Is there any way I can make my pickup microphonic so I can sing into it?


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gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 08:42 PM
I want to be able to sing/talk into my middle pickup because i think it would be fun and i never use it anyways. anyway i can do this?

Shinozoku
02-10-2009, 08:46 PM
Interesting idea...

deftonesordie
02-10-2009, 08:46 PM
Nope, not too easily, The pickups register the movement of the string, which disturbs an electrical field. As far as I know, you don't have metal strings in your mouth, or a metal voice. Sorry chap.

misfitsramones
02-10-2009, 08:48 PM
yeaaa, if yuo yeall loudenough into the pickup and your amp is loud enoguh, you can hear yuor self... alexi does it in their dvd, he yells ****.

deftonesordie
02-10-2009, 08:49 PM
^ i was thinking the same thing, but I believe that was the microphones on stage that picked that up, not his pickup.

col50
02-10-2009, 08:50 PM
Paul Gilbert talks through his pickup in "Get out of my Yard"

SGmaniac1021
02-10-2009, 08:50 PM
I would think there's some way...because your pickups can pick up sounds from things like earbuds...so....I cant think of a way...but brainstorm....Im sure it's possible if you could somehow get your voice to come out of a mic/earbuds that are resting right next to the pickups

Shinozoku
02-10-2009, 08:50 PM
I thought that your voice vibrated the strings in a constantly altering manner that resembled your voice and was therefore picked up by the pickups and transmitted... I used to be able to do it with my old Squier when I still had it :p:

Astronomer9893
02-10-2009, 08:54 PM
well, sometimes I take the headphones from my Mp3 player and insert them in between 2 strings, right over the pickup, and I can hear it fine on the amp. It kinda crappy quality (at least for me, because my amp sucks), but I can still hear it fine. But I don't know about singing or talking, I've never tried it. Go ahead and try it though,

gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 08:56 PM
Nope, not too easily, The pickups register the movement of the string, which disturbs an electrical field. As far as I know, you don't have metal strings in your mouth, or a metal voice. Sorry chap.


2:00-2:20 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwsfT8MiZBo)


its called microphonic pickups, the coils unwind or something like that and it vibrates when you talk into it or something. i have no idea how it works but i want to do it.

AC/DC4EVA
02-10-2009, 08:59 PM
my guess would be that he has a mic in his guitar but im sure im wrong

gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 09:02 PM
my guess would be that he has a mic in his guitar but im sure im wrong


nope its the coils in the pickup vibrating just like how in a singing microphone, something vibrates to produce the sound. its not a microphone, its the pickup

AC/DC4EVA
02-10-2009, 09:04 PM
cool, do you buy them like that or do you modify regular pickups?

gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 09:06 PM
cool, do you buy them like that or do you modify regular pickups?


the coils unwind as they get older or if they are made ****ty, i want to know if i can mod one of my pickups that way by unwinding them or something, i really dont know much about it

divinorum69
02-10-2009, 09:20 PM
Not possible... Microphones which detect voice are made with carbon... those are made with alnico (aluminum-nickel-copper)

gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 09:29 PM
Not possible... Microphones which detect voice are made with carbon... those are made with alnico (aluminum-nickel-copper)


how is it not possible, is that video not proof? ill find another video of it, switchfoot does it. and that guy above said that in the song "get out of my yard" does it too, ive heard that from many other people too even tho i have never heard the song. its possible. its called microphonic pickups and if u google it youll see there are fixes for it by dipping your pickup in hot wax. its called repotting

noisefarmer
02-10-2009, 09:33 PM
how is it not possible, is that video not proof? ill find another video of it, switchfoot does it. and that guy above said that in the song "get out of my yard" does it too, ive heard that from many other people too even tho i have never heard the song. its possible. its called microphonic pickups and if u google it youll see there are fixes for it by dipping your pickup in hot wax. its called repotting

jonsi from sigur ros does it as well. so did hendrix with his tongue clicks.

sometimes when pickups go bad they develop that quality.

