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.
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