Feb 27, 2018 | By Benedict

US harmonica specialist BlowsMeAway Productions has developed RackIt!, a handsfree 3D printed harmonica microphone that can be plugged directly into an amp. It sound has been described as retro and modern at the same time.

The harmonica has lent its screechy, reedy sounds to many genres over the years: blues, jazz, folk… the list goes on.

In pop music, the instrument probably reached its mainstream peak through the songs of Bob Dylan, whose political and impressionistic hits of the 1960s all seemed to have harmonica front at center—often a good deal louder than the vocals, to the chagrin of those with sensitive ears.

Those weird dynamics in Bob Dylan songs were likely the result of the singer using the same microphone to sing and then blow his harmonica into—the songwriter’s frail, nasal voice quickly blown out of the water by the roar of the harmonica.

BlowsMeAway Productions is looking to revolutionize harmonica amplification—by developing a gadget that not only amplifies a harmonica properly, but also provides the acoustics usually achieved by “cupping” with the hands.

The 3D printed RackIt! harmonica microphone

Its new product, a 3D printed harmonica microphone called RackIt!, can be fitted to a harmonica player’s neck rack—the shoulder-resting stand that allows players to blow into their instrument without using their hands, which means those hand-cupping acoustics can be achieved without any actual cupping of hands.

“Most players know that cupping a harmonica microphone fattens your acoustic and especially your amplified tone,” BlowsMeAway says. “Unfortunately this is impossible for people whose hands are busy doing something else, like playing guitar, or for people with disabilities that prevent them from cupping a traditional mic.”

The 3D printed RackIt! in action

(Images: BlowsMeAway Productions)

The 3D printed device comes with three tone modes—huge, fat, and bright—and fits most 10-hole harmonicas and most racks. It incorporates an industry-standard Bulletini microphone, and can be operated either wired or wirelessly.

RackIt! is made from 3D printed TPU and is available from $99.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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