Viruk
02-10-2009, 10:11 PM
apparantly the charlie christian pickups are slightly microphonic since they aren't wax potted like the pickups nowadays

gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 10:17 PM
heres switchfoot doing it


5:00-5:23 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvm4aE1Wxls)


sounds so amazing in that video

divinorum69
02-10-2009, 10:19 PM
try doing it on your fender, see if you can. Of course its gonna detect somthing, but very little since its intended to detect other frequencies. Thats why you can hear the drill sound when paul gilbert uses it.

qotsa1998
02-10-2009, 10:23 PM
Claudio Sanchez does it when he plays Devil in Jersey City at the Starland on the DVD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfESp-I1y64 at the end of the breakdown, around 3:49.
Sounds crazy going thru the distortion, but its soo cool i think.

gtrplyr
02-10-2009, 10:26 PM
does anyone have any idea how to make a pickup do this or how it actually happens?


i think i might have to go to guitar center and yell into all the pickups they have to see which one is microphonic and swap it with the pickup i have now. may look a bit weird yelling into pickups tho eh?

Dark_Merlin
02-10-2009, 11:09 PM
Thats not going to happen^ even cheap squire pickups are slightly wax potted.

I say take the cover off whatever pickup your using and heat the coils with a really hot hair dryer, hot enough to melt the wax. Shake the pickup to try and cause the coils to loosen a little, and try and use an old tea towel to remove some of the wax.

Or, do like, reverse potting. Read a potting tutorial and heat water up to whatever temp youre supposed to get your wax to, and dip your pickup in the water. Instead of the wax going into your pickups, you'll get water, and you'll just need to dry them out really good for a week or 2.

gtrplyr
02-11-2009, 10:46 AM
Thats not going to happen^ even cheap squire pickups are slightly wax potted.

I say take the cover off whatever pickup your using and heat the coils with a really hot hair dryer, hot enough to melt the wax. Shake the pickup to try and cause the coils to loosen a little, and try and use an old tea towel to remove some of the wax.

Or, do like, reverse potting. Read a potting tutorial and heat water up to whatever temp youre supposed to get your wax to, and dip your pickup in the water. Instead of the wax going into your pickups, you'll get water, and you'll just need to dry them out really good for a week or 2.


thats actually a really good idea, is it only possible with humbucking pickups or can i do it with a single coil pickup?

thanks for the first helpful post in this thread

CorduroyEW
02-11-2009, 10:59 AM
Adding a grounding plate to the pickup could help it become microphonic but really you need to have a pickup wound that has loose windings and no potting. The problem will be getting any type of volume without getting feedback.

noisefarmer
02-11-2009, 11:32 AM
there is an undesired result of making your pickup go microphonic. the pickup is gonna sound like crap w/ a guitar. plus theres the whole feedback thing.

Baby Joel
02-11-2009, 11:46 AM
Here's how it works.
You know how when you play the B string you get harmonics on the E strings and such?
Well when you yell loud enough into the guitar, the strings pickup the harmonics from your voice, the pickups pickup the harmonics from the strings, and voila. Nothing to it.
You just need high gain, high volume, and high output pickups.

CorduroyEW
02-11-2009, 12:33 PM
there is an undesired result of making your pickup go microphonic. the pickup is gonna sound like crap w/ a guitar.

What are you basing that statement on?

noisefarmer
02-11-2009, 12:38 PM
What are you basing that statement on?

an old hondo i had back in 89. pickups were crap and made for better microphones than anything. that guitar hated being plugged into an amp cus the second you turned to face the amp it'd scream and squeal... not the good type of feedback.

sglover34479
02-11-2009, 12:58 PM
Paul Gilbert talks through his pickup in "Get out of my Yard"

I doubt it. It is probably a talkbox. You can't because pickups work with magnets and metal strings. Unless you have a metal tongue it's impossible. You could take out the middle pickup and install a mic but then it would pickup the sound of your strings undistorted and sound ****.

