Music Thing Mikrophonie Contact Mic Module Documentation

Mikrophonie is a microphone preamp with a piezo contact mic built into the panel.

It is an easy way to bring environmental noise and feedback into a modular system, inspired by the early days of electroacoustic music in Paris and Cologne, and by the contact microphone and phonograph cartridge experiments of John Cage, Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley and Nicholas Collins. Here is a wonderful film from 1966 of Stockhausen & Co performing Mikrophonie 1.

This is an open hardware project – all the project files (Eagle CAD projects, Gerbers PCB files, Schematics, BOM) are available on this page, covered by a Creative Commons Attribution Share-a-like license, which allows for commercial use.

This is a relatively advanced DIY project, and I’m not able to provide support. I am not selling PCBs, kits or finished modules, but hopefully all the information you’d need is here.

More Mikrophonie demo videos here

Full kits are available from Thonk.

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 peizo microphone can either be soldered directly to the copper or stuck on with epoxy glue.

Document bundle:

Mikrophonie 2-2 bom PDF v2 (update 12-7-2014 to correct Mouser number for 20mm Piezo Disk – old BOM had a 27mm disk)

Mikrophonie v2-2 Schematic PDF

Mikrophonie documentation PDF

Mikrophonie 2-2-rev2-panel PCB – Eagle CAD and Gerber files (optimised for Seeed Studio) for the PCB, and the front panel. (Older version with too-thin type on panel: Mikrophonie 2-2 PCB)

Music Thing Modular Peizo Microphone Module



  1. Red says:

    Thanks, Tom! Opening the panel file in Eagle, all I see is the text “Open Source Hardware…” mirrored. What am I missing? I’m curious on how you created the copper circular lines on the front.

    • Tom Whitwell says:

      Hi, You need to turn on some more layers – for some reason I saved it with just one turned on!

      The other stuff is on other layers – turn them all on.

      The spiral was rendered using the ‘Calculate Print Inductor’ tool, with the vias removed.

  2. Ton says:

    I just build a Thonk Mikrophonie kit. Am I correct in thinking I can turn gain down to 0 (so there is no output at all) if I bridge R14?


  3. Arnaud says:

    Hi there,
    just to make sure, if a external contact mic is plugged, the internal mic is turned off ? Right ? Also, the module would pre-amp the external mic ?

    Bets regards !


    • Tom Whitwell says:

      Hi Arnaud, yes, that’s right. The amp is connected to the internal microphone unless you plug in an external mic.

  4. J.Lee says:

    Just got my Mikrophonie built by Control in Brooklyn. I had it in a cell 48 pgh case with 2 Pressure Points and Brains. It shorted out the others out but worked. I plugged it into my pgh move 104 case and it shorted it out and made a buzzing sound. I am plugging it in red stripe down. Any advice? Thanks.

    • Tom Whitwell says:

      Hi, sorry to hear that – you should take this up from Control – sounds like a build problem.

  5. Alex says:

    Is the BOM for REv 2 the same as for Mikrophonie 2-2-rev2?


  6. Dean Amo says:

    I am interested in the mikrophonie contact mic but i have absolutely no tool and understanding in soldering.

    Was wondering if there is a way to buy the module ready for use.

    where to order it – maybe you do have this service….

    thnx for your help


    • Tom Whitwell says:

      If you check the Muffwiggler DIY forum or contact Steve at Thonk he should be able to put you in touch with a builder

  7. joe says:

    What a shame the contact area is not below the knob. That way you could mount a set of them side by side as a contact mic keyboard in a flat eurorack. As it is the knob would get in the way. What a shame, that would have been the deal to me.

    • Tom Whitwell says:

      Just flip the module upside down in the rack!

      Quite a lot of extra circuitry you’d need for a keyboard, but you could maybe use it for triggering something.

  8. Tim says:

    The tines on the power header are too short. The power cable will not stay on.

    • Tom Whitwell says:

      You should go back to whoever you bought your module from – could you have soldered in the power header the wrong way around?

  9. marlon says:

    I want to buy this kit but could i use a dynamic ( for example a SM58) as input?

  10. Daniel says:

    I’m building a contact mic for use with the mikrophonie, any suggestion on the type of piezo I should use. I know I can go to radioshack and buy or salvage one but I’ve read that matching the ohms with the preamp yields much better results. Any suggestions?

  11. Will more Mikrophonie kits be available in 2017 ???

    – Walter

  12. Roman says:

    Hi, Tom.

    Can i use any external microphone with microphonie? Or only contact mic? What the mic you recommend?

    Thank you.

  13. Chris says:

    Hi, I am unable to find Mikrophonie kits anywhere. Do you know of any retailers that have them in stock (preferably in the US)?


  14. Andrew Miles says:

    I have the Magnetophon I assume it works in the same type of way as the Mikrophonie? The tape head on the unit is live until you plug in an external head or tape recorder in the disconnected it. Without the external plugged in I get a pulse sound from the unit until you touch or run tape over the head.