Acoustic Magic - Voice Tracker I Array Microphone


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Acoustic Magic - Voice Tracker I Array Microphone

The long pickup range and wide field of view make the Voice Tracker™ ideal for meetings and lecture recording, as well as conferencing applications.

The Voice Tracker I can be used as an auxiliary microphone with conventional conferencing systems that have a good AEC. The Voice Tracker II has its own built in AEC, and consequently can be used with VoIP systems that do not have a robust AEC.

Voice Tracker Array Microphones - Unidirectional microphones with an omnidirectional field of view

Locates and automatically follows talker

The magic in the Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker array microphone resides in the algorithms running on its internal DSP that enable it to form a listening beam and automatically and electronically steer that beam towards the active talker. This creates spatial filtering, which when combined with the 6 or 8 always on microphones in the array, create pickup ranges of 30 feet with a 360° field of view.

Consequently, the Voice Tracker can pick-up questions from the class as well as lecture from the professor, enabling more than 350 schools and universities to choose the Voice Tracker™ I for lecture recording.

Or, it can pick up questions from the audience in town meetings or comments around a board room conference table for meeting recording. The long pickup range and wide field of view make the Voice Tracker ideal for conferencing applications as well. The Voice Tracker I can be used as an auxiliary microphone with conventional conferencing systems that have a good AEC. The Voice Tracker II has its own built in AEC, and consequently can be used with VoIP systems that do not have a robust AEC.

Voice Tracker Array Microphones can also be used for a hands-free/headset free automatic speech recognition with full vocabulary dictation products like Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The Voice Tracker’s long range make it ideal for home automation applications where a whole room has to be covered for command-and-control recognition.

Electronically Locates & Automatically Steers Toward The Talker

Freedom of Movement

• Works at long range
• Suppreses Interfering Sounds
• Headset Quality WIthout the Headset 

The combination of these innovations allows the Voice Tracker to have extremely long pick up range. The ability to “hear” talkers throughout an entire room results in a strong economic advantage over the alternative of using several conventional microphones, coupled together through a mixer.

Automatically steers towards the talker

Freedom of Movement

• Works at long range
• Suppreses Interfering Sounds
• Headset Quality WIthout the Headset 

The combination of these innovations allows the Voice Tracker to have extremely long pick up range. The ability to “hear” talkers throughout an entire room results in a strong economic advantage over the alternative of using several conventional microphones, coupled together through a mixer.

Voice Tracker I Product Details

The Voice Tracker I Array Microphone was the original implementation of our patented, automatically and electronically steering, “listening beam” technology. It has been in production since 2002, and has proven to be extremely rugged and reliable.

The Voice Tracker I Array Microphone was designed with two objectives.  The first was to provide coverage throughout a large room for recording or conferencing applications to eliminate the need for multiple microphone/mixer setups, which require expert installation and are expensive. The second was to provide high quality audio for automatic speech recognition without the encumbrance of wearing a head set mic or holding a handheld mic.

Pick up over an entire room is accomplished in two ways. First, sensitivity was increased compared to conventional microphones by constructively adding the output of eight separate always on microphone elements. Second, spatial filtering and background noise reduction are used to eliminate sound from all areas in the room except that space around the active talker, so the increased sensitivity is not corrupted by noise.

As a consequence, the Voice Tracker I Array Microphone can pick up talkers at ranges of 30+ feet in meeting/classroom recording or conventional conferencing applications. It can work effectively for command control automatic speech recognition application at the same distances, and full vocabulary ASR at ranges of a few feet.

The Voice Tracker I Array Microphone has an analog audio output at mic level, and is powered by a wall power converter so there is no risk of loss of performance as batteries run out. A USB adapter is an available option for use with MACs, and laptops with low performance sound cards.

The Voice Tracker I Array Microphone has a built in ceiling mount capability, which removes the clutter of mics on the conference table.

