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Recording a mechanical watch sound

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Anonymous
December 13, 2004 8:55:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi,

Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.

regards,
Vasiliy
Anonymous
December 13, 2004 9:43:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Uncle Ziba wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
> of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
> noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
> voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.
>


Put it in a box with a mic? Wrap them up in a blanket? Both?
Anonymous
December 13, 2004 10:36:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Uncle Ziba" <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1102989352.466035.325670@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
> of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
> noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
> voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.
>
> regards,
> Vasiliy
>

I'm curious, what do you want to convert mechanical watch ticks to a binary
stream etc when using a digital timer of some sort seems like it would be
much easier/cheaper/more reliable?

Best of luck!

John L Rice
Drummer@ImJohn.com
Related resources
December 13, 2004 11:14:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1102989352.466035.325670@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Uncle Ziba" <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
> of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
> noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
> voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.
>
> regards,
> Vasiliy
>

build/modify a wood box with a small opening for a wire to pass thru
adjacent to the removable lid. line the box with acoustic foam and then
secure a pzm to an inside wall of the box so the opening only has the
wire coming thru and the the box seals tightly. set the watch in the
box and close it tightly, then place the entire contraption in a very
quiet studio resting the box on acoustic isolation supports
(granite/slate on rubber doughnuts for example). plug up the mic, leave
the room, let things settle a bit and bring up your mic gain. you
should have a well isolated watch sound and not much else in the signal.

make certain the alarm doesn't go off in the middle of this <g>
--
Digital Services Recording Studios
http://www.digisrvs.com
Anonymous
December 13, 2004 11:14:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> make certain the alarm doesn't go off in the middle of this <g>

LOL!
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 5:22:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

John wrote:
> In article <1102989352.466035.325670@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> "Uncle Ziba" <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Hi,
>>
>>Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
>>of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
>>noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
>>voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.
>>
>>regards,
>>Vasiliy
>>
>
>
Sample the 60 minutes into
:-)
g
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 5:53:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 12/13/04 8:43 PM, in article t7Cdneoclc_DziPcRVn-1A@omsoft.com, "S
O'Neill" <nopsam@nospam.net> wrote:

> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording of a
> mechanical wristwatch movement?

I'd say start with finding the loudest watch you can find, a pocket watch
perhaps.

Put an omni mic a few millimeters off the face of the watch, and be sure to
use a mic pre with lots of clean gain. A quiet room would be very helpful as
well.


Allen
--
Allen Corneau
Mastering Engineer
Essential Sound Mastering
Houston, TX
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 5:53:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 02:53:28 GMT, Allen Corneau <acorneau@flash.net>
wrote:

>On 12/13/04 8:43 PM, in article t7Cdneoclc_DziPcRVn-1A@omsoft.com, "S
>O'Neill" <nopsam@nospam.net> wrote:
>
>> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording of a
>> mechanical wristwatch movement?
>
>I'd say start with finding the loudest watch you can find, a pocket watch
>perhaps.

Why does it have to be a watch? Why not use a (louder) mechanical
clock?

Al
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 7:34:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"John L Rice" <Drummer@ImJohn.com> wrote in message
news:10rso0q7ls4194c@corp.supernews.com...
>
> "Uncle Ziba" <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1102989352.466035.325670@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>> Hi,
>>
>> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
>> of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
>> noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
>> voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.
>>
>> regards,
>> Vasiliy
>>
>
> I'm curious, what do you want to convert mechanical watch ticks to a
> binary
> stream etc when using a digital timer of some sort seems like it would be
> much easier/cheaper/more reliable?
>
> Best of luck!
>
> John L Rice
> Drummer@ImJohn.com
>
>


exactly.

What the O.P. described would only capture the timning of the clicks. There
is no reason to use a microphone at all. A crystal and a divider are all
that is needed.

