Design of a wideband linear microphone array for high-quality audio recording

Publication Type:
Journal Article
AES: Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 2018, 66 (3), pp. 154 - 166
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© 2018 Audio Engineering Society. All Rights Reserved. Linear microphone arrays with unequally spaced elements enable high wideband directivity with a small number of microphones. In this engineering report a general procedure for designing wideband linear microphone arrays steering at the endfire direction with unequally spaced elements is proposed for high quality audio recording from 20 Hz to 16 kHz. The simulated annealing method is used to optimize the spatial distribution iteratively for microphones that do not need to have matched amplitude and phase. The challenge in the optimization process is that the operations of large matrices needed for the wide bandwidth bring large accumulation error, thus the optimization process needs to be carefully regularized with the error being restricted to a relatively small tolerable level. The optimized microphone distributions and the beampatterns of arrays with different number of microphones are presented in simulations, and their directivities are compared with that of a same-length shotgun microphone. Finally, experiments were carried out to demonstrate that the microphone array designed with the proposed method outperforms the same-length shotgun microphone significantly in directivity while maintaining a comparable low self-noise level.
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