Introduction: SPKR MiK: How to Make a Microphone From a Speaker.

Picture of SPKR MiK:  How to Make a Microphone From a Speaker.

How to make an inexpensive microphone capable of picking up low frequencies that doubles as a speaker and direct box.

The large diaphragm of this microphone will pick up more of the low frequencies when recording a kick drum or bass guitar.

Sound recording engineers have been using this trick for years, and Yamaha has also made a commercial speaker microphone called the SubKick, that usually retails for around USD$300.

I was able to build this mic for under $20 by "scrounging" various parts out of old junk. Even if you need to buy all the components, you should be able to build this mic for a fraction of the price of the retail version.

This design goes slightly beyond the SubKick, as far as electronics are concerned, with a dual coil design, and internal direct injection (DI) box.

You should be comfortable using a power drill and a soldering iron, and be able to read a schematic diagram. There is a little sewing, but it isn't too difficult.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

  • 6.5" dual coil woofer speaker (4ohm). I pulled this one from an Altec Lansing multimedia system that had a blown amplifier.
  • 10" drum. Cheap is okay, but you'll want something with lugs that screw into the shell, not springs or T-rods that screw into couplers. I found this one for $2 at a second hand store.
  • Two miniature bungee or elastic cords. I got a 4 pack for $2.50
  • Crimp on terminal rings. I paid $2.50 for a dozen
  • Adjustable hose clamp (the same diameter as the magnet of your speaker). This was about $1.50 at the hardware store.
  • Female mounting flange for 3/8" microphone stand and small bolts to mount it. I got this at Parts Express
  • 2 sq. ft. of speaker grill cloth. Also at Parts Express
  • Thread
  • Male XLR 3pin panel mount connector and mounting screws
  • Two 1/4" TS (mono) female phone jacks (at least one needs a tab for a normalling connection)
  • A six-pole four-throw rotary switch (I scrounged my switch from a 4-way printer "data" switch box), or you can use Mouser part no. 105-SR2921F-34S
  • 100 ohm potentiometer, also called a variable resistor
  • two knobs (for pot and rotary switch)
  • Two DPDT toggle switches (on-on)
  • A SPST toggle switch
  • Resistors: 100k ohm, two 10k ohm, 10 ohm
  • 100nF capacitor
  • 1:1 ratio audio isolation transformer (pulled from a second hand 270-054 I got for $1)
  • metal container to hold and shield transformer, and mounting hardware
  • heat shrink tubing or electrical tape
  • connecting wire. 22ga or 24ga is fine.
  • short microphone stand (another second hand store find)


  • Small adjustable wrench
  • Drill
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Wire stripper/crimper
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Screwdrivers
  • Small hack saw
  • Ruler, or other measuring device
  • Sharp hobby knife
  • Marking pen


  • Rotary tool
  • Drum key
  • Pliers, tweezers, or other soldering aids
  • Adjustable calipers
  • Cutting mat
  • label maker

Step 2: Dissasemble the Drum

Picture of Dissasemble the Drum

Separate the pieces of the drum.

It helps to have a drum key to unscrew the T-rods from the lugs, but you can use a small adjustable wrench instead.

We'll need the basics: Shell, Lugs, T-rods, heads, and rims.

My drum is a cheap toy, but it has the necessary lugs that screw into the shell.
I removed the old mounting hardware and the brush snare that were in my drum, and left them out.

Step 3: Shock Mounting the Speaker

Picture of Shock Mounting the Speaker

Prepare the shock mounting system using the bungee cords, the crimp-on ring terminals, and the hose clamp.

Pick the right size crimp terminal rings: The crimp ends should be just large enough for the bungee cord to fit through, and the screws that hold the lugs onto the shell should fit through the rings.

The two bungee cords will eventually end up as 8 total pieces. Four will mount to the four mounting holes of the speaker. The other four will be mounted to the magnet using the hose clamp.

It is handy to make a reference template from one of the drum heads to position the speaker. Place the drum shell on top of the head. Mark four points on the head that line up with the mounting holes for the lugs. Remove the shell, and use a ruler to draw two lines through the center, connecting opposite marks in an "X". Center the speaker on the X and align the speaker's mounting holes with the lines. When it is centered, trace around the speaker. Keep this reference template head under the speaker and shell for the rest of this step (3). We will use this template again in step 5.

