Microphone and preamp selection for recording automobile sound

FAQ #961 Updated September 30, 2008

Question:

I am trying to use a laptop computer, microphone and probably a preamp to record all sounds present in a police cruiser. I am going to use these recording to supply background noise while testing a speech recognition system for the New Hampshire State Police. I need to be able to pickup everything (i.e. engine noise, sirens, voice, wind...). I have read several of you techincal support documents on connecting professional microphones to a soundcard, so I have fairly good understanding about impedence and signal strength. Could you please recommend an appropriate omni-directional microphone and preamplifier for this situation.

Answer:

Consider the Shure SM63 microphone, used in conjunction with a battery powered mic preamp such as manufactured by Sound Devices.

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SM63

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