Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Alright, let's get it going

Tried 2 metronomes and my DAW and I’m getting 120 BPM. When I tap along with the brief clicks in the beginning, I get app. 240 BPM. Hmmmmm. Can someone give me some clarification on this? I’ll be trying to figure it out in the meantime.

Importing the rhythm track into my DAW was easy. Yay.

I just posted in a new thread about some online jam session tools that might be worth looking into.

And you’re talking about the backing track that Larry posted here:

I can’t imagine any scenario why you’d be hearing that at 120 BPM.

Yes Mark, that is the one. However, I think I can just lay down my break playing along with the rhythm track and it should all be good.

I will let everyone know what measure I’m coming in on, if that’s needed. Starting to understand this better, and maybe it’s not. (I don’t think this is going to be as difficult as it sounds, other than playing the music). :+1:

So basically, what I need to do is 1. Lay down the track, with the rhythm track. 2. Convert it to a .wav file. 3. Upload it to dropbox.

Is that correct? Thanks for everyone’s suggestions.

Now that I think of it, does a .wav have individual tracks? If not, then we will need to know where everyone is coming in and finishing, correct?

You record by listening to and playing along with the mix. When you send a file back in, it should only have your playing (plus the synch tone). If you are just practicing, you can play along with the progression over and over as it is the same throughout. If that doesn’t make sense, let us know. We’ll try again. As far as everyone coming in and such, the only person I know of who was ready to record was Dave on fiddle. I suspect Mark is close to ready.

Thanks Mike. New to working with a synch, but I should it
Do I send back as a .wav?

I did…

but when I hit the link to check it I got kicked offline again…Ben’s been working on the issue today, so hopefully it will get resolved…

Awesome fiddler! Did you play a full four beat measure as a kickoff? As of now , I’m planning a 3 beat kickoff on beat 2 of the second four count. But we’ll see if I can make it fit right. Really having a blast learning about this collaboration. So fat it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

Me neither unless I’m counting wrong which is a definite possibility.

I think it was 3…Keep in mind we have no extra measures…so you may have to play your pickup notes on top of the last notes of the previous break…don’t worry it can be worked out in the mixdown.

lost me there…The only break that will have clicks at the beginning is mine…you would play your pickup notes at the beginning of your lead…I’ll explain my procedure for if I was going to record your break and it might help…
Assume you have acquired the base track and have it set up to play

1.bounce/record ONLY the sync tone from the base track onto your track you will be recording your break on.

2 go to play and listen though the leads that are already there (or figure out where yours will start on the counter)

  1. “Rewind” the track enough so you can get your instrument ready to play and recognise where you are in the song…((it saves time of not having to listen through several other leads every time you need to start over for another “take”). Some software enables you to set this as a start point…On my machine I have to remember the counter number.

4 Now you will play the base track from this new starting point into the headphones while recording only you on the track you put the sync tone on…Once you finish your lbreak stop recording.

  1. listen back to both tracks and see if you like what you did and if it fits how you want it to…if yes, then your golden…if no then return to that “new” starting point and try again

  2. You should end up with a track that begins with the sync tone…has a long silence…then ends with your break where it fits in the mix…:

Usually when learning this stuff we make it harder than it has to be…It’s a new thing and has a learning curve like everything else…have patience and keep in mind you’re doing it for fun…I think you’ll find that once you’ve done it a couple times it gets much easier…just like learning a lick…

Yes! I got it figured out why I’m hearing it at 120 BPM. When loading the track into an Ableton Live Set (My DAW), there is a feature called “warping”. When warping is enabled it for some reason plays the rhythm track at 120 BPM. When I listened to the rhythm track (not loaded into Ableton), and tapped along with the metronome, it came out to 100 BPM. :grin:

Now, I got to figure out how to disable the warping feature, and possibly, actually get into some recording.

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You can turn warping off. If you have trouble finding it let me know. I have a copy of ableton on my other PC.

BTW, on the 3 beat lead in, you are correct. It’s kind of like the words leading into the verse or chorus. For “Will the circle”, “Will” is on 3, “the” is on 4 and “circle” is on the downbeat. Again, this goes back to how you are counting… you could count that as 4 & 1. As for starting on 2 instead of three, it’s a matter of preference.

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Hey Mike,

Thank you. You got exactly what I was asking about concerning the timing of the kickoff. I found the warp setting and got it turned off, and now it plays right at 100.

I had some bad latency issues, and got them ironed out, and was just practicing recording by strumming the chords along with the track. I’m playing into a Shure SM58, and it sounds like my banjo is made out of a milk carton. :grimacing: (I got a 245 dollar Epiphone from Sam Ashe Music in Charlotte).

But, at least I can play it back and hear me playing along with the track. I discovered I’m not very good yet.

Anybody got some suggestions on how I might position the mic, or maybe put some cheesy partition in my recording area, or anything else?

Appreciate it.



Not sure what you mean by “milk carton”

If you want more “room” sound it can get added later through effects by the engineer.

If you need to get rid of some echoing Blankets, Flannel shirts carpet, etc soak up sound pretty well

You can get a somewhat crisper tone from an SM58 by removing the wind screen.(should just screw off)

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Fiddlewood, do you normally mic a banjo at the neck joint, below the bridge, or somewhere else?

Jack, just try different positions and it will change the sound pretty drastically. My two first tries on instruments are

  1. near the neck joint, pointed at the strings angled a bit toward the body
  2. below the bridge, pointed about 45 degrees towards the strings
    In both cases I like it to be pretty close to the instrument. Moving it closer and farther away also changes what you pick up.

Hey Jack, glad you got it all figured out.

As for mic placement, put a little distance between the mic and banjo and aim the mic at the rim near the neck. Most of the good sound is coming out of those holes around the resonator.

Also, if you have a condenser mic, it’s better for this kind of recording. If not, just do your best.

Check out the video at the bottom of this page for a visual.

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I didn’t really come up with a “normally” as I did a lot of experimentation with different mics, rooms, and banjos.

If I remember right the best sound I got was in a dead room with a mic 1-2 ft away straight in front of the instrument…


Great suggestions guys! I’ll see what I can make work.


I just thought I would chime in on the notation. Eighth notes with a single bar are normally connected into groups that represent a single beat. Sixteenth notes are grouped similarly. The only exceptions I can think of are when dotted notes comes into play… or rests that “break apart” a beat grouping. So, in 4/4 time, eighth notes come in pairs of 2 and are barred to show the whole beat. Sixteenth notes therefore are barred or grouped in 4s - signifying a single beat.

Hope this helps!

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