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Category Archive for: ‘Electronics Blog’

Concepts in Audio Signal Transmission: Part I

Concepts in Audio Signal Transmission: Part I

Part I: Decibels, Impedance, and Operating Level Audio engineering enthusiasts are often confused by product specifications, which honestly aren’t always helpful, as they can lack comparability between product classes.  Here is a primer on three concepts involved in audio signal transmission and how to interpret their specifications into use in the field. Neophyte audio technicians will quick learn about two …

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Dynamic Microphone Amplification

Dynamic Microphone Amplification

image credit:  wikipedia and PixLoger (from Pixabay) There is much misunderstanding—perhaps even misdirection among engineers on the topic of dynamic microphone amplification, especially with regard to inline phantom-powered amplifier solutions.  This post will attempt to shed some light on this issue. Microphones can be divided into two categories of the most common types: dynamic and condenser microphones.  The two categories …

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X-V tube kit microphone

X-V tube kit microphone

From 2006-2007 I built the MSH-4 tube microphone.  Of all of my discontinued products, I’ve gotten more requests to revive that microphone than any other.  It was popular because of the “secret sauce” of the 6418 tube, which is a generous helping of the “good” kind of harmonic distortion (lots of second-order, plenty of third, some fourth, and not too …

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The Future of Microphones

The Future of Microphones

  Microphones and preamplifiers are drastically inefficient devices in the modern age. But before we explore that thesis, let’s review the development of microphones. We can very crudely divide the world of microphones into dynamic and condenser microphones (let’s ignore the exceptions for a moment). Dynamic microphones are characterized by very low output (voltage), but good current drive capability (low …

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Balanced Guitar Wiring

Balanced Guitar Wiring

A guitar pickup is essentially similar to a dynamic microphone coil. For decades, dynamic microphones have been wired with the voice coil attached to the primary of the microphone’s transformer, and not referenced to ground (‘floating’). The microphone’s case is typically connected to the cable shield, which is connected to the microphone amplifier’s ground (see Rane’s website for more discussion). …

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DIY Microphone Design

DIY Microphone Design

The development of the MSH-1 began as a result of Joel Cameron’s Tape Op mic. In fact, it was after I had mentioned on a few occasions that it wouldn’t be too difficult to build a phantom powering circuit into the XLR connector instead of building an external power supply, which is expensive and less practical. But the Tape Op …

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