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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Jason M Wagner on March 08, 2011, 11:03:35 pm

Title: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Jason M Wagner on March 08, 2011, 11:03:35 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: duane massey on March 09, 2011, 12:08:22 am
Take the mic away from the accordion....
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Daniel Cash on March 09, 2011, 12:11:54 am
I usually just use an sm57.  A few times I have clipped on an Audio-Technica PRO 35 to offer some more freedom to the musician.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Gary Fitzpatrick on March 09, 2011, 04:43:12 am
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

I have had quite good results with Pro 35 type microphones. Excelent GBF, and quite a natural sound also. I clip it onto the bottom of the banjo, and bend it round so that the capsule is quite close to the skin
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Roland Clarke on March 09, 2011, 06:07:19 am
Take the mic away from the accordion....

You mean you actually gave a mic to the accordianist in the first place?  ;D
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: David Morison on March 09, 2011, 07:38:06 am
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

Paddle Faster!

Sorry, couldn't help myself  ;D

David.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Jay Barracato on March 09, 2011, 07:57:21 am
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

Depends on the how the banjo is being used in the music. What style. Open back played clawhammer is differnt from a resonator played with three finger rolls. How the musician plays the mic also matters.

Any good mic works, choice of mic really depends on how it fits into the mix. I have used Pro 35, Pro 37, ATM650, SM57, SM27, SM44, AT4033, E906, KM184, KM185, DPA 4099, and a whole host of others I have probably forgotten about.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Dave Rickard on March 09, 2011, 10:35:44 am
Location, location, location.  Placement will affect this as much as mic choice.  Maybe more.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Dave Unger on March 09, 2011, 02:16:54 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

It really depends on the tone and style of the banjo and how it's played?  Is it a 5-string?  Scruggs style, clawhammer, Irish frailing?  I usually use a decent condenser.  For old-time I'll sometimes use a dynamic.  Open back banjos are really quiet.  Closed ones are pretty loud.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Dave Dermont on March 09, 2011, 05:56:22 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

Though not apparent to the uninitiated, the banjo possesses a wide range of subtlety.

I suggest your favorite flavor condenser mic.

The list Jay posted has some good suggestions
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on March 09, 2011, 06:05:38 pm
For live I like dynamics like the Audix I-5, ATM 650, Old EV variable D mics like the PL6, and the original RE series. The variable D mics work well on acoustic guitar where the player is all over the mic, they help even out the proximity effect.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Duncan McLennan on March 09, 2011, 09:19:54 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

AKG C451. That's the best mic I've had the pleasure of using on a banjo. Everyone else is right. Placement is everything. If you don't need any monitor, or much gain, I find right at the (body) end of the neck, 30-50cm from the instrument will give a nice balanced sound (though not much GBF).
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Todd Huffines on March 09, 2011, 10:38:30 pm
SM57 and Beta 57, I prefer the beta 57.  +1 on placement. 
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Roland Clarke on March 10, 2011, 04:34:24 am
My serious thoughts are much as above, however, in live sound situations bugs/pick-ups have a lot of advantages (particularly in terms of GBF) and can sound fine if they are good quality and well placed.

Ultimately you have to consider player movement (unless you are using a clip on style), I would also echo the thoughts that condensors generally are a better option than dynamics.  It might be that when all is weighed up a good pick-up will deliver a more consistant result.  It's a judgement call only you and the player can make.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Todd Huffines on March 10, 2011, 11:26:55 am
My serious thoughts are much as above, however, in live sound situations bugs/pick-ups have a lot of advantages (particularly in terms of GBF) and can sound fine if they are good quality and well placed.

Ultimately you have to consider player movement (unless you are using a clip on style), I would also echo the thoughts that condensors generally are a better option than dynamics.  It might be that when all is weighed up a good pick-up will deliver a more consistant result.  It's a judgement call only you and the player can make.

And take in to consideration the stage volume.  That is usually my biggest obstacle.  I have worked with my full time gig to get pickups on their dobro and banjo.  That is the best way to do it. IMO



Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Jason M Wagner on March 10, 2011, 02:05:14 pm
I thank all of you for your input. Now, I'll throw this into the mix: The banjo player is wireless and moves about the stage. We are looking towards the pickup choice. What are your thoughts on a wireless banjo setup? Pickup? Mic? What kind of pickup/mic?

