you can increase volume up to 2 or even 3 times more . Another characteristic feature of these mics is that they have low impedance elements that get wired just as in high impedance units.

If you want to have a clsoer look at this harmonica mic, click on the following banner and see further details on the manufacterer pages:

Shaker harmonica microphones page link