So, I play fiddle in a bluegrass band.
Even though it’s an acoustic instrument
Typically, we’re amplified at our shows.
Fiddle is one of the most difficult instruments to amplify.
Typically you either use a microphone
Which is what I have here–a little clip-on microphone-
-and you can hear me talking through it
or you use a pickup
which is embedded here in the bridge.
A microphone typically sounds kind of more like what the instrument actually sounds like in person.
While a pickup sounds kind of more,
I don’t know, “tin canny.”
But problem is that sometimes I don’t want the sound to be coming out of them
Sometimes I want to be able to tune my instrument,
or talk to my bandmates without the entire audience hearing it.
It’s really easy to find mute pedals for pickups.
It’s a little bit harder to find mute pedals for microphones, but they do exist.
But as far as I can tell,
there’s really nothing out that you can buy that mutes both a microphone and a pickup together.
There are some really really expensive preamps
that are like a thousand bucks that will do that also.
But I didn’t want to spend a thousand bucks just for a mute.
And, of course, probably somebody watching this will tell me right away
that they know exactly how to find this
but I couldn’t find it after extensive searching
so I decided to make one myself.
Alright, the parts are here. Let’s do this.
好的 部件都在这里了 开始吧
So, what do you need to make a dual-channel mute pedal
for a mic and a pickup?
Two guitar cable jacks,
an input and output mic jack,
a three channel switch,
one channel for the mic, one for the pickup and one for an LED.
分别用在麦克风 拾音器 和LED上
an LED and resistor,
9-volt battery and battery connector,
some small bolts, a box to put it all in,
and the makerspace at your local library
which has plenty of wire, soldering irons, drill bits, and so on.
那里有大量的电线 焊接用铁 钻头等
All in all it’s only about twenty or thirty bucks if you already
own the tools or can borrow them from friends or go to a makerspace
I started off by finding the wiring diagrams for mute switches.
I don’t know much about circuits beyond what you learn in high school physics,
so these circuits are very very simple.
The pickup is the easiest one
since it has only two wires
One in black carrying a fixed reference voltage
and the other in red carrying the signal from the pickup
by connecting these two wires together
you stop the signal from reaching the amplifier
or PA system or whatever.
I tested this all out with alligator clip cables to make sure things worked
and the pickup was successfully muted.
So, onto the microphone
The mic has three wires
One with a fixed reference voltage
and the other two carrying copies of the signal from the mic.
The copies are inverted relative to each other
and are later combined in a clever way
to help minimize interference from other nearby electronics.
Anyway, because the copies of the signal are inverted
if we connect the two signal wires together.
The signals interfere and don’t reach the PA system,
muting the microphone.
I tested this out too just to make sure it was working
test 1 test 2 test
1 test 2 test 1 test :
1测试2 测试1 测试
and it worked.
As a theoretical physicist,
I’m constantly amazed when something actually works in real life the way you predict it should. Oh, yeah
And of course there has to be a nice red LED
噢 对了 当然这里还得有个红色LED灯
that lights up to show when the mute is on.
The LED has a very simple circuit:
just a 9-volt battery supplying power and a resistor so you don’t blow out the LED.
and I tested this too, just to make sure,
because I don’t know what I’m doing.
The combination of that click together with the light going on
is so satisfying.
So now to put this all into the box,
which came with no holes in it.
So I spent entirely way too long measuring and re measuring
to figure out exactly where each of the holes should be.
I only had one box and I did not want to mess it up.
I learned that step drill bits like this one are good for drilling big holes and thin materials
as long as you have enough space on the other side for the bit to go through without hitting stuff.
Oh, and this shiny plastic box is ugly and
scratches and smudges way too easily.
A quick visit to the kitchen scouring pad
gave it a sleek brushed look, though
it still scratches kind of easily.
Then it was time to get rid of those alligator clips
and properly solder the connections together.
This was my first real time soldering
and I’m sure I broke all sorts of soldering rules.
But I tried to look things up online
and stay organized with different colors of wire
and make sure I put the necessary wires through
the necessary holes before soldering them.
And the heat shrink tubing maybe isn’t necessary,
but it is incredibly satisfying to put on.
Here’s the LED circuit, soldered and still working
and a little while later, here’s the pickup being muted
and finally I soldered the microphone connections
and could actually put the switch into the box
and put the LED in
and test that everything was still working.
And I’m delighted to say it works.
All in all this took me around eight or nine hours to build
including filming myself while building it
and if I did anything differently
it would be to get a metal box.
The plastic one is just a tad flimsy
and still too easily scratched.
So here’s the finished product.
It has two inputs,
either for my mic or my pickup or both and
one button that I can push to mute both of them together.
That’s all I wanted.
I don’t know why this doesn’t exist,
but I had to make it myself.
I am so pleased with this. I’m really excited.
It’s such a simple stupid little project.
But I’m super excited that I made something that didn’t exist
or I couldn’t find and it’s exactly what I want,
and that’s what’s so satisfying about it.
I highly recommend that you try projects like this.
It’s really satisfying- -you learn stuff
and you end up with a product that you’re proud of and
that you’re gonna use actually in your, you know,
your hobby of playing fiddle in a bluegrass band.
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关于电路 电学 磁学以及电子设备如何工作
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