Forum - Banjo Ben Clark


Just interested Ben…what mic do you use for your lesson’s and/or recording?

I’m using a Shure SM7b and running it through a cloudlifter CL-1 mic activator.

That is an interesting choice for a microphone. Are you using that for your instrument recordings or just for speaking? The SM7 is a very smooth, relaxed sounding microphone, but not one I think of for recording stringed instruments. What are some of the other mics you have used for instrument recording, and how do they compare?

That’s interesting. It sounds good. What mic do you use for live playing? Do use a stand alone mic or one fixed to the banjo itself? I know some people like the stand alone mic so they can adjust the distance while playing in a band.
As I’m not in a band but thinking in the future to possibly do a little busking (when I’m good enough) …I’m thinking maybe either a fishmon rare earth or and adjustable on board mic that points at the head. Do you have any recommendations as to the best option, without it breaking the bank budget wise. Thanks Ben.

I would have never chosen it, but a lot of the session guys here in Nashville use the SM7b for an all-around mic from drums to guitar, especially with the mic activator (which makes it act like a condenser). I have used ATs in the past, but exclusively the SM7b for the last 5 years. The others were more tinny, whereas it seems I’m able to get more solid bass and low mids out of this one.

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I will often use what the venue has. When playing in large shows, like when I was on the road with country acts, I would plug in with the Fishman rare earth. Now I’d rather do it old-fashioned and have a stationary mic, even a good SM57 with a solid engineer is hard to beat.

Yep, the SM7 is a full, round, smooth sounding microphone. It probably has to do with the large dynamic diaphragm. I’d like to buy an SM7 someday for my mic locker; until then I sometimes use a bass drum microphone (an Audio Technica ATM-25) for when I want the big, smooth sound of a large dynamic. In fact, for those folks looking for the big round bottom end (sounds like I might be describing someone) of an SM7b, a decent bass drum dynamic mic can work wonders.

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This might be the answer to getting some decent gain out of my AT 2050…

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