An update regarding the iPad microphone with iOS 9.3+

The Faber app updates released this week address the issue with the built-in iPad microphone input gain. In short, with the release of iOS 9.3.1, Apple chose to change the input gain range for the built-in microphone on iPad, which meant that apps such as SoundMeter needed to either adjust input gain or input sensitivity in order to continue to allow for reasonably accurate sound level measurements. Unfortunately, iOS versions 9.3.1 through 9.3.4 contain a bug that causes the previous input gain range to be applied after a microphone is connected to the headset jack and then removed.

The following Faber apps have been updated with a built-in workaround to properly apply the appropriate input gain on each version of iOS:

Each app has also been updated to support iOS 10 when it is released later this year.

A caution regarding the iPad microphone with iOS 9.3+

Some of you may have already discovered that if you use one of our apps on an iPad running iOS 9.3.1, the built-in microphone does not work as expected. For example, if you run SoundMeter and press start, you see a reading of “-inf” rather than something more reasonable, like “52.5 dB”.

You may have also noticed that if you set the mic input gain to Mid, rather than Low, that you get a reading, but it is very low, like “-22.0 dB”. If you keep the input gain set at High, then you should see similar results to what you saw before the recent updates to iOS.

We have recently discovered that, while running SoundMeter, if you then connect a headset microphone and disconnect it, the built-in microphone readings will behave just as they have since the introduction of iOS 8.0. In other words, connecting and disconnecting a headset microphone returns things to normal for the built-in mic.

If you rely on SoundMeter, or one of our other apps, for regular sound level measurements, you might want to consider holding off on updating iOS until a solution is available. For those who have already updated, the workaround of connecting and disconnecting a headset microphone offers a solution for continuing to work with the built-in microphone as before.

Because of the change in input signal level that occurs with the built-in microphone with the connection and subsequent disconnection of a headset microphone, this is a problem that we cannot fix with an update to our apps. It must be corrected by Apple (we have already filed a detailed bug report with Apple). It does not just affect our apps, but potentially any audio app that uses the built-in microphone with the input gain set to anything less than the maximum value. (We have verified that measurement apps from other developers that rely on the iPad’s built-in microphone can also be affected by this.)

We have recently verified this issue, and the workaround, with 5 different iPad models and believe it to be of general concern for all iPad models that support iOS 9.3. We are not aware of any similar issues with iPhone or iPod touch.

SoundMeter 8.3 offers more powerful data logging

SoundMeter 8.3 and SoundMeter Pro 4.3 can now log sound levels at user-defined intervals for an arbitrarily long period of time. Each includes a new option to automatically export logged measurement data when the measurement duration is reached. If Auto Stop is disabled, SoundMeter will continue to save the current logged data to a new data file each time the duration is reached. This new Auto Save option has been added to both the Meter and Octave tools.

Data logs can be automatically saved to CSV, TXT, or MAT files.

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Also new in SoundMeter:

  • When logging, Leq, Lp_max, and peak sound levels can be reset each time they are logged. With this option, it is possible to log a short Leq of 0.1 seconds for up to 8 hours. With the new Auto Save feature, the logging can be extended indefinitely.
  • When logging Lx values in the Meter tool, the user-defined percentile value will be fixed at the time logging starts. It is still possible to view different user-defined percentile values in the live meter display while the fixed percentile values are being logged.
  • A bug has been fixed which could cause errors in the Octave data when logging was enabled.
  • The formatting of the HTTP file server pages has been improved.
  • Audio input management has been improved to avoid the potential for transient noise from the hardware when a new measurement is started.
  • SoundMeter Pro uses much less memory when exporting data logs to CSV and TXT files.
  • The Octave log surface plot uses much less memory when viewing large data sets.
  • Other cosmetic enhancements and stability improvements.

In SoundMeter, the new features will require the purchase of one or more upgrades, which are available via in-app purchase. They are included in SoundMeter Pro.

SoundMeter 8.3 and SoundMeter Pro 4.3 are now available for download on the App Store.

