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Thread: Recommended microphone setup for capturing environmental sounds

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Recommended microphone setup for capturing environmental sounds

    I want to use the Teensy to record environmental sounds outdoors, such as those of a forest. I'm using the Teensy 4.0 with the audio shield.

    It seems like all the examples use basic mems microphones, but if you want something of higher quality, what types of microphones would work with the microphone input pin? What type of microphone would be recommended for better audio quality?

    Would something like this work?

    If I got something like that, could I connect that to the audio jack on the Teensy Audio shield? Or would I need to connect that to a separate audio jack breakout?
    Last edited by danoved; 01-25-2020 at 07:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Steer away from tie clip microphones - they usually have filters embedded to reject wind and handling noise, and have characteristics optimised for voice.

    In other respects, going for a battery powered electret microphone is a good way to balance good and cheap.

    For environmental noise:

    Choose an omnidirectional pattern if you want to capture background noises.

    Choose a hypercardioid or shotgun pattern if you want to capture something specific, eg. birdsong.

    A dish reflector setup is even more directional, and doesn't rely on a highly directional microphone - however it's directionality will be frequency dependent.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    All depends on your ambitions.

    But there are really only three parameters to consider

    bandwidth: do you need audio or also ultrasonics or even infrasonics?
    sensitivity: the higher the better for weak signals (-24dB is better than -38dB)- it measures the response for a standard sound signal
    signal to noise ratio (SNR): the higher the better.

    Own noise level is (Sensitivity - SNR ) should be as low as possible, below ambient noise.

    The audioshield limits somewhat your system noise level (SGTL5000 is cheap), which you can overcome by good pre-amplifier. Now at that point you may even consider switching audio card, e.g. use the superaudioboard by whollander (search this forum) or, depending on your ambition, build your own system.

    For all acoustic sensors, directionality is frequency dependent. You have omnidirectionality only if sound wavelength is much larger that dimension of sensor (microphone including reflector)

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