Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Anyone play pedals direct into PA?
Anyone play pedals direct into PA?
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RT123
203 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:11 AM
I saw a youtube video last night with a guy playing straight through a PA. He was playing into a mic that went to a pedal and direct to a PA with no amp. It had a nice sound to it and I was wondering if anyone else does this. I am not sure how it sounds live because youtube sound is not great as we all know. It just seems like that could lighten the load for anyone traveling to a gig. Just carry your mic and pedals.
toddlgreene
3201 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:21 AM
Sure, I've used my HarpAttack in conjunction with other pedals(usually just a delay)several times, or sometimes just a delay or just a mic then right into a DI box. One downside is that you are at the mercy of the soundman and you'll have to use stage monitors to hear yourself, which introduces more feedback possibilities and also possible aggravation/stress between you and the soundman, but it can be done. I always have the soundman clip the highs and mids back on his board when I run thru the PA. Again, the biggie doing this is that you aren't in control of your onstage volume or house mix.

But yes, your back will thank you!

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Todd L. Greene

cchc Pictures, Images and Photos

Last Edited by on Aug 19, 2011 5:22 AM
Kingley
1599 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:24 AM
I used a Boss GE-7 direct into the PA for many years as my "amp". It was a fairly good sound. A lot of people seem to use the Lone Wolf Harp Attack pedal direct into the PA and swear by it. The Digitech RP series of pedals and the Harp Commander are others that people often use as well.

It might help if you listed what pedals you were thinking of using through the PA
toddlgreene
3202 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:30 AM
One important ingredient, if you're going the PA route, is to make sure you either have a volume control on your mic, or a volume pedal. 1,000 watt feedback isn't pretty. Start with your volume off, then gradually creep it up. Wthe soundman turns on the PA, He might not have all his faders down, or your channel adjusted yet. You don't want to be known as the guy who makes ears bleed.

Also, having an EQ pedal in your chain isn't a bad idea, especially if you have an inattentive(or absent)soundman. You can kill feedback when you hear it coming on.

Oh, and another sweet pedal for a breakup distortion sound is the Lone Wolf HarpBreak.
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Todd L. Greene

cchc Pictures, Images and Photos

Last Edited by on Aug 19, 2011 5:32 AM
RT123
204 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:33 AM
I just started looking into it so I really hadn't though out the pedals. To be honest the only pedal I use right now is a Boss DS-1. I would have to try it out to see how it sounds through a PA. I would love to get a Harp Attack or Harp Break but the run about $150 if I am not mistaken. But if it sounds good it may be a wise investment, it is still a hell of a lot cheaper than a new amp, thats for sure.
RT123
205 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:34 AM
thanks Tood, yes i do have a JT30 with volume control. looks like mwe both mentioned the Harp Break at the same time. LOL
toddlgreene
3203 posts
Aug 19, 2011
5:35 AM
I highly recommend anything Lone Wolf makes-they're not made for guitar, so the tailoring/voicing for harp is already done.. The HarpBreak is cheaper than the Attack, as the Attack actually has a little power pentode tube in it.
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Todd L. Greene

cchc Pictures, Images and Photos

Last Edited by on Aug 19, 2011 5:36 AM
toddlgreene
3205 posts
Aug 19, 2011
6:04 AM
Oh, and be mindful of your impedance. Do you play low-z or hi-z mics? Will you alternate from one to another at any point? If you're going thru pedals, you'll need to be High-Z, so let the soundman know. I usually tell them I need to plug in a High Z 1/4", and that is sufficient. If you are using just a low-z mic, carry an XLR cable with you, as most low-z inputs are XLR.
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Todd L. Greene

cchc Pictures, Images and Photos
RT123
206 posts
Aug 19, 2011
6:42 AM
Thanks Guys!
MrVerylongusername
1865 posts
Aug 19, 2011
6:48 AM
Getting too old to lug a bassman around these days, and there's never enough room to swing a cat anyway.

I usually play mic --> EH Holy Grail Reverb --> DI box --> board

works fine for me. Having a DI box in your kitbag is a must I reckon.
RT123
207 posts
Aug 19, 2011
7:05 AM
well damn, it looks like we talk too much about amps on here. we should be talking more effects pedals and PA's I guess. Glad I am not the only one that has seen the days of a strong back pass me by!
toddlgreene
3206 posts
Aug 19, 2011
7:15 AM
Oh, we've had plenty of threads regarding such options like Harpcommanders, HarpAttacks, RP pedals, etc...this isn't a new topic-use the search, and you'll see.
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Todd L. Greene

cchc Pictures, Images and Photos
RT123
208 posts
Aug 19, 2011
7:19 AM
guess i am a little slow. go easy on me todd. but in my defense there must be a 10 to 1 rate of amps posts to effects.
toddlgreene
3208 posts
Aug 19, 2011
7:23 AM
Haha, true, a lot more is said about amps. I still prefer to have an amp behind me, but the DI solution is a back and money-saver, for sure. There have been many informative threads on the topic of playing sans amp.
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Todd L. Greene

cchc Pictures, Images and Photos
KingBiscuit
89 posts
Aug 19, 2011
8:39 AM
I have a pedal board that I really like. It consists of an AFB+, Harp Attack, Harp Delay and DI box. This gives me really nice tone/volume going straight to the PA without feedback.