CorduroyEW
02-11-2009, 12:58 PM
^It is true that a pickup that will hear your voice will also be microphonic and won't be good for distortion but some of the best clean tones come from pickups that are very microphonic.

Baby Joel
02-11-2009, 01:02 PM
I doubt it. It is probably a talkbox. You can't because pickups work with magnets and metal strings. Unless you have a metal tongue it's impossible. You could take out the middle pickup and install a mic but then it would pickup the sound of your strings undistorted and sound ****.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vS6syL0-jM
1:35

MichaelSpeer
02-11-2009, 01:23 PM
What are you basing that statement on?
well i mean just the fact that its not done on more guitars shows that tehre are probably some unwanted side effects. Maybe not sound like crap but definitely different

gnr2206
02-11-2009, 01:42 PM
if u play music on your phone and hole it to your pickups it picks it up


try it!

tis weird

supergerbil
02-11-2009, 02:02 PM
^I think that happens because the speaker has magnets in. I put my tuner to my pickups and it does the same.

bert000
02-11-2009, 02:11 PM
"palm mute the strings w/fretting hand so they dont ring then sing as loud & as close as you can against the strings @ the pickup - your voice will vibrate the metal strings that are in the magnetic field created by the pickup. Daniel also turns on a high-gain foot pedal coupled w/ a noise gate. The gain amplifies his voice so it can be heard over the drums & the noise gate keeps his guitar from feedbacking like crazy when he activates the gain pedal before he sings into the strings/pickup."

From youtube comment... on this video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwsfT8MiZBo
he does the singing into the pickup thing

sglover34479
02-11-2009, 03:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vS6syL0-jM
1:35


I stand corrected. Forget my ealier post.

deftonesordie
02-11-2009, 04:28 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FkiCWcAjpw&feature=related :)

gtrplyr
02-11-2009, 04:30 PM
I stand corrected. Forget my ealier post.


atleast u understand, so many people have come into this thread and said the same thing. theres like 5 video proofs of this. its not a microphone. its the pickup. heaven forbid you guys read the posts before u say something about it. nothing to u sglover.


and to the guy that thinks it will make my pickup sound like crap, it already does. i never use that pickup for anything so i wanted to give it some use and as you can see, not many people know about this so i thought it would be cool to do it

gtrplyr
02-11-2009, 04:47 PM
does anyone know the answer to my question above?

does the pickup have to be a humbucker for this to work or can this be done with a single coil?

Baby Joel
02-11-2009, 04:55 PM
I'm sure it can be done with a single-coil, but the sound will probably be a bit narrower and follow other single-coil traits.

-MintSauce-
02-11-2009, 04:58 PM
The pickup winds become relaxed, so that they can vibrate slightly. You shout at them, to they vibrate, in the same way that EVERYTHING does to a degree, to conduct sound. When the free sections of wire in the coil(s) vibrate, they cut through the flux in the same way that a string does, and induce a voltage in the coil(s).

noisefarmer
02-11-2009, 05:01 PM
does anyone know the answer to my question above?

does the pickup have to be a humbucker for this to work or can this be done with a single coil?

my hondo that did this back then had single coils, so yes. yes it can.

Bertallica
02-11-2009, 05:23 PM
I'm sure it can be done with your amp turned up load enough. Stevie Via and Billy Sheenan do it in "Live in Astoria" on Jaboom.

Billy even does it with his bass.

gtrplyr
02-11-2009, 05:37 PM
my hondo that did this back then had single coils, so yes. yes it can.


cool thanks

Thomme
02-11-2009, 06:55 PM
I just did it with my tele, sound clip on my profile. I blew into it, it picked it up well, I spoke (not screamed) into it, and it picked it up faintly, it sounds like whispering. But, it did it, is the point. I can't scream in my apartment.

oneblackened
02-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Do you know how to do it? you have to melt the wax out of the pickup.

