Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
Piezo-electric microphones

Piezo-electric microphones


The piezoelectric effect is where certain crystalline and ceramic materials
have the property of generating an electric current when pressure or a bending
force is applied.

This makes them sensitive to acoustic vibrations and they can produce a voltage
in response to sound.

Piezo mics (or transducers as they may be called – a transducer is any device
that converts one form of energy to another) are high impedance.

This means that they can produce voltage but very little current. To compensate
for this, a preamplifier has to be placed very close to the transducer.

This will usually be inside the body of the electro-acoustic guitar.

The preamp will run for ages on a 9 volt alkaline battery, but it is worth
remembering that if an electro-acoustic guitar, or other instrument with a piezo
transducer, sounds distorted, it is almost certainly the battery that needs
replacing, perhaps after a year or more of service.

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David Mellor

Layout, Signal Flow & I/O

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David Mellor



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