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Articles March-April 2021

Step Inside the All New Mondosonic Studio

The all new Mondosonic Studio, located in Ottapalam, Kerela, is a custom Music Production Facility and Studio. With Recording Equipment, Workflows..... read more

Bishwadeep Conceptualizes Sound Design in the Box

Having spent most of his career in Song and Music Recording, Bishwadeep Dipak Chatterjee was constantly toying with the idea of getting involved in designing sound for films..... read more

Celto Acoustique

Established in 2011, CELTO Acoustique is a premium manufacturer of professional audio products for the events and install industry. Founder, owner and CEO - Arthur Felix first displayed his entrepreneurial skills at the age of 14 when he built..... read more

Acoustically OdBle

With Vijay Benegal and Mujeeb Dadarkar

Vijay Benegal and Mujeeb Dadarkar have between them more than 4 decades of extensive experience in the audio industry in India. They have done it all, from recording and mixing for ad films, to doing live sound for renowned artistes..... read more

All About Music, the Marantz Story

In conversation with Joel Sietsem and Alankara Santhana

Marantz has established a strong foundation in the industry with their High fidelity audio systems since the 1970s. Marantz designs products that have intricate detail..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms - PART 6

By - Rahul Sarma, CEO, Menura Acoustic Labs in collaboration with Sound Wizard

We started this series with the definition of a small room, and went on to discuss wave interactions. We continued onto sound isolation, absorption and diffusion in parts 2 and 3. Parts 4 and 5 covered system design goals and finally how to optimize a system..... read more

Studio Showcase

If you had a sign above every Studio door saying ‘This studio is a Musical Instrument’ it would make such a different approach to recording.” - Brian Eno..... read more


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NASA Deploys DPA to Mars




NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover took off on July 30, 2020 for a seven-month journey to the mysterious Red Planet. It touched down successfully on February 18, 2021 with a DPA 4006 Omnidirectional, an MMA-A Digital Audio Interface and an MMP-G Modular Active Cable in tow.

“Everything about the mission — from the launch to the landing — is hostile, insofar as a microphone is generally concerned. It’s very exciting to know that DPA was able to record something from so many millions of miles away, and have the sound travel back to us so quickly."  –  René Mørch, Product Manager at DPA Microphones

After the rover touched down, audio and video files were recorded from the surface and transmitted to NASA’s base station. NASA sent these files to DPA’s engineering team for processing and review.

The first to be rigged with microphones, the agency's latest Mars rover picked up the subtle sounds of its own inner workings during interplanetary flight.

The DPA 4006 Omnidirectional Microphone was devoted to capturing some or all of the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequence of the Perseverance Rover when it landed on Mars in February, 2021, but it already started to record the sounds of the spacecraft as it hurtled through interplanetary space.

Until recently, no one had ever heard anything from within the Martian atmosphere. In fact, the first sounds were only heard on December 1, 2018. A highly-sensitive seismometer on board NASA's InSight Mars Lander recorded vibrations caused by Martian wind. In addition, the vehicle's air pressure sensor also recorded the sound of wind. The sounds were picked up by instruments made for other purposes than sound thus the recordings are analogies to what you could expect to hear.

To gain some further insights into the Martian soundscape, the Mars 2020 Rover was outfitted with audio equipment from DPA Microphones.

What DPA equipment made the trip?

For this partnership, NASA strenuously tested a variety of mics and chose a selection of equipment from DPA. The 4006 Omnidirectional Microphones was the Rover's "ears"; attached to the vehicle and paired with MMP-G Modular Active Cables, which will act as ultra-transparent preamplifiers. Inside the body of the vehicle, acting as the auditory part of the "brain", will be a MMA-A Digital Audio Interface. The MMA-A's job is to digitalize the audio in the highest quality and send it to a computer in the Rover through a USB connection.

The trip to Mars subjected the Rover to extreme temperatures (as low as -100°C/ -148°F), wildly varying travel pressure and intense vibrations. To ensure that the equipment landed on Mars in good working order, the spacecraft design team created a specialized enclosure to mount the MMA-A interface inside the rover chassis. In addition, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the DPA R&D team worked together to create a custom MMP-G amplifier housing to bolt onto the exterior of the Rover.

Besides the customized amplifier housing, no major changes were made to the equipment once it left the DPA factory. One of the riskiest parts of the mission, entry, descent and landing (EDL) tracks the Mars 2020 Rover from the time it enters the atmosphere until touchdown in the Martian dust. No one had ever seen or heard a parachute opening in the Martian atmosphere, the rover being lowered down to the surface of Mars on a tether from its descent stage, the bridle between the two being cut or the descent stage flying away after the Rover lands!

The DPA microphones' mission was to capture these sounds for NASA. Not only did this allow project engineers and scientists to hear the fascinating sounds of the Rover descending, the public was also able to follow along as well.

This trip to Mars is not the first time DPA has worked directly with NASA to capture the most accurate and transparent sound during their missions. Because of their durability and ability to capture extremely high sound pressure levels (like the liftoff of a space shuttle), DPA has been chosen by NASA a few times, the first time over 50 years ago.

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