I'm trying to record really loud audio - a jet engine, actually. I'm limited to recording in a 20'x 20' cinder block test room. We have cameras in the room, some that record audio, but the audio is clipping badly, and I think that by turning on the mics for the cameras, we might have damaged the audio circuits inside. We tried covering the mics with dense foam like memory foam, but it didn't quite work. I need a suggestion for a reasonably priced microphone that can handle the nearly 150 dB (possibly more) sound from the jet engine. Any suggestions?

  • Were the mics plugged directly into the cameras? How far away from the engine are you recording? I don't think any microphones and handle more than 150dB (SPL). It's generally accepted that every time you double the distance from the source you get a 6dB degrees in the sound level. So if you are 5 meters away at 150dB then going to 10 meters will give you 144dB etc. You may need to further your distance until it is at a level the mics can handle. Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 5:21
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    You're into the realm of scientific mics. In terms of 'sound engineering' you can get mics that can handle 158dB SPL or so, but a jet engine is going to be pushing that or more, so you're up into rarified territory, something like the B&K 4938-A-011 which is good to an incredible 172dB, but I have no idea what these cost. I've used their studio mics, which are stunning... & expensive.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 8:18
  • btw, you have quite likely permanently damaged the diaphragms of your on-camera mics; switched on or off wouldn't matter. Test would be to record someone shouting from a few feet away. Quiet speech may not reveal any damage, but louder [yet within tolerance] sound may show signs.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 8:20
  • Thanks @Tetsujin, The issue with the on-camera mics is that the recordings of audio now are just blips of audio on occasion, and as the volume increases, the audio disappears. I'll look into the mic you suggested, thanks! Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 10:50


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