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.

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

 

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.

 

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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.

SoundMeter 8 includes companion app for Apple Watch

SoundMeter 8.0 and SoundMeter Pro 4.0, which are both now available for download on the App Store, each include a companion app for Apple Watch. With the Watch app, you can monitor the current sound level, spectrum, and/or noise dose from your wrist (requires iOS 8.2 and iPhone 5 or later). These new versions of SoundMeter add other significant features, as well, including background sound level measurements and notifications of exceeded levels. The original sound level meter app for iPhone has now become the original sound level meter app for Apple Watch.

SoundMeter’s companion app for Apple Watch includes a separate screen for each of SoundMeter’s available tools running on the iPhone (new tools added to SoundMeter via in-app purchase are also supported in the companion app). Each tool can be started or stopped from the watch and current measurement values are updated on the watch display each second. The new notifications feature in SoundMeter allows the user to be notified on the Apple Watch when certain events occur. Notifications can be triggered when measurements stop (using the Auto-Stop feature) or when certain user-defined levels are exceeded. These notifications are supported in each of the Meter, Octave, and Dosimeter tools.

SoundMeter’s new ability to run in the background allows it to continue to run long-term measurements while other (non-audio) apps are in use. A complimentary new feature also allows the individual tools in SoundMeter to run independently. This means that users can run measurements in the Meter, Octave, and Dosimeter tools simultaneously. Users no longer need to worry about resetting the current measurement by switching to another tool (whether intentionally or accidentally). This makes SoundMeter more robust in terms of its ability to preserve acquired data until it can be saved more permanently in an image or data file.

Watch App Screenshots

SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch  SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch

SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch  SoundMeter Pro Screen Shot - Apple Watch

The new versions of SoundMeter also include the following improvements:

  • Lx (percentile-exceeded sound level) measurements now use the same time and frequency weighting as the Lp measurement, instead of automatically switching to Fast and A weighting.
  • Frequency weighting may now be set to Flat, A, or C in the Dosimeter options menu (previously, the Dosimeter only allowed A weighting).
  • Meter, Octave, and Dosimeter tools now use local notifications to alert you when a measurement has finished or when selected levels have exceeded user-defined thresholds.
  • This release corrects a bug that could cause the device sensitivity for the built-in mic or the headset input to get corrupted when changing input gain selection with device units set to “FS.”

Notes:

  1. Octave and Dosimeter tools, Lx measurement and data file export capability are sold separately within SoundMeter via in-app purchase. These capabilities are all included with SoundMeter Pro.
  2. This SoundMeter update will require you to restore your in-app purchases (you will not be charged again for upgrades you have already purchased).
  3. Apple Watch compatibility requires iOS 8.2 and iPhone 5 or later.

 

Download SoundMeter 8.0

Download SoundMeter Pro 4.0

 

Faber Mac apps now support USB measurement mics and accelerometer

Versions 3.8 of SignalScope, SignalScope Pro, and Electroacoustics Toolbox for Mac OS now offer built-in support for USB measurement microphones from miniDSP and Dayton Audio as well as the model 333D01 USB accelerometer from Digiducer.

Each app directly supports the miniDSP UMIK-1 and Dayton UMM-6 USB measurement microphones. Sensitivity calibration data for these mics can be downloaded automatically, just by entering the mic’s serial number. Making calibrated sound level measurements is as easy as plugging in the UMIK-1 or UMM-6, typing in its serial number, and getting started with the analysis tool of your choice (the serial number only needs to be entered once, after which the app will remember the microphone sensitivity). An internet connection is required to download sensitivity information for the microphone.

Each of these apps also directly supports the Digiducer 333D01 USB digital accelerometer, and can automatically load serial number and sensitivity calibration information directly from the device. Making calibrated acceleration measurements is as easy as plugging in the 333D01 and getting started with the analysis tool of your choice.

Various bugs and potential instabilities in each app have been corrected.

These apps all require Mac OS version 10.7 or later.

