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Need advice on capturing sound

  1. Jul 2, 2013 #1
    I am looking to find a way to monitor a mechanical objects noise frequency. The end result would be the ability to see when the sound changes.

    Here's my thought process:

    A mechanical object that is making repetitious movements, would generate a particular 'sound' or 'frequency' within a particular range, on a consistent basis. If that objects signature changes, that would indicate a change in the object creating the sound.

    So what type of equipment could be purchased, made, designed to facilitate capturing the 'signature/sound/frequency' I am looking for?

    I never got too involved with sounds/frequency so I'm not sure what terminology to use here either.

    Any advice on where to look, what to look for, or even the proper terminology to use would be appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    The keywords here are "audio spectrum analyzer"


    You can even get smartphone apps that will do basic audio spectrum analysis...
  4. Jul 2, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    You may find it useful to research how others have already done (and are doing) what you're asking about. We can measure the "acoustic signature" of a submarine in such detail so as to identify the name and number of that particular submarine.

    Here are two applications using acoustics to monitor mechanical/biological systems:

    Spectral Analysis of Acoustic Vibrations on the Surface of the Human Body

    Sound Recognition Lab (SRLab) is an interactive pattern-formation and pattern-recognition application for acoustics. It is made for engineers and researchers who deal with complex acoustic systems and/or large quantities of audio data in:
    Industrial automation
    Animal bioacoustics
    Medical bioacoustics
    Noise analysis
    Phonetics and neuro-science
    http://www.sejona.org/srlab.php [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Jul 5, 2013 #4
    Not trying to sell anything but Fluke makes a Vibration Analyzer that does just about what you were asking.
    It's called the Fluke 810, there are videos on youtube showing it in operation, we use it at my facility to monitor electric motor bearings for failure, very nice unit. Capable. Not cheap though.
  6. Jul 10, 2013 #5
    Another predictive maintenance baseline procedure that also works is thermo recordings. Take a infra red camera record the working temperatures. Increase of those temperatures indicate failures such as bad bearings etc. This can also be used on circuit breakers, if the circuit is 10 degrees above the room temperature its an indication of too large an amperage draw on that ciurcuit. Wortks on electronics as well.
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