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How would you define and measure frequency response for a contact microphone? Microphone specifications rely on a standard medium -- the atmosphere -- as a starting point for defining performance, esp frequency response. When the device is a contact mic, there is no standard medium. What you get from the mic is completely dependent upon the object to which it is affixed, and the object's own resonance. We make a contact mic and sometimes our customers ask "What's the frequency response?" So how would you define and measure frequency response for a contact mic? I wrote this short article on the subject, describing our home-made mic test fixture: How To Test Performance of Piezo Contact Microphones
Our mic: http://zeppelindesignlabs.com/product/cortado-balanced-piezo-contact-mic/

  • I could imagine that the customers asking for the specs are more or less aware of how contact mics work or they wouldn't want to buy one. Maybe they are asking for specs in terms of temperature resistance, water proofness etc. As those devices often tend to be used in rough environments (I.e. Under water)? – Hans Meiser Apr 3 '16 at 11:34
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That's a great question. I think your explanation of the problem would be good to share with customers, educating them rather than providing them with a meaningless spec. Then maybe link to a couple of sample recordings of common sources recorded with your mic attached to some likely surfaces.

It really is an interesting problem. Wonder what Shure, Crown, etc. do?

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