A banjo guy is coming in...could use some experience

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by recarbo, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. recarbo

    recarbo Guest

    He will be solo, no singing, so I'm already lucky. His style is
    not a rolling banjo, but a strident picking, and at times he
    hammers with his fingertips on the membrane, kinda like a
    conga drum, between the quarter notes.

    His style sounds alright, but very in my face.

    These are my mics: R84, m160(s), 414XLII, u87ai, stereo Rode,
    mc012(s) from Soundroom, TLM103, NTK, Oktava tube
    These are my pres: 512s,312s,GTQ2,TG2
    These are my comps: 1176, RNC, pro-vla, 1960
    My room is pretty dead, not an issue.

    I'm going to go for a stereo recording. I could use some guidance.
    I'm looking to place mics to soften that strident midrange barrage.
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    First off, you dont have even one 'brown tone' mic in the bunch....no 103...no ntk...no 414....no bright and clear....maybe the ribbons are your savior...this kind of banjoing is frailing...YES /NO

    its very percussive and very very uneven in its output...Pres....512's

    perhaps the U87 out in front as a room mic with the 160's at the 12th fret and an o12 as an over the shoulder mic...the problem being, if he moves around a lot it will be hard to keep the sound even throughout the track....

    We record TWO different banjos on a regular basis and all I can say is, the better the banjo the easier it is to record....

    I use a modified ADK Area 51 out in front and it works well...but it is a dark mic..but very accurate.

    you will not be all that happy compressing anything as the banjo has about a kajillion little artifacts surrounding its basic sound...If you are interested in how these artifacts sound, compress the crap out of it....a brick wall limiter and drive the bejeezus out of it is interesting...

    One method that works for our cheeper banjo....a SD at the bridge...a foot out....and an SD at the peg head....

    good luck....let me know how you fare...you're undertaking something almost as difficult as recording a petulant lead rock singer....without pitch
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    You will need a hammer ... When this guy starts playing the banjo, beat him to death with said hammer..

    Kurt Foster
    resident smart ass
    Perfect pitch is when you chuck a banjo into a dumpster without hitting anything.
  4. recarbo

    recarbo Guest

    thanks, Dave, veeery funny, Kurt... :p

    Dave, would using the GTQ2 perhaps impart some 'brown', slow
    signal to the banjo? Also, were you saying to try a stereo (X/Y)
    thing with the 160s at the 12th fret?

  5. recarbo

    recarbo Guest

    Yes, I think it is called frailing: strumming with fingernails.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Hey Ted...yeah and X/Y with ribbons will probably do the job...try and then if you have any hair left try something else...remember...banjo=artifacts....so whatever you do dont amplify them. Its sorta like recording an obstinent snare drum only someone has attached a handle and strung a cat across it whilst its still alive.And yeah...any groove tube mic will work...
  7. recarbo

    recarbo Guest

    could you please explain what you mean by artifacts? What do they sound like? What other instruments would produce them (dobro?) (afuche?)
    Your help has been enormous.
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    An artifact in a banjo, fer instance, would be the squeeking caused by the picks rubbing against the strings and being amplified by the head....In your case it may be different....One thing that does happen with banjos, is they sometimes dont make the fundamental of a particular note as loud as some of the overtones ...THESE are artifacts...squeeks,hums,buzzes of all sorts...the kind of stuff you'd hear on a poorly tuned drumset...these are artifacts and if you compress something during the tracking it has a tendancy to amplify these little things to the point that they are no longer little things but the reasons that an RE might want to slit a wrist or perhaps drop a 24 trk machine on somebodys toe....or maybe cause a nice loop in the headphones....uhhhh....nobody ever does that kinda stuff on purpose.....do they....anyway good luck....maybe you'll get a guy who really knows his stuff and when you tell him he needs to up the tension on the head because its causing a ring he'll listen and agree...

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