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Old 14th April 2011, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default Mods for cheap PC microphone?

Hi everyone,

So I have a super cheap Audio-Technica ATR4700 which is $15 condenser mic for PC use. Audio-Technica is a good brand for mics, but this one is on their lower tier...I'd like to do a little bit of recording. I have an electric dumset and keyboard so I do most of my stuff on MIDI, but I play the trombone as well...and I'd like to record.

Has anyone ever modded a PC based mic for better sound quality? Any quick and dirty mods are welcome, as well as more complex ones like changing around the internals and such.

I don't have my camera right now, but I'll have by Friday. Should I crack it open to see if there's anything in side? Do PC mics actually have circuit boards inside?

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Old 14th April 2011, 01:39 AM   #2
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Location: Carlisle, England
Best option is to bin it and buy a quality mic with a 3.5mm adaptor.
Murton-Pike Systems PCBCAD51 pcb design software.
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Old 14th April 2011, 01:52 AM   #3
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Haha...Well I'm just saying, theoretically...
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Old 14th April 2011, 02:07 AM   #4
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
The first response is on the money. For example, I think you would do well to get a good used SM57 and build a preamp for it.

Those who claim to be making history are often the same ones repeating it.
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Old 14th April 2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2010 mods I mean, stuff like putting a t-shirt over it or making a windscreen or something. I'm no audiophile. I'm just looking for improvements.
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Old 14th April 2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Location: Llanddewi Brefi, NJ
Might want to read Scott Wurcer's article in Linear Audio Vol. 1. (This article alone made the subscription worthwhile.)
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Old 24th April 2011, 08:33 PM   #7
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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Location: Chicago
There are no mods that will bring this up to a useable level. Spend $60-$100 on something like a blue usb snowball and you will be a lot happier. If you want an even better option, Build a decent mic pre and use it with your mic. Then when you have the money go buy a decent mic. There are some instances where you can mod mics or preamps but this is one of those instances where it really isn't worthwhile.

BTW you could always build your own mic, there are plans + kits out there.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 04:52 PM   #8
Cirric is offline Cirric  United States
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Join Date: May 2011
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I used a parabolic metal lampshade and mounted the mike to it, sort of like what you see on the sidelines of an NFL game. If the mike is noise cancelling (most use two elements out of phase to achieve this) you may need to experiment to find the sweet spot. Eventually used the same lampshade as a booster for my home XM radio for a while. Otherwise your first answers are your best bet. Of course you could carry the lampshade on your head for convenience.
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Old 12th October 2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheLaw117 View Post
Haha...Well I'm just saying, theoretically...
In reality you could do a Linkwitz modification, which results in lower distortion at higher SPL levels like drum and amp miking. There is also a claimed sensitivity increase.

Linkwitz Mod.jpg

Too much heat in soldering will destroy the capsule. Also, you will have to make a conductive strap or socket to connect the can to a wire, since that cannot be heated at all.

Last edited by ITPhoenix; 12th October 2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Added comment
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