, I’ve been using this t bone SC 440 USB studio microphone, but then one day the USB connector broke as the fitting replacement. I got myself its successor. The SC 450, which you can get a for around 90 euro, But if we take apart my out, broken microphone. We can for one find two PCBs which utilize the aka five three seven one, two Channel analog to digital converter as the brains of the organization, and If we dig a bit deeper, We can also discover the heart of the microphone. This cylinder shaped piece of metal with two wires coming out of. It is a so called condenser microphone, Aka, condenser, capsule, aka, capacitor microphone. Or ever you want to call it. So in this episode of DIY or buy, we will have a closer look at different microphone types and create a DIY Microphone amplifier circuits. In order to find out whether DIY a microphone is an adequate alternative to buying a proper studio microphone and For the final showdown. We will compare the microphones by building up a test setup and playing back different music clips, Which brings me to the sponsor of this video. audio blocks. They offer one of the largest stock audio library, with over 100000 clips loops music and sound effects and best of all all the audio clips come with a royalty free agreements. So I, and possibly you can use them in YouTube videos without getting in trouble due to copyright claims.
They are currently giving out a seven day trial period, So you can give it a shot and get access to the massive stock audio library for free, Just visit. Audioblocks.Comyoutube or click the link in the video description to get started with your free trial And with that being said, let’s get started with the video. Now the job of such a condenser microphone is to convert sound waves into an electrical signal Which we then can record with, for example, a computer. To do that. The condenser microphone consists of a thin membrane and the solid metal plates Which together pulled up a plate. Capacitor, when the sound waves hit the diaphragm, it changes its distance to the solid plates and thus, according to the capacitance formula of a plate, capacitor the capacitance of the setup changes. But in order to get a proper electrical signal out of this, we would need to charge up the capacitor through a bias resistor, With a high voltage of up to 48 volts, which is also known as phantom power. This way, since we got an almost constant charge, the voltage changes of the capacitor Reflect the capacitance changes and thus the sound waves. Pretty awesome Only problem is that such condenser capsules cannot easily be purchased, except, of course, if you would buy a proper studio microphone, but that would destroy the DIY aspects. Instead, we could focus on these electric condenser microphones. Those can be bought for very cheap and almost all small microphones nowadays of such a kind.
Even the lavalier microphone that I used for my QampA videos is one of them. Their structure is similar to that of a condenser microphone, but a light. The name of this microphone type implies. There is a film of electret between the two capacitor plates, which therefore polarizes the capacitor, naturally without the needs of phantom power, and Once we take apart such a microphone Which is honestly easier said than done, Then we can find an additional field effect. Transistor connected to one capacitor plates, This FET is used for power amplification, Which means all we have to do is to add a 1 kilo, ohm resistor and a 1 micro farad capacitor To the circuits and power it with a voltage of above 1.5 volts to get Our audio signal on the outputs, so I added those components to the capsule applied 5 volts to the circuits book. The output up to my oscilloscope and realized that everything worked like it was supposed to and Connecting such an electret condenser capsule to a computer is even easier. We simply have to plug an audio cable into the mic. Import connect the right ring to the minus pole of the capsule, which you can identify by the traces going to the housing and connect the other two ring contacts to the plus pole of the capsule. The Way this works is that these sound cards includes the Manito resistor and capacitor, Which means that, by checking the recording devices, the microphone should work just fine but Make sure to disable all enhancements.
Your sound card offers, Otherwise they can mess up the recording. Next, I open the software audacity Created the small test set up and started the recording of a music clip. As you can hear, the microphone works just fine, But you should also hear and probably see it due to the audio waveform, that the volume is a bit low. One way to increase this recording volume is to utilize the microphone boost windows provides Which, as you can once again hear and see, does work.. But the problem is that you simultaneously increase the noise floor. for better understanding, here’s, a silent recording without boost and here’s one with boost, As you could hear, the capsule alone is not the best solution yet., Since it only features peak to peak voltages of around 200 Millivolts at best, So obviously we need a decent amplifier. For that. I created this small schematic Like before the 1k resistor powers, defects, but two parallel 470 nano farad capacitors remove the DC offset of the audio signal. Then we got the njm 5. 5. 3. 2, low noise, op amp in an inverting op amp configuration., We have a gain of around 21. The voltage divider on the non inverting inputs is utilized to create a 2.5 volt offset voltage at which the output voltage will oscillate around. Last but not least, we got a high pass filter and a low pass filter with cutoff frequencies of 3.6 hertz and 15.9 kilo hertz, which should get rid of unwanted frequencies and with a theory out of the way, I gathered all the required components and started soldering Them all to a small piece of perf board.
After a mere 30 minutes of soldering, these circuits was complete and after inserting the ICEA Connecting the microphone and powering the circuits with 5 volt power, It was time for first tests. On the oscilloscope. We can see that we now got peak to peak voltages of up to 3 volts, which means that the amp should increase the volume So after reconnecting the right ring to ground and this time only the far left ring in contact to the output of the amp. It was time for another test recording, But in order to have a proper reference value, I first utilized my usual studio, microphone to record a bit of music Here’s, the unedited results And here’s what the small electret microphone delivers. Now both mics fulfill the job without a problem, but to no surprise the studio microphone offers a better recording quality, Not convinced yet. Well.. This is what the voiceover recorded by the electret condenser microphone sounds like Again, definitely usable, but not nearly as good as the studio microphone. So when it comes to recording voiceovers deep, I option definitely wins in this case, But if we compare the recording quality of my lavalier microphone, Which sounds like this, with the recording quality of my DIY microphone, Which sounds like this, it is clear that when the lavalier Mic costs around 57 euro That the DIY version for around 4 euro is the winner.
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