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Author Topic: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement  (Read 1618 times)

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2018, 02:00:02 pm »

Thanks for the tip. I have a few questions about that though.
1. Would I lose some flexibility in tayloring the sound for each instrument?or would a good dynamic mic be able to compensate for the various natures of banjo and mandolin?

2. Is feedback more of a concern when you have a mic out there?

3. That mic costs $300. Is it worth it? Are there more affordable ones that do the job as well? (I know that if I was talking about buying an amp or nice preamp, it would cost as much or more. Iím just thinking out loud.)

Thanks for all your help.

I had a very long reply that I decided to not post but now wish I had.  It focused on microphone selection and the crap shoot that pickups are.

You shouldn't need to "taylor" the sound.  As Chris G says, if the instruments sound good to start with there won't be a need to fix anything.

Almost universally I'd rather have a quality microphone on a stand than any but the best pickups installed by master luthiers with extensive experience in selecting and mounting pickup systems.

Monitor feedback is a matter of equipment position, equipment selection, EQ, and having realistic expectations regarding level.  A pickup system can feed back, too, so it's not a guarantee of squeal-free performance if you need Rock Star SPLs to do your thing.  That said, we've provided for acts that use both pickups (for monitors) and mics (for FOH).  Kind of an extreme solution and something we've seen less and less of more recently.

I use Audio Technica AT4041 condenser mics at festivals and it's my general purpose string instrument mic.  I've also successfully use AKG's C-535eb and a number of other mics as well.  Forum member Jay Barracato does lots of string/acoustic work and he really likes the AT-450 condenser (note that it's a side-address mic).

Good mics are a long term investment - properly cared for they will last a very long time.  Rather than go through serial replacement of pickups and mics, buy once and cry once.  Also remember that the wrong product at the "right price" is still the wrong product.  Beware of false economy.

A couple of dynamic mic suggestions - Sennheiser e906.  It'll be on sale later this year, I'm told, but at normal street prices (the price you get when you call and ask for a better deal than the "click now" online price) it's still a good value.  What makes it cool?  The little EQ switch.  In the HF boost position it sounds like the Sennheiser e609 which sounds too much like an SM57 to me, but the flat response position is a thing of beauty.  My other dynamic choice (and it's very different sounding than the Senny) is the Heil PR-31BW.  The Heil sounds more like a condenser but doesn't need phantom power.  Support from Heil is top notch, too.

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Dave Pluke

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 04:09:03 pm »

3. That mic costs $300. Is it worth it?

I've been using a Shure SM27 (another $300 mic) for Mando and Banjo, in a House of Worship setting.  Pad set to 0, Rolloff all the way to the right.  Works great for me.

Dave
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Rob Spence

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2018, 04:19:58 pm »

I love the Heil mics. Bob Leonards fault.

One of yesterdays stages had 3 PR31BWs out most of the day along with PR35s (to replace Beta 58s, yuk)



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Mal Brown

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2018, 05:17:40 pm »

Old style AKG 3000 has a cardioid/ hyper cardioid switch that makes it very useful for what youíre trying to do.  The new 3000ís donít and arenít...

I have never tried this but... I sing on an Audix VX-5 - love it as I can really work the mic and up close it stays clear... Iíll bet that would be a good choice...
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2018, 06:07:19 pm »

A nice mic would work fine, that being said what does the rest of you band consist of, what do want/expect in the monitors.

Robert Lunceford

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2018, 11:33:54 pm »

So, hereís a quandary from a total newbie to sound reinforcement.

Iím a banjo and mandolin player and our band is just getting a start. At the moment, I have a wired Audio Technica lapel style mic that I just switch back and forth between the two instruments. It plugs straight into the board. Itís not bad but has distinct disadvantages. Namely that I canít adjust EQ or volume or anything between the two. Iím stuck with one setting. Plus itís a pain to switch.

So, I plan to buy either a mic or pickup for one or the other instrument. Further, Iíd like to up my ability to control my sound and reduce the number of inputs into the board by buying a 2 channel acoustic amp or a 2 channel preamp.

My questions are is this a good plan, what would be the pros and cons of an amp vs a preamp, and what should I look for in these things to get a natural reproduction of my instruments?

Thank you for any and all feedback.
Joe

If you are performing in concert style environments, where the audience is quiet and there to listen, I would go with a microphone. If you are playing clubs or outdoor events I would probably go with pick ups.
I am sure that the suggested Beyer M201 (hypercardioid) is a fantastic mic but you may have better results from a cardioid mic as the pick up pattern is a bit wider.
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2018, 06:51:24 am »

A nice mic would work fine, that being said what does the rest of you band consist of, what do want/expect in the monitors.

To piggyback on this what does the rest of your set up look like? Where is the money best spent?

Any mic you have available right now might be fine depending what your expectations are. I am sure that I am not the only one here who has had to throw whatever they had left on an unexpected acoustic instrument and gotten good results.

I wouldn't be investing in A $300 mic for a single instrument unless my mains and wedges were already top notch. An ok mic thru a good system sounds better than a great mic thru a bad system.

Just pointing out that any investment in any single piece of gear  should be part of a larger improvement plan and I only bring this up because you asked if the expensive mic was worth it which would indicate there are at least some budget concerns.

I could and would like to replace every piece of gear I own with something better but compromise is usually necessary to turn a profit.  End of topic swerve.


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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2018, 07:00:32 am »

If you are performing in concert style environments, where the audience is quiet and there to listen, I would go with a microphone. If you are playing clubs or outdoor events I would probably go with pick ups.


Exactly this!!

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Re: Banjo and mandolin live reinforcement
¬ę Reply #17 on: May 16, 2018, 07:00:32 am ¬Ľ


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