The Voice Tracker I Array Microphone can be used in conventional conferencing systems that have AEC. The Voice Tracker II Array Microphone was designed for use with VoIP conferencing systems that need the AEC built in to the microphone itself.

Voice Tracker I Specifications

Range: 30+ feet for meeting recording (depends on acoustic characteristics of the room.)
Analog Output: (6ft male/male audio cable included)

Mic level
3.5mm ministereo jack
Same signal on tip & ring
500 ohm output impedance

Frequency Response: 100Hz to 11,250 Hz
Physical Dimensions

Length: 18″
Height: 2.5″
Weight: 2.5lbs

Power Equipment

(wall-powered converter included)
400 ma
Center Pin Positive

Voice Tracker I Features

Automatic electronic steering of “listening beam” to talker location
Selectable steering limits (90 degrees and 180 degrees) for speech recognition and Meeting recording modes
Selectable LDS to reduce annoying interference of additional talkers during speech recognition or feedback during teleconferencing
Two stage noise reduction (spatial filtering and noise reduction processing)
8 element, 18 inch long array for maximum range
5 element “in range” light to indicate location of chosen talker and sufficiency of signal
Microphone tilt capability to facilitate desktop, monitor top, ceiling, or wall mounting
Weight: 1.5 pounds(excluding wall power supply)
Power: converter from 120V AC to 6V DC included
Compatible with a variety of operating systems including

Microsoft: Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Apple/Macintosh: Mac OS, Mac OS X

View Voice Tracker Instructions

More than 370 universities use the Voice Tracker I for lecture recording and distance learning.

A full list is at the bottom of our lecture recording applications page:

The main attributes of the Voice Tracker™ I in this application are in the white paper attached, and also in a Video that I made at Towson University:

The Voice Tracker™ I is recommended by the major suppliers of lecture recording equipment such as Tegrity, Panopto, Echo 360, etc. For example, see:

You can get an idea of it's pickup range in the video done in a Stadium classroom at the Harvard School of Public Health:

Using the Voice Tracker™ array microphone for lecture capture

More than 350 schools and universities use the Voice Tracker™ array microphone for lecture capture. The Voice Tracker™ array microphone has proven to be so useful for lecture recording for the following reasons:

1) A single Voice Tracker™ can capture questions from the class as well as lecture from the Professor as he moves about the room. The Voice Tracker I has a pickup range of 30 feet and a 360° field of view.

2) The Voice Tracker™ array microphone is an extremely economic solution, especially compared to the alternative of several mics and a mixer.

3) The Voice Tracker™ array microphone is extremely easy to set up. Just plug it into the wall for power and connect its audio cable to the mic in jack on the PC. Support by IT personnel is seldom required. It is truly plug-and-play; no software needs to be loaded on the PC.

4) The Voice Tracker™ array microphone does not suffer from cross talk which can occur with wireless microphones, especially in areas where several classrooms are close together.

5) Since the Voice Tracker™ is powered by wall power, you never lose a recording because of dead batteries.

6) The Voice Tracker™ is extremely reliable. Many schools leave the Voice Tracker™ on in the classroom 24/7, to simplify setup, and have had very few failures over the course of several years.

The Voice Tracker™ accomplishes this outstanding pickup range and field of view because of its proprietary scanning beamforming technology. The Voice Tracker™ I contains eight always on microphones and a digital signal processor. The processor forms a “listening beam” and automatically (and electronically) steers the beam to the active talker. This creates "spatial filtering". The Voice Tracker™ picks up from the area around the talker and ignores sound from other parts of the room. The Voice Tracker™ also has noise reduction algorithms to eliminate stationary noise from fans and air conditioners. This low noise pickup, together with the constructive combination of the output of eight microphones, gives the Voice Tracker™ an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio.

Most users mount the Voice Tracker™ on a desk or podium in the front of the room, pointing towards the rear of the room. Voice Tracker™ is more sensitive from the front than the rear and this positioning allows pickup from students sitting further away from the microphone.

