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Thread: New to iPad recording, USB mic, disaster -- advice?

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    Angry New to iPad recording, USB mic, disaster -- advice?

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    Hi all

    New here. I've been around sound gear a long time (like 40 years), had an old-school home studio at one time (pre-digital), now I'm getting back into some audio work and discovering new technologies. One of my part-time gigs is interview/talk-radio segments for local community radio. I thought I would try, instead of the trusty old Zoom H4 or similar dedicated digital field recorder, an iPad setup. Cos my iPad is always with me, and the tiny H4 display is getting harder to read as I get older :-)

    So I got the RODE Interview Lavalier iPad kit (2 mics and USB/Lightning adapter) and, after some sniffing around, the Hindenburg Field Recorder app. The UI is really nice on the app, that was the selling point. Very intuitive -- and large/simple, so no squinting. So I did some tests at home, made sure both mics worked, recorded some sample audio, practised with the UI. All good. Then I went out (2 days ago) and did a nearly 2 hour interview.

    It all seemed to work really well. Levels looked normal. I didn't wear headphones because I wanted to talk normally to my interviewee -- to make it as natural and easy as possible. This may have been a fatal error.

    I spent 2 days trying to get the darned WAV file off the iPad and onto a desktop computer. I won't go into that -- it was maddening, and adds to the "hate" component of my on-going love/hate relationship with Apple. But in the end I found a 3rd party app that reveals iPad files (when connected via USB) to a desktop computer, and got that wav file into Audacity.

    Imagine my sinking feeling when the clean audio at the beginning of the interview suddenly morphed into non stop high pitched digital noise. Except for the first couple of minutes, the whole damn thing is just squeaky noise. Almost 2 hours! I don't know how I can ever break it to the interviewee that all his time was wasted.

    I thought perhaps the WAV file had not transferred cleanly so listened to it on the iPad (playback with Hindenburg app) and it's just as bad there.

    So... this whole USB mic, iPad, recording app setup is new to me. I've had good luck with a Yeti Blue and desktop for recording PSA's and station IDs at home, never a problem. I thought USB mics were pretty solid. So I was beyond shocked by this ghastly malf.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to WTH happened? I have more interviews scheduled and now I totally don't trust my hardware or software! This is an unmitigated disaster. Is the RODE mic kit known for failing? Is Hindenburg software just junk? I've contacted the store where I bought the mic kit, and the Hindenburg support team, so maybe there will be some answers there.... but was wondering if the accumulated experience of this forum might shed some light.

    Jeez, so discouraging.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Ranelagh Tasmania
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    From what you describe, I would say that the Rode itself is not the problem, but that the lightning adapter/ipad interaction is a more likely culprit. If you were doing a live interview, it's possible that some movement interrupted the connection somehow.

    It's worth your while trying to replicate the problem . . . set up some music or something, set up your Rode/ipad system to record, then let it run. Maybe you can hook up some speakers from where you would monitor with headphones so you can hear if it goes bad.

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