Sound effects that enhance an acoustic harp's sound

  • Participant
    stardust117 on #240992

    Hi everyone,

    I stumbled upon a harpist’s Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqWOLWMzT_U. Here she is using a device called Mood that enhances her electric harp’s sound. I’d like this device, however I only have an acoustic harp. So, does anyone know if there’s a device like this that can enhance an acoustic harp’s sound to produce fancy sound effects as I play?

    Thank you

    Participant
    chas.thomason on #241006

    If you get a contact pickup (no drilling!) which you fix inside the Harp’s soundboard (you may need to try several different positions to see where you get the best sound) you can plug an acoustic harp into a small guitar amplifier – preferably an ‘acoustic guitar’ amp. The Yamaha THR 10 series are excellent little amps, very portable, have a dedicated ‘acoustic’ setting and have some nice effects built in. Once you have your amp set up you can experiment with various effects pedals and get some amazing sounds.

    Participant
    stardust117 on #241032

    Charles, thanks for bringing up that Yamaha product. I’m pleased to hear that no drilling is needed! And it’s portable too.

    Thank you.

    Participant
    billooms on #241047

    I’m also interested in people’s experience using effect pedals with an accoustic harp and piezo pickups. Emily Hopkins and Laura Somogyi get some very nice sounds with the pedals. Will you get the same sound from an accoustic harp and pickups? Any one have experience with this?

    Participant
    sroreilly on #241109

    Mikaela Davis uses a barcus barry pickup with some pedals. There’s also a lever Harp/Singer named Emilie Kahn does as well in some videos on YouTube. My experience with the soundboard pickups is that will feedback into a PA much faster than the Big Blue/Rainbow pickup systems so you have to be more judicious with which effects you use and how much you apply them. Loopers, Reverbs, Echo effects should be fine. Chorus, Flanger etc will probably work well. When you get into overdrives, distorions, and Fuzz pedals I think you will have problems. Make friends with some guitar players and ask to try out their pedals!

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by sroreilly.
    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #241132

    I like to think that the harp is such a glorious instrument, at least a Lyon & Healy Concert Grand is, that it cannot possibly be enhanced in any way by electronics.

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #241221

    I have to agree, Saul. I feel the same way about my Camac Atlantide Prestige!

    Participant
    chas.thomason on #241951

    I’m sure we all got into playing the harp because it’s such a wonderful instrument, but a small unobtrusive pickup and a quality ‘acoustic guitar’ amp allows you to get that magnificent ‘playing in a cathedral’ sound. Of course I love playing my harp acoustically but adding a little bit of reverb and chorus gives even the simplest of tunes a bit of a lift. That’s the beauty of the harp…it means something different to all of us. 🙂

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