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How to convert a Rock Band USB microphone to a 1/4" mono plug microphone

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Picture of How to convert a Rock Band USB microphone to a 1/4
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Just so you know, this is my first Instructable, so if its really messed up, sorry. Also, my images were taken on my ipod so they might look sideways.
What You Need:
-a Rock Band mic
-a 1/4" mono jack ($4 for a pack of 2 a radio shack)
-a blank or unimportant CD or DVD or a washer with a 3/8" hole and a total diameter of about 1"
-a knife
-sharp scissors
-a soldering iron
-super glue
 
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Step 1: Opening the mic

Picture of Opening the mic
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Opening the microphone is the most difficult step of the entire process. You should start by cutting the cord about 1-2 inches from the base of the microphone. Then comes the hard part: Twist the top "cap" part of the microphone until the screws on the inside break and it comes free. After you do this, remove all of the internal components and discard the weight in the center of the microphone. Remove the rubber plug thingy from the bottom of the mic body.

Step 2: Soldering the jack

Picture of Soldering the jack
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Note: My soldering iron conveniently broke, so I just twisted on the wires, but you should solder it.
Splice the black wire coming from the microphone part about 1 inch from the end. Inside there is a white wire (the lead) wrapped with bare copper wire (the ground). Twist together all of the ground wires. Splice the lead about 1/4" to 1/2" from the end and twist together all of the lead the wires. Solder the lead wire to the tip part of the jack. Solder the ground to the ring part of the jack. After you've finished soldering, plug it into a guitar amp or pa and make sure it works.

Step 3: Making a plastic washer

Picture of Making a plastic washer
Skip this step if you already have a washer.
Cut a short strip from the edge of the CD and pull apart the 2 layers. Throw away the top label layer and keep the clear plastic layer. Cut a square in the clear plastic about 1" x 1" and keep cutting the corners off until you have a circle with a diameter of 1". Use a knife and place the tip on the center of the small plastic disc you just created and keep turning while applying pressure until you get a hole with about a 3/8" diameter. I used a 3/8" drill bit to check the size of the hole. This might take a while.

Step 4: Assembly

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Push the jack down to the hole in the bottom of the mic body (note: this is easier if you plug a cable into it and pull it through) and make sure the part that you plug the cord into is coming through the hole in the base of the mic body. Place the large plastic washer you made (or had) around the external part of the jack and put the small metal washer that came with the 1/4" jack over it. Next, twist on the nut that came with the jack to secure it all the the mic body. The actual microphone part that is connected to the jack should fit securely where it was before in the mic body. Finally super glue the cap back onto the top over the microphone and it should finally look like a microphone. Plug it in and see if it works. If it works, then congratulations, you have just successfully modified a Rock Band mic into a real mic!
noingwhat3 years ago
How well does the mic hold together after you broke the top off. I really want to get inside to replace the dynamic mic component with a higher quality condenser, but I was hoping to keep the USB pre amp and board, along with the current casing. Did you just glue it back together, or did it all just kind of pop back in place?
JasonYMN4 years ago
Hi, what would you say the quality level of this converted microphone is? Due to the mics limited reach i wanted to do the opposite, add an xlr connector to where the mic goes on the circuit board so it can be hooked up to a better quality mic and still be able to use the built in usb sound interface.
rcappel (author)  JasonYMN3 years ago
Hi, sorry I didn't reply sooner, I was away from home for a while. The mic itself isn't spectacular but I used it to record an acoustic guitar and it sounded fine. I used the USB interface soldered directly to a 1/4" mono plug to record electric guitar and bass and it sounds great. I'm almost positive you would be able to use an xlr connector and a good mic.
ajleece4 years ago
Line level or mic level?
rcappel (author)  ajleece4 years ago
mic level