Would like to hear from scruggs style bluegrass banjo pickers that do record or have recorded at home.
I create backing tracks and am needing advice on micing banjo for best recording sound.
Need Advice on mic placement to banjo, which mics work or which is best, EQ ing the mic at the mixer. Eliminating mic clipping which is the popping sound resulting from banjo too loud into the mic (have moved banjo far enough away to reduce overriding mic but tone is thin and sound is far off)
Hopefully some pickers that are satisfied with their recordings could provide few tips.
I use am sm57 mic. And a small beringer mixer(think 8 channels or do) it's connected to a usb interface. Use reaper interface on windows as recording software
The sm57 is a great mic for stage and can be used for recording but a condenser like the TLM 102 Neumann ($699) is a major step up. Even finding a condenser at half the price will really improve the sound . Ideally I try to record flat so that sound out equals sound in directly from the banjo. Try to record at a higher sample rate than 44.1kHz if you have the option and record at 24 bit rather than 16. As far as avoiding clipping, the mic placement will be important and helps you use the distance in the air as natural compression. That’s the reason a condenser is useful - you can back up from the mic more. I like to record 14-16” away from the mic aimed at the strings at the neck and pot joint. But you really need to experiment on your own, with a condenser and not a dynamic. The sound will stay true and not thin out.
Edited by - Doug Knecht on 03/13/2018 18:30:27
I've been experimenting with various instruments into 2 large condensor mikes mounted side by side. The LDCs i've been using are Audiot technica 2020 and 4040, AKG project studio budget line and another mfr named Studio projects (yeah, that's confusing). Those runs into a couple Peavy and Mackie mixers that have decent preamps into a couple cheapo firewire /USB interfaces into garage band or Ableton.
So the important parts are good mikes, good placement, good preamp (Focusrite's octopre's and their higher models are worth looking at) and an acoustically neutral room (relatively large, high ceiling, enough padding/blankets or stuff on the walls so they're not too reflective). I've had good results with the < $100 mikes (at2020 and some AKG's) so that's actually the least important part to spend money on but a 10db pad switch is very useful for banjo
Edited by - gtani7 on 03/14/2018 02:14:01
I recommend you look half-way down the page and watch Tom Collin's video on 5 ways to record banjo.
'Custom Banjo Strap' 1 hr
'Prewar Presto' 1 hr
'Acceleration' 3 hrs