View Full Version : Singing with a Banjolele

08-12-2011, 03:48 PM

Goldtone Banjolele, Zoom Q4HD video, Olympus LS-10 audio. On the last few frames you can see the paper towel rolled up under the bridge to tame the volume down. The audio recorder is about 5 ft away, the camera about 10. With my allergies, it's a challenge to be any louder. Anyone have suggestions on balancing the voice/banjolele?

08-12-2011, 04:18 PM
Nice job, Gary! I thought the vocals / instrumental volume was just fine as recorded.

08-12-2011, 06:14 PM
Thanks Mike for the input. Maybe it's just the sound of the Goldtone that's hard for me to compete with.

I thought it may be helpful to give more information on my setup. I've had the Zoom Q3HD camera for about a week. It does a good job, however, the microphones are mounted on the top of the camera and the audio input is a "line in", not a microphone jack. That means it will not work with an external mic. So, in order to get the mics off the camera and closer, I use an Olympus LS-10 recorder, wiring the "ear" output to the "line in" to the Zoom. I am still experimenting with the volume for the Olympus and audio sensitivity of the Zoom to see how they affect each other. I do not have to be recording on the Olympus, but push the "record" button once, which begins monitoring and providing output to the Zoom without recording on the Olympus. So far it has been hard for me to tell any difference in the quality of the audio, except that it is slightly more sensitive to background noise (like and AC vent). I could record on the Olympus but then I'd have to get the audio on the video tracks. My setup makes that unnecessary. I haven't tried it yet, but an added feature of the Olympus is both a "line in" and "microphone" jack. I have a lavalier microphone that I may experiment with as well. I've created 2 videos so far with the Zoom and they are both on this forum and YouTube, one with a Blackbird uke and one with the Goldtone banjolele. Do a YouTube search for "Keep on smiling by Gary Jefferson" if you want to compare the two. The video with the uke is done with the Zoom only - the mics are on the camera.

I like the Zoom with it's limitations. It does eat batteries. If I record for about 45 minutes the battery level is beginning to drop. The 2GB memory I have in it is good for about 45 minutes. With a larger chip I would have to use the optional wall adaptor.

08-24-2011, 10:38 AM
great job! this song sounds like a description of one of my days! lol got me smilin' :)

08-24-2011, 11:44 AM
You can muffle the banjole with a rag or sock inside, but I am not a real fan of the resulting sound.
If you are using Aquila or Flourocarbon strings change to a cheap nylon. On a banjo you do not need the brightness from better strings.
I read an article by Ralph Shaw many months ago recommending nylon strings, my old Gibson sounds really great with GHS.

ps, nice job on the song and recording !!

08-24-2011, 02:19 PM
I've heard of the sock method but haven't tried that (yet). Thanks for the input on strings. I haven't considered, but may try that. Thanks for the helpful info and feedback.