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How to access and manage the Microphone raw data in WP

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Article Metadata
Code ExampleTested with
SDK: built and tested against Windows Phone SDK 7.1
Devices(s): Nokia Lumia 800
Created: galazzo (06 Apr 2012)
Last edited: hamishwillee (22 Aug 2013)



This article shows how to manage microphone raw data in Windows Phone, focusing on volume management. The accompanying example project is a (work in progress) real application: Shooter Assistant which assists shooters during training for specialities including: Olympic Trap, Skeet and Double Trap.

Shooter Assistant app

Olympic Trap shooting is one of the three major forms of competitive clay shooting, generally shot with a 12 gauge double barreled shotgun. The shooter waits with the gun to shoulder and charged with two shots. When ready, the shooter shouts "PULL" and a clay target ("plate") is immediately launched from a trap machine mounted to their left or right.

For best results, the shooter must fire between 5 and 6 tenths of a second after shouting "PULL" - the precise time varies because the target can be launched with a 45° variation in angle from either left or right of the shooter and with an output speed of between 100 - 120 km/h. Reaction time is the key of success as results can heavily influenced being 1 tenths faster or slower.

The Shooter Assistant app improves performance by training the user to consistently fire within the optimal tenth of a second, and by recording their reaction time for later analysis. It does this by recording when PULL is called and playing a beep after 0.5 seconds (the approximate point when the shooter should fire). It also records when the gun is fired and uses genetic algorithms to match itself to your reaction time.

Creating the project

  • Install Windows Phone SDK
  • Create a new project by selecting the File | New Project menu command.
  • The New Project window will be displayed. Expand the Visual C# templates, and then select the Silverlight for Windows Phone templates.
  • Select the Windows Phone Application template. Fill in the project name as desired. {Note|Don't call it simply "Microphone"}
  • In the Solution Explorer, right-click References and choose Add Reference.
  • Choose Microsoft.Xna.Framework from the list of .NET components and click the OK button.
  • If you see a dialog that warns about adding a reference to a Silverlight assembly, click the Yes button.

Add the following using statements to the top of your MainPage.xaml.cs file:

using System.IO;
using System.Windows.Threading;
using Microsoft.Xna.Framework;
using Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Audio;

In MainPage.xaml.cs, declare variables as global members of your MainPage class:

public partial class MainPage : PhoneApplicationPage
Microphone microphone = Microphone.Default;
byte[] buffer;
MemoryStream stream = new MemoryStream();
SoundEffect sound;
// Constructor
public MainPage()

Add the following code to the constructor of your MainPage class after the call to InitializeComponent

// Contructor
public MainPage()
DispatcherTimer dt = new DispatcherTimer();
dt.Interval = TimeSpan.FromMilliseconds(50);
dt.Tick += delegate { try { FrameworkDispatcher.Update(); } catch { } };
microphone.BufferReady += new EventHandler<EventArgs>(microphone_BufferReady);

Now add the following method to manage Microphone raw data

void microphone_BufferReady(object sender, EventArgs e)
// If you want to store the audio data in a stream
stream.Write(buffer, 0, buffer.Length);

Detecting Volume changes. The RMS Method.

Declare a global variable in your MainPage class to set threshold:

public partial class MainPage : PhoneApplicationPage
Microphone microphone = Microphone.Default;
byte[] buffer;
MemoryStream stream = new MemoryStream();
SoundEffect sound;
private int minimumThreshold = 500;
void microphone_BufferReady(object sender, EventArgs e)
// Retrieve audio data
// RMS Method
double rms = 0;
ushort byte1 = 0;
ushort byte2 = 0;
short value = 0;
int volume = 0;
rms = (short)(byte1 | (byte2 << 8));
for (int i = 0; i < buffer.Length - 1; i += 2)
byte1 = buffer[i];
byte2 = buffer[i + 1];
value = (short)(byte1 | (byte2 << 8));
rms += Math.Pow(value, 2);
rms /= (double)(buffer.Length / 2);
volume = (int)Math.Floor(Math.Sqrt(rms));
if ((volume > minimumThreshold))
System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("Threshold exceeded");
System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("buffer.Length" + buffer.Length + " Volume:" + volume);

Start Recording

private void recordButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
if (microphone.State == MicrophoneState.Stopped)
microphone.BufferDuration = TimeSpan.FromMilliseconds(1000);
buffer = new byte[microphone.GetSampleSizeInBytes(microphone.BufferDuration)];
System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("Threshold setted to:" + minimumThreshold);

Stop Recording

private void stopButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
if (microphone.State == MicrophoneState.Started)

Related Links

This page was last modified on 22 August 2013, at 00:24.
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