Novice Contact Mic question

Talk about music gear for noise music

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iPerson
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Novice Contact Mic question

Post by iPerson » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:37 pm

Watching a Merzbow video with him playing a homemade instrument* that functioned like a guitar & consisted of a piece of scrap metal mounted with springs, attached to a contact mic & a power jack (which acts as the “neck” of the instrument), and he would rub the springs & the plate with something that looked like an empty tuna can*
It got me thinking 'what would happen if I used a cheap contact mic** on an electric guitar for making noise music, or even tried putting a cheap contact mic inside the guitar, in an attempt to emulate the effect of Merzbow's homemade instrument on a regular instrument? I've heard mixed reviews about working with cheaper contact mics for noise music, so I'm wondering if any of this would even be worth the effort.
Keep in mind that I know next to nothing about contact mics.....Thoughts? Ideas? Previous experiences doing similar things?

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1OtZZvzJhs
** i.e. the ones I find when I search up 'contact mic' on amazon, something that would cost >$20

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¼ dead
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by ¼ dead » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:23 am

I've heard mixed reviews about working with cheaper contact mics for noise music, so I'm wondering if any of this would even be worth the effort.
Spending money on piezo mics for noise? No. They're incredibly simple and cheap to build, and any slight variations you think you might hear between "cheap" and "expensive" contact mics run through a Death Metal pedal are going to be negligible, if even remotely perceptible. Experience has shown me that the piezo element used is far less important than element placement (i.e., where you mount or clamp the mic) and what kind of preamp is being used.

Just make your own mics. Google is your friend and overlord.

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crochambeau
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by crochambeau » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:55 am

I agreed with the DIY sentiment though acknowledge that DIY is not for everyone so: buy all you like. Whatever it takes to maintain a momentum.

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Bipolar Fucking Joe
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:39 am

Yeah, where it is placed is more important than quality. I'd also add that the size of the element affects the sound, too.

There's some protective measures you can take to stop it falling apart so quick. First thing I do is hot glue the top to stop the wires being torn off immediately. If I can get my arse into gear, I'll take a photo of a standard Bipolar Joe contact mic'.

iPerson
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by iPerson » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:36 pm

Any specific links out there on how to make a contact mic (for someone who’s awful with technology, making things)?....
And any tips, advice on contact mic placement?

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fire
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by fire » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:18 pm

piezo elements are premade, just need to connect the wires to a plug, probably 1/4 inch trs for pedals and such

Image

as for placement, you will need to determine that yourself, piezos are vibration activated so good solid contact is best, be careful because they are fragile so permanent mounting may be a good idea
broadcasting from the post-internet wasteland

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¼ dead
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by ¼ dead » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:26 pm

I'm not just being flippant when I say "google it". there's so many guides for how to build a contact mic, and they can explain everything you would want to know. But you can buy cheap prefab ones too, sure. As far as mic placement, that's really up to you to determine.

If you want to buy a piezo pickup specifically for guitar, you can buy strip piezos that attach on the bridge of a guitar (I don't have links, sorry. But look it up and I'm sure you'll find a lot of results). That's probably the best/most purpose-built/simplest option for guitars.

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Bipolar Fucking Joe
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Re: Novice Contact Mic question

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Glue everything up like this, it should last a good while and with quite a reasonable bit of abuse.
IMG_20180227_210559.jpg
IMG_20180227_210559.jpg (240.39 KiB) Viewed 1723 times

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