Mr. Microphone

Matt CookElectronics1 Comment

Well done Matt! Construction of a new microphone for field-recording or phonography is completed. It’s now time to go record some sounds from around the city, perhaps even the countryside too.

Pictured is the circuit board. Yes it’s blue, that’s because a lot of strip board got spray painted different colours once for a previous project, it looks cool against the orange capacitors though. It’s got the same stuff twice – that’s because it’s stereo, or binaural, which means it hears like our ears.

That’s what it looks like when it’s packed into it’s box. Best of all it doesn’t need a battery, that’s because it is powered by phantom power supplied by the Tascam DR-100 digital recorder and provides a balanced output for it’s XLR jacks.

The phantom powered circuit is designed by Scott Helmke, who makes some lovely microphones, this one is primarily concerned with fidelity and functionality – what it captures is more important. More good advice on working with and powering electret microphone capsules can be found here.

That’s what it looks like when it’s packed into it’s box. Best of all it doesn’t need a battery, that’s because it is powered by phantom power supplied by the Tascam DR-100 digital recorder and provides a balanced output for it’s XLR jacks.

The phantom powered circuit is designed by Scott Helmke, who makes some lovely microphones, this one is primarily concerned with fidelity and functionality – what it captures is more important. More good advice on working with and powering electret microphone capsules can be found here.

Ingredients:

R1 – 5k6
R2 – 5k6
R3 – 330
R4 – 100k
R5 – 100k
R6 – 6k8
C1 – 100u electrolytic
C2 – 0.47u plastic
C3 – 0.47u plastic
C4 – 10u electrolytic
D1 – 12V zener
Q1 – BC556B PNP
Q2 – BC556B PNP
M1 – Panasonic WM-61A

The microphones have minijack sockets that plug into the box, this means the mics are mix-and-match, and also easy to replace when they break. It works best with the Panasonic WM-61A electret capsule. These are now discontinued and this project represents the last of the supply. Any old electret capsules should work however, these are easily removed from old telephones, intercoms and other such dusty gear and will probably output a more grungy sound.

Great modular gear ready to go eavesdrop on some conversations…

The microphones have minijack sockets that plug into the box, this means the mics are mix-and-match, and also easy to replace when they break. It works best with the Panasonic WM-61A electret capsule. These are now discontinued and this project represents the last of the supply. Any old electret capsules should work however, these are easily removed from old telephones, intercoms and other such dusty gear and will probably output a more grungy sound.

Great modular gear ready to go eavesdrop on some conversations…

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