Magnets in the Music Industry
If you work in the music industry or manufacture instruments, you probably know that an instrument's performance is not only determined by the person playing the instrument, such as if the instrument is tuned or not. However, you may have not known that the magnets inside of instruments largely impact the acoustics and sound.
The strength and size of the magnet inside of your instrument, and even your speaker, can impact the performance. When manufacturing musical instruments, you should consult a magnet expert like Apex Magnets to help determine the optimal magnet strength and size for your application. We’ve provided our magnet recommendations to help you determine the best type of magnet you need for your application.
Strong magnets are essential to any guitar or bass player as they impact the quality of a pickup. Without a strong magnet, electric guitars and bases wouldn’t be able to squeal over roaring crowds.
Inside the pickups of guitars are AlNiCo or ceramic bar magnets. Guitars have anywhere from one to six magnets, depending on the design. Magnets that use one or two magnets typically have a bar magnet mounted under the pickup that charges the pole piece running through the coil. Other guitars have magnets used as pole pieces; it depends on the guitar's design.
By leveraging magnetic induction, the guitar’s pickup “picks up” guitar string vibrations as they interrupt the magnetic field and convert them into an electrical signal, which is then transferred through the cables out through the amplifier.
Magnets are also critical inside of audio applications, such as microphones. Microphones use AlNiCo magnets because of their many advantageous properties — for instance, they have high corrosion resistance and do not break easily.
AlNiCo magnets produce a magnetic field when sound waves hit the diaphragm, which is attached to a coil of wire surrounded by a magnet. Then, the coil moves back and forth creating an electric current flow throughout the magnetic field. The electric current flows out to an amplifier or a sound recording device creating an amplified sound.
Whenever you listen to music through a loudspeaker, you are using magnets. There are ferrite/ceramic magnets inside of speakers that act as an electromagnet when an electric current is applied through a coil of wire. The magnet creates an opposing magnetic field that creates vibrations. The vibrations are what we hear through the speaker. The larger the magnet, the larger the opposing magnetic field. In other words, the larger the magnet, the louder the speaker.
In addition, inside speakers, ferrofluid magnets are used to remove heat from voice coils. This works because ferrofluid is paramagnetic, meaning it becomes less magnetic at higher temperatures. As a result, when ferrofluid particles heat up, they head towards a heat sink. Meanwhile, cooler ferrofluid moves closer to the voice coil.
Moving onto drums, magnets play a key role in electric and snare drums. In these drums, there are “trigger pads” that sense vibrations when hit. It not only picks up that the trigger pad has been hit, but it also registers how hard it is hit depending on the level of vibration. This creates the variances in sounds when the drums are played. Typically, there are multiple zones on trigger pads that create different sounds — when you hit the rim, it makes a different sound than if you were to hit the center. Additionally, dampers/snare weights contain two magnets that create a “lock” to hold the weight. When used correctly, a snare weight will allow your snare drum to sound its best and you’ll have more control over the sound.
At Apex Magnets, we’ve supplied thousands of businesses, industrial, and institutional clients within the US and globally. Regardless of the industry you are in, we’re here to help with your magnet needs! Visit our website to explore our available magnets and feel free to contact us with any questions.