Hallmark Mic


I recently had a birthday and got one of those cards that play audio. I de-constructed it to see what was inside and found a small 2″ speaker. I brought it to the studio where an XLR was added for fun, making it into a dynamic narrow bandwidth microphone. The results will vary and depend on the size: a larger the speaker will offer more low-pass filtering while a smaller the speaker will result in more hi-pass filtering. This is the concept behind Yamaha’s SubKick, which makes a great kick drum mic when paired with a proper mic like an AKG D 112 or Shure Beta 52.

In the example for download below, there’s a bit of compression added from a UA LA-4 which adds to the trash factor by bringing up the room in relation to the transients. Wiring old speakers in this manner is an inexpensive way to get a low-bandwidth vibe without having to resort to plug-ins, EQ and filtering. Since the XLR is three-pin and a speaker is just hot and cold, solder the speaker’s hot lead (red) to pin 2 on the XLR and the cold lead to pin 3 leaving the ground floating. Click here to listen to the 2-inch “Hallmark” mic placed 8 feet in front of a drum kit. Be sure to follow this blog on Twitter.

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