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Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

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  • Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

    I posted this over at AVSforums and someone suggested I should repost it here.

    If you're looking for a new manufacturer, I would like to recommend some design changes to be implemented. I believe this would make the device more attractive to buyers and decrease complaints from users.

    - The mic clip is probably not strong enough for the mic. If you point the mic straight down, there's a tendency to slip on the mic clip, and the back of the mic will hang out maybe 5-10 degrees rather than fit snug in the mic clip. It doesn't help that the mic clip and the mic are both very smooth. When I was initially testing the mic I found that I could not comfortably walk away from it and had to use gaff tape to hold it in the clip.

    - The mic clip swivels too easily. I've tried tightening that screw but I'm afraid that any more tightening and it will break. It cannot hold the microphone level and tends to fall forward. I'll probably end up disassembling it and putting some sort of washer in there to resist movement.

    - The USB connection is awkward. It takes a bit of patience to plug the mic in. The connection is recessed, and was probably designed to be a guide since its dimensions are very close to that of the cable, but in reality it takes a while to get the mic plugged in because you can't see which direction you are off. It doesn't help that the microUSB is a small target to hit. An ordinary USB in that hole would have been fine.

    - The USB connection is sloppy. I don't feel a firm connection like when I plug in any of my other microUSB devices. This one seems exceptionally sloppy and the plug wobbles around.

    - Continuing on the last point, I cannot hang the mic by its cable. If I'm measuring the floor response, and I want to decouple the stand, the easiest solution is to hang the mic by its cable. This works fine with XLRs because they lock. I may end up trying to attach some sort of rubber extension so I can hang the mic on its stand. The mic would be nicer if it had some way to hang it without tightly coupling vibrations to/from what it's hanging from.

    - The O-rings will be gone any day now. It's a cute idea, and I like the aesthetics of having them, but in a day or two of usage I have repeatedly had to roll the o-rings back into place. A flat band may have been a better choice there.

    A few software suggestions:

    - Have the legend for multiple curves on the page rather than hidden in a menu.

    - Have the "play from a sound card" more readily accessible, or have it consistent between tabs. If I'm using the sound card for a frequency response, I'll probably use it for all the other functions as well. It would be nice to have that global rather than per tab.

    - Minimize and maximize do some strange things. Minimize reduces to a minimal window size (same size as a tab down in the taskbar on windows 7) but it remains on the screen. Restoring to a window makes it an ordinary sized window. Clicking maximize causes it to jump around like it attempts to maximize but it returns to the same normal window size but changes the icon in the top right corner. Hitting it again finally maximizes the window.

    - Often times I'm saving a curve just so I can add it. It would be nice to have the option to take the existing curve and just keep it up there for future measurements. It can be done now by saving and then adding the curve, but having either a "freeze and relabel curve" option or a "save and keep curve" or something similar would help.

    - I find the auto vertical scaling of the frequency response to be unpredictable. Sometimes I'll have half of my curve on the screen and half of it off the screen, and after numerous sweeps with it not moving, I finally have to manually rescale to see my whole curve.

    - A nice added feature would be windowing of the sampled data. I understand the refresh rate of the graphs is slow because you have to take dataset A, process it, graph it, take dataset B, process it, graph it, etc. Computers are pretty fast these days, it should be possible to have the data sets overlap a bit. For example, if datasets are 1000 points, instead of plotting points 1-1000 followed by a delay, followed by points 1001-2000, you should be able to plot 1-1000, 501-1500, 1001-2000, etc. This would double the refresh rate of the software without altering the data acquisition. Ideally you would want the software to scale with processor speed / machine ability, so an incredibly fast machine is plotting 1-1000, 21-1020, 41-1040, 61-1060 and it looks like you're watching a live oscilloscope.

  • #2
    Re: Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

    I have a few suggestions for the Omni software and hopefully can state them correctly.

    1) Allow the functionality to “size” the axis(s) of the frequency response window, so after these ranges are set for both vertical and horizontal they will remain that way the next time the program is open.

    2) Either program or allow the user to change how the values for the frequency are shown. As an example, right now it goes from 20, 50, 100, 200HZ. I would like to be able to see the values between them in 5HZ increments. Probably only need this up to about 200HZ.

    3) Have all FRD files contain at least as much information that is obtained in a 1-24th setting.

    As an example this was a section of a FRD taken with “none” for smoothing:
    10.25391 83.76 0
    11.71875 84.67 0
    13.18359 82.85 0
    14.64844 84.65 0
    16.11328 81.69 0
    17.57813 81.3 0
    19.04297 86.73 0
    20.50781 84.99 0
    21.97266 84.21 0
    23.4375 86.57 0
    24.90234 89.54 0
    26.36719 90.92 0
    27.83203 89.65 0
    29.29688 88.77 0
    30.76172 89.52 0
    32.22656 89.83 0
    33.69141 90.13 0
    35.15625 90.27 0
    36.62109 90.51 0
    38.08594 89.77 0
    39.55078 90.15 0
    41.01563 89.91 0
    42.48047 89.35 0
    43.94531 89.17 0
    45.41016 89.31 0

    Here is a very small section of a FRD taken at 1-24th:
    10.03365 84.4 0
    10.06994 84.4 0
    10.10636 84.39 0
    10.14291 84.39 0
    10.17959 84.38 0
    10.21641 84.37 0
    10.25336 84.36 0
    10.29044 84.34 0
    10.32766 84.31 0
    10.36501 84.28 0
    10.4025 84.22 0
    10.44012 84.15 0
    10.47788 84.03 0
    10.51577 83.9 0
    10.55381 83.78 0
    10.59198 83.7 0
    10.63028 83.64 0
    10.66873 83.59 0
    10.70732 83.56 0
    10.74604 83.54 0
    10.7849 83.52 0
    10.82391 83.51 0
    10.86306 83.5 0
    10.90234 83.5 0
    10.94177 83.49 0
    10.98135 83.49 0

    4) Allow the FRD file, once saved and loaded at a later time to have the smoothing changed. So if I took a reading at 1-24th, once it is reloaded I can change it to 1-6th, 1-12th, etc. I think this would only give a proper graph if the information from request 3 above it done.