SignalScope and SignalScope Pro updated for iOS

SignalScope 7.2.1 and SignalScope Pro 6.2.1 for iOS are now available for download on the App Store. These maintenance releases include the following improvements:

  • When the minimum frequency (Fmin) in the FFT analyzer was set to a value larger than 0, autoscale did not behave correctly. This has been fixed.
  • High frequencies were sometimes displayed incorrectly in the FFT analyzer when Fmax was set to a value higher than half the sample rate and smoothing was turned off. This has been fixed.

(In the standard version of SignalScope, setting Fmin and Fmax requires the Data Acquisition Upgrade, available via in-app purchase.)

Download SignalScope Pro 6.2.1

Download SignalScope 7.2.1

 

Set arbitrary frequency limits in SignalScope Pro 6.2

The FFT-based spectrum analyzer in SignalScope Pro 6.2 allows arbitrary upper and lower frequency bounds (Fmax and Fmin) to be specified for the spectrum display. The cursor peak track function will operate only within the specified frequency bounds. The hardware sample rate may optionally be automatically adjusted to best match the specified value for Fmax.

FFT_Plot_Limits     FFT_Options

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An example:

A typical minimum sample rate of iOS hardware is 8 kHz. If a frequency resolution of 1 Hz is used for the spectrum, and values of 10 and 400 are specified for Fmin and Fmax, respectively, the data between 10 and 400 Hz will be plotted and the plot will be scaled to extend only from 10 and 400 Hz. If the cursor peak track function is enabled, the cursor will find the frequency of the highest magnitude between 10 and 400 Hz.

If the option to automatically adjust the sample rate based on Fmax has been selected, the hardware sample rate (Fs) will automatically be reduced to the minimum rate required to acquire data up to 400 Hz. In the case of typical iOS or USB audio input hardware, this rate would be 8 kHz. Since FFT data would then include values between 0 and 4 kHz, an additional option allows either all data (0 to 4 kHz) or only data from 10 to 400 Hz to be exported when saving FFT data to a CSV, TXT, or MAT file. Note that the DC term may be omitted from exported data when FFT data is displayed on a logarithmic frequency scale.

Also new in SignalScope Pro 6.2:

  • When “cpm” is selected for units of frequency, exported data files will include frequencies specified in cpm.
  • The nominal microphone sensitivity is properly set on the new iPhones.
  • Other bug fixes/stability enhancements, including iOS 9 compatibility.

Similar improvements have been added to version 7.2 of SignalScope. Specifying values for Fmin and Fmax in SignalScope require the Data Acquisition Upgrade, which is available via in-app purchase.

Download SignalScope 7.2

Download SignalScope Pro 6.2

 

SoundMeter updated for iPhone 6S and iOS 9

SoundMeterProIcon76@2xSoundMeter 8.2 and SoundMeter Pro 4.2 are now available for download on the App Store. Each new version includes proper handling of the built-in microphone on iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus devices and minor changes in iOS 9.

Unfortunately, the new iPhones do not support analog input gain selection for the built-in microphones as previous iPhone models did. The fixed input gain of the iPhone 6S/Plus matches the “Mid” input gain setting in the iPhone 5C, 5S, and 6 models. This means that the peak sound level that can be measured using the built-in microphone of the new iPhones is nominally 116.5 dB. Previous iPhones, on their lowest input gain setting, could measure nominal peak levels of 136 dB.Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 2.56.19 PM

The SoundMeter apps now allow mixing audio with other apps. This means that it is possible to play music from the Music app while performing measurements with SoundMeter or SoundMeter Pro. It is also possible to mix the output of the signal generator with the audio output from another app.

Also new in each app, when using an iPhone or iPad that has multiple built-in microphones, the unique name of the selected microphone is displayed (e.g. “Bottom Microphone” or “Right Microphone”).

Download SoundMeter

Download SoundMeter Pro

 

SignalScope update supports audio mixing on iOS

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SignalScope Pro 6.1 and SignalScope 7.1 have been released for sale on the App Store with some important enhancements, including the ability to mix audio output with other apps. Audio mixing means that it is possible to play music from the Music app while performing signal analysis with SignalScope or SignalScope Pro. It is also possible to mix the output of the signal generator* with the audio output from another app.

