Using headphones as a mic? How you do dat?

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Rex Coil 7
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Using headphones as a mic? How you do dat?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:44 pm

This DJ removes her headphones, twists a little ~sumthin'~ (??) on the mixer, and then addresses the crowd by speaking into the headphone cup with her voice coming over the PA. She actually does this twice in this little video.

What the hell? Buzz it up to 3:40.

[video][/video]

I mean, I understand that a speaker and a mic are essentially the same types of tech (a vibrating membrane .. one is being vibrated by a solenoid to move air ... the other is being vibrated by the air and it moves a solenoid ... simply/generally speaking). But I gotta say I've never seen this done before.

Damned clever on her part since it appears earlier in the video that the club manager (or whoever the guy lurking around in the DJ booth is) didn't/woundn't set up a mic for her.

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Phil999
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Post by Phil999 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:15 pm

well you just need to plug the headphone into the microphone input. It's an old trick when you don't have a microphone with you.

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Post by rowsbywoof » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:48 pm

Back in the day before every computer came with built in mics and other snooping devices, this was a well know trick. I remember chatting on some ancient late 90s or early 2000s video game using a cheap pair of Sony headphones plugged into the mic-in. Haha... Guess that trick got lost to the massees with the readily available mics everywhere these days.

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Post by dubonaire » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:44 pm

A microphone and a speaker are the same things in reverse. One converts soundwaves into current and the other converts current into soundwaves.

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Post by teleport » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:06 pm

A fun trick that demonstrates this principle - (if you've got two loudspeaker drivers loose out on the workbench, (especially big bass cabinet drivers that have a fair amount of travel)).

Clip the the contacts between the drivers together - press one cone down gently (but quickly). The connected speaker cone will rise somewhat proportionally, (depending how the connections are arranged, it might descend). Speaker - microphone - generator - motor.

Now - notice how movable the cone is, then short the connection leads with an alligator clip. The cone should magically become much more resistant to movement.

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Post by calaveras » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:54 pm

on pro mixers a mic input is 3 pin XLR
on older DJ mixers and cheapo mixers the inputs are high impedance 1/4" jacks.
The same as headphone plugs!
The difference of course being that the mic input is unbalanced and only connecting on the tip and sleeve. So just one side will be a 'mic'. The other will be dead.

I used to do this all the time when I had a dual cassette boombox with dubbing AND mic in mixing. I need to find one of my old recordings and release it as something.

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Post by anselmi » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:03 pm

yep. all the above is right...I did it sometimes too, but you have to know that the headphones´membranes are not mechanically designed to hold air pressure stress for long time...I blown a nice Audio Technica headphones by doing this all night long because I forgot the mike for my vocoder...it happens, just take care

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Post by Randy » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:31 pm

Wow, I'd forgot about this. We used to put headphones on the body of an acoustic guitar to amplify it. Sounded terrible but it worked, more or less.

Randy

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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:50 pm

dubonaire wrote:A microphone and a speaker are the same things in reverse. One converts soundwaves into current and the other converts current into soundwaves.
Thanks. As I said in my opening post, I understand that the two devices share mechanical design ...
Rex Coil 7 wrote:I mean, I understand that a speaker and a mic are essentially the same types of tech (a vibrating membrane .. one is being vibrated by a solenoid to move air ... the other is being vibrated by the air and it moves a solenoid ... simply/generally speaking)...
What I didn't understand was how she did it without unplugging/replugging the cans ... it just appeared as though she just turned a knob or two and made it work (as I had mentioned)....
Rex Coil 7 wrote:This DJ removes her headphones, twists a little ~sumthin'~ (??) on the mixer, and then addresses the crowd by speaking into the headphone cup with her voice coming over the PA. She actually does this twice in this little video. .... But I gotta say I've never seen this done before.
Really cornfused me! ...
calaveras wrote:on pro mixers a mic input is 3 pin XLR
on older DJ mixers and cheapo mixers the inputs are high impedance 1/4" jacks.
The same as headphone plugs!
The difference of course being that the mic input is unbalanced and only connecting on the tip and sleeve. So just one side will be a 'mic'. The other will be dead.

I used to do this all the time when I had a dual cassette boombox with dubbing AND mic in mixing. I need to find one of my old recordings and release it as something.
Ok, so now it makes a lot more sense ... thanks for explaining the magic trick she pulled off!
Rex Coil 7 wrote:... Damned clever on her part since it appears earlier in the video that the club manager (or whoever the guy lurking around in the DJ booth is) didn't/wouldn't set up a mic for her....
Damned clever indeed!!! That'll teach him to keep her from addressing the crowd!! She just outsmarted his ass! Gotta love that!

Thanks for the help folks!

:tu: :tu:
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Post by Panason » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:11 am

yikes!

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dubonaire
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Post by dubonaire » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:13 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:.. Damned clever on her part since it appears earlier in the video that the club manager (or whoever the guy lurking around in the DJ booth is) didn't/wouldn't set up a mic for her....
Damned clever indeed!!! That'll teach him to keep her from addressing the crowd!! She just outsmarted his ass! Gotta love that!

Thanks for the help folks!

:tu: :tu:[/quote]

Honestly it's no that clever. I thought it was common knowledge.

