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Author Topic: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic  (Read 23017 times)

argibbo

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Re: Gold Sputtered Mylar
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2009, 09:39:56 am »

Mike Cleaver wrote on Wed, 07 October 2009 17:32

I'm pretty sure most capsule manufacturers simply buy the plastic substrate and sputter the gold themselves.
I've never heard of any for sale "pre-sputtered."
Some of the better known "do it yourselfers" who post here may help you with this

Cheers fo your reply Mike. Can't afford a sputterer. Might have to find some blokes with a scanning electron microscope. They can't see things that ain't been sputtered (and I can't hear them!)
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argibbo

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 09:42:27 am »

Tim Campbell wrote on Thu, 08 October 2009 05:11

Since this is your first attempt at building a capsule don't waste hard to aquire gold sputtered mylar. Simply us aluminum metalized 6 micron mylar from a capacitor.

There are a lot of processes to learn before worrying about the quality of the film.


A great idea. Cheers Tim.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 04:31:49 pm »

Klaus is once again proving that Germans DO in fact have a sense of humor!

Fletcher, I can only comment on five various facilities, from first hand experience, but in four different locations.  So depending on where you are geographically at the time, I might be able to assist you.

Personally, the one at UCSF was my least favorite.  

Oh, and one REALLY important thing to remember, no matter where you wind up: Try to escape BEFORE they give you the thorazine.  
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Sean Eldon Qualls

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2009, 04:57:30 pm »

Fletcher, I can personally recommend Brunswick and South Oaks, both in Amityville. Brunswick for the hard-ass staff and strict rules, and South Oaks for sheer fun.

Met my wife at South Oaks!
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Sean Eldon
Gainfully unemployed / Back to freelancing

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J.J. Blair

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2009, 05:08:17 pm »

Was she staff, or a fellow inmate?  'Cuz if she was staff, you get massive points for that pull!  That's a true feat.
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

andrew lawrence

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2010, 09:34:14 am »

Don't take any notice of this lot!!!!
I live in Coulsdon,PM me I can probably help.
Andy Lawrence
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compasspnt

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2010, 09:52:35 am »

Klaus, I must say that your earlier responses were your all time high point!
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Dale Ulan

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2010, 12:56:17 am »

This is a bit more technical but I've been there, bought the T-shirt, and don't think I'd do it again.

In all seriousness, you could easily purchase a very nice microphone for the cost and time to put together a gold coater - you won't save any money and you'll probably just get frustrated. Then you'll be having to look for a mental hospital. Unless you're really determined to figure it out.

It took me many weeks (maybe a few months?) to get my coater to work - lots of vacuum leaks. And you can't find them easily, a leak can let in literally a few atoms per second of air and that ruins the process. Your vacuum system needs to maintain better than one micron of vacuum - lower leads to less contamination of the gold. That is a pretty hard vacuum, you use a diffusion pump to achieve it. Very few mechanical pumps are capable down there. Actually, you use a mechanical pump to rough-pump the chamber down, and another mechanical pump to 'back' the diffusion pump. If you're interested, look up 'thermal evaporator' on your favorite search engine. I would never recommend to anybody to DIY that project unless you really have to, having done it. My setup cost me at least $2500, using mostly ebay bits. The oil for the diffusion vacuum pump was around $100.

If you do decide to build a vacuum coater, one wrong valve move will make a mess that takes several days to clean up. I now use a programmble logic controller (with safety vacuum switches) to ensure proper sequencing of roughing-pumpdown-deposit-cool-vent cycling.

As a DIY, I'd follow Tim's recommendation. That limits you to edge-terminated capsules but that's fine. There are plenty of edge designs out there. The Stebbings/Debenham/Robinson capsule is quite nice, and it has very good machining instructions. They may seem terse if you're not used to machining - they assume you know something about using a lathe and a mill.
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Dale Ulan
10000 Cows Recording Studio
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Tim Campbell

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2010, 05:37:17 pm »

Wow, Andy Lawrence (good to hear from you Andy!), Dale Ulan and me all on the same thread. I must be on the wrong forum.

It is possible to remove the aluminum from the edge of mylar with alcohol and a little elbow grease. I'm sure, however, that Andy might be an easier source for you to get your film from.
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Campbell Transmitter
www.timcampbell.dk

SimonC

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2010, 03:35:22 pm »

Hello all,
First time post from long time reader of this great forum.
(took many tries to get the registration to work)

Tim Campbell wrote on Mon, 18 January 2010 16:37

 I must be on the wrong forum.


There are a more right (maybe he means 'better' K.H.) forums ??

Andy, great to see the return of real British tube mic manufacture, I hope to do the same in some far off future.

I have seen the pics of Dale's evapourator, great work !
My background is thin film sputtering, so if you need parts Dale, I know vacuum techs with garages full of 'old stuff'.

My boss is pretty laid back about 'calibration runs' on mylar if things are not too busy.

I am building an etcher at the moment but will have the chance to do some very fancy films later in the year.
Please let me know if this is of interest to any one.

I am working on my own capsule but so far just learning how easy it is to make bad ones. Guess that's how you learn to make good ones.

Simon Cunningham
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Unwinder

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2010, 10:11:46 pm »

This thread is too funny. Thanks for the laughter!

Re: making capsules: I've seen Dale's process first hand, and yes, you are probably better off just purchasing a good capsule and focusing on the other stuff. Making a good sounding capsule is very difficult, as far as I've seen.

Also, what is with Uruguay? A Swiss friend of mine wants to retire there. Or did you just randomly think of that Klaus?

Klaus Heyne

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2010, 01:23:53 am »

Not really random. Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and other South American countries were favourite destinations and well-liked hiding places for German fugitives of a certain political persuasion in the not too distant past.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
www.GermanMasterworks.com

ratite

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2010, 01:51:56 am »

Can you not buy pre-sputtered film of chinese manufacture?What is the world coming to...

Oh, and Klaus: prior to running into troubles, you forgot the marketing stage, requiring paid-for pandering producers and precocious pretty girls. The latter, whom you could escape to Uruguay with, I could post, the former would have legal implications.
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Richard Horner
Unaffiliated knob twiddler.

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Jakob Erland

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2010, 02:01:06 am »

Am I right that some of you are deliberately trying to derail the original posters attempt to gain some knowledge on diy'ing microphones?

Or is there something I missed in this thread?

Jakob E.
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..note to self: don't let harman run your company..

Dale Ulan

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Re: How To make Your Own Condenser Mic
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2010, 02:09:15 pm »

It might be more that people are venting their insanity after trying to stop air leaks in this....
http://www.10000cows.com/diaphragm-cycle.JPG
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Dale Ulan
10000 Cows Recording Studio
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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