    I hope all that makes sense.



    • #3
      Re: Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

      DJ LISTS -

      - Have the legend for multiple curves on the page rather than hidden in a menu.
      There just isn't the screen space for that, there could be up to 20 curves added. A LOT would have to be removed from the screen for that to be put in.

      - Often times I'm saving a curve just so I can add it. It would be nice to have the option to take the existing curve and just keep it up there for future measurements. It can be done now by saving and then adding the curve, but having either a "freeze and relabel curve" option or a "save and keep curve" or something similar would help.
      For a hold curve, use the "average" curve button (available after checking "advanced"). If you only average one curve, it just looks like another curve on the screen.

      - I find the auto vertical scaling of the frequency response to be unpredictable. Sometimes I'll have half of my curve on the screen and half of it off the screen, and after numerous sweeps with it not moving, I finally have to manually rescale to see my whole curve.
      The auto vertical positioning will not function if the mouse cursor is within the plot (otherwise, it would make reading a value with the cursor pretty frustrating). Move the cursor off to the side or off the form to have scaling happen.
      Free & Free-form simulator/designer for Passive Crossovers
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      • #4
        Re: Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

        My initial omnimic had some issues and I had to send it back in. The Parts Express guys took good care of me. Thanks guys, I look forward to doing more business with you as I build up my studio.
        Last edited by DJ LISTS; 03-22-2012, 07:01 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

          I started a thread about OM suggestions a few months back and Bill mentioned he'd look in to one. I'll post it up here again just in case it's something Bill thinks is worth pursuing.

          Originally posted by ErinH View Post
          As you guys know, I do klippel testing and I bought the OM solely to supplement this testing (until Klippel gave me access to their mic and modules... but still... ). No, I'm not bragging. What I'm saying is that I do this stuff to help the community. I test and measure and get it out there to you guys. That said, there are a few things that I love about OM and that's why I chose it. On the other hand, there are a few things I would like to add/change.

          This is pretty much a wishlist, but since Bob is a member here, I hope maybe some of these things might catch his eye and possibly make it in to future versions.
          [*]Nearfield and Farfield Stiching, made easier.
          As it stands, if I want to take measurements at 0, 15, and 30 degrees in the farfield and merge them with the nearfield, I have a few options but they're a bit of a process to go through:
          • One is that I simply move the NF response down so that it lines up with the FF measurements. Problem here is that the plot looks a bit nasty with 4 lines on it and it's just not a great way to present data.
          • Second is to adjust the X-Axis and measure up to/within your predetermined Fmax/Fmin. For example, I know that I'm measuring a woofer in the NF and it's Fmax is 700hz. I have been able to tame reflections in the room and the first real problem comes at 5ms (200hz). That means I have about 500hz overlap that I can try to align the 4 graphs to. So, I'll set the mic up for NF measurements and make the max X-axis value 700hz. Measure. Next, I'll move the mic to FF and set the min X-axis value to 500hz. Measure. This gives all measured data hard limits set by the X-axis. Now I have 200hz overlap and that's manageable. (I realize the problem here is that you're just ballparking where yo u'll stitch without seeing both responses fully... again, another reason I've started this thread).
          • Another option I've toyed with is adjusting the .frd file itself. I'll take full measurements of both NF & FF and figure out the best place to stitch them. I then open up the .frd file as .txt, chop off the frequencies I don't want for the respetive response file and then save them. Load them back in to OM, bring down the NF plot to match the beginning of the FF plots, and I've got a much cleaner data set to present.

          Now, it may not seem too bad to do the latter, but when you're limited in time, it's not so easy. I'm not sure if it's possible, but if there's a way that we can set a displayed frequency range that might work.

          Something along the lines of having a minimum/maximum displayed frequency box(es) given to us in the same window we choose color and offset for each curve. That way I could take all my measurements, find the best spot to merge them, click on the curve from the dropdown, adjust the range I want displayed and bam... prettiness (I just made up a word?).

          When you stop caring about being right, you might actually learn something.

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          • #6
            Re: Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

            I have been finding that when I go to open some of my saved “curve list” files that nothing is showing in Omni. In case anyone also sees this problem you may want to take a look and see if this can fix your issue.

            What I have found is that is you open the saved curve list file in notepad a line is missing that actually points to where the curve file is located. What you can do is edit the file and add the top line back in and then the curve file should load with no issues.

            I have attached to snips showing this.

            The first one shows a curve list that will not load any data.

            The second one shows a curve list after I have added in the path needed and will now open in Omni.

            I do not know why this is taking place but it will fix the issue.

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Re: Issues / Suggestions with Omnimic

              Thanks for the recommendation about using the single average. That works if I only want to save one graph, but not if I want multiple.

              The OmniMic V2 is a vast improvement over the V1. They really listened to user feedback when they worked on this thing. All six of my hardware complaints were addressed, obviously long before I posted them. The new mic clip is much better, the new USB connection is strong, and the mic can now be dangled by the cord without fear of the mic slipping off the connector. The little rubber gaskets don't roll off as easily.

              V2 even comes with a little pouch and a mini-tripod with rubber feet for setting the mic on a table. The new carrying case is the same sturdy plastic that holds my wireless microphones, I can now throw my OmniMic in with the rest of my gear with worrying about the case shattering.

              Great work! I'm really happy with this OmniMic and intend to buy another for my other mobile set.