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  #1  
Old 10-15-2002, 11:21 PM
Nine Spine Nine Spine is offline
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Default I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

My father in law has just built a banjo. He didn't put it together from mail order parts (he's a woodworking freak) he actually hand crafted the damn thing straight from flame maple and some exotic woods I can't pronounce...anyway, he wants to record his old one and the one he built to hear the subtle differences (and because I think it would be fun). I need to learn this anyway so...

Any pointers on where to start?? I was thinking a dynamic near the body and maybe a large diaghram condenser somewhere but I have seriously never done this before. Keep in mind it is a modern banjo with a resonator not one of the older traditional style ones with no frets. I have also just purchased a mandolin so any tips in that area would be appreciated as well. Come on you Bluegrass-ers help out a rock and roller... please? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

P.S. A search on "Banjo" brings up fifteen posts and not one of 'em actually discusses this topic [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] .
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:42 PM
DesertDude DesertDude is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

just for fun I did a google search

here

this is a smal exerpt of one mans opinion:
Quote:
Banjo

The best spot to mic virtually all banjos is at about 5:00 on the head (using the neck as 12:00), about 1" in from the rim, as close to the head as the player can comfortably keep it. This works well for 5-string (oldtime or bluegrass), tenor, and even banjo mandolin. Runnerup is pointed edge-on to the rim at 7:00.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">[img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 10-16-2002, 12:10 AM
teddybut teddybut is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

Hi ,

I record a lot of banjo.

that placement sounds good. I think even more important is the mic choice. I use a Neumann KM184 or an SM57. For traditional sounds, Large Diaphram Condensors don't work very well, too open sounding. with banjo you want a really pointy sound with very little high end. Think of it as a percussion instrument like a conga. Sometimes, if you're using it for an ambient part in a mix (like for film music with lots of verb or weird rock) rather than a traditional sound, a large diaphram condensor will work, just don't put it too close and use a cardiod pattern.

I have a beautiful Deering 6 string banjo. basically, as with any stringed plucked instrument, you don't want the sound of the fingers scraping the strings. you want full tone which comes from the body of the instrument. I'd put on some headphones and have your assistant move the mic around till you like the sound.

teddybut

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Old 10-16-2002, 12:16 AM
ajazzie ajazzie is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

Ney Nine,
Im still fighting with bagpipes, however I have done a banjo before. I get all the great instruments!

I used a small condenser off axis to the rim but got the best result from a rode nt2 about 30cm above the players head(assuming he is sitting) angled down at the body, ie straight in front of the player, aimed down around 45 degrees at the skin.
This combination sounds great. Carefull not to get the o/h mic too far away as it starts to thin out, sounds great for the glassy accoustic sound too.
Let me know how you go.
AJ
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Old 10-16-2002, 03:24 AM
draven draven is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

I tracked a banjo recently and the results were surprising. I used a AT 4050 on the body, a AKG C1000 on the neck, and a pair of AT 4041s for over heads in A/B. To say the least, those 4041s are what made it sound so damn good. You could experiment with swapping out the C1000 and depending on the sound you want, maybe the 4050 as well.
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Old 10-16-2002, 03:57 AM
jummyjazz jummyjazz is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

Q: What's the difference between chopping up an onion and chopping up a banjo

A: No one cries when you chop up a banjo [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:50 AM
Phil O'Keefe Phil O'Keefe is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

Quote:
Originally posted by DesertDude:
just for fun I did a google search

here

this is a smal exerpt of one mans opinion:
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Banjo

The best spot to mic virtually all banjos is at about 5:00 on the head (using the neck as 12:00), about 1" in from the rim, as close to the head as the player can comfortably keep it. This works well for 5-string (oldtime or bluegrass), tenor, and even banjo mandolin. Runnerup is pointed edge-on to the rim at 7:00.

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">[img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img] <hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Believe it or not, I did an entire banjo album for clients once... this isn't a bad suggestion on placement, but as far as what mic to use, get ahold of a good ribbon if you can... I prefer the Beyer M160. It has great transient response (like most ribbons) and catches the tone of the banjo very well, without being overly bright.
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:46 AM
Son of David Son of David is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

Did you hear about the bluegrass band that locked their keys in the car? It took them 45 minutes to get the banjo player out.
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2002, 11:28 AM
dcornutt dcornutt is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

Banjo player from Nashville drives to NYC and leaves his banjo in the back seat of his car.

When he comes back to his car, the rear window is broken out..and there are 3 more banjos in his car.
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2002, 02:30 PM
teddybut teddybut is offline
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Default Re: I have NEVER recorded a banjo...any advice??

get ahold of a good ribbon if you can... I prefer the Beyer M160. It has great transient response (like most ribbons) and catches the tone of the banjo very well, without being overly bright.
--------------------
Phil O'Keefe
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">true that... I like the ribbons on banjo too. I forgot to mention that technique. I have a Coles that does the job. punchy as hell. As far micing the neck... probably good for solo performances or a small bluegrass band but totally unnessecary for anything else. IMHO

teddybut
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