Laser-Accurate Mic Promises New Levels Of Accuracy 22/09/09
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United States Patent 7580533 is for a Particulate Flow Detection Microphone, aka the laser microphone.
This video is a research demo - you'll notice the prototype is a bit MacGyver'd. But developer David Schwartz believes that the design promises a new level of microphone accuracy:
Laser-Accurate technology uses a laminar stream of air in a chamber in which microscopic particles are suspended. When excited by changes in air pressure, the movement of these particles is detected by a laser beam that continuously passes through the chamber aimed at a photoelectric cell opposite the laser source. As a result, Laser-Accurate will produce the most accurate and precise transduction of any sound. It is, in essence, the Perfect Microphone, capturing sound unadulterated by the mechanical motion of the diaphragm and the inevitable time lags caused by that movement. All that is eliminated by Laser-Accurate's design. All you get, for the first time ever, is pure sound.
According to Schwartz, Laser-Accurate microphones will capture pristine sound, and then software plug-ins could be used to duplicate the characteristics of any classic microphone/preamp combination, much like guitar modeling software is used today.
What do you think of Schwartz's Laser-Accurate microphones? Do you think they will eventually make traditional mics obsolete?