First cut the two bungee cords in half. By folding them, you can get the midpoint without measuring. Remove the hooks. Each piece should have a staple or crimp thing that was used to keep it from slipping through the hook. Slip each of the pieces through the mounting holes in the speaker. They should hold. If not, use a washer to make the hole smaller, or find some other way to attach them.

Next, remove the insulators from 12 of the crimp on terminals. This is safe, since we're not using them for electricity, just for their mechanical properties. Slide one crimp terminal over the end of each of the bungee cords. With the speaker centered in the drum shell, adjust the crimp rings so the ring ends just touch the shell without stretching the cord, and crimp them in place. You should have just under an inch of cord between the speaker and the crimp. Cut off the remaining bungee cord to use for the second set.

Crimp a ring onto each of the four pieces. Clamp the rings onto the edge of the speaker magnet using the hose clamp. Tighten the hose clamp until it is close, and slide the rings between the magnet and the clamp. Make sure that they are aligned with the speakers mounting holes, then tighten the hose clamp. (alternatively, you could just clamp the ends of the bungee under the hose clamp)

Slip the last four crimp rings onto the ends of the bungee cords. Adjust them the same as before, with the tip of the ring just touching the shell without stretching the cord. Crimp them in place and cut off any remaining cord blocking the holes of the rings.

Now is a good time to test the shock mounting system, so you can make any adjustments while there is still plenty of room inside the shell. Fit the lugs back onto the drum, attaching the shock mounting system with the same screws.

Step 4: Drill the Holes in Shell.

Picture of Drill the Holes in Shell.

Lay out your panel and drill the holes for the jacks, switches, and potentiometer.

Its best to make a template to make sure you like the layout before you commit to drilling.
Check to see that the components will have enough room on the inside of the drum without interfering with each other, or the speaker. Also make sure that the components won't interfere with the lugs or the shock mount system.

Mark the center of each hole on the template, and tape it down temporarily. Mark the center of the holes by using a sharp object like an awl or the point of a nail to make a dent in the surface below. Mounting holes for the XLR jack are best drilled with the jack sitting in its hole, so the alignment is perfect.

Pre-drill the holes with a small bit first (1/8" works well), and enlarge to the proper size with larger bits. This will keep the bits from "walking" when starting the holes.

Step 5: Mount the Components

Picture of Mount the Components

Trim the shafts of the switch and the potentiometer to the right length to fit your knobs with a hacksaw or cutting disc with a rotary tool. File down any sharp burrs.

Mount the components in the shell and make them snug. Don't over tighten. You don't want to strip the threads. :) Also mount the container for the transformer. A metal container will help shield from outside interference.

Wait to mount the speaker until step 7.

Step 6: Review the Plans and Solder the Circuit.

Picture of Review the Plans and Solder the Circuit.
I researched how others have wired their speaker microphones and schematics of various direct injection (DI) boxes to figure out how I wanted to build this one.

I've provided a PDF file (below) of my hand drawn schematics so you can print them off and have them at your workbench.

Warm up your soldering iron and follow the schematic. Lines that meet in a dot are connected. Lines crossing in a little "jump" are not connected.

Point to point wiring is actually simpler in this case. This is when components are soldered directly to each other without using a circuit board.

It may help to highlight different sections (paths that are connected together) of the circuit with different colors of ink, then wire one section at a time.

Solder leads to the transformer, and insulate the connections with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing. Then put the transformer into the container and run the leads through a hole drilled in the side. You may want to pad the transformer inside the container with a scrap of foam, cotton balls, or a plastic shopping bag so it doesn't rattle around inside. The connections on the transformer will be less likely to come loose if the transformer does not move.

Solder in the leads for the speaker and label them. Wait to solder them to the speaker terminals until after you have mounted the speaker in step 7.

