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Thread: Bluegrass microphone

  1. #1
    Registered User DevilishDandolinMan's Avatar
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    Default Bluegrass microphone

    Me and my buddys are getting pretty nasty and we want to record and play gigs. We want to try the one mic style where everyone huddles around it. I want to make sure I get the right stuff.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    start with something like this and if it works out, you can upgrade. $49.95 I have one and love it.

    http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...unt?sku=273156

    the v63 m is a good one also.
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  3. #3
    Registered User DevilishDandolinMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Wow only 50 bucks. Are you sure I shouldn't go for something a little more expensive? I was preparing to pay $200 on the mic and $200 for the PA.

  4. #4
    Registered User DevilishDandolinMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    how far away can you stand from it?

  5. #5
    Jeremy Lee Wright amute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    If money's no issue and you only get one mic get the Neumann U87! ($3,430) OR get a matched pair of Shure KSM32 @ $499 each.
    make sure you get a good pre-amp! It's just as important than the mic itself.
    If cheaper is better get a Rolls MP13 Pre-amp ($60) and a AT3035 mic ($150) maybe get two of each of those. To go stereo.
    Good Luck!
    My band goes direct or clip-on condenser mic'd WITH the two AT3035's and we find the best blend in the mix down.
    For just recording random jams it's wonderful. We record into a Roland VS 1824 digital studio. KRK Monitors. nice and simple.

  6. #6
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Your talking about using the one mic bluegrass set up with everyone huddled around on condenser mic. Keep in mind that using this type of set up takes practice and a lot of thought and some bands (like Del and the boys) have elevated it to an art for where it is precisely choreographed doing the dance with the musicians. You basically mix yourself around the mic.

    The unofficial bluegrass mic (and there are a lot of other good ones out there) is the Audio Technica AT-4033 condenser mic. I've seen a LOT of bands (including us) using this mic much like the Shure Sm-58 is like the unofficial rock band mic.

    Audio Technica has a mrsp of $595 but they don't cost that much. You can get them $300-$400.00

    this is off their website
    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...6c/index.html/


    .: AT4033/CL Cardioid Condenser Microphone :.
    MSRP* US$595.00
    *Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.| Actual selling price may vary; please check with an authorized Audio-Technica dealer.

    The classic edition of the legendary AT4033 microphone, the side-address AT4033/CL offers low-noise, symmetrical, transformerless circuitry that results in exceptional transient response and clean output signals. A studio classic and bluegrass favorite, the AT4033/CL cardioid studio condenser is the microphone that broke the US$1000-barrier in its class. A strong up-front presence characterizes the sonic signature of this 40 Series pro-audio classic. The AT4033/CL’s 80Hz high-pass filter easily switches between flat frequency response and a low-end roll-off that diminishes ambient noise and popping with closely-miked vocals.

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    Certifiable Patrick Sylvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Playing this style can be alot of fun. It's what we do, but we use a couple AKG's; A 3000B for vocals and down around guitar height, A C 1000S in Cardioid mode. You can acquire these at reasonable prices and they are available on ebay frequently.

    Sometimes, for backyard gigs and small venues, we plug the 3000B into my Roland AC 60 and set it on a speaker stand. Sounds great!

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    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Any mando player in a one-mic outfit should be aware that this is how a lot of scrolls get knocked off of headstocks. Usually happens when you hit the banjo. Practice those moves.
    Mike Snyder

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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Now that's the kind of priceless advice you can only get from inside folks!

    That's why sites like this one are so valuable.

    Much better than learning through a "crash course!"

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    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    I'll second that the Audio Technica 4033 is pretty much the standard for the single mike approach. How close you need to stand has to do with how much volume you can get from the front of the house. When playing small gigs with relatively small pa then you will probably need to get pretty close to get good volume for singing and solos. I would recomend the bass player using a small amp to get a good stage volume level that everyone can hear. one of the issues with the one mic approach is the inability to use monitors because they create feedback issues. So a decent bass volume on stage will give everyone on stage a point of reference for the music if it gets hard to hear for the band on stage.
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Do what you want, I used my 49 buck mike last night and it works about as well as my AT 4050 which cost ten times as much.
    For a Pro, probably no but the average weekend user ...........
    Jean

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    and 2 side address cardioid Mics on the same stand will let the 4 0r 5 part harmonies work

    with less banging things and people together.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    If you're playing a noisy bar gig, you're going to have a real tough go of it using a single mic. Best used only when people are there to listen, not to get crunked.

    We used an AT2020 - I think about $100, and thought it sounded great, at a little gig we played last week. We didn't feel like setting up our whole PA, and we were even able to get a little monitor volume out of it.

    We also practiced around it in our basement. We tried about 2-3 different configurations before we got one we liked...everybody's gotta be nimble, and the bass player has to be able to move as well. It's fun, though, and looks cool. Good luck!

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    Registered User pwkellar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    I've got an AKG C 414 XL II that works great and has 5 polar patterns, which makes it a great do all mic. It's a wee bit more than the 200 bones you were talking about, but you get what you pay for. In my experiences with higher end equipment you get the sound you want, but only if what's being played through it is good too (mediocre acoustic guitar or mandolin will sound mediocre when recorded). The sky is the limit here as with anything. Do your homework and good luck!!

  17. #15
    Registered User madsknude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Regarding polar patterns, the AT4033 is fixed cardioid I believe, and that, combined with a good sensitivity (probably not to high), and a rugged chassis must be why it is preferred for stage use. Well, that's my guess.

