Coco-Mic --- the DIY Studio Quailty USB Mic (MEMS Technology)





Introduction: Coco-Mic --- the DIY Studio Quailty USB Mic (MEMS Technology)

Guerilla Design Contest

Second Prize in the
Guerilla Design Contest

DIY Audio and Music Contest

Second Prize in the
DIY Audio and Music Contest

Hello Instructabler's , Sahas here. Do you want to record your audio files like a pro? Probably you would love to... Well... in fact everyone loves to. Today your wishes will come true. Presented here is the Coco-Mic - Which not only records quality audio but also "MEETS THE EYE" . This awesome piece is a whole package with a DAC sound card , M.E.M.S technology Microphones which when connected to the computer or the laptop provides studio quality sound recording.


You may ask why not just buy a GOOD quality mic from the store? well .. those mics cost above $100. Why spend so much money when you can make one for under $8! Moreover.. You can proudly say that you have made it!


If you like this project you can reward me by using your shutter clicking skills on the Vote button to vote me for the DIY AUDIO AND MUSIC CONTEST. In return, I'll cook up more Instructables to share with you. Any suggestions or queries are welcome in the comments. Thanks for your support!

Step 1: Listen to the Audio Sample

Listen to the Audio sample recorded on the COCO-MIC.

# This audio sample is Unedited so that you have the clear idea about the microphone's Performance.

Step 2: Bill of Materials.

Here's the list of the materials you need to get before you begin.

1) USB soundcard ( With Mic input )x 1 ($1.03)

2) MEMS Mic x 2 ( $ 1.68 * 2 = $3.36 )

3) Medium sphere shaped coconut. x 1

4) 0.1 uf capacitor x 1

5) Female USB port & USB Cable male to male (One each )

5) Coffee strainer ( for the circular mesh) x 1 ( I had at home )

6) Coconut scraper (I had at home)

7) Basic tools and soldering skills.

Step 3: The Design and Circuit Diagram

Given above is the design and the circuit diagram of the Coco-mic.

Step 4: A Word About the MEMS Microphones

One Question may strike your mind Why use MEMS Microphone over a ECM (Electret Condenser Microphone )

Here's the answer:


MEMS Stands for Micro-electro-mechanical systems. MEMS Microphones offer studio quality recording which we believed to be reserved for Musicians and their studios. These are used where small size , high quality audio are required. These Mics are Ultra compact & consume very less power. More advantages are listed below:

>> They just simplify the design

>> Very good "performance density" compared to the ECM's

These were a handful of the advantages, there are so many that make these tiny pieces so awesome.


Step 5: MEMS Mic Pinouts

This is the most important. You need to understand the pin outs of the MEMS mic, The Video Describes how you identify the pin outs. The Microphones were too small to be seen so i have made a paper template of the Mic for this illustration.

# Its essential that you buy the same mic from Digikey what i did, so that the pin outs match.

Continue by adding the jumper wires to the Mic ports.

TIP: I have used colour codes for wires so that you understand where the wires are connected.

1) Grey : Gnd

2) Red : Vcc

3) Light Brown : Output from MIC

4) Yellow : Data + (USB)

5)Orange: Data - (USB)

This code is same through out for all connections in this instructable

Step 6: Prepare the Coconut

Peel off the husk from the coconut. Now gently sand the coconut surface with a 60 grit sandpaper without destroying the natural texture. Our aim is to soften the surface. Further give it a soft shave with cutter so that we get a perfect texture and softness.

Step 7: Cutting the Coconut

Take the coffee strainer and dissemble the circular mesh. Place this mesh on the coconut and mark the circle.

Now carefully cut along the circle with a mini hacksaw. Take your time and cut it as clean as possible because this will affect the final result.Save both the parts of coconut . We need the smaller one for the base.


Remember: Be careful while cutting . Apply optimum pressure or else the shell will break. And of course the goal is to cut the shell , not our hand so be careful. Also save the cut portion for the base.

Step 8: Start Scrapping !

Using the coconut scraper start scrapping the coconut to remove the inner white flesh. At the end clean the remains of the flesh with a spoon.

Step 9: Dissemble the Soundcard

Dissemble the usb soundcard carefully. Dont damage the internal parts and then proceed to next step.

*its a good idea to desolder the card's aux input ports. This makes easier to work on it.

Step 10: Build the Circuit

Build the circuit according to the schematic. Its not much complicated and is easy to build.