CorduroyEW
02-11-2009, 08:06 PM
I just did it with my tele, sound clip on my profile. I blew into it, it picked it up well, I spoke (not screamed) into it, and it picked it up faintly, it sounds like whispering. But, it did it, is the point. I can't scream in my apartment.

I'm guessing you did it into your bridge pickup... that's why I suggested adding a grounding plate.

AgresiveNapkins
02-11-2009, 08:19 PM
I'm surprised nobody knows about this trick. I take my guitar and put my throat on the strings. It picks up pitch perfectly but words are slightly muffled. But, it's very easy and fun to do.

EDIT: You don't even have to scream to make this work. Its easier on a Les Paul because the strings are higher off the body allowing for more room to get your throat of the strings. And be careful not to slit your throat with the strings...

Thomme
02-11-2009, 08:24 PM
I'm guessing you did it into your bridge pickup... that's why I suggested adding a grounding plate.
actually... yeah. I forgot about the baseplate on the tele pickups...

PainIsPower
02-11-2009, 08:39 PM
The pickup winds become relaxed, so that they can vibrate slightly. You shout at them, to they vibrate, in the same way that EVERYTHING does to a degree, to conduct sound. When the free sections of wire in the coil(s) vibrate, they cut through the flux in the same way that a string does, and induce a voltage in the coil(s).

I am surprised no one else made a comment on this because he is absolutely correct. Microphonics are the coils on the pickup vibrating, not the guitar strings vibrating. Hence why wax potting reduces microphonics. Some of the more vintage style pickups some times come unpotted, these tend not to be high gain pickups otherwise they may feed back like no tomorrow.

How to make your pickup microphonic, well melting the wax off will work. Some pickups are potted in epoxy which means there is nothing you can do for these ones. Putting your pickup in hot water wont be effective as the wax will not diffuse into the water, water is a highly polar molecule and wax is not, they repel each other. A hair dryer and a paper towel might be your best bet but that will only remove the outer wax. Your best best would be to stash a little piezo under the PG and attach it to a switch, so when you want to yell into your guitar, hit your switch, and yell away.

ljohn
02-11-2009, 09:01 PM
Thats why you can hear the drill sound when paul gilbert uses it.

That's more along the lines of an epic alternating magnetic field next to the pickups. The motor interacts with the magnetic field surrounding the pickup coil, and a signal is generated.

If you can get your voice to do the same thing, you'll generate a sound.

Pole pieces, as mentioned, are completely correct. If these vibrate in sympathy with your voice, it'll definitely be picked up. If you put another guitar's strings over the pickups, you can generate some crazy harmonics sounds if both sets of strings are played.

So easiest way to do it I'd guess would be a humbucker with very loose pole pieces and a very high output.

Or the throat to string thing.

Or even just yelling at the strings. The easier they are to move, the more it'll be picked up.

divinorum69
02-11-2009, 09:42 PM
Fck this anyways.... Who wants to speak through a guitar, just buy a cheap mic and plug it into amp instead of waisting pickups...
If you think that speaking through the guitar is cool, well then thats another thing... I think that what paul gilbert played on his vid is far more amazing than what he said to the pickup.

Livewire8195
02-11-2009, 10:02 PM
I'm surprised nobody knows about this trick. I take my guitar and put my throat on the strings. It picks up pitch perfectly but words are slightly muffled. But, it's very easy and fun to do.

EDIT: You don't even have to scream to make this work. Its easier on a Les Paul because the strings are higher off the body allowing for more room to get your throat of the strings. And be careful not to slit your throat with the strings...

Holy ****, I just tried this. Thats awesome!

BassRichardson
02-12-2009, 12:10 AM
Claudio Sanchez did it in a live performance of The Final Cut. It's pretty nifty.

MetalMusicianAl
02-12-2009, 12:14 AM
i do know that if you scream into your pick up it's amplified. also try making noises with your throat on the pick up.