Mic mods Vol.2

If you were browsing my blog a couple of months ago you may have come across a post documenting the deconstruction of a perfectly fine Sony stereo condenser microphone.  Depending on your perception of this (slightly reckless) and wine-fueled exercise, you may be interested to learn that I haven’t rendered the hardware completely useless.  Though I managed to damage the solder connection on one of the tiny microphones (and in turn scorched it to death desperately trying to make a new connection), its partner survived and has been sitting around for the past six weeks waiting to be upgraded and employed properly.

With a brief holiday in Queensland coming up, I decided it would be a good idea to take some recording equipment up with me – providing it was compact and could be used in a discreet fashion.  This is where my tiny microphone came into consideration.

The original (bare bones) modification of the microphone in October 2009

I used some plastic tubing to encase the microphone and its wires – the plastic tubing being exactly the right diameter to hold the microphone firmly in place.

A Sony condensor stereo microphone is disassembled. One of the microphones is resoldered to extended wires and is fixed inside some plastic tubing.

The microphone is connected to the original IC board (that black taped casing you see connected to the Minidisc) which in turn amplifies/normalises the input. Since it originally handled a stereo input (i.e left & right channels) the IC's input has been modified so that the mono input from the microphone is routed via both channels.

Such is the tactile nature of the plastic tubing encasing the microphone, that it has some interesting applications for recording sound. For example, here the resonances of a small bottle are able to be recorded with the microphone positioned at a given depth of the bottle’s neck.

Another application might be (employing the clothes peg again!) – a (delicate) support for recording.

This is going be very useful for getting into tight spaces and corners, but also works very well for capturing sounds in more panoramic situations (though strictly mono!)

Definitely some of my better modification work that didn’t end in the complete destruction of expensive recording technology.


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