Most of us have some experience with a microphone; using Skype on our computer or mobile device, watching television talent shows and people singing into microphones whilst hoping for glory or watching speeches and presentations. Many of us, however, won’t have had an experience of measurement microphones.
Whether you are testing the audio output of the latest consumer speaker, think HomePod or Amazon Echo, or you are testing the environmental noise created by the latest jet engine in a wind tunnel, you are likely to use measurement microphones to gather your data. These highly sensitive, laboratory standard microphones can measure a range of frequencies and dynamic ranges and are often designed to be used in the most rugged and harsh environments.
What does the frequency of the microphone mean?
The frequency of a sound is how fast it moves through the air as vibrations. Different microphones register different frequencies at different rates, and therefore choosing the right microphone to measure your output is key. A car engine, for example, will have a very different frequency to a home speaker system, and so different technology and hardware is required to measure these. Most measurement microphones can also be used for the recording of vocals, such as speech and singing, due to the range of frequencies that they can pick up.
Choosing the right microphone for your needs is vital, that’s why GRAS.dk has experts in their field to advise and guide you on the type of microphone you need.
More than the frequency…
On top of the frequency, there is also the environment that the microphone is designed to work in. If you are taking a microphone to the arctic, for instance, you want to make sure it works. Or if you’re pointing a microphone at a jet engine, you want to know it will survive full throttle. That’s why the team at GRAS.dk have provided a number of guides and comparison documents on their website and have expert knowledge within their sales team, in order to guide you in buying the right mic.
There are also other options to consider, such as power. Measurement microphones require some power input to be able to record the sound. Many are powered from within the microphone itself whereas others require an external power source. Choosing the right option for you is key, particularly if you are testing outside of laboratory conditions.
What about maintenance?
Like all electronics and components, the microphones will change over time. To ensure an accurate reading from your equipment, it is important to maintain a constant set up or calibration as much as possible. Measurement microphones should be calibrated, depending on usage, on a regular basis or after events which may damage the calibration, such as dropping the microphones. There are many calibration services for this type of equipment available and many will be set to standards provided in the International Laboratory Accreditation Association, to ensure your equipment is accurate and responsive to your needs. Many of these labs will calibrate the equipment based on their primary use and therefore the microphones can be calibrated to react to a number of different frequencies to ensure you have the best out of the equipment you invest in.