The harmonica is one of the easiest instruments to learn, but mastering it to a level approaching players like Toots Thielemans and Sugar Blue and can take many years. You may have seen blues players like the latter using both hands to cup a Mississippi Saxophone around a microphone, creating a chamber around the instrument to keep out unwanted sounds from band members, improve tone and amplify the volume. If you're a solo performer who also plays guitar, you may find that you quickly run out of arms and are forced to play open harp. The Dyna-Mic cups the harmonica to the microphone for you, so you can go hands-on or hands-free.
When on stage, at rehearsal or in the studio, the microphone you use to pick up the sound of your harmonica can also register noise from bandmates or howl with feedback. To cut out external sounds and make sure that everything the microphone picks up is all harmonica, players need to master the art of cupping.
The Dyna-Mic is reported compatible with most commercially-available diatonic harmonicas (though there is a version available which allows for more flexibility) and promises to make sure all the sound from a harmonica is evenly captured by the integrated microphone, while cutting out external sounds that may interfere or cause feedback.
The curved box rocks a pre-amp and tone circuit built-in (powered by a lithium cell), with the underside home to tone, boost, overdrive, mute and volume controls. And its makers have also developed an adjustable rack for hands-free operation, called the Steady-Rack.
The Dyna-Mic project is currently on Kickstarter, where it has met its funding goal with a few days remaining on the campaign clock. Pledges start at US$229 and, if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in December. The video below has more.
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