Advice on my Microphone Placement Device

Hey people,

I am training as a studio engineer and for my Major Project at university I am going to be building a microphone placement device . I am an amateur when it comes to electronics but I have a solid set of ideas when it comes to the actual build. My project will look fairly similar to the one shown in this video, however I am looking to have a extra motor to control the mic stand itself for off-axis movement.

http://vimeo.com/45374503

The device construction is comfortably within my skill level (I think) but I have very little idea how to approach the controls. I am going for a joystick operated set-up and was looking for some advice as to what Arduino set is best for my needs? Does anyone with more experience think this is a viable beginner's project?

Thanks for reading!

Martin :D

How is it determining where to place the mike?

If it just receives some numbers, any Arduino should work. 8 bit Arduinos are being used to run 3D printers and CNC mills, so they should be up to this task.

If it is supposed to collect and process data, it depends on how complex that task is, and how quickly you need it accomplished.

Hey thanks for the reply,

The idea is to find the 'sweet spot' of the amp and this is done by hearing the signal change in real time by moving the mic around and listening through your studio monitors rather than running back and forth changing the position..if that's what you meant?

It will just need to move forward, backward and left and right but I will need it to move slowly and smoothly and I have no idea on setting up the sensitivity. Can you recommend any specific Arduino?

So you are the feedback and control part of the circuit, yes? You listen to the sound, then decide where to move the microphone.

Just about any Arduino will work. Probably more of an issue is the motor noise - it is going to be nearly impossible to isolate motor noise from the microphone while it is moving.

The simplest to drive are probably RC servos modified for continuous rotation because the Arduino only has to supply a series of logic pulses for which there is already a library, but the gear noise is going to be rather high. Stepper motors take a bit more circuitry to run but will be somewhat quieter, even more so with a belt and rubber mount providing some noise isolation. Stepper motors on microstepping should be quieter, too.

With an Arduino Uno R3, there are shields you can plug in that can then have three stepper motor driver circuits plugged into it.

Correct, however I am not too concerned about the motor noise as I won’t be moving the microphone while I am recording. Once I have used the device to find the correct spot I assume the motors will be silent anyway? But I may use stepper motors anyway because I plan on building several designs and using the quietest and most efficient model for my final project.

Thank you for your advice and I have gone ahead and bought the Ardiuno starter kit which does include the Uno R3 chip. I also picked up the 3rd party Joystick Shield Kit since it was only £10 and I am assuming I can use it along side the Uno R3?

Thanks again

Yes, the steppers will be silent, especially since you can program the Arduino to disable the drivers after they stop moving, so no chopped current action through the stepper coils.

ok thank you very much for your help.

The standard solution would be stepper motors.

But, since you are the "brains", you don't really need a microcontroller... You can use some geared-down DC motors and center-off DPDT switches can be used for forward/off/reverse operation. (A non-geared DC motor will probably run too fast.)

Normal servo motors angular devices that don't rotate 360 degrees, so they are not suitable for conversion to linear motion with pulleys or gears.