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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:33 am

dubonaire wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:.. Damned clever on her part since it appears earlier in the video that the club manager (or whoever the guy lurking around in the DJ booth is) didn't/wouldn't set up a mic for her....
Rex Coil 7 wrote:Damned clever indeed!!! That'll teach him to keep her from addressing the crowd!! She just outsmarted his ass! Gotta love that!

Thanks for the help folks!

:tu: :tu:
Honestly it's no that clever. I thought it was common knowledge.
Common to whom? And exactly ~what~ isn't that clever? Let's recall, my question was never about "how does a headphone speaker be used as a mic?" .... it was always about how she was able to do it without unplugging the headphones from an "OUT" jack and replugging them into an "IN" jack.

Is there some sort of switch on the mixer? Is there some sort of knob that allowed her to reroute the signal going ~TO~ the headphones and make the signal come ~FROM~ the headphones? (those are rhetorical questions referring back to my original intent ... do not think I am asking them again).

And again, exactly WHAT are you referring to when you say "I thought IT was common knowledge".

So you actually thought that everyone in the audience knew she could just remove the cans and begin speaking into them (without doing any other action) and her voice would just magically begin emanating from the PA speakers? After all, isn't that what "common knowledge" would be?

For the third time, I know that a speaker is the same tech as a mic. I get that. What I did not get was how she made the signal "reverse course" so to speak, and stop from powering the headphone speakers and begin transmitting a signal "backwards" into the mixer and coming from the speakers.

And yes, it WAS clever .... she got around someone attempting to control her actions by doing something unexpected. Anytime anyone is able to pull that off, they're clearly more clever than the one attempting to control them!

Either, that is true .. or .. "it's just common knowledge" and to me her actions are impressive because I do not possess ... wait for it ... common knowledge. (Mic hits floor, no wait, headphones hit floor)!

:rock:



Ok wait .. hang on a minute .. Hold up here .. suddenly it occurs to me .....

Actually, as I think about this ... that is probably correct, it may be "common knowledge" .. and it appears impressive to me .. but y'know what? .. there is a reason for that (he says proudly) .... I don't possess "common knowledge"!

In fact, since I began thinking critically (like most of us, around the age of seven or eight) I've gone out of my way to reject that which is "common" and look for the "UNcommon". I've spent most of my life avoiding the commonly accepted "knowledge" and have sought out the less commonly taken path. "Common knowledge" ... that's what people mean when they say things like "everyone knows that" ... or ... "that's just common sense". And thus spake the sheep, one and all.

~shudder~ ... no, thanks.

So yea, on second thought, you're right! It probably IS "just common knowledge" .... which is precisely why I didn't know you could plug headphones into a headphone output and make sound come out of your speakers.

Because I have avoided the waste my life being just another commoner.

:tu:
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Post by whitewulfe » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:19 am

I figured it out. Check it out at 3:28, she unplugs an XLR cable from the top left of what appears to be a DJM-900NXS:
https://www.pioneerdj.com/en/product/mi ... /overview/

At 3:30 she then plugs her headphones into the combi-jack that previously had an XLR cable in it.

Pioneer almost always has the headphone jack at the bottom left of their panels (other djing companies tend to put it where your hands won't hit it, aka the front faceplate). That's probably what was causing the confusion. :)

Additional info edit: The knob twiddling at 3:25 is her killing the gain on the two microphone inputs (so unplugging the cable doesn't cause those ear grating "dragged pops" (or just a standard pop if you pull the cable fast enough) over the PA), then at 3:36 is turning them back up... 3:45 she turns the gain down just a touch due to feedback.

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Post by Technologear? » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:42 am

Removed my post, the one above nailed it

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Post by whitewulfe » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:57 am

Ohhhhh, she's a smooth one. Person just outside of left frame had a wireless mic in their left hand, and so I'm guessing that's what she unplugged shortly after they turned their back to her.... Two second takeover while she was still in the mix - mic unplugged, the headphone cable swapped from headphone out to mic in, wait a few seconds to see if it's noticed, then show up management and engage with your fans despite their refusal to provide her the microphone...

As for it being a "common" trick, I suspect it depends where one comes from. For mobile djs, I'd suspect it's a very well known trick. Equipment breaks, it was left in the vehicle, or worse, the microphone was left at home/the office. Stuff like that happens. For club/house/resident djs, I'd also suspect it's a relatively common trick, since there either isn't a mic in the booth (was stolen, they never had one, etc) or it's an open booth and therefore no mic due to high chance of it being stolen.

For turntablists, or even just bedroom/hobby/online dj's.... I'd suspect that most do NOT know this trick, either because they have no need for a mic, or more likely because they have a fixed setup, and therefore have an actual proper mic all set up, and never have to worry about such due to permanent setup that is almost never moved around.

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Post by boxxgrooved » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:31 am

When I had a residence back in 2000 at an underground house night nobody used mics, people were too busy busting their asses beatmatching vinyl to find time to shout over a mic. Mics were meant for weddings and kareokes :hihi:

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Post by dubonaire » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:29 pm

boxxgrooved wrote:When I had a residence back in 2000 at an underground house night nobody used mics, people were too busy busting their asses beatmatching vinyl to find time to shout over a mic. Mics were meant for weddings and kareokes :hihi:
Yeah same.

Rex Coil 7 sorry.

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