Recording Banjo

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Alison Brown and Stewart Duncan Recording Banjo With Ribbon Microphones

Royer Labs and Deering Banjo Company teamed up with renowned musicians Alison Brown and Stuart Duncan, with engineer Matt Coles at the controls at Nashville’s historic Compass Studio, to make this video series on recording the banjo with ribbon microphones. Alison and Stuart have played on many hundreds of recordings and share their deep knowledge of recording the banjo. Matt Coles gives expert advice on microphone placement, working with the back side of R-121s, how to work with the ribbon microphones figure-8 pattern, phase relationships, and more.

Recording Engineer:

Matt Coles. Recorded at Compass Records Sound Studio, Nashville TN. 

Signal Chain:

Royer ribbon mics through API 3124 preamplifiers, recorded to Pro Tools. No EQ or effects used.

VIDEOS:
Episode 1: Alison Brown At Compass Records Sound Studio Recording Banjo With Ribbon Mics
Episode 2: Alison Brown & Stuart Duncan Duet Recording Banjo with Ribbon Mics
Episode 3: Stuart Duncan Recording Old-Time Clawhammer Banjo With Ribbon Mics
Episode 4: Stuart Duncan on His Favorite Ribbon Microphone Positions
Episode 5: Engineer Matt Coles Tips on Recording Banjo, with Alison Brown


Episode 1: Alison Brown At Compass Records Sound Studio Recording Banjo With Ribbon Mics

Alison Brown introduces this video series, which was shot and recorded at the famous Compass Records Sound Studio in Nashville TN. Hear Alison play “Steam Powered Aereo Plane” and talk about her Deering Julia Belle banjo and how she records it with ribbon microphones. Recording Engineer Matt Coles joins her to talk about his favorite places to position a ribbon mic on the banjo.


Episode 2: Alison Brown & Stuart Duncan Duet Recording Banjo with Ribbon Mics

Alison Brown and Stuart Duncan play “Arkansas Traveler” together, then recording engineer Matt Coles walks us through his banjo recording methods. Matt talks about mic positioning, using the R-121 backwards on banjo, phase relationships, and more, while Alison plays solo banjo to demonstrate. In this video, Alison plays a Deering Julia Belle miked with two R-121s and Stuart plays a Deering Vega Vintage Star miked with one R-122V.


Episode 3: Stuart Duncan Recording Old-Time Clawhammer Banjo With Ribbon Mics

Stuart Duncan walks us through how he uses ribbon mics to record old-style Clawhammer banjo, plays “Arkansas Traveler” and shares his feelings about using ribbon microphones throughout his career. Stuart plays a Deering Vega Vintage Star banjo in this video, with an R-122V tube ribbon mic in front and an R-121 behind picking up the tone coming off the rear of the instrument.

 


Stuart Duncan Talks About His Favorite Ribbon Mic Positions for Recording Banjo With Ribbon Microphones

Episode 4: Violinist and banjo player extraordinaire Stuart Duncan shows us where he likes to put a ribbon mic on his banjo, and explains why you’ll want to move the mic closer or further from the instrument depending on the recording situation. Stuart also pulls out a second ribbon mic and shows two positions he likes when recording with two mics. Stuart plays a Deering Vega Vintage Star banjo during this video. 


Episode 5: Engineer Matt Coles Tips on Recording Banjo, with Alison Brown

Recording Engineer Matt Coles summarizes his banjo recording tips and shares a few more pearls of wisdom on how to get the most from banjos with ribbon microphones. Alison Brown caps off this video series, taking us out with a beautiful rendition of “Oh Susanna” on her Deering Julia Belle banjo.   

 
 
 

Recording the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square & Millennial Choirs and Orchestras with Royer

Jason Graham, Recording and Broadcast Engineer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, explains how he uses ribbon mics when recording The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and also The Millennial Choirs and Orchestras.

Preamplifier and placement information is included in the video. The songs featured in the video are included below in their entirety. 

Mics used:

SF-24V: Choir, Oipe Organ, Room
SF-2: Choir
SF-24: Sections
R-122V: Strings
R-121 Harp
dBooster: support Woodwind mics

Amazing Grace

Be Still My Soul

Bile Them Cabbage Down

Come, Come Ye Saints

Erlkonig

Recording Trumpet with Engineer Michael Bishop & Cancer Blows Charity Concert

Multi-Grammy Award winning recording engineer Michael Bishop explains how he mics and records this phenomenal CancerBlows live performance. Featuring some of the best-known trumpet players alive, the music is fantastic and Michael’s thoughts on how to capture brass, orchestra and big band properly using ribbon microphones is invaluable.

