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Author Topic: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20  (Read 28322 times)

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Offline digifish_music

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Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« on: November 18, 2007, 02:00:03 AM »
Inspired by the various sites showing people building stereo/binaural mics from a set of Panasonic WM-61A capsules. I decided to have a go myself.

Step 1.  Buy some WM61-A capsules on eBay ($15 for 10 seems good).

Step 2. Note how small the contacts are and realize life will be much easier if you buy some cheap headphones and steal the cable. That way you end up with a nice fully formed right-angle plug but more importantly perfectly tinned/shielded wires ready to use (no cutting, wire stripping or fiddling - the key to a stress free build). $10 for some Sony cheapies, selected due to the low price and right-angled plug.





Step 3. De-solder the headphones (BTW: I dunked the unsoldered ends of the cable in a cup of boiling water to help straighten out the kinks from the knots) slip your shrink-wrap up the cable and and re-solder on the capsules. I didn't even need to apply any more solder, just hold the two together, briefly touch with the tip of the iron and zap! done. The shield-wire goes to the tabbed capsule connector..this is too easy, surely something is wrong  ;D

Step 4. Matching capsules -

Tip for quick-matching the output of capsules.

- Put a bunch of capsules (in a line) face-down on a speaker laying on it's back (you need something with a smooth flat grille, radio?)
- Tune the radio to FM hiss.
- Plug the de-soldered headphone lead into your recorder and put into record mode so you can see the levels.
- Work your way along the line of caps manually connecting the leads to the cap terminals, note the recording level.
- Pick two that are closest. While you are there match up the rest into pairs for later.



Step 5. Test they are working.



Step 6. Shrink-wrap the capsules.



Step 7. Compare to Sound Professional binaurals misc...(normal sensitivity models)...they sound identical...job done.



Took 15 minutes, total cost ~USD $20

NOTES:

1. No I didn't do the mod of cutting the tab and modifying the capsule connections as I wanted to retain the S/N for field-recording work. If you want to go that path I think it is definitely better to just buy them complete from  SP or similar vendors. The stock capsule handles around 110 dB so, that's loud enough for me.

2. The ear-clips with my original models are very useful and make them worth the extra $40...I was really doing this just to see if I could...and I could :)

3. Next step, use another two capsules to make a stereo hydrophone...:D

4. EDIT: To hear example field recordings from these microphones type in "Panasonic wm61-a" into the search engine at freesound http://www.freesound.org/searchText.php Note: To download the original recordings (high quality) you will need to create an account.
 
digifish
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 07:08:03 PM by digifish_music »
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Offline attheshow

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2007, 03:00:14 AM »
+T for going DIY! Looks good.
Mics: MM-HLSC-1, ECM-737, ECM-719
Recorders: R09, MZ-RH1, MZ-R70, MBP
BBox: Greenmachine DIY, CA-UBB (on the way!)

Offline SmokinJoe

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 11:00:24 AM »
This is a great idea for cases where you don't want to bring your other mics...  rainy festivals, salt air party boat jams...  if something bad happens, your not out much.
Mics: Schoeps MK4 & CMC5's / Gefell M200's & M210's / ADK-TL / DPA4061's
Pres: V3 / ST9100
Decks: Oade Concert Mod R4Pro / R09 / R05
Big Rig: split snake > Focusrite & Presonus Pres > ADAT > Alesis HD-24 > Protools 11
Daughter's rig:  AT4050ST > Busman Hybrid R4
Photo: Nikon D700's, 2.8 Zooms, and Zeiss primes
Playback: Raspberry Pi > Modi2 Uber > Magni2 > HD650

Offline run_run_run

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2007, 12:25:02 PM »
h0t +T

Offline ArchivalAudio

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2007, 09:55:28 PM »
very nice work!
anyone ever look into the Knowles telemetry caps?
I believe that you can still get  (or could a few years back) some sort of Nak 700 caps from them which would be sweet!
~ Archival Audio ~
Archiving Worthy Music
since 1986 & digitally since 1995

https://www.facebook.com/ArchivalAudio/

Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 10:48:45 PM »
very nice work!
anyone ever look into the Knowles telemetry caps?
I believe that you can still get  (or could a few years back) some sort of Nak 700 caps from them which would be sweet!

+++++++++++T

I've used various Knowles caps, but did not find an appropriate one for taping.
What caps are you referring to?

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline boojum

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 12:15:29 AM »
This fellow goes into a great lesson on how-to, and then shows you how to build the battery box to go with it:

http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=11254
Nov schmoz kapop.

stirinthesauce

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2007, 12:47:50 AM »
very nice work!
anyone ever look into the Knowles telemetry caps?
I believe that you can still get  (or could a few years back) some sort of Nak 700 caps from them which would be sweet!

primo made the Nak capsules.  They are still available.

Offline digifish_music

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2007, 07:20:08 AM »
This fellow goes into a great lesson on how-to, and then shows you how to build the battery box to go with it:

http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=11254

Nice find, thanks...

About the mod, it's not clear to me if you need to just swap what terminal is grounded or you need to expose the copper below the circuit board and attach to that. It seems if it's just swapping the grounded terminal then a blob of solder shorting to the case should do?

digifish
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Offline boojum

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2007, 01:32:08 PM »
This fellow goes into a great lesson on how-to, and then shows you how to build the battery box to go with it:

http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=11254

Nice find, thanks...

About the mod, it's not clear to me if you need to just swap what terminal is grounded or you need to expose the copper below the circuit board and attach to that. It seems if it's just swapping the grounded terminal then a blob of solder shorting to the case should do?

digifish


Best bet: write greenmachine who wrote the original series at minidisc. 
Nov schmoz kapop.

Offline ArchivalAudio

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2007, 01:46:17 AM »
very nice work!
anyone ever look into the Knowles telemetry caps?
I believe that you can still get  (or could a few years back) some sort of Nak 700 caps from them which would be sweet!

primo made the Nak capsules.  They are still available.
do you have any links to any of these primo nak caps... whaere might one find them?
thanx
~ Archival Audio ~
Archiving Worthy Music
since 1986 & digitally since 1995

https://www.facebook.com/ArchivalAudio/

Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

Offline fluffy

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 10:19:44 PM »

awesome

man when i made some of these and played back what i had recorded for the first time in a very dark room it scared me so much i freaked and ran for the light switch!! hahahaha  :laugh:

stirinthesauce

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 09:27:48 AM »
very nice work!
anyone ever look into the Knowles telemetry caps?
I believe that you can still get  (or could a few years back) some sort of Nak 700 caps from them which would be sweet!

primo made the Nak capsules.  They are still available.
do you have any links to any of these primo nak caps... whaere might one find them?
thanx

do a advanced search on here with the word "primo"  search the mic section, yard sale (there is one thread there in particular).  Tons of info.  I know, I did the search myself recently.  Team Nak also has great info but you'll have to sift through the other talk.

Offline Roger Gustavsson

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 02:09:18 PM »
You can find the Primo CM4052PMI4 microphones on ebay or directly at www.tucker.com. The correct name is EM4052PMI4 and the capsules EM50. I have got an original dokument from Primo on these. 

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Building your own binaural mics ~ $20
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 02:12:13 PM »
You can find the Primo CM4052PMI4 microphones on ebay or directly at www.tucker.com. The correct name is EM4052PMI4 and the capsules EM50. I have got an original dokument from Primo on these. 

I've got a spare pair of these FS if anyone wants them.
(I bought four, but only need two.)

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

 

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