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.35.35 AM

The SignalScope apps include other important enhancements:

  • The FFT analyzer tool now supports frequency resolution as fine as 0.1 Hz for audio input signals.
  • When working with an iPhone or iPad that has multiple built-in microphones, the unique name of the selected microphone is displayed (e.g. “Bottom Microphone” or “Right
    Microphone”).
  • When analyzing two input channels in the Octave tool, both spectra are displayed in a single line plot.

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Download SignalScope Pro

Download SignalScope

 

 

* The signal generator tool is available via in-app purchase in the standard version of SignalScope.

Easy calibrated vibration measurements on Mac or iOS

digiducer_04_CE_mediumAlthough Faber Mac and iOS apps have offered excellent sound and vibration analysis tools from the start, the introduction of the Digiducer 333D01 USB Digital Accelerometer makes vibration measurement easier and more portable. When the 333D01 is connected to a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, it will be immediately recognized by our apps and ready for calibrated measurements.

For example, SignalScope Pro will recognize the connected 333D01 as an accelerometer and set the measurement units accordingly. SignalScope Pro will also automatically read calibration information from the 333D01 and establish the appropriate sensitivity so calibrated measurements can be made immediately. This works with both the Mac and iOS versions of SignalScope Pro.

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The 333D01 communicates with Mac OS or iOS via the standard USB Audio Class driver. Connecting to a Mac is as simple as plugging the 333D01’s cable into an available USB port. For iOS, Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter is required.* When connecting to iOS, no additional power source is required, which makes Faber apps and the 333D01 part of an ultraportable vibration measurement system.

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Auto-calibrated measurements with the 333D01 are supported in Electroacoustics Toolbox, SignalScope and SignalScope Pro for Mac, and in IOScopeSignalScope and SignalScope Pro for iOS.

 

Buy the 333D01 USB Digital Accelerometer

Download Electroacoustics Toolbox (Mac)

Download SignalScope Pro (Mac)

Download IOScope (iOS)

Download SignalScope Pro (iOS)

 

*Older iOS devices may require a 30-pin to USB adapter, such as the one available in Apple’s original iPad Camera Connection Kit.

SignalSuite for iOS now sports a fresh UI and support for larger iPhone screens

SignalSuiteAppIcon120Version 1.5 of SignalSuite, the original stereo audio signal generator for iPhone, finally supports larger iPhone screens, including those of the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, with a fresh new look. Functionally, the new version of SignalSuite is equivalent to previous releases, although it is now possible to manually select from a list of available audio output routes (e.g. the iPhone speaker or an Apple TV on the local network). The user interface elements have been updated to be consistent with the changes made to the appearance of iOS since version 7.

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SignalSuite supports 3.5, 4.0, 4.7, and 5.5-inch iPhone screens and requires iOS 7 or later. SignalSuite 1.5 is available now on the App Store.

Download SignalSuite

 

SoundMeter now offers Octave data logging on iPhone and iPad

For some time, SoundMeter has offered an optional in-app upgrade that would allow users to log sound level and noise dose measurements for up to two weeks. Version 8.1 adds an upgrade to allow whole and 1/3 octave sound levels to be logged for similar durations. The Octave Data Logging Upgrade will be made available within SoundMeter to users who have already purchased the Octave Analyzer Upgrade.

OctaveSurf

When Octave data logging is enabled, logged levels are displayed in a 2D color surface plot below the standard Octave spectrum graph. The color scale is defined by the vertical scale of the spectrum graph. A data cursor may be placed within the log plot to identify specific levels associated with date,  time, and frequency band.

Octave data can be logged as often as every 0.1 seconds for up to 1 hour, every second for up to 10 hours, or every 10 seconds for up to two weeks. Larger intervals can also be specified in each case.

When data logging is enabled, logged levels will also be included when saving data to a CSV, TXT, or MAT
file. (Saving data in SoundMeter requires the Data Acquisition Upgrade, sold separately.)

SoundMeter Pro includes all the functionality of SoundMeter plus that of SoundMeter’s in-app upgrades. Current SoundMeter Pro users get the additional Octave data logging functionality for free.

Download SoundMeter

Download SoundMeter Pro

 

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