Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Joy to the world

Ho, ho ho and Merry Christmas everyone!

Attached is a basic track for Joy to the world. It is at 190 BPM and in the key of A. I didn’t listen to it outside of my headphones before I mixed it and I have either some EQ work to do, or I’ll need to change the mic positions. It sounds a bit distant. I hope it is enough to get the feel of it.

[attachment=0]Joy to the world.mp3[/attachment]

If anyone wants to jump in, please do. I can make a Kompoz home for it, but let’s use this forum as the coordination area.

I am going to try to have a version of it done four weeks from today. That would allow it to be done in time to (hopefully) enjoy listening to it for the holidays.

As I said before, if anyone wants to jump in, please do! Whether you want to play 16th notes all the way through or just play (or even sing) a basic melody, feel free to contribute. If you are concerned that you “may not be good enough and it will mess up the mix”, don’t be. To be blunt, we can mix it multiple different ways. If we need to extend the song for more verses, no problemo.

Merry Christmas!

Here’s the Kompoz track page: … ctId=42952

All right! It’s about time we got a new collaboration going. I have only listened on my little laptop speakers so I can’t comment on the mix, but your pickin’ sounds great. I’ll see if I can get a dobro break worked up. It’ll give me a chance to record my recently acquired dobro for the first time.

Just wondering: Is that your Golden Era that you had all the work done to on the lead in the beginning. Whatever it is, it sounds great. Really nice tone. Good pickin too!


Good deal Larry! I can’t wait to hear the new dobro!

J.W., yep that is the GE I had “Kimseyfied”. Thanks for the kind words. This is my first time recording it, and it’s going to take a bit of fiddling with mic placement. It has more bottom end, so I was initially a bit boomy sounding. On the two takes that I kept I had backed off a bit, but I think I overdid it. I’ll play with a bit closer in and maybe slightly different positioning. Finding that sweet spot might take a little while.

That didn’t take long. Larry has already laid down a dobro track. Very nice, Larry! I like the new dobro :smiley: I have a question for you, regarding the triplets. You do them mixed throughout, but the ones that come to mind (since they are the last ones I heard) are on the “na” and “ture” in the last phrase “and nature sing.” I hope that description makes any sort of sense and identifies what I am talking about. Anyway, how do you do them? Is it all left hand?

I made a mix with the dobro part: … ctId=42952

If anyone wants to claim a particular part while working on it, let us know. Pretty much everything is open… leads of all sorts, mando and banjo rhythm, bass, etc. If someone wants to do GTR rhythm to replace what I did, have at it. As I said before, we can add more verses for as many people want to do leads.

— Begin quote from ____

Anyway, how do you do them? Is it all left hand?

— End quote

Yep. I think all the triplets are single string and single pick stroke using the steel to hammer-on and pull-off.

When I gave your mix a listen this morning it sounds like my open strings (especially the high D) are a little flat. I think I might not have had my capo positioned just right. I might try to get a cleaner and more in tune recording this evening.

— Begin quote from "ldpayton"

Yep. I think all the triplets are single string and single pick stroke using the steel to hammer-on and pull-off.

— End quote

It’s a cool sound. Well done! I suspect it took some practice to get to where you could move quickly and accurately.

Just checked the tuning on my dobro and it was way off. I guess I forgot to tune before I recorded yesterday (normally I’m pretty careful about that), and the fresh strings were still stretching. The entire dobro was flat and a couple of the strings were nearly a 1/4 step flat.

Think I’ll re-record with the SM57 instead of the AT3035 this time and see if it sounds any better.

Darn tuning! I am guessing that a capo on a dobro can be difficult even if the instrument is well tuned.

Have you tried recording in stereo? On a guitar, my favorite setup is one on the lower bout and one at the 12th fret. For the dobro, maybe try the SM57 closer on the neck and the AT3035 pulled off and overhead. I love the options I get from recording in stereo. You can often get a fuller (and as odd as it might seem, I think a more natural) sound. If you don’t like one of the tracks, just eliminate it. If I like both tracks I get, I usually pan them opposite each other, but the resulting sound typically still seems like it has a specific place on the soundstage (which you can move around with the panning of the 2 tracks). Sometimes, I don’t like either track by itself, but I like the combination.

Sounds good so far fellers.

I’m attempting to learn a banjo break if you guys think it might fit in there. I might be putting myself on the spot though, not sure if I can get it smooth, I’m pretty rusty. If there is another banjo picker out there working on something, I will gladly step aside.