The Voice Tracker™ I has a built in ceiling mount and can be positioned on the ceiling, again towards the front of the room pointing towards the rear.

For larger rooms, two Voice Trackers can be combined using a simple 3.5mm Y, or a mixer.

Most lecture capture applications are for recording only. In some distance learning applications, the class can include off site participants. If the off-site students participate in the class by asking questions through a loudspeaker in the classroom, then it is necessary to accomplish acoustic echo cancellation. Acoustic echo occurs when the far end talker’s voice through a loudspeaker at the near end is picked up by an open microphone and sent back to the far end talker as an echo. If the Voice Tracker™ I is connected to a device that has acoustic echo canceler, it can be used for distance learning. If it is connected to a VoIP system that does not have a robust acoustic echo canceler, you can use the Voice Tracker™ II. The Voice Tracker™ II is a relatively new product from Acoustic Magic that has a built-in acoustic echo canceler. It can be used with products like GoToMeeting. The Voice Tracker™ II has slightly less range than the Voice Tracker™ I, and is more expensive ($360), but it enables full-duplex operation without expensive processors.

The audio output from the Voice Tracker I is analog at mic level thru a 3.5mm plug. If the Voice Tracker I is connected to a Mac, you should use our USB adapter (part 102) since the Mac soundcard needs line level.

The Voice Tracker II has both USB audio output and mic level analog output.

Mic’ing an Entire Middle School Stage with Two Voice Tracker I Array Microphones

Lecture recording

The major application for the Voice Tracker I is lecture recording because it can capture questions and comments from the class as well as lecture from the professor as he moves around the room. More than 300 schools and universities use the Voice Tracker I. A few have purchased more than hundred units. The Voice Tracker I is recommended by the major suppliers of classroom recording software such as Tegrity, Echo 360, Panopto, etc.
There are several value propositions leading to this:
a. 30 foot pickup range with a 360° field of view
b. low-cost. Eliminates the expensive alternative of several microphones and a mixer.
c. extremely reliable
d. easy to set up (no IT support required)
e. no cross talk from the adjoining classrooms (as can occur with wireless mics)
f. no batteries which can cause failed recordings if they die

Meeting recording

This is similar to lecture recording. The Voice Tracker I is being used in town meetings because it can capture questions from the audience as well as speakers on the podium. It is also used for board rooms, focus groups, deposition recording, etc.

Courtroom Recording

This is similar to lecture recording and meeting recording, but we separated it out because multiple units are usually involved.:


If the Voice Tracker I is connected to something that has a good AEC, it is even better for conferencing than the Voice Tracker II because it has longer pickup range. It is also easy to combine several Voice Tracker I's for additional pickup range. Most conventional conferencing systems allow for an external microphone connection. Even some VoIP systems (such as Zoom) have good AEC.

Assistive applications and automatic speech recognition

Like Voice Tracker II, the Voice Tracker I can be used for hands-free, headset free automatic speech recognition. Compared to the Voice Tracker II, it is less expensive, but it is also larger.

Home Automation

The Voice Tracker I can pickup voices at ranges of 30 feet for voice control, which means you can cover an entire room for home automation.

For additional application ideas, scan our user comments page.

NOTE: For the voice Tracker I to work on a mac you have to use a USB adapter.  There is nothing special about the USB adapter. Just connect the analog audio signal to the pink Jack and the USB plug to the PC or Mac

SKU: 101

The Voice Tracker I Desktop Array Microphone contains 8 separate microphones that work together to form a “listening beam” focussed on the talker. The listening beam creates spatial filtering, causing outstanding signal to noise ratios. The beam automatically and electronically steers to new talker making the Voice Tracker ideal for recording large groups as well as individuals. The output is through a 3.5 mm jack, at mic level. The Voice Tracker comes with a 6 foot audio cable and wall power converter for USA voltage/plug.

