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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: amplification


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/350382

pcfive - Posted - 01/21/2019:  05:35:32


Hi,

I have a pickup that costs $7 that I clip on to the metal bar in back of my open back banjo. I also use it on a guitar, where I clip it on the head. It has usually worked very well, at the open mics where I play.

However, at one open mic it didn't work, and could not be heard above the guitar players that I play with. They have electric-acoustic guitars.

I also tried getting my banjo very close to a microphone, which should have worked but didn't.

Does anyone know why this would happen?

Thank you!

Mark Cox - Posted - 01/21/2019:  09:41:56


Well, did this open mic have a soundman? If so, sounds like either he did not know what he was doing, or maybe he just did not like the Banjo. Maybe the other members of your group do not like the Banjo either. Who knows. Something is fishy. Your Banjo should’ve been fine next to the microphone. Sounds to me like someone turned you down.

pcfive - Posted - 01/21/2019:  09:53:08


quote:

Originally posted by Mark Cox

Well, did this open mic have a soundman? If so, sounds like either he did not know what he was doing, or maybe he just did not like the Banjo. Maybe the other members of your group do not like the Banjo either. Who knows. Something is fishy. Your Banjo should’ve been fine next to the microphone. Sounds to me like someone turned you down.






It does seem really strange!



The 2 other members love banjo. One of them brought a Goldtone clip on microphone for me to borrow. However, I said that would be the exact same thing as putting a regular microphone right near my banjo (not far from my right hand, near the drum head). And it should have been. 



Soundmen at open mics are generally not good, in my experience. Also, this was an extremely noisy bar, so checking the sound beforehand was difficult.



But huh, maybe they turned down my mic! I can't believe it though.



 

rudy - Posted - 01/22/2019:  06:28:05


Open mics are notorious for that scenario because the banjo is a difficult instrument to amplify without feedback in a live performance situation.  The best solution for live performance is to set gain staging for the banjo FIRST and then level match other instruments to that level.  If the sound guy set levels for anything else first then it's a distinct possibility that there just wasn't enough clean gain available for the banjo.



If banjos were easy to amplify then every rock band in the world wouldn't be so guitar-centric.  cheeky


Edited by - rudy on 01/22/2019 06:29:52

pcfive - Posted - 01/22/2019:  06:30:32


Oh thank you! Do you think it might help if I use a pre-amp with my pickup?

rudy - Posted - 01/27/2019:  05:54:49


quote:

Originally posted by pcfive

Oh thank you! Do you think it might help if I use a pre-amp with my pickup?






Without knowing the specifics of exactly what pickup you're using and knowing what you're plugged into and all the gain / volume settings along the entire path it's difficult to say.



If your output level is low then using a preamp will certainly boost it, but you may introduce excessive hum or noise as well as creating a situation that contributes substantially to feedback.  Sometimes it's a matter of experimenting with what you have, but working with a "$7 pickup" might prove to be dicey.

pcfive - Posted - 01/27/2019:  07:11:15


I play at open mics, and things like that, so I don't have control over the sound system.

I wonder if getting good reliable banjo amplification will be impossible in these situations.

rudy - Posted - 01/28/2019:  07:01:22


quote:

Originally posted by pcfive

I play at open mics, and things like that, so I don't have control over the sound system.



I wonder if getting good reliable banjo amplification will be impossible in these situations.






That might indeed be the case.  In situations like that it would be better to sign up for an early slot.  Open mics often get louder as the night progresses which makes it more difficult for instruments that might be unfamiliar with a low-dollar sound person.

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