I have no idea how to mic a banjo. I thought about standing in the corner facing the wall… still too loud. :smiley:
I did a little sample, any feedback welcome.

Yeah! Do some of that, Shawn. That should fit right in. Fiddlewood gets some pretty good banjo recordings with his AT2020 but I’m not sure how he sets up his equipment. Maybe if he’s around he can help you.

I haven’t yet tried stereo mic placement. I’ve got an I/O that will let me do it now, but because it has compatibility issues with my recording software, I never use it. I need to set up the free recording software that came with the I/O device and learn how to use.

My do-over recording was done with the SM57 just over the resonator cover beside the strings. It picks up a lot less string noise and other transient sounds.

Anybody got some jingle bells we can use for percussion? They might sound good in place of the sync tone.

— Begin quote from "TNTaylor414"

I’m attempting to learn a banjo break if you guys think it might fit in there.

— End quote

Yessir! Please bring it on! I like it.

By the way, please feel free to do rhythm as well!

— Begin quote from "ldpayton"

Anybody got some jingle bells we can use for percussion? They might sound good in place of the sync tone.

— End quote

Yes! A request for jingle bells!

I’ll replace the sync tone with Jingle Bells. I might just let them go all the way through.

You guys are sounding good, it’s coming together quickly.

Mike, I finally bought an interface! I thought I’d make it easy on both of us since you & others were so willing to help so I bought a new old stock (I think they’re discontinued now) Focusrite Saffire 6 with 2.0 usb for $134.00. And I installed Reaper. (still in the trial period before I buy the $60.00 license). Now all I need is to know what to do with it :confused: . How do you make a good recording with different instruments, how do you put something on the sight, how do you play something on Compoz & how do you play at the same speed as everyone else? Boy I’m lost.

I would gladly do a mandolin break but only & I strongly stress this if no one else already has something on mandolin they want to do. I don’t want to hold you guys up, so if anyone else wants do do a mandolin break go for it.

Thanks, J.W.

Hey J.W.! We’d love to have you do some mandolin. Congrats on the DAW! That’s great.

The sync tone at the beginning of the song is the magic item that allows us to record in different places and still be able to sync them all up. It’s simple, but ingenious. If you notice, my original track had the sync tone as did Larry’s track. That allows whoever is mixing (me in this case) to align the various pieces. Here’s a link to the sync tone tutorials (there are two videos with sync tone in the title). They help understand how it works: … .music?c=1

Generally what you would do is:

  1. Download the mixdown track from Kompoz.
  2. Make a blank project in your DAW (in this case, it’s reaper)
  3. Set the tempo in Reaper to match (190) (not required, but I highly suggest it)
  4. Insert a blank track
  5. Drag the downloaded Kompoz track into the blank track
  6. Insert a new track (or two if you want to do stereo) for you to record your mando
  7. Record until you are happy
  8. Add a volume automation track to the Kompoz track and have it only be audible for the first part of the clicks
  9. Render the tracks into an MP3 (which reminds me you will probably need to download an MP3 engine… it’s free. I think the one I use is called “LAME”)
  10. Upload it to Kompoz

That’s the mechanics of it (aside from whatever I missed). As far as getting “good” recordings, the biggest thing is to get the mic placement set where it sounds good and get your gains set. That will take some experimenting. As a first try with the mando, I might try setting it about a foot in front of the instrument and aimed where the neck meets the body.

If you have issues getting going, we can work through them on the phone (so I can be looking at mine at the same time). I am busy this evening, but tomorrow evening I should have a bit of time.

BTW, I think there are some good introductory Reaper videos on youTube.
Here’s a few… I haven’t done more than scan the first few seconds to ensure it was on the right subject: … 14C6022CE2

The good news is that you don’t need to know much about reaper to do what we do on the collaborations.

I made a quick mixdown with Larry’s new track: … kId=288075

Larry, great job! Better playing, a much better recording and decidedly better tuning :laughing:

Seriously, that’s a keeper. The mix has no reverb, and close micing with the 57 gives it a very clean, pure tone. That’s a sweet sounding instrument and very well played.

I am just throwing this out there since we have multiple breaks coming (I think Jesse will jump in as well). If anyone wants to do a break in Bb, that would be fine too. We could throw in a key change for the last verse. I suspect the most likely to do that would be a capoed guitar, but I am open to whatever.

If you’re happy, I’m happy, Mike! I’m gonna have to remember that trick of tuning up before I record. :laughing:

J.W., sounds like you’re halfway through the recording technology maze. Hope you get everything set up and working for you. It will be nice to have a new contributor to our projects.