Worthwhile budget measurement microphones for REW?

Sound_plan

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I saw The miniDSP UMIK-1 USB microphone was recommended for REW, and I'm thinking of getting that, but it's gonna run me 230$ Canadian, and I was wondering if there were alternatives, or cheaper microphones that would still do a good job, and have the right calibration files and so on.

I think USB is a good way to go, because I can use it as an SPL meter, and don't have another reliable one. I know phone apps can be wildly inaccurate, and I have no reference to test how accurate my phone is. And buying an SPL meter sort of takes away value from the mic. A XLR measurement microphone might be interesting to use just as a microphone, however, I don't think I'd me using omni much anyway, so, I think USB is the best way for me to go.

Are there other good options to look at? Or should I just get The miniDSP UMIK-1?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Herb at Cross Spectrum Labs sells calibrated UMIK-1's for $110 USD + shipping.


Regards,
Wayne
 

JStewart

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A XLR measurement microphone might be interesting to use just as a microphone, however, I don't think I'd me using omni much anyway, so, I think USB is the best way for me to go.
If you change your mind then parts express has the emm-6 on sale for $55USD.


I’d like to think they can ship to Canada.
 

Sound_plan

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Herb at Cross Spectrum Labs sells calibrated UMIK-1's for $110 USD + shipping.


Regards,
Wayne
I think with conversion of American dollars to Canadian, and then shipping, and then import taxes, that adds a lot to the price, and so, from 110$ American which is about 150$ Canadian rn, if shipping and import tax are 70$, which they could easily be, I may as well order from here, and have convenience of returns etc..



But I appreciate the tip, nonetheless.
 

Sound_plan

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If you change your mind then parts express has the emm-6 on sale for $55USD.


I’d like to think they can ship to Canada.
Does it come with a calibration file that REW uses? It says on the site it has its own frequency response graph, but no mention of calibration files.

This is similar to the other option in that import fees and shipping will increase the cost, but I'd also have to buy an SPL meter. And of an SPL meter is 55$ these end up essentially the same price to me, except having a separate SPL meter could be handy.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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You don’t necessarily need an SPL meter. There are phone apps available. Lacking that, you can simply run a sweep, turn the sound system up so that it’s a moderate level, then tell REW that setting is 75 dB.

Using an XLR mic will require a USB interface, like the Presonus AudioBox or similar, not to mention a suitable mic cable. With all that, getting the USB mic may end up being the cheaper option.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Does it come with a calibration file that REW uses? It says on the site it has its own frequency response graph, but no mention of calibration files.

This is similar to the other option in that import fees and shipping will increase the cost, but I'd also have to buy an SPL meter. And of an SPL meter is 55$ these end up essentially the same price to me, except having a separate SPL meter could be handy.
Reading further down in the description... "A unique serialized calibration .txt file is available for the EMM-6. Once you receive your microphone, Visit the Dayton Audio calibration download tool where you will be prompted to enter the serial number found on the base of your EMM-6. After entering the serial number, your unique calibration .txt file will be available for you to download."
 

JStewart

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Does it come with a calibration file that REW uses? It says on the site it has its own frequency response graph, but no mention of calibration files.

It does, you just missed in the the middle of the linked page, but...

The cal files for those mics are a little...unusual. It would be very difficult to construct a mic with a response as erratic as those in the cal files.

I would follow John Mulcahy's advice, always.
 

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Does it come with a calibration file that REW uses? It says on the site it has its own frequency response graph, but no mention of calibration files.

This is similar to the other option in that import fees and shipping will increase the cost, but I'd also have to buy an SPL meter. And of an SPL meter is 55$ these end up essentially the same price to me, except having a separate SPL meter could be handy.
This is an XLR mic, so you'll need an interface to connect it to your computer. The UMIK-1 is a USB mic so it's more plug & play.
 

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This one is USB...
 

sam_adams

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The cal files for those mics are a little...unusual. It would be very difficult to construct a mic with a response as erratic as those in the cal files.
For a point of reference here, below are randomly sampled .cal files for EMM-6, UMM-6, and UMIK-1.

EMM-6, 16 sample files, 256 points each.:
emm6cal.png


UMM-6, twenty sample files, 97 points each. Only extends to 19.15 KHz.:
umm6cal.png


UMIK-1, twenty-five zero degree sample files, 615 points each. The trace that extends to 5 Hz and to 24 KHz is a Cross-Spectrum Labs UMIK-1 zero degree .cal file, 1500 points.
umik1cal.png
 

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I you want the most budget-friendly option, Behringer ECM8000 is quite decent and only 35 bucks from Sweetwater. I know several pro sound engineers who use them for live concert setup. They have a calibration file available but I'm not sure if it's for individual mics or generic.

