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Bluegrass Banjo, Peluso mics and Vintech Condenser Microphones
Old 31st December 2010
Bluegrass Banjo, Peluso mics and Vintech

I went to bed last night worried sick after setting up for a session yesterday. The banjo player (who is the main artist on this project) and I worked for a good two hours shooting out mics.

We ended up falling in love with a Peluso 2247SE just below the neck joint and a Peluso P12 facing the tailpiece. We were running it through a Grace.

The problem is that we had great tone, but WAY too much clinky, tinkley, pick noise. I swapped for the U87, but it lost too much mojo and still had considerable metallic pick noise.

So today I changed over the Vintech, which I was hesitant to do. I expected the slower slew rate would make the banjo too mushy without pop and attack. Boy, was I wrong!

It nearly eliminated the pick noise and still had all the mojo, plus some! It blew me away. It sounded like the banjo player was in the room with me.

This was one time where I had to tell my brain to take a backseat and follow my gut. My brain will be forever grateful!
Old 31st December 2010
Gear Head

Good to hear this worked for you.

Sometimes a ribbon mic combined with a LDC placed further away can work too.
How are you liking the Peluso P12?
I have the 22 47 SE, and love it.


Old 31st December 2010
The P12 is an awesome mic. Compared to the 2247, it has more air in the top, less low mid creaminess, and is not as forward in the upper mids like the 2247. The 2247 can be harsh on some sources because of that 4-5k boost.

The P12 sounds great on vocals, fiddle, and just about anything else you put it in front of. It is probably a little more crisp in the top end than a real C12, and does not exactly have the tight low end of a C12 either. That being said, it's still awesome and you can tell that it is heavily influenced by the C12.

The nice thing about the P12 and 2247 is how they share similar characteristics which work well together. They seem to have the same output levels.
Old 31st December 2010
Here for the gear

BluegrassDan, which Vintech are you using? I'm doing a little more bluegrass recording nowadays and the tone you're suggesting (less pick-y) is what I'm after. thanks!
Old 31st December 2010
We've got the Vintech 473. It's basically 4 channels of 1073-style pres.

Banjos are SO different from each other, as are banjo players. Some are tinny and bright, others are super dark and tubby. Some players gravitate closer to the bridge, and others toward the middle of the head. Then there are head tensions, string gauges, types of bridges, tailpiece height, raised head vs flathead, etc. etc. etc.

I believe it is a far more complex instrument to record than any acoustic guitar.

Some Nashville guys are really big on the Forssell pres for banjo. They are fast enough to handle the transients.
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