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The Cortado MkII Assembly Instructions / Owners Manual contains clear, step-by-step directions to build the kit either as a Contact Mic or as an Instrument Pickup.
Click to hear a whole band mic’d only with Cortados.
We offer a custom build service. Just selected Mounted version and add it to the cart. Note that our tech is going to build your pedal. We will give your kit to him. When the pedal is done, we will ship it to you. (Warranted by Pascal Antonini)
Piezo sensors are quite incredible little things. They can be used to detect the slightest variation in pressure, force, or strain and convert that energy into a voltage. Over the past several decades they’ve been used in numerous applications in several fields including the audio industry. Unfortunately, they’ve developed a bad reputation for sounding “harsh” and “brittle” when used as contact microphones in acoustic instruments. This is due to improper impedance matching and the inadequate driving circuits that are mostly used with these sensors in audio applications. Piezo sensors in themselves are capable of a very wide bandwidth, and when used properly, can achieve excellent results. So with the intention to get the most out of a piezo sensor, we are offering the Cortado Balanced Piezo Contact Mic. This mic contains a phantom powered circuit that properly matches the piezo sensor input impedance and drives the signal via a balanced output, which allows for wide bandwidth (~20Hz-30kHz), low signal losses, and high signal to noise ratio. The Cortado’s circuit was originally designed by Alex Rice for use in his contact mic hydrophone, but it can be used in countless more applications with excellent results. In the recording studio or on stage it can be used on pianos, guitars and other stringed instruments, or even percussion. It can be used as a plate reverb pickup or wooden stomp box mic. We even created this Tin Can Microphone out of stuff we found in the trash (as illustrated in the product photos).
The Cortado is also the perfect accessory for a low-fi geek or a field recording enthusiast. Discover the sounds inside the pipes in your apartment building, or in bridge suspension cables, even in melting ice. Anything that vibrates or resonates with an audible frequency can be captured by this contact mic. Several field recording enthusiasts around the web use this circuit to record some pretty cool stuff; check out these links:
Cortado Field Recordings
The First Rule of CONTACT MIC Club
Getting Connected With Contact Mics
Building Contact Microphones
The Cortado kit includes everything you need to build the circuit, complete with a male XLR output, mounting hardware, and several shielding options. Also available assembled and ready to use. Requires phantom power.
The Cortado MkII is under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license, which means you are free to add or build upon this circuit idea in any way your creativity allows, but any derivatives must be shared using the same license.