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Demystifying the Measurement of Impulse Response in Condenser Microphones — Part I

Good impulse response is an important reason for preferring condenser microphones in audio applications that require high quality. However, it is difficult to characterize the impulse response of a microphone precisely. We cannot create an acoustic impulse that approximates the Dirac delta function closely enough that a microphone will emit only its own impulse response. Electrical spark discharges, pistol shots and pressure-step methods all approximate the Dirac distribution, but due to their limitations one must still deconvolve the impulse responses of the excitation signal and that of the microphone itself. Since every known method for performing such deconvolution has further pitfalls of its own, a novel time-domain method of deconvolution is introduced.

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