Electroacoustics Toolbox Screenshot

Electroacoustics Toolbox Screenshot

Downloads:

Download Electroacoustics Toolbox on the Mac App Store

Download Electroacoustics Toolbox trial

Download SignalScope Pro on the Mac App Store

Download SignalScope Pro trial

Download SignalScope on the Mac App Store

Download SignalScope trial

SignalScope Pro 5 adds FFT and Octave data overlays, new hardware support

SignalScope Pro 5.0 and SignalScope 6.0*, both now available for download on the App Store, add support for up to 7 FFT spectrum curves to be loaded from existing data files (CSV, MAT, or tab-delimited text files previously saved from the FFT analyzer tool). Live FFT data can be overlaid on these curves. When loaded data files include multiple channels of FFT data, one or more of those channels can be selected for display in the current FFT plot. The addition of controls for adjusting the line thickness and opacity of loaded data makes it easy to visually distinguish between live and static FFT data. The FFT analyzer also now supports fractional-octave band smoothing of curves displayed in the plot. (It is important to note this is simply smoothing of the FFT curve—it does not simulate the behavior of true fractional octave band filtering, such as that offered by the Octave analyzer tool, which is included in SignalScope Pro.)

The Octave analyzer tool** also now offers the option to load whole or 1/3-octave spectrum data from data files. Up to six curves can be overlaid on the live bar graph. Again, it is possible to select the individual channels from which to load data when multiple channels of data exist within a single file.

Another significant addition to SignalScope and SignalScope Pro is direct support for iTestMic and iAudioInterface2 hardware from Studio Six Digital, as well as the Dayton UMM-6 USB measurement microphone. The new hardware support is consistent with the additions made to SoundMeter Pro 2.3.

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Also new in SignalScope Pro:

  • SignalScope Pro 5 employs a new plotting framework for real-time data graphs and high resolution image export.
  • The black color scheme now uses black status bar, toolbar, and tab bar backgrounds.
  • Support for drawing directly to an external screen (from iPad) has been removed in favor of screen mirroring, which is handled by iOS.
  • Audio hardware input and output options are now presented from a separate toolbar button, which looks like a microphone, on iPad, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
  • It is possible to adjust the line thickness of live and loaded frequency response data. The opacity of loaded data can also be adjusted in order to make the live data stand out in the graph.
  • The oscilloscope time scale can now be set from the oscilloscope options menu.
  • Saving an audio file no longer causes a crash when working with large oscilloscope time scales.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 11.59.04 AM

Download SignalScope Pro 5.0

Download SignalScope 6.0

* Data file export and import in SignalScope requires the Data Acquisition Upgrade, available via in-app purchase.

** The Octave analyzer tool is available in SignalScope via in-app purchase. It is included in SignalScope Pro.

RoomScope 4 with additional hardware support is now available for download

RoomScope 4.0 is now available for download on the App Store.

As with the recent update to IOScope, RoomScope now supports fractional octave band smoothing of 2Ch FR magnitude and coherence data (1/6, 1/12, and 1/24 octave bandwidths). RoomScope also adds built in support for iTestMic and iAudioInterface2 from Studio Six Digital and support for automatic downloading of sensitivity and frequency response data for the Dayton UMM-6 USB measurement microphone.

Other improvements to RoomScope include the following:

– RoomScope 4 employs a new plotting framework for real-time data graphs and high resolution image export.

– A bar graph is now used to display room acoustics parameters across octave or 1/3-octave frequency bands.

– Support for drawing directly to an external screen (from iPad) has been removed in favor of screen mirroring, which is handled by iOS.

– Audio hardware input and output options are now presented from a separate toolbar button, which looks like a microphone, on iPad, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

– It is possible to adjust the line thickness of plotted data.

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Download RoomScope 4.0

 

SoundMeter adds support for iTestMic and iAudioInterface2

SoundMeter 6.3 and SoundMeter Pro 2.3 now officially support the iTestMic and iAudioInterface2 from Studio Six Digital.

