On stage microphone build

Help Support GroupDIY:

liquidfuzz

Active member
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
36
I'm toying an idea of building an on stage microphone. Are there any threads in this forum covering this (couldn't find any in my search attempts)?

Does anyone know what capsules to look for for this kind of builds?
 

abbey road d enfer

Well-known member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
13,285
Location
Marcelland
I'm toying an idea of building an on stage microphone.
What do you mean by "on stage microphone"? Something that's built into the stage?
Does anyone know what capsules to look for for this kind of builds?
Assuming you mean dynamic capsules, there are two main sources: the replacement capsules for the usual suspects, Shure, EV, AKG... that are quite expensive (sometimes it is cheaper buying a complet mic and cannibalizing the capsule) and often hard to get, and a multitude of chinese capsules that are on AliExpress.
 

liquidfuzz

Active member
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
36
I have looked into the replacement market for microphone cartridges, but i don't know...

It seems to be fairly simple to build a dynamic microphone motor such that is would be robust enough for on stage usage. The sound quality however would most likely need some wise decision making and testing. But that's one of the fun parts of DIYs!

Has anyone here seen some diy builds of dynamic capsules, and well, call me snobby but I might pass on the Mack Gyver kind of builds.
 

Khron

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
1,986
Location
Finland
Would it perhaps be simpler to start with some suitably-sized headphone drivers? A bigger version being some Beyerdynamic restorations...
 

abbey road d enfer

Well-known member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
13,285
Location
Marcelland
It seems to be fairly simple to build a dynamic microphone motor such that is would be robust enough for on stage usage.
I still don't understand what you mean by "stage use". About half of the microphones built today are for stage use. What do you want to build that would be so special?
Has anyone here seen some diy builds of dynamic capsules, and well, call me snobby but I might pass on the Mack Gyver kind of builds.
Building a half-decent dynamic mic is out of the DIY realm. It involves equipment and tooling in diverse domains such as precision winding, molding plastics and machining.
 

liquidfuzz

Active member
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
36
In the music industry it is common to distinguish between equipment that is designed to be used on stage and (sometimes or) in the studio. Equipment, such as microphones, going up on stage tends to have two features in common, not prone to induce feedback and mechanically robust.

For this build I would have to cnc machine some parts, I don't think I'm able to get the precision with a hand cranked milling machine. The tricky part will be the membrane, or diaphragm. I have to design it such that it and the coil assembly is flexible enough to transduce sound in to a signal. In addition the coil have to be light (Newton's 2d law of motion), at the same time have a healthy ration of number of turn and impedance.

Edit, I actually have two knock off Shure SM58 microphones (the sound is sort of good enough for rehearsal studio). You're first post inspired me to look for replacement capsules for these microphones. But ss you said, they come with a hefty price tag, but swapping seems to be done in minutes.
 
Last edited:

abbey road d enfer

Well-known member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
13,285
Location
Marcelland
In the music industry it is common to distinguish between equipment that is designed to be used on stage and (sometimes or) in the studio. Equipment, such as microphones, going up on stage tends to have two features in common, not prone to induce feedback and mechanically robust.
OK. It's one way of seeing things, but actually the frontier is not clear cut. that's why I asked you if there was something else.
For this build I would have to cnc machine some parts, I don't think I'm able to get the precision with a hand cranked milling machine. The tricky part will be the membrane, or diaphragm. I have to design it such that it and the coil assembly is flexible enough to transduce sound in to a signal. In addition the coil have to be light (Newton's 2d law of motion), at the same time have a healthy ration of number of turn and impedance.
Not only the diaphragm, but the concentricity adjustment. Remember there is a pole piece within the coil. The gap is very small. Working on a dynamic motior is more difficult than a condenser or a ribbon mic.
Edit, I actually have two knock off Shure SM58 microphones (the sound is sort of good enough for rehearsal studio). You're first post inspired me to look for replacement capsules for these microphones. But ss you said, they come with a hefty price tag, but swapping seems to be done in minutes.
I shouldn't say that, but I bought chinese SM57 replacement capsules (5 for $12). I AB'd them with a real one. I couldn't hear a significant difference. What I mean is they sound a little different, but actually my two genuine SM57's don't sound exactly the same. The chinese ones sound very similar to the Shures. If I had to use them (I have retired them long ago for the benefit of condensers) I would not necessarily reject the chinese ones.
 

JohnRoberts

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
21,170
Location
Hickory, MS
Common terminology would be "live" for microphones used on stage during performances, vs "recording" or "studio" mics for use tracking. Live gear used on stage is generally called "backline" vs. FOH (front of house) for sound system console and gear.

Indeed mechanical ruggedness is desirable for live use mics because of all the packing, unpacking, and transportation. Mitigating acoustic feedback is affected by multiple factors. Frequency response peaks in the feedback range should be avoided, but flat frequency response should be a goal for all microphones. Then there is the mic's pick up pattern that affects sensitivity from other than on-axis.

In my experience mics are not designed specifically for live use, but to sell as many as possible. The popular Shure SM57 series (?) were popular (IMO) because of price point and because they worked well. Live mix engineers figured out how to get a good result when using them so didn't want to reinvent the wheel using a different mic every time.

Good luck trying to design your own mic... AFAIK nobody or very few have attempted to DIY a dedicated live mic. There are a number of mic guys around here who can give you better advice than me. I recall back when Peavey made their run at Shure's most popular mic. Peavey sold truckloads of their mics (PVM22) but never really dented Shure's franchise for the iconic everyman mic. Lots of funny business involved in merchandising high volume mics (maybe google spiffs).

JR
 

Chrisfromthepast

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
46
This thread might be of service to you:

The donor bodies are pretty good, and look alot like an expensive vocal mic that some singers like to use live.

The stock capsule rattles around a little bit, but a transsound 165a fits nicely in the mount.
The stock electronics are garbage, but you can pull the xlr end off and replace with a km84 circuit from graeme, or use this transformerless option.
(Gerbers on github)

I’ve used them in a pinch in clubs and churches and they work fine. Plenty of gain before feedback, even when someone cups the mic.

I keep a pair of DIY vocal mics in my kit for the times Im in a low budget environment and nobody is going to look at me sideways.
 

Chrisfromthepast

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
46
oh, I didn’t write anything, I just used github for version control and to hopefully share the kicad files and gerbers with others.
Its certainly not up to the level of documentation of your ribbon mic project.
The circuit I used in the transformerless version is open source, so I wanted to do my best to share what I have done with Jules’ work, so other people can have fun building mics.
 

Disco Volante

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Sweden
That stuff is used in various thicknesses by the Quad ESL57 restorers. There's a German company that sells it, someone in UK and a guy in Australia, AFAIK.
 
Top