Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Pettersson M500-384

Pettersson have just released a new version of the M500 ultrasonic microphone, the M500-384.  While this has a lower sampling rate than the standard M500 at 384 kHz rather then 500 kHz at 16 bit resolution, it can be used on a number of different devices.

The key feature is that a range of operating systems will detect the device via the USB port as a standalone USB microphone, so there is no need for custom drivers. All you need then is an app or program that will support 384 kHz sampling rates.

Audacity should work on all available platforms such as Linux, Mac and Windows. For android, a number of apps have been tested as working, and will provide either recording only, or recording plus a scrolling sonogram, screen.

USB Audio Recorder Pro will record directly from the device but not show you what you are recording or give audible feedback.
Bat Recorder is a fully fledged app that works with USB microphones and gives a nice sonogram, display. Importantly, this app allows the audio monitoring of bat calls, making it function like a normal bat detector.
USB Bat Detector also works but is reported to currently have some issues.

While this device will work with a range of devices, it requires the device to support USB OTG, which is where the device can act as both master and slave. There are apps on the Google Play Store which will test whether the device can support OTG,

This looks like a very nice device that can be used in a whole range of different situations. One thing to note is that you will still need some form of software to analyse the recordings. These applications will record and also display during recording, but will not allow you to review an analyse the signals, you will still need something like Batsound or the new Batsound Touch for that.