 

ManCaveAudio

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Does it come with a calibration file that REW uses? It says on the site it has its own frequency response graph, but no mention of calibration files.

This is similar to the other option in that import fees and shipping will increase the cost, but I'd also have to buy an SPL meter. And of an SPL meter is 55$ these end up essentially the same price to me, except having a separate SPL meter could be handy.
You need additional sound card with xlr mic for phantom power. Which adds additional cost too
 

ManCaveAudio

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Reading further down in the description... "A unique serialized calibration .txt file is available for the EMM-6. Once you receive your microphone, Visit the Dayton Audio calibration download tool where you will be prompted to enter the serial number found on the base of your EMM-6. After entering the serial number, your unique calibration .txt file will be available for you to download."
Dayton Audio microphone comes with only 0 degree calibration file. Not with 90 degree calibration file which is recommended for home theatre application.

I have mailed to Dayton Audio and they gave me link and suggested to generate 90 degree cal file by own. According to them there is no much difference in 0 dree and 90 degree file. Suggested site recommend to use three way speaker to get better results.

Now, should I buy 3 way speaker cost of $300-500 for $79 calibration microphone?

Seriously?????

Is all other calibration microphone manufacturers, cross spectrum lab are fool???? They provide 0, 45 and 90 degree calibration file.

Dayton charges same cost like miniDSP UMIK-1. So it is wise decision to go with miniDSP to get both file generated from laboratory.

No hate for Dayton Audio, just sharing thoughts and experience so other friends and user can take wise decision.

Sorry, if hurting to anyone .
Does it come with a calibration file that REW uses? It says on the site it has its own frequency response graph, but no mention of calibration files.

This is similar to the other option in that import fees and shipping will increase the cost, but I'd also have to buy an SPL meter. And of an SPL meter is 55$ these end up essentially the same price to me, except having a separate SPL meter could be handy.
 
Last edited:

Samazar

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Any new developments in terms of a budget analogue condenser mic for REW that is at least as good as the UMIK-1?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Any new developments in terms of a budget analogue condenser mic for REW that is at least as good as the UMIK-1?

Eighteen or so years ago when REW made its debut, the recommended Behringer ECM8000 measurement mic cost about $125, which required a USB interface that cost about $200. Adjusted for inflation, that outlay today would be about $500.

Twenty-eight years ago in 1996, it cost me $600 for a good-quality hardware AudioControl RTA (real time analyzer) that had only 1/3-octave resolution – a fraction of what REW is capable of delivering. That would be $1200 in today’s dollars.

Today, assuming one already has a computer, you can do room measurements for less than $100 – the cost of a UMIK-1.

We’re living in the golden age of room measurement, my friend, where you can do it practically for free. So pay the $100 for the mic and be thankful it’s not 1996. :)

Regards,
Wayne
 

Samazar

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Eighteen or so years ago when REW made its debut, the recommended Behringer ECM8000 measurement mic cost about $125, which required a USB interface that cost about $200. Adjusted for inflation, that outlay today would be about $500.

Twenty-eight years ago in 1996, it cost me $600 for a good-quality hardware AudioControl RTA (real time analyzer) that had only 1/3-octave resolution – a fraction of what REW is capable of delivering. That would be $1200 in today’s dollars.

Today, assuming one already has a computer, you can do room measurements for less than $100 – the cost of a UMIK-1.

We’re living in the golden age of room measurement, my friend, where you can do it practically for free. So pay the $100 for the mic and be thankful it’s not 1996. :)

Regards,
Wayne

Thanks Wayne, that makes a lot of sense. I wish UMIK-1/2 was available in an analogue version. I need the ability to take multiple measurements which REW supports but with analogue mics and an audio interface.
 
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Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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My apologies, I somehow it didn't register that it was analog you were looking for.

Your best bet is the EMM6 Basic Plus from Cross Spectrum.


Regards,
Wayne
 

Samazar

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My apologies, I somehow it didn't register that it was analog you were looking for.

Your best bet is the EMM6 Basic Plus from Cross Spectrum.


Regards,
Wayne

Cross Spectrum does a better job at calibrating them compared to Dayton Audio?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Absolutely. Here's a Comparison graph someone posted on another Forum a number of years ago.

mic-cal-files-jpg.jpg

Regards,
Wayne
 

Travis Ballstadt

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I believe I read that Dayton does batch calibration files while Cross Spectrum does individual calibration files.
 
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