How to Make a Homemade Parabolic Microphone

Written by austin cross
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How to Make a Homemade Parabolic Microphone
A speaker can be turned into a parabolic microphone. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A parabolic microphone is a microphone with a diaphragm that captures sound waves in a U-shaped parabola pattern. A small speaker can be converted into a microphone that captures sound in a similar pattern.

Microphones work by capturing vibrations and converting them into electricity using electromagnets. These microphones can then be used to record anything from vocals to instruments. This style of microphone was popular in the 1980s and was used to record bass drums because it could capture the full depth of the drums.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Speaker wire
  • Solder
  • Soldering iron
  • Small speaker
  • 1/4-inch male adaptor

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  1. 1

    Look behind your speaker. You will see two metal contacts.

  2. 2

    Cut a length of speaker wire. This can be as long as necessary.

  3. 3

    Strip 1/4 inch of rubber protective coating from each wire. You will remove coating from four wires altogether.

  4. 4

    Melt some solder on the tip of your soldering iron. A small bead will do.

  5. 5

    Touch one of your wires to a contact behind a speaker. Transfer the bead of solder to this junction. Tug gently to ensure a connection.

  6. 6

    Touch your remaining wire to the second contact. Melt more solder and attach this wire.

  7. 7

    Unscrew the body of your 1/4-inch male adaptor. This will reveal two contacts.

  8. 8

    Solder your two remaining wires to the two contacts on your 1/4-inch male adaptor. There is no specific order.

  9. 9

    Plug your new microphone into a recording device and test it by speaking into the centre of the speaker.

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