Making a sub kick mic is pretty damn easy. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, “sub kick” refers to a speaker cone you’ve converted into a microphone for use on a kick drum (though one can use it on other sources). Yamaha NS-10 woofers are popular candidates for sub kick mikes.
But since I don’t have an NS-10 woofer, I used a 5.5″ woofer that my co-worker Alex Erker found in the garbage. Virtually any speaker can be used, really, though cones between 6″ and 8″ are desirable. Turning this piece of junk into a mic was so easy, in fact, that everyone reading this should go make one right now. Just do the following:
- Have a friend find you a speaker in the garbage and rip it out of it’s housing. Alternatively, obtain a 6″ to 8″ woofer of your choosing. You should see two terminals – possible labelled hot and cold, or positive and negative.
- Prepare a shielded cable. Solder one inner conductor to the positive terminal and the other to the negative terminal. Remove the shield from the speaker-end of the cable.
- Now prepare the other end of the cable for assembly on a male XLR connector. Solder pin 2 to the conductor attached to the positive speaker terminal, and pin 3 to the negative terminal. Connect the shield to pin 1.
- Finish assembling the XLR connector and you’re done. Plug it into a channel and tap lightly on the cone. If you don’t see a signal, the woofer was put in the garbage for good reason.