speaker as a mic problems

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assfortress
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speaker as a mic problems

Post by assfortress » Wed May 21, 2003 5:47 am

i just wired up a speaker to use as a mic but when the signal comes through it sounds like it went through some kind of synth. the signal isn't clipping it even sounds like this when touched lightly. i recorded a few seconds of me hitting the bass drum with the speaker in front of it so you can hear what its doing. i made sure it was hooked up right using a nine volt battery to find the positive and negative. any ideas why this would happen.

http://www.angelfire.com/rock3/4
its the one that says "BASS DRUM"

thanks.

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by tiger vomitt » Wed May 21, 2003 11:12 am

i dont know what the problem is, that was the coolest bass drum sound ive ever heard

maybe you should take all those cookies out of the bass drum before recording it? ive heard that filling the drums with cookies can be really bad when recording

seriously tho maybe your preamp had too much gain, what kind of speaker was it?

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by assfortress » Wed May 21, 2003 11:26 am

im sure its not the pre amp it was set really low and even if i ran my finger across the cone lightly it was making those noises.

i did notice when i was moving the stand it was on around the "moving stand noises" were what i would get from a normal mic. im not sure if that even matters though.

the speaker was an NS10. im going to try playing some music though it to make sure the speaker is still functional.

any other ideas?

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by eeldip » Wed May 21, 2003 11:46 am

too bad it sounds a little too much like a distorted 808 bass drum sample.

cause it is pretty damn cool. i like that little cough it does at the end. dont know what your problem is though. sounds like extreme pre distortion to me.

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by aurelialuz » Wed May 21, 2003 11:55 am

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Last edited by aurelialuz on Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by Roboburger » Wed May 21, 2003 1:25 pm

I would vote it as an impedanece mismatch, too- I think ya wanna find a tranny that'll step 8 ohms up to oh, 600 or so- also- use a speaker without a passive crossover as I am sure ns10s do... aslo- I think ya only wanna do the 9v battery trick to raw speakers and not things with passive crossovers in them...

I think Kevin at Ack can sell you the tranny you need- I remember him telling me he hooked a speaker up as a mic and built the bastard right into the kickdrum, with turnbuckles to hold the speaker frame in the dead center of the kick, so the cone was able to move freely- he said the ratio of low freqs to high ones was so off the map that it didn't matter how crappy the drum was!

www.ackradio.com - Kevin W is at the Atlanta office, and is a friendly enough fella. great PCB website backdrop, too. Email them and tell him what you are doing.
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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by thunderboy » Wed May 21, 2003 1:43 pm

Oh. Yeah. You are just using the woofer, yes? Not the whole unit?

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by aurelialuz » Wed May 21, 2003 1:52 pm

[]
Last edited by aurelialuz on Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by assfortress » Thu May 22, 2003 1:00 am

sorry let me clarify its just the woofer, not the entire monitor. also let me correct myself: it is distortion in my mic pre, i just spoke into the speaker and it sounded fine.

im pretty new to the wiring up my own stuff so i have no idea what to do to fix this. what do i need to get/do to make this damn thing work?

thanks again.

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by assfortress » Thu May 22, 2003 11:20 am

so i was just thinking, maybe im a complete dumbass for thinking but here i go: would it work if i just went through a di box? would that change the signal to the correct impedance/volume/whatever it needs to be?

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by helstab » Thu May 22, 2003 11:33 am

This is all very interesting, but I lack the knowledge to fully understand what is going on here. Can some please explain in depth how you are wiring the speaker as a mic?
I know that it works.
But what would be the easist way to use a house speaker as a mic? Oh and is there any risk of killing the speaker?
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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by swingdoc » Thu May 22, 2003 11:56 am

I would try something simple like work on speaker isolation from the ground. Perhaps its picking up some not-so-good vibarations off the ground.
Try rigging an isolation base to the speaker set -up. i've used some thick foam in the past, that I get from a fabric store, like 6" foam. Then use a box knife to cut out an outline of the object I'm isolating. Pretty simple and it might work. Remember, there can be tons of movement in front of a kick, both through air waves and ground shake.
sounds cool

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by leigh » Thu May 22, 2003 12:32 pm

assfortress wrote:so i was just thinking, maybe im a complete dumbass for thinking but here i go: would it work if i just went through a di box? would that change the signal to the correct impedance/volume/whatever it needs to be?
I don't think this will help, assuming it's an 8-ohm speaker. DI boxes help when your output has a high impedance (like a gtr pickup at 500K ohms) that needs to hook into an input with low impedance (used to be 600 ohms, now a lot of mic pres are more like 2K ohms). DI boxes prevent "loading" of the pickup, which means nearly shorting out the source. Not really 'shorting', but if you think that way it helps understand it. If a guitar pickup is connected directly to a mic pre, suddenly its impedance has been effectively dropped down to a small percentage of what it used to be.

So in this case, you're going the other way. If anything, your ouput source, the speaker, would be 'shorting' the input.

A quick Google search turned up this post on R.A.P., specifically about using an NS-10 woofer as a kick drum mic.

I've gotten great low thuddy sounds from a cheap 12" 8 ohm speaker, wired directly to an XLR, into a mic pre. Not much above 200Hz from that, so it's almost sine wave-y. I'd like to try one of the smaller intercom speakers, to see if they provide a wider-range response.

Leigh

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by Catoogie » Thu May 22, 2003 1:20 pm

How about using a different speaker? I've recorded a kick with a speaker as a mic and I just took a cabinet with a15" in it, faced it towards the kick, plugged a cable into the output jack which then ran into the mic pre and out into the recorder. No one single problem.

I don't anything but if ya gotta go buy something extra or build something extra to use a speaker as a mic it's probably not worth it. It should definetly easier than it sounds like your having it. Good luck.

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Re: speaker as a mic problems

Post by trashy » Thu May 22, 2003 1:27 pm

This week was my first attempt at the speaker-as-mic thing. I think it worked great. I used a crappy 12 inch, wired with a basic patch (1/4" plug) cable! For a first try, without much screwing around with placement/position, it sounds pretty good. A bigger, better speaker, I'm sure, would have sounded better.... there's always next week!

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