Probes vs Microphones

Both Probes and Microphones can give insight as to the frequency response of individual sources, and complete system designs. This section covers their differences, and where to use each.


Probes can be thought of as measurement microphones that are automatically placed at the intersection point of the selected loudspeaker/loudspeaker array’s throw line on its main emission axis and the audience ear height within the 3D View. The location of the Probes are automatically updated as the loudspeaker’s position and angles are adjusted.

When Should Probes Be Used?

  • Probes are ideal for quickly setting the inter-element angles of a line array, as they update automatically and do not include interaction from any other source.

  • Assessing on-axis frequency response can be achieved in the quickest way by using Probes.


Microphones in the application are analogous to that of their real-world counterpart – measurement microphones. In the same way as measurement microphones can be used to determine a transfer function in real life, Microphones can do the same thing within System Optimiser. Microphones placed within the 3D View show the complex summation of all loudspeaker sources that are currently unmuted.

When Should Microphones Be Used?

  • Microphones can be used for evaluating the frequency response of whole systems, or parts thereof, as they include complex summation of all sources which are unmuted.

  • Microphones can be used to align sources, for example, a Main Hang to a Sub Array, by observing the comb filter whilst changing the delay value in a Source Controller. Summation can be observed when the sources are aligned.

Recap: What Are The Differences?

  • Microphones are placed manually by the user, whereas Probes are placed automatically as described above.

  • Probes act as if the selected entity they are describing are soloed, IE every other source in the 3D View is muted, so there is no interaction shown, only the pressure calculation of the selected array. Microphones show the complex response of all loudspeakers within the 3D View that are unmuted.

  • When viewing graphs using, Microphones there is typically much more interference than with Probes, this is the nature of having multiple sources enabled, with the multipath arrivals that happen in real life.