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Thread: Recording sounds with a phone: Which phone should you choose?

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    Recording sounds with a phone: Which phone should you choose?

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    So I've been planning to do some sound recordings for making songs or sometimes just for fun. I actually have a pretty good quality sound recorder at home, but it's pretty large and I would like something that's easier to carry and preferably something more discrete. I mean, if I'm going to record strangers talking, for example, then I don't want to be sitting near them holding a bulky sound recorder and having them wondering what I'm up to. Instead, sitting there with a phone is more natural and should be a bit more under the radar.

    I recently read about the artist Chet Faker recording sounds using only his iPhone. As far as I could understand he doesn't use any external stuff, just the phone and it's built-in microphone. There were also a few example recordings of his, and they all sounded good as far as I could tell.

    Now, is iPhone (maybe only the newer versions) decent for recording sounds (sound effects and ambient sounds) or maybe there's something cheaper I could go for? I'd like to be able to use the phone for normal stuff as well, like texting and calling people. Otherwise I'd probably have to carry 2 phones around when I'm planning to do sound recordings.

    So if anyone has any phone recommendations suited for this purpose, I'd love to hear them!


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    iPhones take great pictures too. However, there's a difference, and that's why pros carry on using DSLRs. The reality is quite simple. It's not hard to make a decent recorder, and the iPhone's electronics are pretty good, hence why their sound apps work pretty well - you can use them for dB readings and to show you the spectral response. The microphones in them are cheap electrets, but nowadays these too are in fact pretty good. Like the camera side, in average conditions, the resulting quality isn't horrible. However, everything is auto, and once the sound drops too low, or goes too high, there really isn't much you can do. If the sound is quiet, then the preamps hiss a bit, but worse, the mic is fixed to the casing pretty securely inside, and your finger noise can be heard. You have to use the auto settings, which mean more work afterwards trying to cope with the unexpected loud noises, or rumbles and thumps. Sometimes, you will be in the lucky zone, and get a pretty good mono recording - but other times it will be pretty horrible. Rather random.

    If you have somebody with a good voice and an acoustic guitar, then getting a good recording can be quite easy. Add in other sources and it can become a train wreck so easily.

    If an iPhone could do a decent recording, guaranteed, every time - more people would do them this way. However, most people want more. Same with the video people. You can buy elastic on wide angles for iPhones now, and people rave about them. Why invest thousands in decent glass if a tiny bit of plastic can do the same job? Of course, they can't!

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    Sorry Rob

    I agree with you on the video to a degree...on the Audio for what Joeses wants, an Iphone is more than adequate....... hell for most anybody just trying to capture the live audio the mic set up below is going to provide 24 bit audio..The iphone is more the computer/ hard drive ..the mic and included software is the audio interface..

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    Yes, with a decent recording interface --- and there are tons for the iPhone now --- you should be able to get a great sound.
    famous beagle

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    Hello,

    If you don't want to use any addons and just record with your phone you could try with Tracked app. The developers did a great job with the interface and did something with mick settings so it clears the sounds quite well. In addition you have up to 8 tracks for recording layers or more that one take of the same part. Also, the app itself is engineered to network musicians from all over the world, so you can find somebody to collaborate with you on your songs. Afterwards you can share it on any social network or on the network app has.

    If you are interested I'm also looking for some people to work with me on some ideas over it... feel free to add me, my nick is vladinemir!

    Hope we'll jam soon!!!

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