    I find it hard to believe that just any condenser could be used with good results.
    Like in the old days when they used ribbon mics, and they sound great (very open), but the polar pattern is figure-8. And they're soooo fragile, both to shock and SPL, oh and phantom power fries them up.

    If they had something like the AT4033 back then, I think they would have used that instead btw.

    I've tried AT2020 and other, more expensive ones, with no noticeable difference in sound (for those listening). So using a Neumann for stage use seems weird to me.
    It all depends on stage SPL. Modern audiences expect high volume, probably a lot more than they did in "the old days".

    I think I'd use separate p.u.'s on the instruments, Schertlers and such, and then do the vocals into the AT2020. And it'll boost the solo's.
    That way the sound guy still has a bit of control


    BTW: nice comment about the scroll getting knocked off on the banjo
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Over the years there has been a lot of discussion, and observation of the "big boys".

    One of the first modern bands I saw do this was Del and the Boys. Back then it was one 4033 and a mic on the bass. Now they use two 4050's I think, a mic down on one side for Del's guitar, and a bass mic. So probably 4ch's now.

    While it looks simple, it's not. If you want the mic to pick up what it should, you need good speakers(that don't have a lot of backwash, or radiate as much behind as they do out front) and either a good 31bnd eq, or a feedback buster IMHO to get it hot enough, without feedback. Most bands I know have no soundman, so this falls on one of the members. But with a proper setup, equipment, soundcheck, and good choreography, it's a good setup and is visually exciting too!

    I guess it depends on how you do your choreography, but I see no use in pickups, and would be worried about the trainwreck of somebody stepping on a chord during the "dance". YMMV.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    We bought a couple of 4033's back in the late 90's, actually maybe 3 of them. Since then we've sold all of them but one and Aaron likes to use it to record banjo at the house.

    After a few years, we began using the AT 3035's and they were cheaper than the 4033's and actually had a flatter eq curve as well. In the last configuration of the Linville Ridge Band, we were using 3 of them, one for vocals and the banjo and mandolin split one to our right and the guitar player had one to our left, both down low to capture instrument rhythms and lead breaks. Our fiddler stepped up to the vocal mic for his breaks and I was micing my bass amp with a Shure Beta 52 (kick drum mic).

    It takes a good bit of getting used to this setup, especially if you come from a background of having monitors at your feet and seperate mics for every voice and instrument. But, if you get the knack of it, you'll learn how to reference what you're doing to the sound you can hear from the front of house speakers. And, set up right, you have no feedback.

    Our rig waas good enough that JD Crowe & New South followed us and used this setup with one additional fiddle mic and a wee bit of monitors. Got pics of that somewhere from a few years back at The Red White and Bluegrass Festival.
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    I have an AT3060 but can't get enough volume without feedback......do I need a pre-Amp? Even if we are really close 6", I can't get it to work very well in a live music Bluegrass band setting.....any suggestions?

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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    J-rock do you "ring out" the system on set up. I use a ribbon mic ( sound men say you can't use a figure eight in live sound but you can) that is a little less forgiving but I like the sound, after I got used to equalizing it I have less feedback than with the condenser I used to use. Dale Perry helped me get started when he was with Lawson and they used one mic. PM me if I can be of help getting you started or maybe get you more volume.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    AKG C1000S would work well here and you can get them for $150 new or less than a hundred used. I have several of them and they're a great mic for any acoustic application.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    It's an art and takes a good deal of sound reinforcement knowledge and the right conditions. If it's a noisy bar you will not be happy with the results. The physics of the room, the frequency response of the PA system, the ambient noise, even the temperature changes will change the conditions of the sound reinforcement. Outside you are pretty assured of success as the reflective surfaces become moot point. That said, just be aware of the limitations, and don't cheap out on the pa, as much as the microphone. Chinese condensers sound pretty good if you can't afford a KSM 32 or an AT 4033. But a pa with poor frequency response, under powered, and marginal transient response will make it more difficult.
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Quote Originally Posted by J-rock View Post
    I have an AT3060 but can't get enough volume without feedback......do I need a pre-Amp? Even if we are really close 6", I can't get it to work very well in a live music Bluegrass band setting.....any suggestions?
    If you are using an AT3060 you already have a preamp as it won't work at all without one. You are probably using the desk's preamp and EQ. Excluding some cheap, low-end, no-name poor quality desks, this should be perfectly fine and you don't need another one.

    See other threads on here about using LD condenser mics live and general approaches to feedback avoidance. As Oldwave indicates it requires addressing from several angles. Monitor placement, IEM's (or zero monitor use), house speakers, gain staging, EQ, possible use of feedback suppression units. Be aware that in some rooms, in some situations, it will be a non-starter almost whatever you do, so have a 'Plan B'.
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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    This is a VERY informative thread. My duo partner and I have been very unhappy with our live sound and have discussed moving to a single mic setup. We just recorded our EP in an old church with a single ribbon between us and a stereo pair for ambience, and we'd really like to nail that sound on stage.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass microphone

    Kerouac. The beauty of a ribbon is it is figure 8 so if you learn to work one side the other picks up the room, you have to learn to use that to your advantage. First set the speakers as much in line with the mic as you can,then play with the angle to get the best room response ( will be different in every room) no need for ambiance mics just works different than multi-mic set up. Been doing this for years and love it. PS work the ribbon back 12 or 18 inches, no need to eat it.

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