I've recently been using my Kalamazoo, but if I'm going to an unfamiliar jam or a really loud jam, I take the pedal board.

If you're interested, I have a Harp Commander Jr. that I'm no longer using. Contact me directly.

Last Edited by on Aug 19, 2011 8:42 AM
bharper
36 posts
Aug 19, 2011
8:43 AM
RT, the pedal you need is the Lone Wolf Harp Tone+
RT123
210 posts
Aug 19, 2011
8:48 AM
explain the DI box to me. is that a name brand, model, generic term? sorry but i dont have that much experience with these.
HawkeyeKane
5 posts
Aug 19, 2011
8:51 AM
I've played with a Danelectro FAB Distortion pedal into a PA before, but only because my amp had busted. I had to be so dang careful with it too because of all the gain it created equaling feedback. Couldn't have any of me in the monitors, that was for damn sure.
RT123
211 posts
Aug 19, 2011
8:58 AM
KingBiscuit - You've got mail
MrVerylongusername
1866 posts
Aug 19, 2011
9:25 AM
A DI box is a Direct Injection box. It's a generic thing, many many brands. Essentially it's a transformer in a box. It converts unbalanced to balanced signals and line levels to mic. They are also useful for breaking ground loops (50 cycle hum)

Not all desks have line inputs and unbalanced line signals are subject to signal loss and noise if the runs are long - such as if you use a stagebox and snake. In those situations DIs are invaluable (some amps - particularly bass and keys where the amp itself is not required to colour the sound too much - have DIs built in)

DIs come in two types Passive and Active. The active ones are usually cheaper. Passive DIs tend to be more expensive or lower quality. I'm happy to use an active DI. They take a 9v battery - good ones also utilise phantom power sent from the desk.

Another useful feature, particularly with a hot mic, is a pad, which reduces the signal level to the desk. Any good soundman should have a bunch of DIs to hand, but as we all know, not all soundmen are created equal, so it's a wise investment. In the UK you can get a perfectly decent one (active) for about £30 ($50ish)

Last Edited by on Aug 19, 2011 9:29 AM
RT123
212 posts
Aug 19, 2011
9:36 AM
Thank you very much for the info. I just learned a lot!
9000
86 posts
Aug 19, 2011
9:50 AM
I've been using a Harp Commander Four directly into the PA board for awhile with great results. When I use it it seems that I quit worrying about the amp and just play. It really is true that the most important component of amplified tone is good acoustic tone. I'm trying to focuse on MY tone and let the whole perfect amp thing go....at least for awhile. [BTW I've got a Meteor and a 1960 Brownface Concert so I've spent some time/energy/money on that perfect amp approach].
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Music speaks where words fail.
dukeofwail
45 posts
Aug 21, 2011
7:26 PM
Volume control on mic before processor

Some effects are level-dependent. Envelope filters, and the speed-change on my Korg Leslie sound.

So yes, you need to creep up on the volume when prepping with house sound, but your performance levels are consistent when using volume-dependent patches.

I really enjoy showing up sans-amp when I know I can get a channel into the mixer. Recommended.
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Robert Hale
Learn Harmonica via Webcam
Low Rates, High Results
DUKEofWAIL.com
DUKEofWAIL YouTube
MakaInOz
48 posts
Aug 21, 2011
9:03 PM
LoZ clean mic (with VC) -> inline DI -> RP350 (Hunter patches) -> PA

That's a whole lot of effects and only two harp cases to carry!

Maka

Last Edited by on Aug 21, 2011 9:03 PM
HarpNinja
1593 posts
Aug 21, 2011
9:21 PM
I went most of a year playing my pedal board into the PA. I was using a wireless to an AFB+ to a Line 6 M13. I use the M13 for effects only. I had no amp emulation or anything. Eventually I went with just the the wireless to the M13. 99% of the time I'd be fine with just the PA.
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Mike
Quicksilver Custom Harmonicas
hvyj
1741 posts
Sep 02, 2011
2:02 PM
Just became aware of some interesting gear for this application. TC Helicon makes a series of vocal processor effects pedals called "VOICE TONE." They appear to be the size of guitar effects pedals BUT have XLR jacks and are not very expensive.

I just ordered the VOICE TONE R-1 reverb pedal which appears to also have a mic preamp in it. It's very compact and seems like it would be useful for going into a PA board that has no reverb or no channel specific reverb on it.

A few years ago I was at a concert and heard Steve Winwood's sax player playing through a TC Helicon Voice Live, using it as a sax processor and it was the best electric sax sound i ever heard. So, I figure if TC Helicon vocal processor gear works that well for sax it should work well for harp. We'll see....