SKU: 103 - Voice Tracker I USB Array Microphone

Same as the Voice Tracker I (part 101) plus a USB adapter. (part 102A). Wall power to the microphone is still required

Using the Voice Tracker Array Microphone as an External Microphone to an iPhone

People use our Voice Tracker array microphones to record meetings, or for conferencing, because of its long pickup range (20 to 30 feet) and 360° field of view.

Our Voice Tracker array microphones are designed to be connected to PCs or other devices either through a 3.5 mm analog audio connection (through a soundcard) or a USB connection. The Voice Tracker I has only an analog output, but can he be easily converted to USB using a USB adapter like our part 102A. The Voice Tracker II has both an analog audio output and a USB audio output.

Their analog outputs are at mic level, with low impedance, and work well with sound cards. The boost in the soundcard is designed to bring the output up to usable levels. High levels of boost can be employed because of the good signal-to-noise ratio in the microphones.

From time to time we have received inquiries about connecting the Voice Tracker microphones to an iPhone (or other smart phones). Initially, this couldn’t be done because the iPhone required a very specific output impedance from the external microphone. If the impedance didn’t match what the iPhone was looking for, it would default to the built-in microphone.

Fortunately, impedance matching connectors have become available to eliminate this roadblock.

We have tested an “ iPhone 1/8 inch microphone adapter to 3.5 mm four conductor TRRS male” adapter from KV connection (part number code KM-iPhone-mic), and it works just fine. Similar adapters are available from other manufacturers. Rode has told us that their adapters also match the iPhone’s impedance requirement, but we have not tested one.

Note that when the KV connection adapter was connected to the iPhone, we lost the speaker output.

This can be corrected by first connecting a” 3 .5 mm 4 pin to 2 x 3 pin 3.5 mm headset splitter adapter” to the iPhone. This adapter is available from companies like StarTech. The arm labeled microphone was connected to the Voice Tracker, and the arm labeled headset was connected to our PC speaker to create a long-range speakerphone with the Voice Tracker I as the mic and the PC speaker as the speaker.


Accoustic Magic Blog


These Universities Trust the Acoustic Magic Array Microphone for their lecture recording needs

