Tip of the Week - 2016 08 03: Smart Phone for Location Recordings

So, the visiting rock star can’t come to you. You have to go to him for an interview. Sounds like you need a portable recorder. They are expensive though! Any more ideas?

If you have a smart phone, you may already have a very useful digital audio recorder in your pocket!

Let’s look at some things to check, to see if it will work.

Try a recording. Does it sound acceptable? Remember that location recordings are expected to not sound as good as the studio! It just needs to be clear.

Don’t forget to find out which end the microphone is, and point it as you would a normal mic.

Your phone may already come with a built in recorder app. Otherwise, there are some good free ones available. Just check the features. Will it record in MP3? (you may have to upgrade to an $8 app…shock horror).

Find out how your app transfers your recordings from phone to computer. If you use WAV files, they  may be too big to email, so see if file sharing, USB or iTunes transfers are possible. iPhones often come with the Voice Recorder app. It has good sound, but only records in M4a, so you may need to convert your audio before editing.

You can buy external microphones that clip on to your smart phone (via the port). Don’t buy a cheap one – it will probably be no better than the one in your phone. Companies like Rode and Zoom make mobile phone microphones. Very good sound, but it will be an investment.

And finally, call me old fashioned, but I still prefer to edit all recordings on my computer software. Adobe Audition and Audacity give me much greater features, and a better finished product.

As always, I appreciate your thoughts too. What works for you?

Happy broadcasting.

James


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Added: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
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