A high quality recording only to be converted to the very lowest quality
recording possible?.
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 9:10:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Exactly. Sorry for the confusion, by high quality I meant a high s/n
ratio. I'm just looking for a clearly defined "tick". This is for a
project for building a profile for certain mechanical watches to plot
drift patterns etc. Watch timers used in the repair shops use some
kind of mechanical pick up but I couldn't find any info on them.
Thanks for all the suggestions
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 10:05:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Uncle Ziba" <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1103033426.334445.94570@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Exactly. Sorry for the confusion, by high quality I meant a high s/n
> ratio. I'm just looking for a clearly defined "tick". This is for a
> project for building a profile for certain mechanical watches to plot
> drift patterns etc. Watch timers used in the repair shops use some
> kind of mechanical pick up but I couldn't find any info on them.
> Thanks for all the suggestions

Try looking for specialized automotive repair / troubleshooting tools. There
is a passive/mechanical device mechanics use to listen for small noises in
engines. Or how about a doctor's stethoscope? Get either one of those and
then mic the ear piece.

Best of luck!

John L Rice
Drummer@ImJohn.com
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 10:24:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

A mechanic's stethoscope. $10 at Pep Boys, AutoZone, or
Harbor Freight. Mic'ing the earpiece could be a little
tricky.

Or un-mount a Radio Shack PZM element (two small screws) and
tape it to the back of the watch or clock with element
nearly touching the case.

Or use something like the Behringer 8000 with the tip
touching the case.

Or one could tape a piezo transducer to the side of a
watch/clock/whatever and run it into the preamp. (Tear open
a $3.00 piezo tweeter and take out the element). The one I
have is very sensitive to mechanical noise (handling, taps,
etc. I originally made it as an experiment for picking up
dance floor impacts for some of the shows I have to do. It
works quite well, but takes more time to set up and adjust
than a half-dozen PCCs.

YMMV



TM



John L Rice wrote:
>
> "Uncle Ziba" <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1103033426.334445.94570@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > I'm just looking for a clearly defined "tick".
>
> Try looking for specialized automotive repair / troubleshooting tools. There
> is a passive/mechanical device mechanics use to listen for small noises in
> engines. Or how about a doctor's stethoscope? Get either one of those and
> then mic the ear piece.
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 10:31:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I like the box approach but I don't think a PZM is the right
microphone. One reason for this is the (usually) very small diaphragm.
Instead, I would suggest using a very quiet, large-diaphragm
microphone. The Neumann TLM103 comes to mind, but I'm sure there are
others that are as quiet.

I like the other suggestions regarding alternative pickup methods,
also. However, It may be a tradeoff between the different types of
noise that must be eliminated...
Karl Winkler
Lectrosonics, Inc.
http://www.lectrosonics.com
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 12:27:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Wow. You guys are great. thanks for so many good suggestions. I will
be tearing a piezo buzzer apart tonight :) 
December 14, 2004 12:55:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1103038305.078463.100720@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Karl Winkler" <karlwinkler66@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I like the box approach but I don't think a PZM is the right
> microphone. One reason for this is the (usually) very small diaphragm.
> Instead, I would suggest using a very quiet, large-diaphragm
> microphone. The Neumann TLM103 comes to mind, but I'm sure there are
> others that are as quiet.
>
> I like the other suggestions regarding alternative pickup methods,
> also. However, It may be a tradeoff between the different types of
> noise that must be eliminated...
> Karl Winkler
> Lectrosonics, Inc.
> http://www.lectrosonics.com
>

i picked a pzm for the hemispherical pattern off the wall of the box and
for the lack of need of a stand or clip to hold it thereby necessitating
a larger opening and compromising the box seal. a good crown pzm or
pcc-160 would likely be fine.

an alternative might be to use a km-131 flat omni small capsule with the
collette type cable so only the capsule is resting in the box and only
the wire has to get in/out of it, no stand or clip needed and the seal
of the box is maintained. the integrity of the box seal is the most
critical imo and a big mic like a tlm would be a pita to deal with.
--
Digital Services Recording Studios
http://www.digisrvs.com
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 1:18:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

S O'Neill <nopsam@nospam.net> wrote:
>Uncle Ziba wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Does anybody have a suggestion on how to make a high quality recording
>> of a mechanical wristwatch movement? I'm interested to make ambient
>> noise as low as possible so that the "ticks" sound can be fed to a
>> voltage comparator for converting to 0's and 1's.
>
>Put it in a box with a mic? Wrap them up in a blanket? Both?