Last Edited by on Sep 02, 2011 2:05 PM
Rockerduck
24 posts
Sep 02, 2011
3:35 PM
Sometimes I use a Boss Blues Driver pedal to plug into, then out to a PA or clean amp. I also use my 1970 Fender Champ and mic it into the PA. That way I can monitor/hear myself. However, mostly I play through the same mic I sing through,with no dirt at all.
doctom
43 posts
Mar 07, 2019
1:21 PM
Hey Guys,
I want to play an SM57----carbon copy delay---PA.
How do I hook it up? Of course I can't plug the XLR cable into the delay pedal. I have an impedance matching transformer to plug the 57 into an amp but that doesn't work for this. Do I need a DI box or is there another way to do it?
Thanks!
Tom
TetonJohn
341 posts
Mar 07, 2019
2:32 PM
I don't see why you can't use your impedence matching transformer into the pedal just like you would into an amp (at the pedal end). I assume the pedal has a 1/4" female on the input side. Then use a small patch cord (1/4" male to 1/4" male) from pedal to a DI; then XLR cable from DI to board.

Edit: I don't do this, so I may be missing something, and if so will be corrected I'm sure!

Last Edited by TetonJohn on Mar 07, 2019 2:37 PM
shadoe42
352 posts
Mar 07, 2019
2:39 PM
Yep RP255 direct into the PA. the RP is only giving me a bit of reverb and some EQ but I use it for the volume pedal.


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Dr. Rev. Mr. Cheeks Miller
My Electronic Music World
Me With Harp
TetonJohn
342 posts
Mar 07, 2019
3:44 PM
doctom: I suspect you'd get better results with a Lone Wolf HarpBreak or HarpAttack in the pedal chain, but of course that's different than what you asked about.
HarpNinja
4297 posts
Mar 09, 2019
2:08 PM
I haven't used an amp for years. I often just go straight into the PA, even with full bands.

That being said, a Joyo pedal or Lone Wolf pedal is more than enough.
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Mike
My Website
My Harmonica Effects Blog
Littoral
1665 posts
Mar 10, 2019
5:10 AM
It does require a PA arrangement you can control, or trust a lot. Easy enough for me because I run the PA and I'm wireless.
My pedalboard is just easy to use and it does what I want.
EP Exotic>LW Octave>Harp Break>LW Delay>Carbon Copy Delay.
Doing a lot more than blues these days I've slowly gravitated towards warmer and cleaner. I do miss that delicious curve from tubes but I can get plenty of warmth from my playing. Exoitc and the CC Delay are probably the most relevant parts of my sound coming through the board. EP for the magical focus/compression it gives (with amps too) and the CC for sparkling delay sounds. The Octave is just a really good volume preamp and I don't use the effect. I don't really use effect on the Harp Break except for some of the bass but not much because that's the only knob in the chain that will generate feedback (low).
Also, I love the power supply LW sells and I use a DI. Both secured under my board.

Last Edited by Littoral on Mar 10, 2019 5:14 AM
doctom
44 posts
Mar 10, 2019
9:02 AM
Thanks for the advise. I ordered an XLR---1/4" adapter...one that does not change impedance. I think that's the easiest way to do it.

I also have a Harp Attack but have had feedback issues with it.
I'm Playing with a LOUD guitar driven band so I'm always on the edge of feedback.

Do I need a DI box and if so what does it accomplish?
TetonJohn
343 posts
Mar 10, 2019
1:38 PM
Hi doc,
I don't understand: the easiest way to do what exactly?
The pedal is looking for HiZ; your 57 is LoZ -- so the impedence transformer is what you need. Then IF the board is looking for LoZ only, you'll want the DI between the pedal and the board (it transforms the impedence). However, some boards are okay with the HiZ coming from the pedal.
(I'm happy to be corrected by the more tech savvy folks here.)

Last Edited by TetonJohn on Mar 10, 2019 1:40 PM
rogonzab
1083 posts
Mar 10, 2019
6:51 PM
SM57 -> Impedance matching transformer -> Pedals -> DI -> board

or

Bullet mic -> Pedals -> DI -> board

That is it
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Sorry for any misspell, english is not my first language.

Last Edited by rogonzab on Mar 10, 2019 6:52 PM
doctom
45 posts
Mar 12, 2019
6:53 AM
Great!

Thanks for the advise.

Now one more thing, I looked at some DI boxes and they are not all created equal...big price range too.

Is there a specific one that you recommend?
TetonJohn
344 posts
Mar 12, 2019
7:55 AM
Lone Wold Blues Co. makes one (Little Red DI Box) - about $50 range -- nice to support them as they make great gear for us harmonica players.
gmacleod15
313 posts
Mar 12, 2019
9:17 AM
Some preamps can be used as a DI.
The ART Tube MP Studio Mic Preamp will work and can be had for about $50-$75. It also offers a few options that a DI might not. I have this one.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/art-tube-mp-studio-mic-preamp

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MBH member since 2009-03-24
TetonJohn
345 posts
Mar 12, 2019
9:35 AM
I like the convenience of a passive DI (needs no batteries or power supply). There may be some benefits to an active DI, but that's above my pay grade.


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