Circuit Explanation

The configuration of the coils can be changed by the rotary switch (S1).
  • Position 1 Single: A single coil of the speaker is used (4ohms), both 1/4" jacks are wired in parallel with the coil.
  • Position 2 Series: Two coils are wired in series(8ohms), with the two 1/4" jacks wired in parallel.
  • Position 3 Parallel: Two coils are wired in parallel (2ohms), with the two 1/4" jacks wired in parallel.
  • Position 4 Damping: Coil A is normalled to the 100ohm potentiometer, which will electromagnetially dampen coil B. When a 1/4" plug is plugged in, the potentiometer is disconnected, and the input directly drives coil A. Coil B is wired in parallel with the 1/4" output jack.

In all positions, the output then passes through the phase flip switch, through a -20db pad, to one side of the transformer. The transformer's secondary outputs through the XLR jack. (The pins on the XLR jack are labeled.)

The filtered ground can be lifted by opening S4.

Step 7: Re-mount and Solder the Speaker

Picture of Re-mount and Solder the Speaker

Mount the speaker back in the drum shell using the screws of the lugs. You will also be re-installing the lugs at the same time.

Solder the leads onto the speakers. Be careful to keep the polarity correct (+and-) or you will have phase cancellation of all the wonderful bass frequencies we want. Leave room for the speaker wires to move with the speaker when the speaker moves in the shock mounts.

If you like, you can put it on a stand now. You can put the knobs on too.

Step 8: Cosmetics

Picture of Cosmetics

Your mic will look better with a nice cover.
We'll cut holes out of the heads, and cover them will speaker grill cloth.

Marking them is optional, but a good idea. You want to leave a strip all the way around that is slightly thicker than the shell of the drum. (if you cut out the whole head, the ring will just slip around the outside of the shell) The strip of head sits on the shell, and the rim keeps it tight.

To help me make a nice smooth cut, I used a washer. The difference between the inside radius and the outside radius of the washer was a little more than the thickness of the shell.
With the metal ring of the head facing up, set the washer flat inside the head, against the ring. Put the tip of the knife inside the washer. The washer will roll against the ring of the head, and keep the blade at the right distance.

Place the drum head "donut" on a corner of your grill cloth and cut out a square just a little larger. Then cut off the corners.

Take a needle and thread and sew some temporary holders in place. Connect each of the eight points to the point across from it by tying off the thread. This will temporarily hold the fabric while it is sewn on.

Take more thread and stitch around the edge. Roll up the cloth a bit to give it something to hold onto (grill cloth is a loose weave). Only stitch the cloth on the back side of the head, _not the front_. This stitch is similar to the way you would make the webbing of a "dream catcher." has better instruction on the technique. For each stitch, instead of going around a ring of vine or metal, you stitch through the grill cloth. This thread won't really take any tension on the cloth until you get half way around the circle. When you make it once around, overlap a bit. Go back to the beginning, and tighten the stitches by pulling the thread with your fingers. You should be able to stretch the cloth a little and get it nice and even on the front side.

Then stitch a second round. It is fine to tie off the first round and use a second piece of thread. This time stitch in between your previous stitches, stitching around both the cloth and the thread of the first round. Tighten the second round, and tie off your thread.

Check your work. The front face should be nice and even, and the cloth should overlap the back side of the metal ring. When all is good, you can cut and remove the temporary thread on the crossing over the middle.

Repeat this step for the second head.

Step 9: Finishing Touches.

Picture of Finishing Touches.

Put the grill cloth heads back on the drum with the rims and T-rods. (That drum key may come in handy again.) There is no need to get them super tight, they are just holding grill cloth. Just snug them up until they are firm. They will not be as tight as a real drum. If its too tight, you may snap the remaining plastic ring of the head.

Label your connections and controls before you forget what they do when you go to use it. It may also be handy to label which end is the front, and which is the back.

Stand back and admire your handy work.

Things to do with your speaker microphone DI

Mic a kick drum
Mic your bass guitar rig
Use as a speaker with your LM386 cracker box amplifier
Podcast in your warmest "radio theatre" voice
Use as a DI with bass for a different sound


Here are some quick samples of a kick drum. There is emphasis in the low end, and some resonance. It is usually best to apply a low pass filter to the SPKR MiK, and mix it with a normal microphone.

spkrmic.mp3 - The SPKR MiC by its self. There are no filters or processing, other than editing.
compare-spkrL-b52aL.mp3 - A split track: the SPKR MiK on the left channel, a SHURE Beta 52a kick mic on the right channel. Both are unprocessed, other than editing.
mix-in.mp3- The first half is a SHURE Beta 52A by its self, the second half is the Beta 52A mixed with the SPKR MiC.- in this sample the SPKR MiC has an EQ - a high roll-off starting about 400Hz, passing nothing above 2kHz.



