BlowsMeAway Productions
In-Line XLR Volume Control
For Low Impedance Microphones

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BlowsMeAway Productions in-line XLR volume control
BlowsMeAway Productions in-line XLR volume control
BlowsMeAway Productions in-line XLR volume control

"Greg - It was pleasure to see you again at SPAH '09. I'm writing now to tell you how glad I am that I talked myself into buying the inline volume control from you at the show. This little piece of gear looks great with my Audix Fireball mic, is lightweight, and does exactly what it's supposed to with no audible signal degradation of any kind. It is a MUCH better solution for me than a floor pedal for volume control, and frees up the pedal on my RP200 and RP350 for other effects switching. A volume control that's on the mic is easy to handle, takes zero time to set up, and is always available in performance. It keeps my simple rig simple while adding a function that's basic and important to every kind of music I play and every mic I own. What's not to like?" -- Richard Hunter

"Man do I love it. It's exactly what I was looking for. I especially like that the volume knob is not too sensitive. To my ears, with my PA, it appears to go from fully on, to about half on. This is perfect. I was afraid it would be over-sensitive at the top and non-linear like most harp volume pots. Most are oversensitive and you kill almost all of your sound with a slight adjustment. With yours I can freely turn the knob and get just what I'm looking for. It's rare that you find EXACTLY what you're looking for. Thanks." --- Jim McBride (maker of the clever "Bottle 'O Blues" microphone.)

"I just had my first gig with Greg Heumann's XLR control. I play with a Shure SM58 in a Duo and this has been the missing link to my set up. I was able to hone in the PERFECT volume for Voice and Harmonica. Greg's control gives me more flexibility in my harmonica playing and singing. This is a great tool for Harmonica players and Vocalists." ---Mark LaVoie (world reknown harmonicist and harp customizer.)

The perfect solution to in-performance volume management for low-impedance microphones.

After introducing my Vintage control, I began to get requests for a suitable control for low impedance microphones. It took me a year to design and develop this control, but I am now using it in my performances and can't understand how I lived without it. Do you sing and play acoustically through the same microphone - a Shure SM-58 perhaps? When I sing, I like the mic very close to my lips for that "proximity effect." However at this level it isn't "hot" enough to play acoustic harp with my hands cupped in front of the mic. And that means I can't get that great hand-wah sound. With a volume control at the mic, I simply set the PA up hot enough for my harp playing, and reduce the volume a little when I sing so I can get close. Voila!

You don't even have to play harp to like this control!

Singers - you belt one out like Janis Joplin, then you whisper another like Norah Jones. But the club is noisy and they can't hear you! Now - set your PA with enough volume for your torch songs, and simply turn down a bit at the mic before you rock and roll!

My band frequently hosts jams at local clubs. Controlling the volume level between different performers is a constant battle. The PA is usually set up behind the band, making it difficult to reach during performance. Now, we place these controls on the vocal and horn mics, and can easily step up to make adjustments mid-song if neccessary.

Important note about knob placement

I normally place the knob in-line with the "latches" for the best appearance, as seen in the photos. This is fine for "stick" mics like the SM58. However if you have a bullet-type shell or other assymetrical mic you may want the knob oriented differently. Just let me know!

Made by hand in the USA

To make this control I start with standard XLR connectors, precision machine them and mate them to the black-anodized aluminum barrel. The result is a rugged, high quality device that should withstand years of use.

Some things you should know:

This control is designed for "balanced" low impedance wiring, which is the standard for low impedance microphones. Please read the information below for important caveats:
  • The control will not work properly with cables designed for hi-impedance microphones like the Hohner Blues Blaster or the Shaker microphone. Those cables have an XLR connector at one end and a 1/4" phone ("guitar") connector at the other, and they are wired "unbalanced", with either pin 2 or pin 3 hot, and the signal return connected to ground. If you are plugging your low impedance mic directly into a guitar/harp amplifier with one of these cables, the control will not work well for you. Perhaps more importantly, you are only getting 1/2 of your mic's potential output! You should always match the impedance of your mic to the impedance of the first active device to which it is connected - i.e., amp or effects pedal. The proper way is to use an XLR-to-XLR cable and an impedance matching transformer at the amp end of the cable as shown to the right.

    Alternatively, I can make you a custom control that incorporates an impedance matching transformer right into the control itself. This eliminates the need for an IMT at the amp (reducing the risk of jack damage.) See the Mods page for more information.
  • Got a high impedance mic with an XLR connector?

    Some JT30's, Hohner Blues Blasters and other mics are high impedance mics, but have an XLR connector. These are a different animal and the low impedance control will not work well for you. However I can build you a custom control that does what you want - even changing the cable connection to 1/4" or Switchcraft if you prefer. Here, the mic, control and cable all have to match; either "Pin 2 Hot" or "Pin 3 Hot". There is more information on my custom controls and other customization services on the Mods page. And if this kind of stuff confuses you, just ask me. I will help you sort it out.

Photo shows proper setup using XLR cable with impedance matching transformer.

  • The control has been tested successfully by hundreds of customers with a variety of PA systems, effects processors, impedance matching transformers and microphones. It does not work with microphones requiring phantom power - however I have an alternate design that does. Just contact me for more information.
Optional Colors Billet Knobs
BlowsMeAway Productions in-line XLR volume control - colors
BlowsMeAway Productions volume control knobs
Blue, Gold or Red on any volume control or adapter,
for only $10 more.
Note that XLR connectors are
available in black or silver; all other connectors are silver.

Go Nuts!

Let's face it. Oversize knobs look dorky. But nice small knobs are very difficult to come by. My standard controls have the best, smallest knob I can find commercially. However I now offer even smaller, better fitting custom knobs I make in my own shop. Choose knurled or smooth, top or side indicator line (or none), 2- or 5-degree taper (or none) The last two knobs in the photo have 2 and 5 degree taper, respectively. The 2 doesn't show in the photo but honestly I like it best. The second knob has an indicator line on top. All custom knobs are $19.

Specifications:

Electrical:
  • Genuine "Neutrik" XLR connectors
  • For "balanced" cable and microphone wiring
  • Resistance: 0 - 10K ohm -- for low impedance microphones

Physical:

  • Barrel: black-anodized aluminum
  • Length: 3 3/8 inches (due to connector overlap, adds 2 7/8 inches to system length.)
  • Diameter: 3/4"
  • Weight: 2 oz.

I value your feedback! Please let me know what you think of the product! And of course, if you have any questions, or to order: Click here to contact me.


Copyright © 2008, 2009, 2010 BlowsMeAway Productions