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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Mic recommendation


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/372358

csacwp - Posted - 02/01/2021:  17:01:02


Could someone please recommend me a good mic for recording nylon-strung fingerstyle 5 string banjo? I'd like to run the mic straight into my computer.

Doug Knecht - Posted - 02/01/2021:  17:07:37


Any mic should be fine, even a dynamic shure 57 or 58. Question is, if you're going straight into your computer, then do you have a sound card installed? Or going into an audio interface? Or usb mic?  Or just into the 1/8" jacks? Which are you set up for using?


Edited by - Doug Knecht on 02/01/2021 17:10:46

csacwp - Posted - 02/04/2021:  08:00:25


I believe I do have a sound card. I'd prefer to run straight into the computer via USB.

DC5 - Posted - 02/04/2021:  13:21:47


This was a recommendation from a music teacher giving zoom lessons. I have no personal experience with the microphone, but the son of one of my wife's co-workers started using it for his zoom lessons and his instructor was so impressed with the sound that he is recommending it for all his students. YMMV.
bestbuy.com/site/insignia-usb-...d=6328951

Doug Knecht - Posted - 02/07/2021:  00:29:10


This is a slew of USB mics that would work. If it was me, I'd probably get the $79 AT2005.



USB microphones

 


Edited by - Doug Knecht on 02/07/2021 00:39:31

Doug Knecht - Posted - 02/07/2021:  00:38:13


OR you could get a USB interface which accepts any XLR dynamic or condenser microphone. The advantage of this is that while shopping for USB mics (in my previous response) yields limited results, getting a USB interface allows you to use any XLR microphone, in which case I'd get the SM57 dynamic.



 



Behringer Audio Interface

 



SM 57 dynamic mic



 

DC5 - Posted - 02/07/2021:  08:32:54


quote:

Originally posted by DC5

This was a recommendation from a music teacher giving zoom lessons. I have no personal experience with the microphone, but the son of one of my wife's co-workers started using it for his zoom lessons and his instructor was so impressed with the sound that he is recommending it for all his students. YMMV.

bestbuy.com/site/insignia-usb-...d=6328951






FWIW, I bought this one and have only recorded voice with it, but it was the best USB mic solution I've found so far, and it was not expensive.  The vocal recording onto the PC sounded as good, if not better than my digital recorder played through the PC.  I give it 2 thumbs up.

mikehalloran - Posted - 02/22/2021:  23:23:34


The impedance is wrong for any USB interface and an SM57. The result will be exaggerated proximity effect and a pronounced presence peak. Neither are what you want for the delicate sound of a nylon strung banjo.



USB microphones have gotten really good as of late. To avoid latency, get one that doubles as an interface — these include a headphone jack so latency compensation is built it.



 



The BLUE Yeti is popular but this new AKG Lyra knocks them all out of the park, letting you record stereo or mono. Sweetwater and Pro Audio Star have new for $119 as does Amazon.



AKG Lyra




  • 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio pairs well with 4K video

  • 4-capsule microphone array provides superior audio coverage and 4 polar patterns

  • Easy-to-understand polar pattern labels make setup a breeze

  • USB connection suits users of all skill levels

  • 3.5mm headphone output enables real-time monitoring (20Hz–20kHz)

  • Momentary mute switch deadens unwanted sounds such as sneezes

  • ’50s inspired body design and detachable base with vintage style

  • Durable metal body resists to wear and tear



These guys have an open box unit for $90. I've bought from them many times over the last few years and have never been disappointed:.



AKG Lyra at Pro Audio Star

banjoak - Posted - 02/24/2021:  16:39:13


USB mic might be the way you want to go... they are often a initially bit easier for folks to set-up and use; price is low; less stuff to deal with, plug in, wires.. and the quality can be pretty good... with a lot of choices.



Some considerations, common features/options on mics... that may apply or not to individual persons needs.



First, some common aspects and considerations apply to both USB and XLR mics:



Having a bass roll off; and a -10db pad (or perhaps built in gain control adjustment knob).



Pickup pattern, what most folks would use is cardiod; so that is what most mics are designed; but some offer multiple choices, cardiod, hypercardiod, omni, figure 8.



Of course things like self- noise and sensitivity, and color. Some of the inexpensive USB mics, while might initially sound impressive and clear, compared to a laptop or phone... might at some point notice. Two aspects most quickly noticeable is having a bit of hyped high end... the other is quite a bit of background noise, hiss. Especially if trying to record something quiet and delicate.  



For USB mics (as well might apply to interfaces) -



Built in headphone monitoring (and controls)... for many reasons generally can make the process easier. In cases where you need to monitor, such as multi-tracking or real-time effect. The distance to the headphone jack (vs computer) is often more convenient.  Latency , or using RT monitor, is generally not too important for many folks uses; esp a solo acoustic instrument.  Another note, there sometimes can also be issues in using trying to use different soundcards for input (mic) and output (computer/headphone) causing jitter or xruns. (though there are work around). 



Make sure check compatibility with OS. There are some issues with some devices. Related, if using a Windows machine, might want to consider if the USB mic (or interface) has built-in ASIO compatibility and drivers. (though, probably not a big issue for most folks).



One recent development is mics (or interfaces) using lightning or USB-C... which allow you to plug it into a phone or ipad device. The Shure MV51 is an example, but there are many others.



Some of the modern USB mics (and interfaces) have a bit of onboard DSP effects processing choices, like compression, eq, reverb. (that is the mic/interface is doing the work rather than the computer).



How USB mic sets up and position is a consideration. Some were just more designed to sit on a desktop, like for podcasting... not the best way to mic an instrument. Many can work typical mic stand, is convenient.



One other note about sample rates, many newer products advertise 96K or 192K, but not really any reason to use that, it's not better quality...  you really only need 44.1 or 48K.



Those are just some considerations, might not be important to specific user.



 


Edited by - banjoak on 02/24/2021 16:47:50

mikehalloran - Posted - 02/25/2021:  22:14:07


>One other note about sample rates, many newer products advertise 96K or 192K, but not really any reason to use that, it's not better quality...  you really only need 44.1 or 48K.<



If providing live audio audio over Zoom, sample rate choice is easy. Like many AV formats, 48kHz is the only sample rate that works.



 

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