Header Graphic
Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Monitor vs. speaker
Monitor vs. speaker
Login  |  Register
Page: 1

11 posts
Oct 12, 2021
10:14 AM
I mostly sit in with bands. Because of feedback probs with amps I’ve lately just taken a lone wolf Alpha pedal and run to PA. Problem is sometimes I can’t hear myself. So question is do any of y’all use a small monitor (Bose or JBL) or wear a ear monitor as was suggested to me? The JBL monitor supposedly has a feedback reduction switch. Do monitors have less of a feedback problem than amps or would a ear monitor be the better choice? Thanks in advance.

Last Edited by MajorDude on Oct 12, 2021 10:15 AM
397 posts
Oct 12, 2021
11:25 AM
If the band is using monitors for themselves, just ask for some of your signal in a nearby monitor.
Of course, if they don't use monitors, that's different -- if you had a monitor of your own, ear or otherwise, they would have to run a special line for you (it's just asking for more, which could be a hassle for the band -- but if you can't hear yourself, it's probably not worth sitting in!) $0.02

Last Edited by TetonJohn on Oct 12, 2021 11:26 AM
3394 posts
Oct 13, 2021
5:32 PM
I left stages behind a long time ago if I could not hear or be heard. This cuts out a lot, but my hearing is too valuable to risk, and even with a 4x10 45 watt Bassman there was no guarantee I would be heard, or hear my amp.

I've moved over mostly to duo and am working toward solo. Acoustic, like busking, is great with me too.

Totally individual choice but I never found a solution in the volume competition that I cared for.
Music and travel destroy prejudice.




2269 posts
Oct 13, 2021
8:41 PM
If you can't hear yourself you are likely to damage reeds by playing too hard.

If you are just mainly sitting for some songs as opposed to playing regular band gigs, then you have to keep it simple. You won't be able to change the "too loud band culture" since you are just sitting in. You also don't want to have a complicated setup. If you are not opting out due to decibel poisoning on stage, then you have to deal with it.

One approach that might help is to just play into a handheld vocal or instrument mic straight to the PA without effect pedals and listen to the band's vocal stage monitors to hear yourself. Keep it simple and focus on your playing. Use higher pitched harps when possible. I have found that clean harp to the PA can sometimes cut more on a loud stage than an emulated amp pedal sound that might sound great on a stage with reasonable volumes, but gets lost on a loud stage.

A series of pedals set up to avoid feedback and optimize sound ala Mooncat may let you hear yourself better on stage, but such a pedalboard will need adjustments that may not be simple. For sitting in keep it simple.

Oh, one simple way to hear yourself better while playing on a loud stage is to wear earplugs. They cut stage volume from other instruments and let you hear your harp internally resonate.

Over the years I have sat in with bands a lot! Unless I am invited to bring an amp and play most the night, I use a 58 or 57 to the PA, or whatever mic is already set up on stage.

Good luck!

Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Oct 13, 2021 8:41 PM
1 post
Oct 18, 2021
10:32 AM
I often bring a small personal powered monitor that can mount on a mic stand. Could work great with the Alpha Wolf, since it has two outs. XLR to mixing board, 1/4" to your monitor. Nice to have control over how much of yourself you hear, without relying on the band or soundman.
12 posts
Oct 28, 2021
8:33 AM
Thanks guys...Peace !

Post a Message

(8192 Characters Left)

Modern Blues Harmonica supports

§The Jazz Foundation of America


§The Innocence Project




ADAM GUSSOW is an official endorser for HOHNER HARMONICAS