Bryan Day : Discussion / workshop: Advanced piezoelectrics and amplification
Discussion / workshop: Advanced piezoelectrics and amplification
Discussion with examples on getting the most out of piezoelectric amplification. Shielding, placement, jfet and opamp amplification, wiring, balanced audio options.
None
San Francisco
Discussion with examples on getting the most out of piezoelectric amplification. Shielding, placement, jfet and opamp amplification, wiring, balanced audio options.

I'll go through what I've learned over the years about getting the best audio from contact microphones
Side Story
In this presentation I will be talking about piezoelectric contact microphones.

Piezoelectric Conversation:
- History and how they work
- Commonly used materials
- Choosing transducers
- How to shield contact microphones
- How to make your own clamps
- How to choose cables and wire contact mictrophones
- How to mount them, permanently or temporary
- Where to mount them on your instruments
- how to amplify them (build yr own jfet or opamp preamp)
- Impedance matching
- Balanced piezos amplification
- Make your own barium titanate/silica glass piezos
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
I've been working with piezoelectric contact microphones for the last 20 years and I've received a lot of questions about my process. I'm distilling everything I know down to a 45 minute presentation that I can share with others.
How long did it take to make it?
A couple weeks of preparation.
How long have you been doing things like this?
Since the late 1990s.
How much did this cost to do?
Contact mics and the means to shield them are cheap. Making them from scratch can be a bit more expensive but can be worth if for the flexibility.
Have you done other things like this?
I've been presenting a handful of instrument building workshops since the mid '00s.
What’s next?
Instructions on making PZT transducers.
Bryan Day : Instrument and Sound Installation Artist
The maker Bryan Day
Richmond, CA
Instrument builder in SF Bay area. Started building instruments in the late 90s in the Minneapolis Area. Interested in homemade piezoelectrics, amplified composites, electromagnetic instruments, repurposed objects. Presented workshops in Ireland, China, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines and across the US and Canada. Currently performs with Euphotic, Seeded Plain and Collision Stories. Runs the record labels Public Eyesore / eh?.
Connect with Bryan Day
How I can help you:
I hope to help other artists in amplifying their instruments.
Some things are covered in this Instructable I posted a few years ago:
https://www.instructables.com/Shielded-Contact-Microphone/