With iTestMic, microphone sensitivity will be automatically loaded from calibration information stored in the iTestMic’s internal memory. This calibration information may have been set at the factory, or it may have been set from within an app, such as SoundMeter. In SoundMeter, it is possible to perform a sensitivity calibration without overwriting the calibration values stored in the iTestMic. SoundMeter can also store that information in the iTestMic for calibrated measurements in other apps that support the iTestMic. SoundMeter also supports selecting iTestMic’s high and low input ranges.

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Note: There is currently a bug that sometimes invalidates the calibration information stored within the iTestMic for the High mic input range. This bug affects use of the iTestMic with Studio Six Digital’s own apps, as well.

With iAudioInterface2, SoundMeter can select between mic and line input types, mic and line input gain ranges, and manual volume control options. The volume control knob of the iAudioInterface2 can be assigned to the input gain or the output gain, or it can be disabled entirely to avoid accidentally invalidating the current sensitivity calibration. Also from within the app, Phantom power and digital audio output may each be enabled or disabled. SoundMeter remembers each of these settings for the next time you connect iAudioInterface2 or relaunch the app.

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The new SoundMeter apps also support the Dayton UMM-6 USB measurement microphone. When the UMM-6 is detected, the user will be prompted to enter its serial number, which is typically printed on a label on the UMM-6. If a valid serial number is entered, SoundMeter will automatically download a calibration file from Dayton’s website and set the microphone sensitivity based on the information in the file.

Note: The Dayton UMM-6 must be connected to your iOS device via Apple’s USB camera adapter (either for Lightning or 30-pin dock connector, depending on your device). Sometimes the UMM-6 shows up in iOS as USB PnP Sound Device. If that happens, unplugging the UMM-6 and plugging it back in will generally solve the problem (it may take 2 or 3 tries). When properly connected, “UMM-6” will appear as the input device name in SoundMeter’s toolbar (at the top of the screen).

Download SoundMeter 6.3

Download SoundMeter Pro 2.3

 

IOScope 5 brings data overlays, spectrum smoothing, new hardware support

IOScope 5, which is now available for download on the App Store, employs a new plotting framework for real-time data graphs and high resolution image export. The new plotting capability also enables live frequency response data to be overlaid on up to 7 frequency response curves loaded from existing data files (CSV, MAT, or text data files exported from the Frequency tab in IOScope). An additional benefit is IOScope’s ability to smooth frequency response data into fractional octave bands (1/6, 1/12, and 1/24 octave bandwidths).

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Other additions to the new version of IOScope include:

– Built in support for iTestMic and iAudioInterface2 from Studio Six Digital.

– Built-in support for automatic downloading of sensitivity data for the Dayton UMM-6 USB measurement microphone.

– Support for drawing directly to an external screen (from iPad) has been removed in favor of screen mirroring, which is handled by iOS.

– Audio hardware input and output options are now presented from a separate toolbar button, which looks like a microphone, on iPad, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

– It is possible to adjust the line thickness of live and loaded frequency response data. The opacity of loaded data can also be adjusted in order to make the live data stand out in the graph.

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IOScope brings two-channel transfer function and impulse response analysis to iOS.

With IOScope, measure loudspeaker impedance, frequency response, and sensitivity. Measure a room impulse response. Tune a large sound reinforcement system, time-align a set of surround sound speakers, or optimize your home stereo. Determine the actual cutoff frequencies of your latest speaker crossover circuit, or teach your students the fundamentals of Fourier analysis of dynamic systems.

Measure frequency response magnitude and phase, coherence, and group delay. Time domain functions enable you to measure impulse response and auto/cross-correlation. IOScope includes a built-in signal generator for producing suitable excitation signals to analyze your system or device under test (DUT). The reference signal can be taken from the internal signal generator or from an external source (when using an external reference, a stereo or multi-channel audio input device, connected to the dock connector, is required).

Download IOScope 5 on the App Store.

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