mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

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PertHJ
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mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby PertHJ » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:13 pm

so what's the best way to do this?

Is the simplest way to do by playing directly into a microphone? And do you need a good mic to do this?

also what about mic's that clip onto the instrument (Like I see people using for double basses and violins)?

Do these mic's (weather clip on's or on a stand) plug into a separate amps or the PA?


simple advice please, I know very little about gear and such like.
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Dick Dynamite
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby Dick Dynamite » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:11 pm

Kinda depends what it sounds like, some of those clip-on-y kinda ones sound better through an amp, but generally you're better off through the PA if you can get monitors so you can actually hear yaself over the rest of the band :P

You COULD just mic it up with any old mic on a stand, the general rule is to have it close to the bridge. And you COULD run a mic like that into a gat amp or something if you're having trouble hearing yourself...


Kinda depends where you're playing an all.

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby buckton » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:17 pm

ones that clip on to the instrument are piezo mics, amirite?
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby slaughter » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:31 pm

no you are not right.

the clip on ones are generally condenser mics. the ones that you actually fit to the body of the instrument are piezo pickups. not a mic.

For live it would be hard to mic a banjo as it doesnt really have a huge acoustic output, plus moving around while playing etc wouldnt help. You should find the cheapest piezo you can pert, that way you can play through and amp without massive feedback issues from the mic, or you could plug into a DI and run it through a PA/monitors.

Im not saying a mic wont cut it, just that a piezo would give you the best output. They still have PA gear at 519? Play around with mics and shit to see what works for you.

something like an AKG CK97 would work well as a clip on, but you would be spending a decent amount of money. However you also have the option of using it on multiple instruments.
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby PertHJ » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:34 pm

cool thanks ricky and nat

I mostly just wanna know what my options are for if/when I ever start playing gigs
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby slaughter » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:50 pm

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby tyrannosaurus mark » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:32 pm

Been recording banjo heaps, sm57 close on the skin of the banjo sounds great. Would use some kind of clip on mic for live, unless you're gonna play quietish stuff
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby timi » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:46 pm

I did live sound for a band that had a banjo, just used a small diaphragm condenser about 20cm away pointing off axis to where the neck meets the body, and taking into account off axis rejection to the monitors and FOH. He was pretty good about not moving too much since he was stuck behind a vocal mic too.

It sounded great, but feedback would have been an issue if they were a live band (Happy bar has the FOH speakers behind the stage....).

Something that clips on might be a bit better, but if you want to use it with a loud band a piezo would be the only real way to go, it just won't sound as natural.

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby Bernie Galaxy » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:27 am

Yes. Good advice.

Couldn't agree more.

Seems you can get electric banjos to...

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Gibson ETB-150 Electric Tenor Banjo (1940) this ones probally out of anyones price range however!

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby PertHJ » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:38 am

cool

so in summary

a piezo if playing with loud band

a clip on mic if playing with not so loud band

and mic on a stand if standing the fuck still



with the two clip on options if you were going through an amp rather than a PA live would a guitar amp give the best sound (possibly a stupid question?)?
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby yossarian » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:08 am

A keyboard amp would probably be a better bet -they're designed to cover a wider range of the audio spectrum a lot more evenly.

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby PertHJ » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:48 am

excellent

thanks for the sound advice guys :mrgreen:
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby timi » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:15 pm

An acoustic amp would work too, or maybe even a Twin Reverb, or a 5150 with the mids on 0.

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby tyrannosaurus mark » Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:44 pm

timi wrote:or a 5150 with the mids on 0.
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slaughter
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby slaughter » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:31 pm

try pick up an old roland cube keyboard amp. cheap, loud, and sound pretty decent.
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby cracker jack » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:53 pm

[quote="PertHJ"]

and mic on a stand if standing the fuck still
quote]

Sit on a stool with mic in front plus a small table for Martini and Ashtray,awsome
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PertHJ
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby PertHJ » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:59 pm

Been thinking about this again recently...

From the previous advice, seems like the piezo idea suits me the best.

Don't know anything about them though - so what brands would you recommend? best place to buy? Price I'm likely to pay (new/2nd hand etc?)?

Likely getting some rock shop vouchers for my b.day, would this be a viable thing to buy from there?

thx guiz
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Dick Dynamite
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby Dick Dynamite » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:36 pm

You can probably get a piezo for under a hundy if you're not fussy about quality :D

And yeah, easiest option - can plop it on the skin near the bridge and run it into whatever amp is handy.

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PertHJ
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby PertHJ » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:38 pm

I'm not a fussy guy, but you'll no doubt have to hear me playing through it, so best be careful :P
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Nathanael
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby Nathanael » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:30 pm

You could make your own too. I've been doing theatre shows with cheap $2 piezo pickups wired to jacks then into DIs. Using them to get foot movement and other sounds from the performers and they do the same job an expensive boundary mic would do.
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Dead Kid
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby Dead Kid » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:30 pm

Basic assembled piezos start at US$32 incl. shipping here: http://contactmicrophones.com
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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby kettles » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:11 pm

Not quite related, but this song is awesome. I love the lick he plays at the end of the bridge

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJUV8CSXQfY[/youtube]

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Re: mic'ing a banjo and other acoustic string instruments

Postby Dead Kid » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:20 pm

Dead Kid wrote:Basic assembled piezos start at US$32 incl. shipping here: http://contactmicrophones.com

Can beat that price with this guy at $10, not that I was even searching for them... :baton:
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