“I love using my iPhone for on-the-go audio and video recording, but the built-in mic just isn’t doing the job. What can I use to better record audio for those critical interviews?”
Every TCEA event, I find myself reaching for my iPhone to record audio and video and snap photos of people I’m having conversations with. And I try to take a fresh look at the tools I’m using. This past TCEA conference, I decided to try several tools for recording audio/video on my iOS device.
Come along with me as I share my journey finding iPhone microphones and apps that work well at a distance. And, please, if you have your own solution that works, share it in the comments below.
Audio Recording Tools
What is a problem that stumps amateurs like me? The answer is recording at a distance. When you’re standing next to someone, it’s not a big deal to get great audio. When you’re five to six feet away, however, then things start to get a bit tougher. Here are two great mics that can help you capture better audio.
- Mikey Digital ($99) – Unbelievable that such awesomeness comes in a small package. This lightning-connected microphone attaches to your iOS device. This microphone captures audio quite well, in my experience, and is perfect for that six-foot space, both inside and out. My son has used this microphone with his iPhone when recording audio outside and loves the sound quality.
- iRig Mic Cast for iOS/Android ($35) – Less expensive that the Mikey Digital, this offers solid audio recording. This is what I carry around with me for interviews. It also comes with iRig Recorder software. I like the fact that it plugs into your microphone jack on your device and includes another headphone jack for earbuds. You can also get a handheld microphone that plugs into your iPhone or iPad. As the website says, it features “unidirectional pickup pattern that minimizes background noise, making it ideal for single-source audio recording.” (The featured image for this blog post shows the iRig Recorder 3…I can dream, can’t I?)
Favorite Recording Apps
As you might imagine, while you can use your built-in iOS Camera app for recording audio or video, you may not get the best results. As a result, here are some of my go-to apps:
- iRig Recorder: This free app offers many features and is definitely worth mentioning for those of us who sometimes need custom recording options. It works for both audio and video recording.
- ProMovie (Free but with $2.99 in-app purchase): What I love about this app is that it allows me to choose the microphone that I want to use. With other apps, I’m never quite sure if I’m using the Mikey Digital or iRig Mic, but ProMovie allows me to specify in the settings. What’s more, there are tons of settings for video recording. The in-app purchase ($2.99) removes the watermark.
- Voice Recorder ($1.99 to remove ads): This easy-to-use voice recorder goes for a nostalgic look (cassette recorder appearance that makes using it easy and familiar) and it does a nice job in close quarters. It allows for WiFi sync, as well as cloud uploads to Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. It also allows for pausing a recording and can export the audio as M4a format. You can take advantage of the “Open In” option to drop the audio file into Hokusai Audio Editor, also on my must-have list, which gives mobile users features similar to Audacity, a desktop audio editing program.
- Voice Recorder Pro (Free): Although boasting a host of features, including converting to MP3, this app suffers from a poor user interface. But it does offer audio editing, which makes it a must-have tool if you need that feature. Audio engine calibration at the start of a recording can also delay start, which is a problem if you’re recording a keynote or speaker who has begun to speak. Still, it is the best audio recorder available on iOS at no cost.
There are many other tools that could be included in this list, but my goal was to share a few that I’m using now. Armed with an iOS device, there’s no reason why you can’t record audio/video and publish online in the moment, on the go!