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Using UMIK as a recording microphone? 5 years 11 months ago #30785

  • ychakiris
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Has anyone used multiple UMIK mics and the dsp board/devices on miniDSP to record and modify sound? Most of the documentation is oriented towards optimizing the listening experience. I am asking about the reverse, recording the sound.

I do scientific work with studying learning designs in classrooms. We currently use cameras with poor sound pickup to gather real time data but want to upgrade our sound pickup by an order of magnitude in quality.. The classrooms do NOT have great sound characteristics, hence some (unknown) DSP will be required to process the sound before compression and storage. Hence the interest in the DIY dsp that exists on this site and the vibrant user community.

Thx!

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Using UMIK as a recording microphone? 5 years 11 months ago #30789

  • sly
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The UMIK is an accurate microphone. However it can only take a limited dynamic range. Sounds too loud will cause the microphone to clip. However if you keep the sound down to a reasonable level, it will record fine.

You can play around with recording test tones and then analyzing them on a computer, looking for harmonics and decay times. Play something like a 1kHz sine wave and record it on a computer from different listening positions. You will notice the decay times vary depending upon location and you may even pick up some harmonics. You can even record an impulse response of your room and invert it to create a correction filter for your DSP using FIR. Only certain miniDSP products are capable of FIR filtering though.
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Using UMIK as a recording microphone? 5 years 11 months ago #30795

  • john.reekie
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There are a few issues with using a measurement mic for sound recording. One is that you often don't actually want a flat response. Mics made for e.g. vocals or specific instruments have a non-flat response (rolled off bass, peak somewhere in the treble) for a reason.

With a USB mic like the UMIK, there is the issue of dynamic range - the A/D convertor in the mic allows for a very high max SPL input. For recording sounds well below that max, you are reducing the dynamic range of your digital signal.

There is also the practical matter of how you interface more than one (I assume you need more than one microphone?) to your computer. With a USB mic, it's going to get tricky (I believe, not having actually tried it).

In the scenario you describe, I would be looking at something like a Roland Octa-capture and a DAW with noise gating and other processing plugins.

The UMIK-1 is a handy tool for measuring rooms and speaker. But, you don't use a calibrated 9mm spanner to open a bottle of wine (or some better metaphor that escapes me this instant ;) ).
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