Welcome to HomeMadeMicrophones.com
Learn how to make Microphones for a fraction of the price of purchasing them!

Main Page

Free Sample Page of the Instructions.

Common Questions:

How much do materials cost?

Do you sell kits?

What microphone is best for what I'm trying to record?

What about mics for podcasting?


Listen to sound samples (coming soon)

Frequency responses
(coming soon)


Plans for BUILDING A RIBBON MICROPHONE - From Rickshaw Records


Links to sources for microphone building:

Prodigy Pro

Micbuilders Forum



Links to sources about about recording:

contact me:


Basic Questions and answers:

Q. What types of microphones are there?

A. Basically, there are three different types of microphones:

  1. Dynamic microphones
  2. Condenser microphones
  3. Ribbon microphones.

Dynamic microphones don't require phantom power and are very sturdy. The downside is that generally, they aren't as high a quality microphone as a condenser microphone - they are not as sensitive. This is actually good for some situations - if something is really loud and percussive, like a Drum - or a gun - you might want to use a dynamic mic. Since they are tough mics, they are also good in live situations.

Condenser Microphones require phantom power and are very sensitive microphones. These are the microphones most people think of when they are thinking about studio level microphones. These are also the type of microphone you will be building with the instructions. To be absolutely accurate, the instructions are for electret-condenser microphones - a less expensive form of condenser microphone.

Ribbon Microphones are very delicate microphones that, instead of using a diaphragm from which the sound is captured, use a very fine metal ribbon, suspended between magnets. These microphones are described as "smooth" sounding. They are very popular in studios. The downside problem is that they are very delicate microphones. They have classically been very expensive, but they can also be made from scratch - if you have the patience.

Check out the link on the left from RICKSHAW RECORDS for instructions on building an excellent Ribbon mic.


Q. What is a good microphone for podcasting?

A. If you will be staying in a 'studio' situation (if you are basically talking into the microphone), the SIDE ADDRESS LD microphone is an excellent way to go. It's an excellent microphone for the voice and will help to give you that "Radio voice".

If you want to go "on location", the SMALL DIAPHRAGM Cardioid is great. Additionally, voices sound very good with this microphone also.

Q. What is the 'right' microphone for various recording scenarios?

A. This question has a different answer depending on who the engineer is. However, here are some general rules of thumb:

For musical instruments, when accuracy is desired (classical, jazz, etc) - a small diaphragm cardioid is usually preferred. The reason is that the small diaphragm (SD)reacts more quickly to sound than a large diaphram (LD). A cardioid microphone gives you directionality. This is great when you want to be able "aim" at the sound you are recording

Conversely, if you want a 'smoother' sound, an LD microphone might be better. These microphones are commonly used for recording voiceovers, and vocals.

If you want to record 'everything' all around the microphone, an omni microphone is a good mic to use. Omni microphones are capable of incredible sound - the downside is that, since they pick up everything -- they are harder to control. You can't point an omni microphone at something. Their recording pattern is essentially a 360 degree pattern.

However, if you are recording nature sounds or ambient sounds - an omni mic is excellent. If the room you are recording in is known for its acoustics, an omni might be the perfect microphone.

Bottom line: There is no single microphone that is perfect (or even right) for everything. That's why serious audio recordists have many types of microphones. It's best to have a bunch of different types - each for the right job. It's like being a carpenter with a good variety of tools. With these instructions, you can build three basic types of electret-condenser microphones. These will cover a multitude of jobs.