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Audio signals from the amplifier’s speaker are picked up by the microphone and fed back into the amplifier where it is amplified again resulting in what we know as feedback; the Harp Shield will prevent this process from ever starting by using noise gate technology. The Harp Shield is designed to mute the microphone when you are not playing by decoupling the microphone from the amplifier, thus preventing feedback. With the Harp Shield, your microphone is muted when not playing. As you begin to play, the Harp Shield will unmute and allow your signal to pass through to the amp; when you stop playing, the pedal automatically mutes the microphone to prevent feedback. The pedal has a SENSITIVITY control to prevent background noises from opening the audio path and inducing feedback. In the event that feedback does occur, just press the footswitch (a momentary switch) to reset the pedal and stop the feedback. When using this pedal, it is still necessary to use proper microphone handling techniques to help prevent feedback while playing. The Harp Shield differs from guitar noise gates in that the gate range is set for microphone levels and the fact that you will not lose any tone. 

UPDATE 10/21/12 - In response to some questions that I have received, I am adding the following information. The pedal requires a minimum level of signal from the mic to open the gate and when the signal drops back down to the same minimum level the gate will close. This function is not noticeable with the sensitivity set low (CCW) but is noticeable with the sensitivity set high (CW); but this is only a factor when playing softly. The pedal is not a silver bullet; it has its limitations. One is when the room acoustics are horrible for feedback, small and hard-walled (like a spare bedroom); it does not help at all. The second is a tight band setting that is very loud (all too common); this is due to the fact that when the sound levels hitting the microphone are too high, it can keep the gate open. In the last instance, one must also roll off the volume on the microphone when not playing. 

The only control is the SENSITIVITY control. With the control all the way CCW, the pedal is most sensitive and will allow virtually any signal to pass through the microphone. But the mic will be more susceptible to low-volume noises opening the pedal and inducing feedback. Turning the control CW, increases protection from feedback by requiring a higher level of audio to unmute the microphone and pass the audio. With the control turned too far CW, you may not be able to pass audio while playing softly. The footswitch is not a bypass switch; the foot switch is a momentary, non-latching switch, pressing the switch mutes the microphone (kills the audio) and resets the gate, stopping feedback. The Harp Shield should go first in your pedal train. 

The Harp Shield operates off of a 9V battery or a 9V DC power adapter (power supply sold separately). The DC adapter requirements are a 9V DC with a minimum 100mA output and a 2.1mm x 5.5mm connector with a negative center surrounded by a positive outside. The battery is switched OFF when an external power supply is used, and the unit is always powered whenever the mic is plugged in. 

  1. SENSITIVITY control
  2. Feedback-killing footswitch
  3. 9V DC input (barrel with a negative center)
  4. High impedance buffered input
  5. Pedal ON/OFF LED
  6. Reverse voltage polarity protection
  7. 9V battery operation