mic and distortion - is it possible?


mr e

pulled this question off another board i frequent
anyone have an answer?

"Anytime I go to hook my mic up through distortion, I get some of the loudest feedback you can get (I don't mind it but I don't need that), anybody know how I can use a mic and distortion together without tons of feedback? Also, how would I go about using wah with a mic? I've used this too, and it does the feedback also. I've been expirementing with different, uh, stuff, to try and stop all this, but I haven't been able to accomplish it. And when I mean distortion with a mic, I mean the most harsh, distorted, noisy distortion you can squeeze out. It does the feed back even with very little distortion."


Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2001
Silicon Valley
Don't try to use a real amp and speaker to do this as you will never have the ability of control. Use an effects unit that has a distortion preset or amp/speaker modeler. I've done this for many angry white man vocals live through the PA system and in the studio. I did it using one of the few dozen presets available in my Eventide DSP4500 or DSP7000. You sould be able to get the same kind of thing out of a POD or J-Station kind of box.

Or, if you want some nasty sounding distortion you could use a dedicated mic pre-amp that has an output level in addition to the mic gain level and trun the input up all the way until you overload the input and then turn down the output of the mic pre to control the gain/volume and then send that signal to the PA system or recording device.

As for the wah, I would use either an analog volume pedal or MIDI controller pedal connected to one of my Eventide effects units and patch that to the ext wah control parameter in the preset.


If you do want to use a mic through a guitar amp, use what the harmonica players use: an old, high impedence crystal mic, like a Turner.