JustinD66 (author)2016-03-31

Is the internal DI box a must? or can I just go from the speaker to the XLR connecter?

Aud1073cH (author)JustinD662016-04-03

You can go directly from the speaker to the XLR connector - that's what Yamaha did. The DI transformer will just help with getting closer to the proper impedance for a mic line.

MattH84 (author)2015-12-14

Thanks — a nice clear tutorial. Note, though, that the aim of these mics isn't actually to 'pick up more low frequencies'. that's a bit of an Internet myth. The LFs these things generate is a resonant frequency, which is a kinda different thing — mroe like a one-note synth than a mic. And that's why they're outstanding for adding beef to a kick drum but less good on pitched instruments like bass and electric guitar...

afinish (author)2015-11-05

Hello. I try to make the project you are presenting here and have a couple of questions. What isolating transformer should I choose? Which impedance? 600 Ohm 170 Ohm 10K Ohm or does not matter. tnx:)

Aud1073cH (author)afinish2015-11-10

I would pick something near 600 ohms, or find out what is used in your favorite DI box. I started researching "di box schematic" in google images to find my answers.

afinish (author)Aud1073cH2015-11-13

But to my favorite DI, there is no ratio of 1: 1

PaoloS2 (author)2015-02-18

Assurdo sospendere l'altoparlante con elastici, l'unica cosa che dovrebbe muoversi è la membrana dell'altoparlante, in modo che tutta l'energia data dall'aria in movimento si trasformi in segnale elettrico, così invece parte viene persa dallo smorzamento degli elastici, il driver deve essere fissato saldamente alla cassa e non devono esserci passaggi di aria se non quelli calcolati dal progetto.

Aud1073cH (author)PaoloS22015-07-16

Even though I suspend the driver with elastic, I still get plenty of signal output. The purpose for the elastic is to reduce the vibration from the floor or drum platform. It also reduces mechanical noise from the beater pedal if the stand happens to come in direct contact with the drum.

Z.K. (author)2012-09-05

Nice tutorial though unfortunately I am not a musician so I don't know where I would use a thing like that. Still, it is interesting though to make it more interesting I would have used one of the free schematic programs rather than drawing it by hand. Also, you should include a short video to show what it actually does. Great work though, the finished product looks nice.

lambofwrath95 (author)Z.K.2014-03-21

He explained at the start with what it can be used for. Many uses if the frequency response is decent, although mainly for low frequencies. If you use this in accordance with another Mic that has a better frequency response for instruments you can mix the two and add body using this Mic to the signal (ie kick drum or bass)

wriggan (author)2013-08-23

Never mind, got a hold of what I'm looking at

wriggan (author)2013-08-23

I am an amateur with wiring diagrams. Is there anyway to get a more specific wiring. Example, DPDT switch had 6 connectors but I can't tell from the schematic which poles are relevant. Forgive my stupidity

Vonbakker41 (author)2012-11-09

Cool Design! In the beginning stage of collecting parts and have a very basic knowledge of ee, so was wondering how the components might vary if I have an 6" 8ohm speaker to start with?

Aud1073cH (author)Vonbakker412012-11-10

That should work nicely. If it is a normal speaker with only one coil, you can eliminate the coil selection switch and the damping pot.

memanuel1 (author)2011-10-24

Thank you to post it. A lot of time I search for this informations to make a home made project. I just wanna use a speaker and a mic.
The speaker will be used to the low frequency and the mic to the mid and high.
Can I just wire the speaker (4 ohm) in series with a mic (600 ohm) like a solution to the low resistence (impedance) prolblem?
Speaker + mic = 604 ohm. The mixer input works well to 600 ohm.
Is there some power (watt) problem in that wire. Thanx.

Aud1073cH (author)memanuel12012-05-14

I must have missed this question when it was posted -

The best option is to run the speaker an mic separately into two separate channels of the mixer, and mix them together using the mixer. This way you can use the EQ in the mixer to remove the high frequency component from the speaker signal.