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Todd Huffines on March 10, 2011, 02:14:52 pm
I thank all of you for your input. Now, I'll throw this into the mix: The banjo player is wireless and moves about the stage. We are looking towards the pickup choice. What are your thoughts on a wireless banjo setup? Pickup? Mic? What kind of pickup/mic?

Thanks again.
http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=7

I installed this one recently.  It does a good job for me.  The banjo player seems to like it too. 
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Daniel Cash on March 10, 2011, 02:40:13 pm
I thank all of you for your input. Now, I'll throw this into the mix: The banjo player is wireless and moves about the stage. We are looking towards the pickup choice. What are your thoughts on a wireless banjo setup? Pickup? Mic? What kind of pickup/mic?

Thanks again.

One of the mics that was recommended throughout this thread is the AT pro35 which audio technica offers for wireless systems, look up the PRO 35cW. 

On the other hand, a pickup system does offers a more universal connector, which can be used with any wireless system, so that might be the better option.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Jason M Wagner on March 10, 2011, 03:30:41 pm
One of the mics that was recommended throughout this thread is the AT pro35 which audio technica offers for wireless systems, look up the PRO 35cW. 

On the other hand, a pickup system does offers a more universal connector, which can be used with any wireless system, so that might be the better option.

That is one of the drawbacks of the selection of microphones for wireless. We have all Shure wireless equipment.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Chuck Simon on March 10, 2011, 04:05:13 pm
I use this banjo pick up with great results:

http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/KK5.htm

It sounds very natural and is pretty hot even without a pre amp.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Simon Ryder on March 10, 2011, 05:04:29 pm
Though not apparent to the uninitiated, the banjo possesses a wide range of subtlety.

Apparently so do bagpipes.

A gentleman would not play either in public :P
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Simon Ryder on March 10, 2011, 05:09:06 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

Schertler Dyn- G

They are pretty amazing sounding contact condenser mics
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Chuck Simon on March 10, 2011, 05:26:25 pm
Apparently so do bagpipes.

A gentleman would not play either in public :P


I would think a gentleman would not make such a nasty comment, in public, about a musical instrument loved by thousands of people.
(Though your'e right about the bagpipes. ;))
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Kent Thompson on March 10, 2011, 05:50:42 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

MD421
Just did a Blue Grass band a little while back it worked great for it.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Duncan McLennan on March 10, 2011, 08:20:14 pm
Apparently so do bagpipes.

A gentleman would not play either in public :P

You shouldn't say that on a forum full of guys with names like mine!
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Jay Barracato on March 11, 2011, 07:54:44 am
Schertler Dyn- G

They are pretty amazing sounding contact condenser mics

I agree with this choice also, but technically it is not a condenser (does not require phantom) but a moving coil, which is actually an advantage, which makes them easy to use with wireless.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Rob Gardner on March 11, 2011, 12:38:41 pm
i might get flack for this (I know how subjective a subject miking is, especially on here, but I threw a Beta 56 on a banjo last night and though  it sounded amazing. Of course, it was a pretty amazing banjo player, too... 8)
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 11, 2011, 04:07:27 pm
i might get flack for this (I know how subjective a subject miking is, especially on here, but I threw a Beta 56 on a banjo last night and though  it sounded amazing. Of course, it was a pretty amazing banjo player, too... 8)

If a player knows how to work a mic then almost anything will do.  If they don't......there's a lot less you can do.  This goes for any instrument and voice.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Gustav Hedelund on March 11, 2011, 04:20:01 pm
DPA 4099. Superior sound AND placement.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 11, 2011, 06:08:56 pm
DPA 4099. Superior sound AND placement.

I completely agree with the tonal response of the DPA microphones.  However, as a player as well as a sound fellow I must point out that instrumentalists (be they banjo players, horn players or whatever) will quite  often prefer a stand mounted mic over an instrument mounted mic so they can control the dynamics and presence by working the mic.  I prefer a mic mounted on my fiddle, bass or my accordion, but prefer to have a stand mounted mic for banjo, mandolin, guitar, trombone, etc. 

