Sound Study KONTACT Mic - DIY Build
For this build, we take on the Sound Study Kontact Mic Eurorack module. This 4HP module is a unique way to interact with your system on multiple levels. It’s creative applications are endless: finger percussion/rubbing/scratching, guitar input (works surprisingly well with just a little lo-fi crunch), acoustic sources to CV, etc.
While this module has been out awhile now, we wanted to pick up another mic source to add to our racks. The modules rad skull design along with its small footprint made it the perfect candidate!
Study what? Sound?
Sound Study Modular only produces a few modules or stand alone utilities. Along with the Kontact Mic, they are responsible for the MIDI 2 CV (stand alone or eurorack format) which we also use in our racks. Their PCBs and panels are solid and are black with silver accents.
As the MIDI 2 CV is a clone of the famous CVPAL, the Sound Study Kontact Mic is a clone of the MTM Mikrophonie. With that being said, we have both of Sound Study’s modules and we wouldn’t leave home without them!
Enough of the descriptions, let’s get onto the build
KONTACT Mic Time Lapse Build Vid
The build itself was pretty simple and was completed in less than an hour. A novice DIY’er would have no problem taking this module on. Although the presence of the contact mic can be daunting, once you tack one side down, the rest is cake.
Pro Tip: You also want to make sure to take your time with the contact mic wires, as they are very thin and can melt or break easily. You also want to make sure to solder the correct wire from the contact to the PCB. If you are not paying attention, you can easily cross the wires and solder to the wrong pad. There is a little +/- on the PCB, so pay special attention or you will not be getting any sound from the module.
Sound Study KONTACT Mic Build Gallery
Another important component that you want to make sure to use is the spacer. This This nylon spacer will mount below the panel on the potentiometer shaft and allows the panel to be mounted level with the jacks. Prior to tacking everything down to the PCB (Pots and Jacks), double check your panel to ensure that it fits. You can temporarily mount the panel and line everything up prior to soldering.
One thing you will notice about this build is our use of top down soldering techniques. This was due to the vast amount of space available on the pads (it also allows the builder to be more efficient as you don’t have continually flip the PCB over to solder).
Note: Our DIY video starts after the diodes and resistors have been installed. Being that that is relatively easy and Synthrotek has provided an online and printed BOM, this step was omitted from the build video.
Module Feautures and Specifications
- Piezo mic soldered to the backside of the front panel
- Can be used as mic preamp
- Input jack (switches off the piezo mic when used)
- Gain knob
KONTACT Mic Purchasing Links
Our Final Thoughts . . .
The Sound Study Modular Kontact Mic was a quick and easy build. Any novice builder could complete this 4HP module in less than an hour. The quality of the PCB is also high quality and it soaks up solder seemingly well. We really enjoyed the skull patterns on the panel and decided to swap out the plain white knob with a bloody good one (dark red seemed fitting).
Upon firing this module up, we instantly began finger drumming away as we increased the gain on the module. Our contact mic on the back of the panel instantly picked up the slightest tap. We experimented with coins, fingers, pencils and even patch cables. Kontact Mic took the input like a champ and sent it out throughout our setup.
The Kontact Mic is a fun little module for any rack and its random capabilities will bring hours of fun and new ways to interact with your modular system. At a low cost for an assembled module or if you are looking for the DIY kit as we featured here, everyone should have one of these modules in their rack!
If you have questions about the build process or suggestions/feedback about this article, feel free to let us know by contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Until the next build …