Makers of acoustic testing equipment Audio Precision have announced they are diving into the measurement microphone market with a range of mics designed for testing sonic spaces. This is a fast-moving field, and you might have used free software such as RoomEQ wizard to understand the pitfalls of your mixing space. Those delving a little further, and particularly those in live sound, will have come across the ‘Smarrt’ measurement software by Rational Acoustics. These are all great tools which I use on a weekly basis, but even these tools have to be used wisely as tolerances can produce incorrect readings. If you want truly accurate results, where do you turn? Perhaps Audio Precision’s debut into acoustic measurement microphones will become the ultimate tool set.
Audio Precision Measurement Microphones
Audio Precision are a company who know a thing or two about audio testing, providing a range of products primarily for the testing of electronic audio equipment. Their tools are used for calculating values such as the THD of a range of pro audio gear. Amplifier manufacturers, for example, will use these tools during the design and build stages of product development. Acoustic measurements have also been a part of the APx line of analysers remit, but for the first time AP have now developed their own range of microphones.
This is a very specialist range of microphones which are pre-polarised, TEDS-compliant and CCP-powered. “The microphones are calibrated, ensuring the best results when paired with calibrated instruments such as the APx515 Audio Analyzer and APx1701 Transducer Test Interface,” according to AP. Most interesting is the larger microphone in the picture above, which is called an “Occluded Ear Simulator”. This mic actually has a an artificial ear canal for approximating the acoustic impedance of a human ear.
While all this sounds very technical, if nothing else, I think we can all take something away from this news. Audio equipment, especially in the live sound sector, has reached a new level of ‘precision’. Perhaps there’s now a real-world scenario that warrants the demand for more stringent testing – which is very encouraging. After all, testing the acoustic output from any system can only be as accurate as the tools you’re measuring them with.
For more information on each of these new mics by Audio Precision, see their webpage. Prices aren’t readily available, but these mics are specifically designed to complement the APx line of audio analysers, software and accessories. If you need to ask the price, that usually means it’s going to be expensive. This is very specialist equipment but I find it very encouraging to see further developments in this often-overlooked field.