With some instruments the player needs to be able to get "off mic" to a greater or lesser extent.  The banjo is often one of these.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Lee Brenkman on March 11, 2011, 06:30:21 pm
I completely agree with the tonal response of the DPA microphones.  However, as a player as well as a sound fellow I must point out that instrumentalists (be they banjo players, horn players or whatever) will quite  often prefer a stand mounted mic over an instrument mounted mic so they can control the dynamics and presence by working the mic.  I prefer a mic mounted on my fiddle, bass or my accordion, but prefer to have a stand mounted mic for banjo, mandolin, guitar, trombone, etc. 

With some instruments the player needs to be able to get "off mic" to a greater or lesser extent.  The banjo is often one of these.

My thoughts:

Player who can actually control the dynamics of the instrument themselves by picking harder or softer and varying their attack---Definitely the DPA 4099 or the Shure Beta 98 attached to the instrument.

Guys who prefer the microphone on a stand and know how to "work" the mic and don't need the banjo in the monitors turned up to "eleven"---large diaphragm condenser along the lines of AT4033, Neuman TLM103, AKG 414 and SOMETIMES a dynamic, an EV RE20.

Guys who just don't have a clue how to work the microphone---An SM57 and preparation for explaining to the banjo players in the audience why it sounds like "that".

Player who DOES expect the banjo to go to "eleven" in the monitors---contact mic and maybe a direct feed to a Twin Reverb for backup :-(.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 11, 2011, 07:07:59 pm
My thoughts:

Player who can actually control the dynamics of the instrument themselves by picking harder or softer and varying their attack---Definitely the DPA 4099 or the Shure Beta 98 attached to the instrument.

Guys who prefer the microphone on a stand and know how to "work" the mic and don't need the banjo in the monitors turned up to "eleven"---large diaphragm condenser along the lines of AT4033, Neuman TLM103, AKG 414 and SOMETIMES a dynamic, an EV RE20.

Guys who just don't have a clue how to work the microphone---An SM57 and preparation for explaining to the banjo players in the audience why it sounds like "that".

Player who DOES expect the banjo to go to "eleven" in the monitors---contact mic and maybe a direct feed to a Twin Reverb for backup :-(.

I could have been a little clearer on this.  Sometimes the player will simply want to be "off mic"........which is pretty much impossible with a clip-on.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on March 11, 2011, 07:50:13 pm
Guys who prefer the microphone on a stand and know how to "work" the mic and don't need the banjo in the monitors turned up to "eleven"---large diaphragm condenser along the lines of AT4033, Neuman TLM103, AKG 414 and SOMETIMES a dynamic, an EV RE20.


The 4033 is not a large diaphragm mic, a small diaphragm mic capsule in a large diaphragm package.
Not that it makes it a bad mic in anyway.
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Nils Erickson on April 05, 2011, 03:12:09 am
I used a KMS 105 last week, and it worked quite well.  I had four across the front of the stage as solo and fill mics for a Bluegrass band, as well as a LDC in the middle for all of them.  With players as adept as were on the stage, one could have done it with any number of decent mics and had a fine result.  Personally, I think bright dynamics are ok here too; 57s and 421s if I didn't have the condensers or if they needed a lot of monitor volume work fine. 

I haven't met too many banjo players who need a lot of monitor volume...  ;)

Cheers,
Nils
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 05, 2011, 12:15:57 pm
You shouldn't say that on a forum full of guys with names like mine!

Dunc-

You've never been accused of "piping in public" have you? At least, outside a parade, funeral or other event...
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on April 05, 2011, 12:27:58 pm
Dunc-

You've never been accused of "piping in public" have you? At least, outside a parade, funeral or other event...

I believe there's a significant difference between "piping" and "laying pipe".
Title: Re: Banjo miking, your thoughts?
Post by: Steve Hurt on April 05, 2011, 12:44:27 pm
Banjo miking, your thoughts?

Best setup I ever dealt with, a player had the capsule of a SM57 mounted inside the banjo fairly close to where the neck meets the body/ring.
Sounded good (as far as my limited experience with the banjo goes) and was easy to get into monitors and PA without feedback.

Worst setup I ever had was a SM-57 and the quietest banjo player on planet earth who wouldn't/couldn't keep the banjo anywhere near the mic.