Mikrophonie Eurorack Contact Mic demo videos from Scanner and Leafcutter John

June 5, 2014

2014-05-24 15.03.21Mikrophonie is a very simple contact mic module. There is a small piezo disk mounted behind the 4hp panel, or you can plug in an external mic (they’re very easy to make).

UPDATE: Full documentation here.

The panel is PCB with no soldermask. The raw PCB fibreglass has quite a nice rough texture – rubbing it with a finger or a plectrum creates quite a wide range of sounds. The back of the panel is plated and grounded for shielding.

The mic will also pick up all the physical sounds in your modular – patching, cables rustling, switches, fingers on knobs – without picking up airborne sounds i.e. the sound your modular is making. At very high sound levels will pick up vibrations from the speaker output and start to feedback.

I’ll be posting the full plans / schematics / eagle files in the next few weeks, but here are a few samples and videos as a teaser from ace beta testers Leafcutter JohnRobin Rimbaud (Scanner), Jez Riley French (Contact mic / hydrophone guru).

Here’s a recording with the contact mic picking up modular sounds, feeding back through the Makenoise Echophon


2014-05-24 23.47.21 HDR




  1. corey says:

    what a brilliant idea and i love the results.

  2. kanstraktar says:

    this looks great, please let me know when you release it.


  3. Thierry says:

    This sounds like some neo Gyogy Ligeti music experiment.
    Please, let me know about future development and release of this module.

  4. Hi,

    How and where buy this piezo micro ?

  5. Dave Lewing says:

    Hi Tom,
    Any thoughts on mounting the Mikrophonie into a 5U modular panel. I thought of cutting the circular etched scratchy section from the original front panel, soldering the piezo to it, cutting a hole to suit the piezo in my 5U panel and gluing the PCB/Piezo unit to my 5U panel. Do you think that would work.

    Dave Lewing

  6. thomas says:

    Same like Dave Lewing,
    i want to put it on my 5U, but i don’t now if the microphone can run in 15V…and how can i do the trick with piezo! Do you think that would work?

  7. Tom Whitwell says:

    Dave, Thomas,

    I don’t know about 15v but I’m sure it would be fine – this is a very simple circuit.

    Re: the panel, again, I don’t know what 5U panels are made from, but unless it’s very very smooth, I’m sure you’ll be able to get a decent texture/sound if you just epoxy or solder the mic to the back of the panel.

    If you’re doing an engraved panel, you could just engrave some lines / a spiral / text over the microphone area to get more texture.

  8. thomas says:

    Hi Tom,

    thank you for your reply,
    i plug my mikrophonie in my 15V system and no problem !!
    thanks you !

  9. greg says:

    Hi Tom,

    I’ve read about impedance matching using piezos, was it something you took in account in your design?



    • Tom Whitwell says:

      Yes – the mic input is designed specifically for piezo mics (although it will work OK with other types)

  10. rolfmonster says:

    Tom – Should I be able to plug a normal microphone into the jack ? The onboard piezo mic works great, but anything plugged into the mic jack, doesn’t, oddly..

    • Tom Whitwell says:

      Yes, you should be able to make it work – I’ve plugged in a SM58 with OK results – should be simple to wire up. If it’s not working, could be some issue with the switching in the jacks?