By Joe the Audio Pro
Have you ever wondered how to wirelessly mic up a Melodica? Your answer might be “no”, but now you’ll know how in case the opportunity ever presents itself! For those who are unfamiliar, a Melodica is a handheld free-reed instrument like a pump organ or a harmonica. It has a keyboard on the top side and is played by blowing air into the mouthpiece on the side of the instrument.
I was recently challenged with figuring out how to mic one of these instruments for a live performance, and one of the requirements was that it had to be wireless!
As you can see on the back side of the instrument, there is a handle that your hand will slide through to hold the instrument with one hand. Also, along one edge of the backside of the instrument are little vent holes where the reeds are located. This is where the sound of the instrument comes out. We’re going to have to find a location for the microphone that is out of the way of the player’s hand but is also positioned somewhere along the reeds.
A Shure ULXD1 bodypack transmitter and a Shure Beta 98H/C came to the rescue.
We end up Gaff taping the ULXD1 bodypack and Beta 98H/C securely onto the back of the instrument carefully making sure it isn’t in the way of the players hand, the mic is facing the reeds, and the antenna is unobstructed.
The instrument is now ready for the big show! It’s not the prettiest, but it certainly gets the job done. IMPORTANT: check that you have fresh batteries in the pack, otherwise you’re going to have to take the tape off and start from the beginning!