I would not use them in series as you describe. The speaker coil may reduce too much of the high frequency of the microphone, and the speaker may try to drive signal into the microphone.

jon_dave (author)2010-12-09

does the watt rating of the resistor matter? thanks :)

Aud1073cH (author)jon_dave2010-12-13

when using it as a microphone, there is little power. normal 1/4w resistors are fine.

If I have a 50 watt @ 4 Ohms speaker, using as a Mic and the Low Z output is not giving me enough juice to get to the preamp, What type of impedance transformer (Low z to High z) should I be using.. I was told to use a 1:100 Audio Input Transformer, shielded and get it to somewhere between 400 to 800 ohms Im having a hard time finding one.. would I also need a Isolation transformer as well to balance the signal as well? and is that important? Thanks for your help on this.

The first thing I would try is to solder a 1/4 in. connector to the speaker terminals, and plug it into a DI box. The DI will have the right output impedance for your preamp.

Balanced is better when using longer cable runs, and/or in electronically noisy environments- simply, it helps reject noise. Over short runs you can run unbalanced. Be careful about going directly into a high-z preamp with a 50W rated speaker. you may want to have a pad/attenuator to start with.

I used a simple 1:1 transformer to balance the signal, although it probably does not do a very good job at impedance matching. If you use an impedance matching transformer, you can balance the signal with that at the same time. you do not need a second transformer.

mtschles (author)2011-09-09

Your rotary has me a little confused. What is coil B doing when coil A is being driven by the input, and is the dampening output solely coil B? Also, which position are you in when you're using it as a DI?

Aud1073cH (author)mtschles2011-09-12

I did make that complicated didn't I?
I hope this answers some questions.  If not, just reply to this comment, and I'll do my best to help.

Here I have quoted from my original text, in italic, and added notes in between in normal text:

Circuit ExplanationThe configuration of the coils can be changed by the rotary switch (S1).

Position 1 Single: A single coil of the speaker is used
(Coil B) (4ohms), both 1/4" jacks are wired in parallel with the coil. Coil A is disconnected. Any input will drive both Coil B and the DI's input.

Position 2 Series: Two coils are wired in series(8ohms), with the two 1/4" jacks wired in parallel. either input will drive the coils (a 8 ohm load) and the DI input

Position 3 Parallel: Two coils are wired in parallel (2ohms), with the two 1/4" jacks wired in parallel. Either input will drive the speaker coils (now a 2 ohm load) and the DI input

Position 4 Damping:
Coil A is normalled to the 100ohm potentiometer, which will electromagnetially
(and perhaps inductively) dampen coil B. When a 1/4" plug is plugged into CN1, the potentiometer is disconnected, and the input (CN1) directly drives coil A only.
Coil B is wired in parallel with the 1/4" output jack
CN2. A signal input here will drive coil B (at 4ohms) and the DI input.

In all positions, the output then passes through the phase flip switch, through a -20db pad, to one side of the transformer. The transformer's secondary outputs through the XLR jack. (The pins on the XLR jack are labeled.)

There's always some coil connected with the DI side.  You can use either input in any position of the rotary switch and get sound out of the DI. Since there are different coils, loads etc. (that I haven't experimented with) each will affect the sound differently.

If you want a straight DI, disconnected from any speaker coils, you can install a switch to disconnect the coils from the input jacks. Or use a normalling jack for CN2, and the coil side connects to the normalling contact. (I just built myself a couple of regular DI boxes as separate units)

s omer (author)2011-06-27


ptwornicki (author)2011-06-10

But where's the fun in that?

pointless1 (author)2011-02-10

I built this using an old 8 ohm sub. It works very well but it has to be aprox. 2-3 feet from the bass drum. I used the simple schematic and just added the -20 pad, but when I switch it on it goes from very sensitive to very unresponsive. Any suggestions what my next step should be? :)

Aud1073cH (author)pointless12011-02-15

Perhaps instead of a regular pad, use a variable pad/pot - I would try a 500k ohm guitar volume pot.

