INTERACT FORUM

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Affordable calibration microphone?  (Read 3156 times)

raider

  • Junior Woodchuck
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Affordable calibration microphone?
« on: April 18, 2015, 05:44:53 pm »

I STF and it looks like earthworks m30 is the preferred microphone for room correction calibration stuff.....but this mic is selling about $600 and above....is there a cheaper alternative for people with a lesser wallet? Thanks
Logged

blgentry

  • Regular Member
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 8009
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 06:05:00 pm »

The UMIK-1 from miniDSP seems to be popular with the guys that use REW for room correction.  Here's the mic.  It's USB and it's well under $100, and comes with a custom calibration file for the mic, so it should be extremely flat.

Brian.
Logged

raider

  • Junior Woodchuck
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Re:
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 07:02:21 pm »

Thanks Brian. I will look into this umik-1 microphone. Looks like I have to import this into Australia. Are there similar alternatives that are within this price range if not cheaper? Thanks again
Logged

muzicman0

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 1239
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 07:28:39 pm »

I'm sure this will be an unpopular choice, but back in the early 2000's, I worked at a pro audio shop doing large AV installations, and had the chance to compare a $700 earthworks calibration mic with a $40 behringer calibration mic.  We used Smaart to capture the audio spectrum, and graphed it.  We did multiple tests from multiple speakers.

When used straight on, the behringer was incredibly close to the earthworks.  Where it really struggled was from the rear, and from the side, it was just ok (comparatively).

It looks like today, they are closer to $60, but if you are pointing it straight at the speaker, it will probably suffice.  Of course, things could have changed in the last 10-12 years, but I last used one in 2010 to tune my church system, and it worked just fine, and the system sounded great.

Here is a link to the mic I used:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ECM8000?adpos=1o1&creative=55673940721&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKEAjwgcipBRDgxK_3ztrBty8SJACRuv4dKkeD-3KG5KDriV1O-l9P2lYwvmEDMp3S67-Tnqi__RoC4qXw_wcB
Logged

raider

  • Junior Woodchuck
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 09:38:14 pm »

Thanks muzicman. I found a few of the Behringers on ebay. Will look into both the behringer and the Umik-1. I don't suppose there are other cheaper alternatives?
Logged

Trumpetguy

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 974
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 11:22:49 am »

Just remember to have a calibrated mic. I have an ECM8000, and the calibration curve takes a dip below 100Hz (where its used the most for many), and above 10kHz.

I have seen quite many discussions where some recommend using a "generic" calibration, which is a crappy advice and a contradiction in terms.
Logged

millst

  • Galactic Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 256
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 12:30:57 pm »

I have an ECM8000, too, but wouldn't really recommend it now. I bought it ages ago when we all calibrated everything by hand with things like the Behringer Feedback Destroyer. It didn't come with a calibration file and needs extra equipment to provide the balanced connection and phantom mic power.

Using a microphone without an accurate calibration file for that mic is like using a tape measure with improperly placed markings. Good luck getting quality results.

Dayton sells a version of the ECM8000 that comes with a calibration file, but the quality of that calibration has been called into question by many. Why take the chance when it's only a little more to get something of guaranteed quality that will last you for years?

The USB mics like the UMIK-1 and EMM-6 are much easier to use and require no additional hardware. You can get them with a very accurate custom calibration for the individual mic from here:

http://www.cross-spectrum.com/

-tm
Logged

Arindelle

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 2772
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 02:36:46 pm »

Yo MWillems - Paging Mwillems !!!  ;D

He's the man for this type of recommendation ... maybe he'll see the post or you could PM him .... (I'm going to get hit for saying that  ;D )
Logged

mwillems

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 5181
  • "Linux Merit Badge" Recipient
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 02:48:13 pm »

I had been holding off posting because most of the things I would say have already been said.  That said I can add a few thoughts.

Cross-spectrum does nice calibrations, and I and my friends have had good luck with their mics.  I've also had good luck with the Dayton calibrated mics (specifically the umm-6), and Parts Express's Omnimic.  I have used the Behringer mics in the past, but I cannot recommend buying a Behringer ECM8000 today, as their QC is not what it used to be.  Generally, you should expect to pay at least $60-$80 dollars for a decent calibrated mic, which is where the Parts Express calibrated mics tend to hover.

USB mics are much more portable and convenient, and do not require phantom power, but you should know going in that they are somewhat limiting if you need to make very time-sensitive measurements from multiple sources.  This is particularly true if you're trying to do crossover design or sub-woofer integration.  For those kinds of applications, it can be very helpful to have one audio device for both input and output, which is impossible with a USB mic.

That said, there are workarounds for those issues, and if you don't have an interface with phantom-powered inputs already, then the USB mic will be a definite cost saver.
Logged

Trumpetguy

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 974
Re: Affordable calibration microphone?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2015, 03:57:21 pm »

My ECM8000 was actually replaced once my phantom powered mic preamp died, even if the mic worked as it was supposed to and the calibration was ok (it was calibrated by IBF Akustik). It was the requirement of preamp with phatom power, known linearity and low latency in/out that made me look elsewhere.

It was replaced by a whole kit from IBF Akustik:

EMM-8 MP-1r kit: http://www.etfacoustic.com/software/RPlusD/MP-B-USB_Kit.pdf

Bought it online, think it came from Germany. It was >$200, so wrong price range, I guess.

The good thing with this is that the mic+preamp kit is calibrated together, not the mic only. And combined with a good input/output DA/AD it provides good measurements for room correction.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up