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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Best Microphone for live performance


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/351702

gratefulted - Posted - 03/01/2019:  16:23:36


Hi. I play Clawhammer banjo and I’ve been watching a number of videos of banjo, mandolin, fiddle and other tradional musical instruments playing indoors and outdoors. I see the large microphones in front of the musicians, and the sound is great. Anyone have a suggestion on the best microphone for performing? Thanks in advance.

SimonSlick - Posted - 03/01/2019:  16:34:43


Based upon the very limited information provided, I would recommend a Shure 58 for the vocals and a 57 for the banjo. They have been reliable workhorses for decades and brand new ones will cost you about $100 each.

rudy - Posted - 03/01/2019:  17:18:33


quote:

Originally posted by gratefulted

Hi. I play Clawhammer banjo and I’ve been watching a number of videos of banjo, mandolin, fiddle and other tradional musical instruments playing indoors and outdoors. I see the large microphones in front of the musicians, and the sound is great. Anyone have a suggestion on the best microphone for performing? Thanks in advance.






There are tons of these mics that have been used, live sound setups are subject to "popularity craze", and currently there's a bunch of bands and performers using these mics for live sound.  They are generally catagorized as large capsule condenser microphones and the ones most often seen run $200 and up.  The currently popular brand is from Ear Trumpet Labs and have a retro look, although they don't out-perform other similar large diaphragm condensers.



The standard live performance PA mics are Shure 57's and 58's at around $100 a crack.  If you want to try out that type of mic I can personally recommend THIS at $20 with shipping included.  I've been doing live sound for a long time and this mic is a real sleeper.



The large diaphragm condensers which you have seen used have much better fidelity, but they are wrought with problems for live performance use.  Purchase and use with the knowledge that fads in live sound come and go.

banjo5280 - Posted - 03/01/2019:  17:57:38


The Music Emporium provided numerous videos (still available on their web site) offering sound clips of instruments for sale, recorded using a pair of Sterling Audio ST-55 microphones.  I was considering a Doug Unger Presentation Tubaphone (which I should've tried harder to purchase!), and its sound was captured very appealingly with those microphones.  They no longer seem available, however, on the Musician's Friend site where I once found them at reasonable prices, although substitutes likely are.



Most importantly, though, my knowledge in this could NEVER compare with Rudy's, so there's your answer!



 

gratefulted - Posted - 03/01/2019:  20:11:19


Thank you so much. We spend so much money on our banjos..(I’m not complaining) but if your playing live and need you need amplification, then it would be a must to have the best mic available. You are all such Banjo Gurus! I so appreciate the advice.

gtani7 - Posted - 03/01/2019:  20:36:29


There's some good books on home recording, the ones by Mike Senior, Owsinski, Dave Hunter, Dave Huber, HR for Dummies (I think there's one for Idiots too but it's outdated). Look in your public library, they'll give you the basics on the whole recording chain, mikes, preamps, mixers, D/A converters, DAWs and then you can experiment at home w/dynamic and condensor mikes. But out in the field, you're fighting wind, shock, high volumes, feedback, uncertain voltages, smoke, temperature extremes and all kinds of other stuff (and that's why people say just get a SM57/58 ).


Edited by - gtani7 on 03/01/2019 20:37:35

Richard Hauser - Posted - 03/02/2019:  06:44:03


On Amazon there are several packages where Shure sells the SM57 and the other accessories like mike stand, cable, etc.. I will be ordering one sometime the next few days.

rickhayes - Posted - 03/02/2019:  07:48:09


I'll second rudy 's suggestion of the Behriger. When one of the wireless mics went bad at our church I bought the Behringer to amplify my banjo. It has worked just fine so far. It's not wireless, but for $20 bucks, you can't go wrong.

eagleisland - Posted - 03/02/2019:  10:39:19


quote:

Originally posted by gratefulted

Thank you so much. We spend so much money on our banjos..(I’m not complaining) but if your playing live and need you need amplification, then it would be a must to have the best mic available.






I have to disagree with this statement. For recording? Absolutely. But there are SO many variables involved in live sound that spending thousands of bucks just doesn't make much sense to me.



Suggest you read the PA 101 sticky at the top of this forum if you haven't done so - it'll help you understand the different types of mics available, stage plotting, and the pluses and minuses of each type.

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