With the back of the pot facing you, and the three leads pointing down (toward you):

wire the lead on the left to the positive of the speaker (+) ,

the middle lead of the pot goes to the
-positive of the output -the tip of 1/4 in. jack,
-or pin 2 of XLR (if you are using my bitmap schematic in the comments)
-or pin 3 of XLR for yamaha schematic

the last lead of the pot on the right goes to connects with
-the common of the speaker (-),
AND either the
-shield of the 1/4in.
-or pin 3 of XLR (my schematic)
-or pin 2 of XLR (if using yamaha schematic)

maybe a little confusing, but you should have a variable volume control. You could mount it with a knob, or you could just hot glue it to the back of the speaker to set it once and forget it.

hope this helps :)

aar0nc0le (author)2010-11-26

Is there an easy way to modify this to help it to pick up higher sounds from a guitar?

Ojd (author)2010-09-16

Looks like very nice instructable. So its ok to just connect +/- wires from speaker to 1/4 jack to mixer? I think it just might work, if preamped. I just thought how to get this low-low kick sound from the real kick, tuned a lot, but still beater thump and overtones were present (more that i needed), sample you recorded looks like a cure. Also have you tried it to use with bass cabinets? (Bass-guitar>bass combo>subkick)? I think its very possible to get old dub-like bass.

Aud1073cH (author)Ojd2010-09-16

Yes it should work directly into the mixer.  You may need to use a mic level input.   Some mixers have mic/line switches on the 1/4in. jacks, others you need to use the XLR jack.
   Yamaha wires the hot (+) lead of the speaker to XLR pin 3 (cold), the cold (-) lead of the speaker to XLR pin 2 (hot), and XLR pin 1 (ground) to a lug of the drum. (closest thing to ground.)
Here's a pic of the Yamaha I found online:

 Of course, this instructable is for the more complicated dual-coil with DI box.
    I may suggest running it through a compressor if you have one. It is meant to be mixed with a normal microphone. 
I have not tried it with a bass guitar cab yet.  But you should get some really low bass.

bigredlevy (author)2010-05-27

After reading this instructable i constructed my own sub kick using a 10" sub and an old 14" drum shell.
It has fantastic bass response, and i have been using it to mic my drum kit. It sounds great.

Aud1073cH (author)bigredlevy2010-09-15

Awesome! Thanks for the pic. That looks way cool. :)

MathewHollingshead (author)2010-05-26


draxgon (author)2009-06-12

hey i have a blaupunkt TSw1200 12" 4-ohm subwoofer that i use to use for car stereo system but i havent for a few years now. could i replace the 6.5" sub in this instructable with my 12" sub?

Aud1073cH (author)draxgon2009-12-18

You may have trouble squeezing a 12in. sub into a 10in. drum shell.

Feel free to modify my design however you like.  Use the original speaker box, or use a larger drum., or let it hang in mid-air. its up to you.

I have not tried such a large speaker. try it -and write a post about how it sounds :)

kjeff3000 (author)Aud1073cH2010-04-19

 A few years ago, I was experimenting with this idea, although my version was "quick and dirty." 
I've got tons of speakers, parts, etc. laying around. I simply took an extra 15" woofer and laid it on it's back, on a folder blanket, inside the kick drum.
I left the front head and hoop off of the kick and wired an XLR connector to the speaker.
From what I remember, it sounded awesome! It provided ridiculous sub-frequencies (like big r&b/hip hop kick.) Of course, it was possible to dial back that excessive bass to taste.
Also, when I threw a blanket over the drum, the signal was completely isolated, even while recording in close proximity to bass and guitar.  I would assume that this was because the 'mic' diaphragm was so huge and not easily moved by more distant sounds. 
I experimented with suspending the speaker inside the drum, but that forced me to change the angle and wasn't nearly as good. I don't remember exactly how so. It could have been that it focused the sound too much on the beater.
It's also possible that part of the mojo of lying the speaker on its back was simply due to mass and resonance. After all, I was using a high quality woofer with a heavy magnet. Possibly an EV.

Aud1073cH, your design looks great. I've got some junk drum shells lying around. I'm gonna have to try making one like yours, sometime.

