Are you interested in a handmade microphone? Find out in this article why it would be more interesting to make your own microphone than to buy one.
If you are in the sound business, you will need a functional microphone to host your podcasts, record your voices, your instruments or simply communicate with better quality? You don’t have to buy a new microphone from a well-known brand. You can opt for a handmade microphone.
Here are 5 good reasons to build your own microphone with your own hands.
1 👉 A Handmade Microphone costs less than a new one
Building your own microphone rather than buying one from a known or unknown brand is primarily a question of budget. It is indeed more economical to make a handmade microphone and we explain why!
You should expect to pay between €100 and €600 for an entry-level microphone when you buy it from popular sites such as Thomann. If you want to get the best possible sound, you need to invest in a high-end microphone, either new or old. These microphones can cost up to €10,000 or more. This means that not everyone can afford such microphones, especially if you are just starting out in the sound business and have not planned to spend your entire budget on a microphone.
Cheap microphones usually don’t provide the desired sound. Among the most common problems are crackling, hissing and all sorts of parasitic noise that will disrupt the recordings. Not to mention the body of the microphone, which could easily get damaged due to the quality of the material used in its manufacture, as is often the case with poor quality paint. So yes, there is always the alternative of a small USB microphone to start with, but it won’t look very serious in your studio if you use it to record your singers.
On the other hand, if you make your own microphone, you will only need a few tools to get started, even with old headphones you can build one.
By the way, you can choose the equipment at your disposal and adapt the microphone to your needs.
I might as well tell you that a handmade microphone is a more economical solution than a new microphone purchased from a brand.
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2 👉 You can make your own microphone with simple tools
As we said before, you can build your microphone with simple tools !
It is possible to make a microphone with tools you have at home. For example, you can build one with a computer headset or defective headphones.
For everyday use, the simplest way is to make an electret condenser microphone. This is less complicated than an externally polarized condenser microphone.
By the way, you can find electret bases everywhere. Among other things, you can get this device from a telephone or a laptop computer. You should also know that most tie microphones and headset microphones are part of the electret microphone family.
For example, to make an electret microphone, here are the basic tools you will need:
- An electret capsule
- A 3.5 mm jack cable
- A microphone body
- A fine thread
- A paper clip (or hair clip)
- Tin and soldering equipment
- Insulating tape
In short, only tools that are easy to find. For the electret capsule and the jack plug, you can find them in defective telephone earphones or on our grandparents’ old telephones.
You can also buy a cheap microphone and rebuild it from A to Z with modification kits, on which you will be able to buy a new capsule, new and better components. In particular, you can redesign the microphone body and electronics to your liking, and the big advantage of doing it yourself is that if it breaks down, you will be able to find a way to fix it yourself without spending a huge fortune.
3 👉 You can customize your handmade microphone to your needs
En achetant un microphone neuf chez une marque, vous ne seriez pas à l’abri de mauvaises surprises. On peut en citer par exemple, une mauvaise qualité de fabrication, des bruits « pops » trop forts, un mauvais rapport qualité-prix, etc.
Pour être sûr d’avoir un microphone à la hauteur de vos attentes, rien de tel que d’en construire un vous-même. En optant pour la case microphone fait main, libre à vous de choisir les matériaux et le design qui vous conviennent.
Some sites like Mic&Mod can offer you ready-made kits with all the elements needed to assemble your microphone, and a build guide with step-by-step instructions, so you don’t waste time, it is often the best alternative to have a quality microphone that will be the perfect clone of an expensive brand, new or used.
In addition, you will have the assistance you need to not let your project die in a closet.
By the way, you can adjust the sensitivity of the microphone to your preference. You have two options:
- Build a microphone to pick up only the senses from the front: you will need a cardioid capsule. This is ideal for solo voice recordings
- Make a microphone to pick up sounds all around a room in a uniform way: an omnidirectional capsule will do the trick. This type of microphone comes in handy for lectures and discussions. It is also effective for recording a choir.
It is also possible to integrate two capsules (cardioid and omnidirectional) into a single microphone body. This allows you to change the sensitivity of your device via a switch.
4 👉 A handmade microphone will not necessarily lack quality
You think that with a home-made microphone, the quality will not be there? Think again. It is possible to make your own microphone and make it as good as a new one from the factory.
You should know that there are 3 key elements that make a microphone better. These include frequency response, signal-to-noise ratio and directionality. If you can master these parameters, there is nothing to stop you from making a microphone with good sound quality.
The only importance is to respect the voltages in order not to damage your microphone and also to create an electrocution which could be fatal, for that a quality multimeter, patience and basic tools will be essential even if you are not a trained electrician, you can find the list on these necessary and optional items here 👉 CLICK HERE
5 👉 Build your own microphone with your own hands for a great experience
The other advantage of using the handmade microphone option is the training. By learning how to build your own microphone, you will no longer need to rely on a professional to repair it. With the help of forums or advice from technicians, you will be better able to find faults or manage a new customization of your microphone.
Of course, in order to make your own microphone, you need to be patient. You also need to have good craftsmanship. Most importantly, you should be familiar with how a microphone works so that you can build one.
The ideal first handmade microphone purchase is a do-it-yourself kit, starting with a versatile, omnidirectional microphone that you can plug into a conventional sound card or a more specialized microphone preamplifier with many XLR inputs available.
A Neumann U87 or AKG C414 clone would be a good start, for example. They only need an XLR input and 48V phantom power to be fully operational, and their small price and small size will surely find a place in your studio.
To conclude, if you want to make a quality microphone with a design close to a high-end microphone, there is no need to spend money unless you can afford it! Please note that there are alternatives and that on many DIY forums you can find help to advance your project.