If there’s one thing harp players need, it’s loud. As in, to be loud. Louder than the guitars. Loud enough to hear yourself over the band. Loud enough for the…

If there’s one thing harp players need, it’s loud. As in, to be loud. Louder than the guitars. Loud enough to hear yourself over the band. Loud enough for the audience to hear you over the band.

The RPs can get pretty loud, but like any device with a microphone connected to it, there are limits to how loud you can get before you run into the feedback monster. But if you’re not satisfied with your loud, here are a few ideas to get louder.

1) Turn down the gain, turn up the amp level. More gain gives you a more distorted sound, but it also tends to produce more feedback. Instead of setting the gain on your favorite amp model at 80 and the amp level at 75, try turning the gain down to 30 and cranking the amp level up to 95. That’s what Angus Young does with his guitar, and nobody ever said Angus wasn’t loud enough. (That’s also the approach I’ve taken with my new “dark blue” series of patches, which produce plenty of crunch at high volumes.)

2) Turn down the master volume, turn up the amp. One of my customers had some big problems with feedback–no wonder given that he was competing with two guitars in a metal band. He solved it by turning the master volume on his RP down to 20, and turning up the PA channel instead. Now he’s louder than anything else in the room.

3) Change mics. Some mics feed back more than others. I’m very fond of my Shure 545SD, but it feeds back more than my other vocal mics, so I have to be careful how I use it. When in doubt, the Audix Fireball V is going to give you less feedback and higher volume than anything else you can buy for under $200.

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