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Mic Setup for Recording Bluegrass

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by WalkUpright, Mar 11, 2013.


  1. WalkUpright

    WalkUpright

    Feb 18, 2013
    My band is looking to put down some high(er) quality recordings in a home studio type setup and I had a question. From the research we've done so far it seems like a mix of condenser mics and a quality mixer may be the best solution for capturing quality sound and preserving the acoustic tone/nature of our music.

    I've heard this is the way a lot of BG bands do this? Does anyone have any advice/experience?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated
     
  2. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    We just recorded an album in house and it came out great. We recorded everything at once. If you are going track by track this may not help too much but it's bluegrass and sounds more real when everybody is playing at once and feeding off of each other.

    I spent some time dampening sound with studio foam and that really helped.

    As for mics, I used large diaphragm condensers for the vocals and 3 akg 1000c mics for the guitar, mandolin and fiddle. The akgs are great! Good price and not too much bleed with the other instruments.

    For my bass, I used my DPA 4099b. Not really a recording mic but I move around a lot when I play so it helped keep the sound of my bass uniform. I also use either a shure beta 52 and an akg d112 for the bass. I put a sound barrier in between myself the rest of the guys to get less bleed into the DPA.

    Overall, we are very happy with the recording and for a fraction of the cost. And I get to keep all the mics :)
     
  3. WalkUpright

    WalkUpright

    Feb 18, 2013
    Awesome thanks for the quick response. The DPA looks nice, do you think I could substitue another large diaphragm mic for that instead? just to save a little $? We have a room we can pad out and we definitely plan on playing everything together in house. I feel thats the way BG should be done.
     
  4. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    For sure!!

    You can use a condenser for the bass. I like the kick drum mics as well. I bet the other pros here have some even better suggestions. But that should get you started.

    Also, we used a simple zoom r16 recorder. Very clean for the instruments. We used my Art Tube mic preamp on the vocal condensers to have vocal warmth. Cheap and helps give the vocals a more professional sound.

    Just make sure you use a good sound card. We had an awesome take and the sound card had a glitch in it and the recording skipped a few seconds of music. It was awful!!!
     
  5. Any suggestions for good, yet affordable, condensers? I've been looking at the AT4040 or the Rode Nt1000. Any comments on those? Or similar products from other companies?
     
  6. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    I use the Audio Technica 2050 and really like it. For under $200 it was a steal! Very clean.
     
  7. WalkUpright

    WalkUpright

    Feb 18, 2013
    We just purchased Behringer B-1s. I know there are a certainly mixed feelings with the Behringer stuff but it seems affordable and gets solid reviews everywhere.
     
  8. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    I have a Rhode N1A and like it a lot. It does a nice job on guitar and vocals. I have only fooled around with it for bass but it sounded pretty good. Can't beat it at the price and you can pick up used ones even cheaper.
     
  9. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    RE20
     
  10. pnchad: You took the words right out of my mouth.
    I used an RE20 that I borrowed for the second session of our latest CD. What a difference from the condenser mic we had been using! More accuracy of sound, air and depth. The real deal.
    I've been spoilt.
     
  11. I'm surprised that a dynamic mic like the RE20 would have a better sound than a decent LDC mic of similar pricing. hmm. I'll have to visit the stores and ask around and maybe try them out.
     
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Me, too - a U87 2 feet off the treble f-hole at a 45 degree angle sounds mighty fine! ;)
     
  13. To follow up on this......

    no matter which mic you use and how good it sounds on your recording, beware when making a commercial CD.
    All that good sound you hear on the studio take can easily be lost in the mastering process that occurs before the CD is made.
    It's always best to have the band leader with the mastering tech (if possible) to make sure the sound you liked in the studio, is the sound that actually goes on the CD.
     
  14. I'm so surprised at how the prices of condenser mics have fallen. I went to a store and saw an Apex 435 for $75!
     

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