Sixth International Workshop on Models and Analysis of Vocal Emissions for Biomedical Applications (MAVEBA 2009)

Florence, Italy
December 14-16, 2009

Basic Requirements on Microphones for Voice Recordings

Jan G. Svec (1), H. Sramkova (1), S. Granqvist (2)

(1) Laboratory of Biophysics, Dept. Experimental Physics, Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic
(2) Department of Speech, Music and Hearing, School of Computer Science and Communication, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

There is a need for specifications of microphone characteristics which shall be fulfilled in order to make the microphone acceptable for voice measurements. In this preliminary study we address the most basic parameters – the frequency response, the frequency range, the dynamic range, and the directional characteristics of the microphones. We argue that the frequency response of the microphones shall be flat (i.e., less than 2 dB variation) within the frequency range between the lowest expected fundamental frequency of voice and the highest component of the voice spectrum of interest. The equivalent noise level of the microphones is recommended to be at least 15 dB lower than the sound level of the softest phonations produced. The upper limit of the dynamic range of the microphone shall be the same or higher as the sound level of the loudest phonations. In case of directional microphones, their placement shall be at the distance that corresponds to maximally flat response of the microphone in order to avoid the proximity effect. If this distance is not known, a directional microphone is considered unsuitable for SPL and spectral measurements of voice.

Index Terms. Microphones, measurement, voice recording, recommendations

Full Paper (reprinted with permission from Firenze University Press)

Bibliographic reference.  Svec, Jan G. / Sramkova, H. / Granqvist, S. (2009): "Basic requirements on microphones for voice recordings", In MAVEBA-2009, 157-160.