Acoustic analysis tools are important devices for sound engineers and designers of sound systems. The availability of these tools in software versions, such as SIA SMAART PRO, SysID etc., provides powerful, as well as portable, FFT software for sound engineers using a laptop, an analysis microphone and preamp.
AudioControl Industrial has developed a portable, high-quality and economically priced analysis system. At $349 list, the MP-200 microphone preamp system is a great tool for audio professionals who require a compact solution for their laptop computer-based audio analysis system.
The AudioControl MP-200 is a two-channel measurement mic preamp that is 5″ deep, 6.75″ wide and 1.35″ high. Weighing in at a mere 1.5 lb., it is very portable indeed. It is powered by a 9 V battery and will run for about 10 hours of continuous use. The MP-200 can also be powered by an external DC power supply.
The unit’s front panel consists of an LED that indicates low battery, a rotary pot for pink noise output and another LED that indicates a 94 dB SPL reference level. It also contains a signal source selector switch for mic 1 or 2, line or pink noise selection, a line gain level input gain and a mic gain selection switch from 0 to 40 in 10 dB increments.
The rear of the unit has two XLR microphone inputs, two RCA line inputs summed to mono, two RCA line outputs, a stereo 1/8″ minijack output to feed a standard computer soundcard and an unbalanced 1/4″ phone jack output for the digital pink noise generator. The pink noise circuitry is only active when a phone plug is inserted into this jack. The MP-200 is quite flexible, offering all connections necessary to use this analysis tool without the need of adapters.
The MP-200 comes standard with a small electret condenser measurement mic – the same microphone used in the company’s AudioControl SA-3051 real time analyzer (reviewed in PAR, 11/95, p. 38). The operation manual includes such basic information as mic sensitivity and a response calibration file for the CM-10 measurement microphone that further increases the accuracy of the acoustic measurements.
I have the current version of SIA SMAART PRO software and like using it to evaluate and equalize a sound system prior and during a show. The ability to quickly look at a room frequency response by plugging in a microphone, tying in a cable for the reference signal (pink noise or program) and setting the delay time offset is a powerful tool. I had been looking for a portable measurement microphone preamp and was immediately impressed by the size and functionality of the AudioControl Industrial MP-200.
The second microphone input provides the flexibility of looking at the room from two different positions. Using the line-level input is helpful to look at the reference signal from a source (console, CD player or pink noise).
When not using the optional second microphone the system offers, it is easy to move around the room or balcony by carrying your laptop, a microphone and this preamp wherever you want to travel. This saves you from coiling up long lengths of mic cable when measurements are completed.
The AudioControl MP-200’s flexibility in connections lets one hook up to a laptop computer-based software analysis system quickly and functionally. It should be noted that this microphone preamp must be used with the CM-10 measurement microphone supplied, which could pose a problem for people who have invested in an expensive analysis microphone. The necessary mic is supplied with the preamp, however, and it really is a complete package at a great price.
Anyone looking for a quality preamp for acoustic analysis software will find the AudioControl Industrial MP-200 an excellent choice.
Contact: AudioControl Industrial at 216-241-7225.