Sunday, December 15, 2019


                                                              AKG Contact Mike

There are 2 types of contact mikes. The acoustic contact mike (for eg., one of the many acoustic contact mikes is AKG as in the above photograph. Percussion instruments like ghatam make use of AKG for their instruments) picks up the essentially acoustic nature of an instrument, in other words the sound waves and frequencies conducted within the wood grains are also contacted and picked up by the acoustic contact mike. The divine qualities of the Veena are not sacrificed as this mike enhances the true tone (including sound frequencies in the wood grains which lend an unique aura to the resonance of strings).

HOW TO RECOGNIZE BY SOUND- Essentially acoustic. The wholesome tone due to the combo of wood and string make the Veena nadam ethereal. The player's penance is evident in the enhancement of nada (resonance) due to transmission of life force energy from player into the Veena.

The magnetic mike is bigger and rectangular in shapr. This is most often placed bang next to the topmost fret (or Tharasthayi shadjamam) of the Veena and right under the strings where the player uses his/her right hand forefinger and middle finger to pluck the strings. In some cases it's placed right next to the bridge too.The magnetic mike does not pick up resonance of wood. Therefore the acoustic nature of an instrument like Veena is stubbed out and the instrument is transformed into an electric instrument. When Veena transforms from acoustic to electric, the instrument loses its innate divine qualities. The nabhi (the prana shakthi arising from the mooladhara chakra) involvement of the player fails to establish contact with the Veena. 

HOW TO RECOGNIZE BY SOUND-Sounds like a guitar, sitar, or an alien instrument depending on the levels of tone adjustments on the mixer-mike system. Absence of aura and body provided by wood are starkly evident. Monotonous and even tone which are uncharacteristic features of a Veena. Gimmicks like producing sound through left hand movements (without plucking the string with right hand) is a common feature.

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