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Chicken Charlie Help: Dulcimer amplification (11) RE: Help: Dulcimer amplification 16 Jun 01

Our group, primarily by reason of shortage of funds, spent a long time trying to pretend that its shyer and better behaved instruments--mando, autoharp and both kinds of dulcimers--could be heard either barefoot or through a vocal mike. The next shared deception was that holding any of these a constant three point two inches from a mike while performing is easy and has no adverse effects. (Actually it causes blindness and cancer in lab rats.)

Biting the proverbial bullet we robbed two convenience stores and now have pic-ups all around, innkeeper, at about $80 a pop installed. Except the hammered dulcimer and the banjo.

I'm afraid it's the only way to balance. But I do admire my purist friends who spend days searching for the livest accoustic situations so they can be heard by people other than those sitting on their laps when they play.

Next we spent a good long morning tweaking the sound system, because each instrument makes slightly different demands on the sound system, and we wrote all the settings down. (I've gotten serious in this paragraph.) I also invested in some colored instrument cords which takes the guesswork (hand me that black cord, would ya?) out of setting up.

At the risk of starting major thread creep: I like thin picks. Using the nice built-in pick-up also lets me do that, because volume "at the string" is no longer as much of a concern as it was before we got wired, so to speak.

I'm not tech-minded enough to remember the specs on what I got, but you'll prob. have it installed anyway, so leave that to your most trusted electronics person, but do it, because nothing short of doing it will be totally satisfactory.


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