art project

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by alexxx, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. alexxx

    alexxx Guest

    Hi everybody - a newbie in search for help here...

    I'm developing an art project, where I intend to build a sculpture housing inside it a small computer (Linux), constantly monitoring its surroundings, and recording any sound/music once it goes beyond a given threshold.
    It should successively process the sounds and react to them in different ways.

    What kind of microphone should I use? I mention that it does not need to be excessively hidden, I can have some kind of opening for it.

    I heard about "conference microphones", but I dont know if they're the correct choice.
    One last requirement - I'd like not to go bankrupt for this!

    thanks for any help...

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    This is a project where a minimalist approach may work adequately, given the Linux environment. It is likely that your computer will have a built-in sound card with a microphone input that has "plug-in" power. This is a resistive source of about 3V for use with domestic-type of electret microphones. I suggest that you get a relatively low-cost omnidirectional microphone of the type made for minidisc or MP3 recorders and plug it straight in. Radio Shack have these, or you can get something like a Vivanco EM216 from Ebay suppliers or one of the Sound Professionals range from their website. Your application software receives audio from these via standard sound card drivers. An alternative at a slightly higher cost would be to use a USB microphone, but you may be limited in choice if you need one with a Linux driver.

    Your problem is probably not going to be choosing a microphone, but how to process the incoming audio and react to it in the ways you described. Do you have a method worked out for this?
  3. alexxx

    alexxx Guest

    I'm still at the drawing board for this...
    I wanted to write the software early on by testing it on my main PC using a standard mic, but I've not been lucky so far, since try as I might, the audio is still incredibly low - I dont know if it is why I chose the wrong mic or I'm unable to set the rec levels correctly...


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