Wireless Mic to Guitar Hack

29,915

172

34

Posted in PlayGuitars

Introduction: Wireless Mic to Guitar Hack

Wireless guitars are great, without cables to trip on the life expectancy of an energetic guitarist is greatly increased.  However, they are expensive, way more expensive than wireless microphone systems.  In fact, if you're like me, you might happen to come into a wireless microphone system for free.  Using it for your guitar is a ultra-simple hack that almost anyone can do in less than an hour.  



Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools required:
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire strippers
  • Drill and 3/8" bit
  • 1/2" wrench
Materials required:
  • 1/4" guitar jack
  • Solder

Step 2: Disassemble

Before you rip into the mic, test that it works!  It could save headaches later.

Most of these mics just screw together to allow for the occasional cleaning.  Twist the top off and pull out the microphone-holding center piece.  Cut the wires as long as you can so that there is enough slack that the wires don't break when the microphone is screwed back together.  If there isn't enough you may need to extend them a few inches.



Step 3: Drilling the Top

Using the 3/8" drill, drill a hole in the top of the microphone, through the mesh.  Using a drill press and vice is best for this, since it is likely to snag on the mesh.  Do be careful.

Once the hole is drilled, apply some tape around the inside, on the top of the mesh, and beneath.  Its likely that if the guitar jack makes electrical contact with the housing of the mic, it won't work properly.  I had this problem and I solved it with tape.


Step 4: Wire the Jack

Strip the ends of the two old microphone wires and solder them to the lugs of the 1/4" guitar jack.  I guessed that the red one was signal and green one was ground, but I don't think it matters.  If there is an issue, try flipping the wires.

Step 5: Re-assembly

Push the jack up into the microphone head and attach using the included washer and nut.  Tighten with the 1/2" wrench. 

Screw the head of the mic back onto the body.  Plug it in and test it out!

Step 6: Bonus Step: Belt Loop

If you've got some rubber, sheet metal or leather around, you can make a simple belt loop for the mic so that the antenna is exposed. It's likely it won't fit in your pocket very well.
  • Cut a 5" strip of rubber, punch two holes in the ends
  • Cut a strip of aluminum sheet metal 
  • Drill a hole in it
  • Bend it over an edge into a tight U shape
  • Assemble with a screw and nut
A  belt loop keeps the mic nearby for a short patch cable.


Step 7: Ready to Use!

Jack in, plug in the receiver, and hit the on switch, and your amp will roar to life with musical power.  I found that I had to keep my guitar below about 3 on the volume knobs otherwise there was distortion, the pickups in a guitar create a more powerful passive signal than the microphone element must have.


Share

    Recommendations

    • Space Challenge

      Space Challenge
    • Pocket-Sized Contest

      Pocket-Sized Contest
    • Spotless Contest

      Spotless Contest
    user

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.

    Tips

    Questions

    34 Comments

    I tried and it worked.
    But battery issues are there..
    How to increase the battery life.?

    3 replies

    Sorry I can't think of anything that would improve battery life. The hack should not result in a change in battery performance.

    I used a fm transmiter with guitar and it worked also.
    I charged it with a powerbank.
    But fm mic is very easy to fit so can i connect any additional batteries with it?

    You can connect more matching batteries in parallel with the original battery to increase the battery life.

    Hello Matt!
    First of all, an amazing hack!
    I have a question.
    http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B017EO4ITI/ref=pd_aw_sim_sbs_267_of_38?ie=UTF8&dpID=41QCRosrmEL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_SL500_SR100%2C100_&refRID=1H4SKHH53NKBFRGKP9RY
    Can I use the above mic's transmitter, if I use a 1/4' male to XLR male jack?
    Regards.

    6 replies

    That looks like the same unit I used. There is no need for an adapter, there is an XLR antenna for the mic. The transmitter itself is inside the body of the microphone. The mic also can be used as a corded mic using the included cable.

    you saying about the switch and in line that is correct

    Well, I thought that the antenna was the transmitter itself! Silly me....
    Well, I was thinking, isn't there a less destructive way around, by which I can use it both as a mic as well as the guitar wireless transmitter?

    If you can find room for the guitar jack elsewhere, you could put a switch in line with the microphone, and add the jack in parallel with the microphone/switch combination, so when you plug in the guitar and flick the switch to OFF it will take the guitar input, but when the guitar is unplugged and the switch is set to ON you'll have the mic.

    Only issue is there isn't much room in the tip for that. You could make the guitar jack completely external if you wanted.

    Thanks for your valueable suggestions! That external idea seems great to me.
    I was thinking a little differently. I thought I'd place the input jack a bit lower down the body. Then I'd use another 1/4' jack to connect it to the wires that come out of the actual microphone. This way I'd be able to plug in both the mic or the guitar, whichever I wanted. However, I'd need another mesh to be able to use the device as a microphone.

    The top part screws right off, so you could probably find a way to make it swappable in that area.

    I think the best idea would be to add the step down impedance transformer (as guitar is hi-z device ) right after the input jack in mic enclosure. This way your guitar should volume shouldn't need to be dialed out anymore.
    I'm talking about sth like this, it's kinda penny-sized.
    http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/nte10-3

    I suppose you wouldn't need the low->high impedance matching transformer after input of the receiver as, while it has jack plug, it should be already hi-z.
    Hope that would help.


    Best Regards,

    Adrian

    2 replies

    I think the original microphone was pretty high impedance as it was a condenser mic, just not as high-Z as the guitar is. a 2:1 or 3:1 transformer might improve the performance.

    oh I see. There's one more thing i think about - if it was condenser and had bias voltage on it then transformer would isolate pickups from being biased and therefore there would not be disturbance in their magnetic field. (I think there could be some) .

    Hi mat . . Your hack was absolutely easy and simply superb . . I have a question. Usually some presentation microphones come along with a wireless transmitter with an input for microphone jack. Can this transmitter be used directly to plug in the guitar cable ? Thanks

    1 reply

    Most cheap microphones used now are a type called "electret" microphones, which have a built in transistor that amplifies the signal from a small condenser element into a more usable signal that is easier to work with. This is a good idea for sound but if you want to apply an electrical signal from a guitar instead, it is more difficult. The transmitter is expecting a signal that is probably 100x higher than the signal from the guitar, also there is a voltage being applied to the microphone jack so that the transistor can be powered, and some people say this can affect the sound of the guitar.

    In short, it can be done, but with a wireless transmitter the volume may be too low. I have plugged my guitar into my PC mic port before and it works, but the sound quality is very bad and the volume and microphone boost must be maxed out to hear anything.

    The reason this particular hack works is because this wireless microphone used a simple condensor microphone and not an electret, so the signal levels from the condenser and the guitar were of similar power.

    Hi, pretty awesome hack! Do you think it could work with low frequencies from a bass guitar?

    2 replies

    Should be fine. It might be filtered to minimize frequencies at 60Hz and below though.

    Ok! Hope to test it asap and I'll let you know, thanks!

    Is it possible to solder a capacitor or resistor to the jack then the wires so that you can use the guitar at full volume?