See the Circuit Diagram and be patient & positive because remember:

*Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. -- Robert H. Schuller
*The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.
Arnold H. Glasow

Step 11: Dig Out the USB Port

Measure the dimensions of the USB port and using a 5mm drill bit drill the holes. Lastly file the edges till the usb port fits snug and secure.

CAUTION: Be very precise in filing because every millimeter matters here!

Step 12: Install the Circuitry

Extend the female port to the PCB of card by adding jumper wires according to the schematic. Next, using a dab of hot glue fix the PCB and the port to the walls of coconut.

Step 13: Sound Absorbtion Technique

Using a bundle of medical cotton or any sound absorbent fiber fill the entire shell . This will absorb the echoes in the created in the shell. Though cotton has lower sound absorption coefficients , it work well for this purpose.

* Don't stuff in too much cotton. Just a nominal amount.

Step 14: Mic Mounting

Using a hacksaw cut a piece of the dotted PCB that would fit in the circular mesh. Glue the mic's output wires to the PCB and then the PCB to the mesh. Follow the Photos for clear idea.

Flatten a small piece of cotton and place it into the mesh. This will act as the pop filter.

*Make sure the mics are facing towards the mesh.

# Hot glue the wires NOT THE MIC CHIP because higher temperatures may affect the microphone's sensitivity.

Step 15: Hot Glue the Mesh

Apply hot glue on the edges of coconut and quickly fix the mesh over it. Then apply hot glue from sides for perfect bonding.

# Avoid excess dabbing of glue. This looks BAD. You want a clean finishing so take care.

Step 16: Glue the Base

...Take the small cap which we cut out in step #6 and dab a generous amount of hot glue on the top. You may want to roughen the top a bit for proper bonding, I did it with the hack saw.

Step 17: Plug It in !

What are you waiting for? ........... PLUG IT INTO THE COMPUTER!!!. wait till the computer detects and installs the drivers , this may take about 5 mins. Next Follow the steps :

1) Go to Control panel >Hardware and sounds > Manage audio Devices

2) Go to the recording tab and click on your mic's properties.

3) Then go to the Customs tab and disable the AGC mode. AGC is Auto gain controll. This creates noise. So disable it.

4) Set your MIC as the default recording device.

5) Disable the USB sound card's Output by going to the Playback tab > your Mic properties > Disable.

Perfect now! .......... Enjoy your recordings.

Step 18: MORE TIPs and Tricks for Perfect Studio Experience

The mic you have built is perfect for all basic audio recordings .Here are some handy trick to give you a perfect studio experience.

# 1 > We are not in a studio where walls are made of sound absorbing materials. Our home has concrete walls which reflect sound creating noises and unwanted echoes .Moreover there may be some noise on the USB rails . You can use software's like Audacity to remove this noise.

# 2 > When recording, Use headphones to hear the live recording instead of listening it from the speakers.

# 3 > Prefer using shielded cables and don't use too long USB cables. This reduces noise further

# 4 > Everyone has a different taste so use the Trial and error method to match up your levels.

"Trial and error is the best teacher."

Hey friends , time to say goodbye to all of you. We had a great time. If you love this project perhaps you like some of my others. Do check them here . Also tell me what do you think of this project, Any suggestions or questions ? Post them in the comments , I will be glad to answer them.

Good Bye !



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    Great job Sahas. Very well documented. One question though. The bill of materials lists a link to microphone #SPU0410HR5H-PB but later in the instructions you had a link to #SPU0414HR5H-SB with a note to use that one. Per the documentation at the link, the first one has Unity Gain, the second one is Amplified. Which was the final one that you used? And did you try the other one?

    Thank you for the comment sir. I used the second one.  #SPU0414HR5H-SB
    The first link I gave by mistake. Sorry for that.

    Thanks again.

    Great job with the mic.

    But 1 question why are powering a

    3.5 V rated mic with 5 V wouldnt that caus

    damge to the unite.Correct me if i am wrong.

    Thanks for your comment @ Eisad. That couldn't cause damage , a little over 5 V. You are correct , the Mic's are rated 3.6 V so as a precaution we can add a 3.3 V regulator. But as you can see my mics worked well and are alive till date... so no problem..

    Ofcurse it isnt gona caus it instantly but with time the mic will get dameged .
    Uou dont have to add a 3.3v regulator puting them in series should woork fine.

    how to do that

    Absolutely Fantastic !

    thanks for sharing this awesome how-to :))

    where i can buy these microphones in India? Any other website cause the website digikey is not letting me buy. it changes country automatically to US.