 

Huge thanks to Ryan and Niki Anthony, Michael Bishop and Erica Brenner.

See more details about CancerBlows.

 The recording is available on Music=Hope Records and all proceeds from the sale of the recording help fund cancer research. Purchase the music: CD/DVD (the full concert and music experience): http://www.cancerblows.com/shop.php

High Resolution HDTracks 

Stream the music

R-122 MKII Tests – Electric Guitar & Dobro

Royer R-122 MKll Test Tracks

The R-122 MKll is an extremely versatile phantom-powered ribbon mic with a switchable -15 dB pad and a switchable bass roll-off set at 100 Hz, 6 dB per octave.

Electric Guitar:

Recorded by Michael Wagener at WireWorld Studio, Nashville TN.

Recording chain: R-122 MKll to Chandler TG2 preamplifier. Recorded to Nuendo.

Close miking electric guitars with an active ribbon mic can result in microphone or preamplifier distortion if:
1) the mic’s output is too hot for the following mic pre to handle.
2) the mic is plugged into a preamplifier with low input impedance, or
3) the phantom power is weak,

The R-122 MKll’s -15 dB pad reduces the mic’s sensitivity to 2 dB LESS than our non-powered R-121, giving the mic plenty of headroom even in torturous conditions.

In this video, we used a 100-watt Metropoulos 12,000 amplifier turned up LOUD but fairly clean. See recording notes below.

 

R-122 MKll Test Tracks Continued

Dobro:

Randy Kohrs playing Dobro. Recorded by Randy Kohrs at Slack Key Studio, Nashville TN.

Recording chain: R-122 to RTZ preamplifier. Recorded in Pro Tools

1) R-122 MKll on Dobro, flat with no switches engaged.
2) R-122 MKll on Dobro with low cut switch engaged.
3) R-122 MKll on Dobro with low cut switch and -15 dB pad engaged.
4) R-122 MKll on Dobro with low cut switch and -15 dB pad engaged. The RTZ preamp is turned up 15 dB to make up for the -15 dB pad, bringing in more of the personality of the pre.

Johnny Hawthorn

Johnny Hawthorn – Pawn Shop Tattered Heart

Electric Guitar – R-121 & SM57

Produced & engineered by Charley Pollard
Recorded at Dragonfly Creek Recording

Recording chain: R-121 and SM57 one inch from the cabinet into Shadow Hills Equinox mic pre’s (Steel setting). Both mics were bussed to one track – the mix was committed to while recording.
Recorded to ProTools.

Amps: Blankenship Carry-On 1×12 combo and Marshall JCM 800 into 4×12. Marshall used for solos.

Pawn Shop Tattered Heart received the Guitar Player Magazine’s “Editors’ Faves” for July 2014. Available through CD Baby & iTunes

 
“Real Thing” (Johnny Hawthorne)

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“Dusty Woman” (Johnny Hawthorne)

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Monster Magnet

Drums (Room) – 2 R-121’s
Electric Guitars – R-121

Engineer – Randy Staub. Producer – Matt Hyde
Recorded at Warehouse Studios – Vancouver, B.C.

R-121’s on electric guitars and two R-121’s as drum room mics.

“Heads Explode” (© Dave Wyndorf)

Fab Dupont / Will Knox

Acoustic Guitar – SF-1
Violin – R-121
Banjo – SF-2
Standup Bass – R-122
Drum Overhead – SF-24
Drums, Tom-Toms – R-122
Drums, Kick – R-122V
Drums, Hi-Hat – R-121

Producer: Fab Dupont.  Engineer: Meredith McCandless

When our friend Fab Dupont set out to record singer/songwriter Will Knox’s album “The Matador And The Acrobat” with engineer Meredith McCandless, they decided to track the album entirely with Royer ribbons (except for a condenser on Will’s vocal and a dynamic on the snare). Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process that Fab and company so kindly put together for us.

Fab-tn

 

Vocals & Guitar: Will Knox
Violin: Clayton Mathews
Banjo: Kyle James Houser
Standup Bass: Chris Anderson
Drums: Timur Yusef

Visit Fab’s website at www.fabulousfab.com. Visit Flux Studios at www.fluxstudios.net.

Puremix.net is an educational website featuring a wide assortment of videos on recording, mixing, mastering and much more. Puremix.net was created by Fab Dupont; his partners in Puremix now include Ben Lindell and Ryan West.