To everyone else, just experiment. This is a safe and fun project to play with, and can teach you about both mics, speakers, and how they work.
To ever

themancable (author)2010-03-02

That is an excellent looking subkick. Amazing to see how much detail you put into it -- great work!

aceLED (author)2010-02-25

i can make a smaller model right pm bck on that please;p

Aud1073cH (author)aceLED2010-02-27

you can use whatever size speaker you have available.  Feel free to experiment. :)

forget1234321 (author)2009-03-27

Hey i was wondering what is the best type of speaker to use for this? Large or small? we've got a lot of guitar cabs around here that I could steal a speaker from, but I want to know if getting a cheap-o stereo speaker from a pawn shop would work better. Thanks!

Aud1073cH (author)forget12343212009-03-28

Unfortunately there's not really a straight answer. (sorry- probably more info than you wanted) most microphones have diaphragms 2" and less, but we're not after "normal" here. The larger diaphragm of a speaker works better to pick up the very low frequencies we're after, but the higer mass, and slower response mean that it also rejects higher frequencies. It is my guess that a cheapo would work better, but still pick one sufficiently large. anything from 4" up to 12" should work, but I'm guessing that a better choice will be a 6.5" or 8" cheapo sub that has a fairly small voice coil -usually given away by the smaller magnet. (think radioshack cheap.) My best suggestion would be to try a few out and listen to them first before building them into a nice drum shell. make up something with a mic stand, rubber bands, and paperclips to temporarily hang each speaker in front of your kick or bass cab. Then pick a sacrificial guitar cable, and strip one end to wire to each of the speakers, and plug it into a DI box, to your mixer. If you have any single cabs to sacrifice, then you could just plug the speaker cab (not the amp!) into the DI or mixer. hope this helps - and good luck on your project. :)

iamtoats (author)Aud1073cH2009-05-26

Yes. I have a 4 inch, 4 ohm, 3 watt, radioshack woofer. Do you think it would sound okay? I got it for free.....

Aud1073cH (author)iamtoats2009-12-19

I think it would work.   try it and see.

I've got an 8in. and a 10in. radioshack woofers that I want to try myself.

riverreaper (author)Aud1073cH2009-12-16

im just wondering why do peeps all think everything outa radio shack is cheepy stuff ? ive a pair of old speekers from them {15yrs.old} that have dipole tweets in them an they sound still better than any thing around plus there 360 output each , have you ever tryed to make a mike outa tweets to catch the high ends ? ive played around with a few mikes as im a amtur radio guy an some of the mikes ive used have whats called talk back were it works still as a mike but a speaker as well is this were you got your idea from?

Aud1073cH (author)riverreaper2009-12-17

True, Radioshack has carried some good stuff. (especially 15 years back).  I have a NOS (new old stock) metal project enclosure on my shelf that is as solid as some of the Hammond enclosures.  If you see any of the Radioshack PZM microphones around (discontinued) - try it out. they are quite handy.  I think they may have been manufactured for RS by Crown? (can anyone confirm?-please post links)

I have not tried tweeters as mics yet, but a dynamic tweeter would probably work.

I knew that some radio and many intercom systems used the speaker as a microphone in half-duplex systems.  Recording engineers have been using this trick for ages.
My idea was to build my own nice-looking low frequency mic for cheap, and using a drum shell was inspired by the Yamaha SubKick, as I stated in the introduction.

Angry_Monkey (author)2009-08-30

Make life a bit easier, and simply get a mesh head - typical of those used on e-drums.

Aud1073cH (author)Angry_Monkey2009-12-18

That would be a lot quicker. 

it_dont_work (author)2009-05-15

using an ns10 woofer would make that subkick sound awsome

Aud1073cH (author)it_dont_work2009-12-18

destroying an original NS10 would make me sad. 

Jazzykoliko (author)2009-06-18

Is it so necessary that i make an internal DI box for my sub kick?

Aud1073cH (author)Jazzykoliko2009-12-18

Its not really neccesary to have an internal DI

you can wire straight to pins 2 and 3 of an XLR connector (no ground)

or you can use a 1/4 connector for an unbalanced signal, and run it through an external DI if you want to balance it.

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More by Aud1073cH:DIY Quick System - for DIY photo light modifiersCloth Covered Banana CablesSPKR MiK:  How to make a microphone from a speaker.
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