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Basic DIY microphones
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Old 1st September 2019, 08:36 AM   #11
tschrama is offline tschrama  Netherlands
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Mics are used for their timbre... It is no use to judge them by their graphs.

That being said; The SM58 used to be a classic, but sounds really 80s to me.. nowadays it isnt used nearly as much anymore... at least not for proffesional music recording.
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Old 1st September 2019, 10:51 AM   #12
basreflex is offline basreflex  Spain
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the resonance peak is made to help the poor articulation of many singers.itis created in a physical way,not electronically. a small column of air is created by forming a tubular structure,a rim on the capsule. that mass of air is adjusted to create a resonance.

a large membrane chinese condenser,as copied from neumann is a good candidate for DIY build, as well as WM61. I used the WM61 in sourcefollower mode,and it can handle 140dB acoustically that way,if you do the electronics right. I use it as for metering and response work as it is flat from 10hz to >10k dependingon the mechanical structures in front of the capsule,the peaking story..
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Old 1st September 2019, 01:56 PM   #13
Stanphink is offline Stanphink  Wales
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Thanks everyone for the very useful information, things make a bit more sense now. It seems experience and wisdom are equally as important as knowledge of this subject.

My own project is for experimenting in a home studio environment with some promising young musicians so I'm safe enough continuing on the DIY route - for now.

I've found some interesting information here:

Powering microphones

There are 2 circuit diagrams on the page and either one would seem to be just what I'm looking for.

I was thinking of getting a Chinese 34mm condenser module to have a play with and also a Panasonic WM-61A to see what happens.

Not sure if the pre-amp circuits mentioned could be used for any condenser though. Condenser modules seem to be cheap enough and being able to experiment with different types by connecting to the one pre-amp circuit would make life a lot easier.
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Old 1st September 2019, 02:46 PM   #14
Gnobuddy is offline Gnobuddy  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tschrama View Post
Mics are used for their timbre... It is no use to judge them by their graphs.
This made perfect sense in 1928, when Georg Neumann started to sell his CMV 3 condenser microphone. Back then, vacuum tubes were the only way to amplify a signal, and therefore, electronic EQ was very expensive and very rare.

But today? For live sound, a 32-band graphic EQ is cheaper than a new microphone. For recording, a parametric EQ is a few mouse-clicks away. Start with a good mic with a flat frequency response, and if you want a few dB of curve-shaping, it's easy to dial in with your EQ.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tschrama View Post
The SM58 used to be a classic, but sounds really 80s to me..
It was introduced in the 1960s, two decades before the 80s! And as PRR said, it came from even older models which also sounded bad.

I have nothing against old designs which sound good. The SM58 isn't one of those, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tschrama View Post
nowadays it isnt used nearly as much anymore... at least not for professional music recording.
I am glad to hear that. IMO, the SM58 doesn't deserve its popularity; it has been ruining the sound quality of live performances for five decades now.

The SM58 seems to still have a death-grip on live sound, at least in the USA and Canada. You see still SM58s everywhere from weddings and corporate events to jams and smaller professional bands.

In the world of (computer) IT, there used to be a saying "Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft." The saying came about because IT professionals knew that the best software rarely came from Microsoft, but your uninformed manager might fire you if he didn't like it; but if you bought Microsoft products, however crappy, the boss would put up with its faults, because he'd been brainwashed into believing Microsoft was the best.

It seems to be the same story with the SM58: no music-store employee ever got fired for selling one. Customers quickly find out that just about everyone else they know is using the same mic, and that convinces them they've made the right decision.


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Old 1st September 2019, 02:50 PM   #15
Gnobuddy is offline Gnobuddy  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanphink View Post
Not sure if the pre-amp circuits mentioned could be used for any condenser though.
The two pre-amp circuits you showed both require that an FET pre-pre-amp is already in the microphone capsule.

These circuits will work with capsules like the Panasonic WM-61a, which have the FET already built-in. But they will not work with bare electret capsules such as the two large-diaphragm ones you showed in your photos.


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Old 1st September 2019, 03:03 PM   #16
scott wurcer is offline scott wurcer  United States
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I would suggest just joining the micbuilders Yahoo group. The archives there contain everything you need.
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Old 1st September 2019, 03:21 PM   #17
basreflex is offline basreflex  Spain
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the main source of distortion in the WM61 is the non-linear drain gatediode capacitance.
if you manage tokeep that voltage signal independent likeinthe B&K frontends, you're OK.
these are useful for your large membrane capsules. you need a low noise regulated dcdc stepup for the bias voltage, and a 10G resistor. you can control the HV as a way to control sensitivity or 10dB pad for large signal close range applications. (much better than adding a capacitor with a switch, that adds noise)
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Old 1st September 2019, 08:39 PM   #18
Mark Tillotson is offline Mark Tillotson
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Dynamic mics using aluminium voice coils are available - weight of copper is no longer an excuse...
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Old 2nd September 2019, 07:28 PM   #19
dotneck335 is online now dotneck335  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
Since you asked, I will mention one very affordable live-sound condenser mic I am quite familiar with, which IMO sounds so much better than an SM58 that a side-by-side comparison with a few singers (and a decent-quality P.A., or better, studio monitor) is a real eye-opener. It's the Nady SPC-25. -Gnobuddy
Maybe they do sound better than the SM 57/58... However, what good are they if they crap out within a year? Thats always a concern with anything made in China.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 08:20 PM   #20
Gnobuddy is offline Gnobuddy  Canada
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Originally Posted by dotneck335 View Post
However, what good are they if they crap out within a year?
Where did you get "crap out within a year"? I have a Nady SPC-25 that's nine or ten years old, used about 50 times a year at live events (mostly jams). It will probably last the rest of my life as long as I don't do anything stupid.

The externals are as tough as any mic I've ever used - a heavy die-cast metal body, and two protective metal mesh covers, one inside the other, with a thin foam pop-shield in between. The outer rim of the outer metal mesh cover is hexagonal, not circular, so this mic won't roll off the table and crash to the floor like an SM58. It's more than tough enough for live use, as my experience has confirmed. But

As for the internals, the simple fact is that good microphones are intrinsically more delicate, because you need a lightweight flimsy diaphragm to get an extended treble response and good sensitivity. And tough and durable microphones intrinsically produce poorer quality sound, because a tougher diaphragm is inevitably also heavier, which limits sensitivity and frequency response.

So you can either have a very tough mic that sounds bad, or a mic that sounds good, but will not take as much abuse. Your choice.

But the point is that you do have a choice. You only need to put up with the lousy sound quality of the SM58 if you choose to. The Milk Carton Kids and Della Mae show that the right condenser mic works just fine for live music, and sounds excellent. The Nady SPC-25 shows that you can own a handheld, live-performance mic with much better sound quality than an SM58, for less than the price of an SM58. I expect there are other choices out there too, that I am unaware of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotneck335 View Post
That's always a concern with anything made in China.
Such as the Apple iPhone, and all the Apple computers, which hundreds of millions of people believe are the highest quality products you can buy in their categories?

China is a huge country with tens of thousands of manufacturers. One stereotype certainly doesn't fit them all.


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