So You Want to Be Heard?
Amplifying Mountain Dulcimers, by Steve Eulberg


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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Introduction With a gentle-sounding instrument like the mountain dulcimer, being heard is sometimes a challenge.  Steve introduces this series which will offer several suggestions about how to address this issue with sound reinforcement.
2. Microphone Shure SM58 Using a portable Roland Cube Street amplifier/speaker, Steve discusses and demonstrates Placement: of the microphone in relationship to the speaker; of the microphone in relation to the instrument and feedback loops are discussed here.
3. Microphone Shure SM57 The SM57 is used more for instrumental applications, the SM58 is used more for vocal ones.  This microphone can take higher can before feeding back.
4. Condenser Microphones The CAD C195 and Sennheiser e614 are both very sensitive microphones which can work well with a powered mixing board.  However, with this battery-powered amp, which can't provide phantom power, they don't work.
5. Using a Contact Pickup on the Wood Another way to amplify the signal is with direct contact with the instrument.  Piezo pickups transmit the sound vibrations into electrical signals.  First we'll look at a contact pickup that has been installed in the instrument, directly on the wood.  Then Steve compares the sounds of the microphone and pickup and blends them.
6. Using an Under-Saddle Pickup An under-saddle piezo pickup does the same translation of sound vibration to electrical signal, but this time the vibration is coming directly from the strings as they pass over the bridge.  We'll compare the pickup and microphone and blend their tones also.
7. Using a passive DI (Direct Input) Box Steve demonstrates how a passive DI box works and why to use it.
8. Using an active DI (Direct Input) Box In this segment, we see how powerful an active DI box can be.
9. Adding Effects to Shape the Tone Using the Pocket Pod tool, Steve demonstrates how adding effects can shape the tone of the electrical signal.
10. Conclusion Best practices with unplugging and communicating with the sound person are mentioned in this concluding episode of this series.

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