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How Are You Using Your Cortado Balanced Contact Mic?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  zdlAdmin 1 week, 5 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #2036 Reply


    “We ordered 4 of your Cortado MKII microphones for some noise research we are doing at one of our airport radar sites [in Prague].

    “We are impressed with your product specifications and the field sound samples available on your website. Our plan is to attach them to various points on the motorized antenna gearbox to characterize the mechanical noise generated by the assembly.”
    — Dan, Saab Sensis, http://www.saabsensis.com
    Saab Sensis engineers use a mass of Cortados to test radar installation

    #1768 Reply


    I got one provided by my coach from http://smartleesecreative.com/about-us/, and this one really works for voiceover improvisation.

    #1563 Reply


    This letter arrived from Cody in downstate Illinois. Check out his amazing video of floppy drives singing the theme from Doom!

    “I learned about you guys from researching piezo preamps. I’ve been trying to find a good solution for recording with them on a budget and haven’t had much success. The overall sound was always terrible, and they were always unusable recordings. The pickups are always cheap but it’s all about the preamp, and I’ve had no success with home built ones and the $15 to $20 ones are always terribly made or offer tons of things I don’t need, or are just lacking what I actually need. Then there are others that are hundreds of dollars which I just don’t need at all.

    “After doing some research into building a piezo preamp myself I found an article which hosts schematics created by Alex Rice for making a fantastic one designed to fit into an XLR shell. The publisher of the article referred to you guys saying the Cortado has a very similar preamp if you are interested in an already assembled version. Once I saw the price I was sold.

    “I could probably buy all of the components myself to build the one made by Alex Rice for less but I would also need a phantom supply. Once I saw you guys also had one of those I figured I’d rather support you guys than try to make one myself and no doubt run into even more problems. Biggest problem with my current piezo setup has been hum and noise or just not working in general.

    “I mostly am just tired of messing around and not getting any usable results. I’ve tried making other preamps but kept running into similar issues with noise and hum regardless of what I do. Could just be the way I’m recording them as its far from what you would call professional (hooking right into a line input on a computer, heresy I know).

    “I’m intending to use these for a hobby I started back in March. With some electronics and programming and musical prowess I have managed to make old computer floppy drives play music. They do this by making the motors vibrate at the right frequencies to generate each pitch. They sound awesome, and I’ve been using a Tascam recorder to capture them but I know there’s more detail I’m missing out on. Plus I don’t have anything close to a sound studio for low noise recording, and my house is generally noisy.

    “My hope is to use the Cortado to not only capture these things and have great, usable audio to use in tandem with the Tascam when mixing, but also establish an accurate real time monitoring solution. I’ve been having to make any music changes and then record them before I can even hear how it might sound, which as you can imagine eats up a ton of time.

    “If you wanna see what I’m talking about I have a few videos of them in action. It’s pretty cool stuff.

    “Thanks for asking and if you read this, thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions on how I can improve this without breaking the bank I’m open to suggestions.”

    #1490 Reply


    “One is going on the piano, one on the harp, one is going onto a piece of aluminum foil in the mouth of a bass clarinet, two go on the thunder plate and one on the gong.” — Nick Tipp, Soniferous Inc, Altadena, CA

    #1372 Reply


    “I am a sound designer looking into doing more field recording and I really wanted a contact mic for my work. I did a lot of research and decided I wanted one with an amp and found the cortado in that search! It seemed like the best option especially for the price 😀 ”
    — Zach W, Oregon

    #1321 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I have completed the kit and am using it glued to the end of a slinky. On the other end is a piezo that I send sound into.
    A lo-fi spring reverb so to speak :-)”

    — Einar, Oslo, Norway”

    #1073 Reply

    Glen v A

    Shaggyfreak sent us this sample from his Tin Can Mic.
    Shaggyfreak Tin Can Mic Test

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Glen v A.
    #1044 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I do some lo-fi recording at home and I have an acoustic bass that the pickup quit working. I will primarily use this mic for that bass, both live and when recording. Of course, now I can mic just about anything! So I think this will open quite a few doors while recording.”
    -Cj, Richmaond, Mississippi

    #971 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I just wanna use it on a cactus, dry ice, sheet metal, balloons, plank of wood, maybe throw it in an altoids tin with some rocks and maybe attach some springs to the tin, you have any other cool ideas?”
    -T.L., Las Vegas, Nevada

    #945 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I have an old plate reverb, but the original amplifier is long gone. So I’ve been looking for a phantom-powered high impedance buffer circuit to drive a reasonable length of cable without too much noise. I came across your kit at wiki.diyrecordingequipment.com, and it’s exactly what I was imagining–except that you guys have already done all the hard work.”
    Patrick, Fair Oaks CA

    #914 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I am working on an art installation for a holiday event in midtown Detroit- we will have five 10 foot tall musical sculptures and…we wanted to…amplify them, which is where the piezos came in. I’m wiring up the first one the this weekend, to try out the set up (…we’re tying together 3 piezos to send into the Cortado). If things go well I’ll have an order coming for 4-5 more next Monday.”
    – A.M., Detroit, Michigan
    Sculpture #2 for Noel Night, Dec 5 Detroit

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Glen v A.
    #876 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I have a lot of smallish string instruments collected from all over the world that Im interested in recording with this.”
    K.M., Toronto Canada

    #875 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I’m curious to see a pre-amp version [of a piezo pickup], and test it out to see how it works. I’m always looking for low cost ways of achieving interesting and/or quality sounds.”
    S.G., Huntsville AL

    #874 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I’m an audio engineer, producer, musician. Always thought piezos would be much more useful if they didn’t sound so tinny, and this circuit and everything makes that quest a whole lot simpler. I’m interested in seeing what they can add to a recording. Should be interesting..
    C.D., Brooklyn NY

    #842 Reply

    Glen v A

    “I just wanted to say nice job. People often ask me to build and sell these things and I don’t have time to get involved, but I know the need is great. Thanks for filling the void…. Love the documentation – It’s so important and so often overlooked! — Zach Poff, Sound Guru, NY

    “I want to build the tin can mic for creepy voice over sound or in my personal studio for the more authentic bands I get…. I have been wanting to build one for so long but after seeing, and hearing, the versatility on the instructables article…I knew this was the design I’d been waiting for!” — Bunny DAST, game designer, Houston TX

    “Thanks for making the Cortado available online. I would like to use your device to engage middle and high school students in STEM subjects and encourage them to think about engineering as a career. I plan to use it a group activity. They will make the microphone to work with a music circuit I’ve designed and a speaker.” — N.S., North Carolina State University College of Engingeering

    “I’m mostly interested in experimenting… I also work with a lot of new music groups in the Bay Area, many of which are always chasing new sounds … First possible use will come in a week and a half for a recording of new piano music… I’m planning on leaving a couple of channels for them and look forward to hearing what I get…” — M.M., San Francisco CA

    “the microphone [is] for my dad’s Christmas present. He’s an amateur radio operator who’s ridiculously hard to buy for, so when I found the microphone on Insturctables I figured I’d make him one for Christmas.” — J.B., Sault Ste Marie, Canada

    “I’ve been looking for a good solution for a contact-type mic. I like what I saw and heard in the “tin can mic” Instructable.” — J.B., Sewell NJ

    “I want to see whether I can make your piezo mic into an area effect microphone, a.k.a. a boundary microphone.” — D. K., Kenmore WA

    “I plan to make the New and Improved Tin Can Mic. I thought I’d make it for a friend’s daughters, who are both talented singers.” — R.C., Lexington KY

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