Singing and playing

Hi guys,

I’ve been playing the harmonica for quite a while on and off now. But the only equipment i’ve really got is a few harmonicas.
I’ve got a few questions on further equipment, to try and do more stuff with the harp.

In terms of mics, is a bullet mic the only option? I can’t cup the mic as i’ll likely be using a rack to hold the harp, will this effect things much?
I love the distorted blues sound, and from my limited knowledge, im guessing thats a combo of mic and a pedal of some sort? (if it helps i’ve got a digitech rp50 pedal from about ten years ago). I’ve got a marshall mg 15cdr amp, if this is of any use too.
Although i would like to be able to play with a cleaner folky sound aswell

Really I want to be able to sing, and play, will i be able to get a mic that can do both?
and if i get a mic, can i use it to record via my pc (i’ve got an m-audio 24/96 sound card, but i’m guessing i may need to buy an input or something?)

Is there anything else I’m missing?


Not being able to cup the mic will have a dramatic effect on the sounds you can get because a lot of the miced tone comes from the pressure on the microphone. Cupping the mic puts more pressure on the diaphragm which increases certain types of distortion. This is how some people sing clean and play distorted using the same mic. There is also the obvious loss of tonal control when you can’t cup your hands around the harmonica. Cupping the mic isn’t absolutely essential but if you are recording I highly recommend separate takes for vocals/guitar and harmonica so that you can hold the mic and harmonica properly.

If you want 1 mic to do everything you are going to have to sacrifice your vocal tone or your harp tone. The sure SM58 is a great all purpose mic that can give good harmonica tone and great vocal tone. It’s a low z mic so it’s not going to match well with guitar amp which will effect your ability to get good harp distortion but if you pair it with a vocal effects processor (boss ve 20 comes to mind) then you can still get distortion with the click of a switch, it just won’t be the same as valve distortion from a hi z mic and a valve amp.