Allen College 
Ambrose University College 
American University 
Arizona State University 
Arkansas State University 
Athens State University 
Auburn University 
Augusta State University 
Babson College 
Bainbridge Graduate Institute 
Bakersfield College
Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor University
Bellevue College
Bellingham Technical College
Berklee College of Music
Bismarck State College
Blinn College
Bluffton University
Boise State
Boston College
Boston University
Brockport College
Burlington Community College
California State Northridge
California State University East Bay
Calvin College
Cambrian College
Carnegie Mellon University
Casper College
Cayuga Community College
Charles Sturt University (Australia)
Chatham University
University of Ottawa
City University of Seattle
City University of NY
Claremont College
Clark College
Clarke University
Clemson University MBA Program
Clemson University School of Nursing
Clover Park Technical College
College of the Canyons
College of Court Recording
Coppin State
Cornell University
Creighton University
CSUS College of Continuing Education
Cuyahoga Community College
Dade Medical College
Dallas Christian College
De Anza College
Defiance College
Dickinson State University
Downing College (UK)
Duke University Medical Center
D’youville College
East Carolina College
Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Virginia Medical School
EC Drury School
Edison State College
El Centro College
Emory University
Everett Comunnity College
Fanshawe College
Faulkner University
Fayettville School District
Furtwangen University
Ferris State University
Florida A&M University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida International University
Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Tech
Gonzaga University
Green River Community College
Haverford College
HeriotWatt University
Highline Community College
Hodges University
Hofstra Law School
Illinois State University
Indiana University
Indiana State University
Indiana Wesleyan University
Inver Hills Community College
Iowa State University
Iowa Western Community College
Ivy Tech Community College
Iwate Prefectural University
Jacksonville State University
Johns Hopkins
John Marshall Law School
Judson College
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Lake Michigan College
Lincoln University
Lincoln University (New Zealand)
Lindsey Wilson College
Linn Benton Comm. College
Long Island University
Loma Linda University
Los Angeles Community College
Los Angeles Southwest College
Lowcountry Graduate Center
Lower Columbia College
Marshall U
Medical College of GA – SAHS
Miami University (of Ohio)
Michigan State University
Middle Georgia Technical College
Missouri Southern State University
Missouri University of Science &Tech
Montana State University
Montana Tech University
Montgomery College
Montgomery Country Community Col
Mountain State University
Mt. Holyoke
Murray State College
National Louis University
New Mexico State University
New Mexico Tech
New York University
North Arkansas College
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina State University
Northeast Ohio Medical University
North Idaho College
North Iowa Area CC
North Island College (Canada)
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Arizona University NAU ITS
Northern Kentucky University
Northwood University
Ohio University
Ohio State University College of Nursing
Oregon Health and Science University
Oregon State University
Pace University
Palm Beach Community College
Pasadena Area Community College
Pellissippi State TCC
Peninsula College
Penn State
Pierce College
Pima Community College
Pontificia University Javeriana
Purdue University
Quinsigamond Community College
Radford University
Rice University
Ridgewater College
Roanoke Showan Community College
Robinson College of Business
Rochester Institute of technology RIT – Online Learning
Rutgers University
Saddleback College
Sam Houston State University
San Francisco Unified School District
Scripps College
Seattle Pacific
Seton Hall University
Shattuck-St. Marys
Shoreline Community College
Sonoma State University
South College
Southern Polytechnic State University
Southside Virginia Community College
Spalding University
St. Cloud State
St John Fisher College
St. Joseph’s University
St. Louis University
Stanford University Med Center
Stony Brook University
SUNY Oswego
Syracuse University
Tacoma Community College
Texas A&M
Texas Lutheran University
Texas Southern University
Texas Tech University
The Sage Colleges
The University of Waikato
Towson University
Truman State University
Tufts University
Tulsa Community College
Tyler Jr. College
UC Clermont College
UC Davis
UCLA Anderson School of Management
Universidad Politecnica Valencia
Universite de Montreal
University of Alabama
University of Alabama Fort Smith
University of Alaska
University of Alaska – Geophys Institute
University of Alberta
University of Arkansas
University of University of Arizona
University of Arkansas School of Law
University of Calgary
University of California at Berkeley
University of California, San Francisco
University of Cape Town
University of Central Florida
University of Central Lancashire (UK)
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Delaware
University of Georgia
University of Houston – Victoria
University of Illinois
University of Illinois, GSLIS
University of Iowa
University of Kansas Hospital
University of Louisville
University of Maine
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts
University of Memphis
University of Michigan
University of Michigan – Dearborn
University of Michigan – Flint
University of Minnesotta
University of Missouri – Rolla
University of Montana PTS
University of Nebraska
University of Nevada – Reno
University of New England (Australia)
University of North Alabama
University of North Carolina Charlotte
University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of North Florida
University of North Texas
University of Northern Iowa
University of Notre Dame
University of Ottawa
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Rochester School of Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
University of South Carolina
University of South Florida
University of Southern California
University of Southern Indiana
University of St. Thomas
University of Tennessee
University of Texas
University of Texas – Arlington
University of Texas – Pan America
University of Texas – Southwestern Medical Center
University of Texas – Tyler
University of Toronto
University of Tulsa
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington School of Nursing
University of Washington
University of Washington – Tacoma
University of Western States
University of Wisconsin-Greenbay
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Oskosh
Utah State University
Valencia College
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Walla Walla Community College
Washington and Lee University
Washington University (of St. Louis)
Wayne State University
Wellesley College
West Texas A&M University
Western International University
Western Kentucky University
Western Michigan University
Westminister College
Williston State College
Winona State University
Winston-Salem State University
Wright State University
Yakima Valley Community College
Yukon College

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