Introduction: Making a Piezo Pickup Like Microphone From a Broken Earphone to Record Your Acoustic Instruments!
This is a DIY instruction on how to make a piezo pickup like microphone that I build while I was away from my home studio because of COVID-19. I made this device because I wanted to record my acoustic guitar that I had in my home and I did that without any sound interface, just with my laptop so can you! This project cost me less than 5$ !
Let's get started
-Earphones that has a build in mic in it (mine left phone didnt work so used that)
-Headphone mic splitter
-Stereo headphone microphone audio Y splitter (you don't need this if your pc has a seperate mic and headphone input )
-Double sided tape
Step 1: Make Your Broken Headphones Have a Purpose Again !
Okay, how many of you had a earphone that had a dead, non working speaker in it? And it's almost always the left side. Most of you will throw it away and buy a new one. This earphone of mine is one of the non-working left speaker one but I made a usable recording microphone from it.
Every earphones with microphone has a bulk part between the jack and the earphones, that's where the microphone is built in, see that little hole on that part? Yeah that the microphone hole. Also there will be a little button. This button is used for answering or hanging up calls when you use the earphone with a cellphone but I we don't need this button and we also don't want anything be triggered by this button when we use this as a recording microphone so first of all I cut it off from that part with a scissor.
And secondly I cut away the earphones itself so we are left with only the bulk that's going to the jack.
Step 2: Stick It on Your Instrument
I cut little pieces of double sided tape and stuck the earphone microphone part to my acoustic guitar.
"Be careful not to cover your microphone hole!"
I found out that this microphone picks the sound best from the bridge. BUT you can use this device on all of your acoustic instruments, like violin, flute, xylophone etc. I even used on a shaker !
Step 3: Connect It to Your PC
You could connect this device straight into your laptop and because of modern audio input jacks (like on smartphones) your laptop will recognize it as an earphone with mic, so you can start recording in your DAW.
BUT because we dont have any playback device (speaker, headphones) to listen what we are recording there is no point to do it right now.
And when you have a pc that has seperate mic/speaker inputs, this DIY microphone won't work because you pc will recognize it just as a headphone.
This is the thing you need for that problem, this splitter will make your earphone output split to mic AND earphone outputs. Now you can plug the mic side of this splitter to your pc's mic input (if it has one) or even your sound interface!
If your pc don't have a seperate mic input you need something like this:
Now you can record while listening to what your are playing.
When you want to record without an audio interface you need "asio4all" driver for lowering your buffer size and recording-playback latency. Your can get it HERE. There are lots of tutorials online on how to record without an audio interface with asio4all