Use a pickup!

Note that what you get is not going to be just pulses from the regulator,
you're also going to see all kinds of higher frequency gear noise as well.
It'll just be lower level.

Most of the "ambient noise" is coming from the rest of the watch mechanism.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 1:32:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1103033426.334445.94570@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
Uncle Ziba <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote:
>Exactly. Sorry for the confusion, by high quality I meant a high s/n
>ratio. I'm just looking for a clearly defined "tick". This is for a
>project for building a profile for certain mechanical watches to plot
>drift patterns etc. Watch timers used in the repair shops use some
>kind of mechanical pick up but I couldn't find any info on them.

Yes, they use a piezo pickup.

They also don't do a very good job, because they are measuring the watch
in isolation.

I find that when my jeweler sets my old Seiko Automatic up on the timer
for a week, that it tends to lose about two minutes a day when I wear it.
Presumably because my wrist movement is very different than the typical
movement from the timer and this affects the drift rate. I have to set
it fast a notch myself.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 1:56:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Uncle Ziba wrote:
> Exactly. Sorry for the confusion, by high quality I meant a high s/n
> ratio. I'm just looking for a clearly defined "tick". This is for a
> project for building a profile for certain mechanical watches to plot
> drift patterns etc. Watch timers used in the repair shops use some
> kind of mechanical pick up but I couldn't find any info on them.
> Thanks for all the suggestions

I'd use any one of probably a million piezo sounders (out of cheap handheld
video games, old telephone ringers, audio greeting cards...even wristwatch
alarms, etc.) that I have laying around the shop (they work okay as acoustic
guitar pickups as well). Tape the thing to the back of the watch and use a
transformer to make it low-Z if you need to. Run it directly to record
inputs or use a mixer if you need to tweak e.q.....

jak
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 4:51:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Uncle Ziba wrote:
> Wow. You guys are great. thanks for so many good suggestions. I will
> be tearing a piezo buzzer apart tonight :) 

Reading your subsequent posts, I see that you don't even need it to sound
natural. The piezo solution is undoubtedly your best bet.

jak
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 6:28:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Use an accelerometer. Attach it to the watch with some bees wax, and You
should be able to detect spikes from the watch-movement.

/Jakob
Anonymous
December 14, 2004 8:18:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

When I've done this for sound effects purposes, I just stuck a KM140 an inch
away from the clock, & placed it all in a closet. Sounds just fine.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 3:43:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:
> In article <1103033426.334445.94570@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> Uncle Ziba <uncle.ziba@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Exactly. Sorry for the confusion, by high quality I meant a high s/n
>> ratio. I'm just looking for a clearly defined "tick". This is for a
>> project for building a profile for certain mechanical watches to plot
>> drift patterns etc. Watch timers used in the repair shops use some
>> kind of mechanical pick up but I couldn't find any info on them.
>
> Yes, they use a piezo pickup.
>
> They also don't do a very good job, because they are measuring the
> watch in isolation.
>
> I find that when my jeweler sets my old Seiko Automatic up on the
> timer for a week, that it tends to lose about two minutes a day when
> I wear it. Presumably because my wrist movement is very different
> than the typical movement from the timer and this affects the drift
> rate. I have to set it fast a notch myself.

Temparature could have some effect on a mechanical watch as well. When it's
on your wrist, it's almost a controlled 98.6 degree environment (plus or
minus the heat that sinks off the front--minor, I'd think). Things slow
down when they get colder.

My digital Casio (had it for almost 15 years now) gains about a minute a
month when being worn; but loses about two minutes/month when left in a
drawer...apples and oranges I know, but still temperature effect.

jak

> --scott
Anonymous
July 25, 2011 1:14:28 PM

Piezzoelectirc sensor+a very simple DSP chip. This is also the watch measurement principle in most devices(Witschi).
!