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ipad iphone mobile ipod touch on recording

Recording on Mobile (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch)
While this can be done with Android phones, the audio drivers tend to be glitchy or non-existent at best for operating an interface or USB microphone using the device. So I'm sticking to Apple devices for this one as their driver set is up there for audio and the quality from the Apple EarPod's microphone is actually best on Apple devices.

Method 1: Quick, Easy, and On The Go!

This is for people who don't really want to carry around a portable setup everywhere, and maybe see an audition they want to try on their iPhone in the car or something, just don't have a mic with them. It's also ideal for people just starting out who haven't chosen an actual microphone yet, but have an iDevice + Apple Earpods. 

What most people don't know is they have a mic that has pretty good clarity already on them if they have the Apple EarPods.
By exploiting the proximity effect you can get some decent clarity from the earphone microphone. There's a little fuzz, but if you're recording for auditions it shouldn't matter too much. Besides, the noise can be removed later if you really must use this microphone (example, your regular mic breaks down, or you're away from home and need to record something).

What you want to do is pinch the cord from the earphone side of the microphone side of the headset together with the cord on the other side of the microphone (see picture). You'll then hold the microphone about 2-3 inches away from the SIDE of your mouth as to avoid air noise and pops. Attached is a sample of how this sounds in Garageband mobile with no effect or EQ added (although you can always clean up the recordings with these if you wish).

The apple EarPods are around $30 from any store that sells apple gear! You can choose to go with the 3.5mm (which I used for the sample) or the Lightning version if you have an iPhone 7 or prefer to use lightning for recording purposes.


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Method 2: An Actual Microphone Interface

This is more for if you actually intend to do a lot of recording on your iPad (example if you don't have a capable enough computer or your computer makes way too much noise). You can connect an actual interface to the iPad via the Camera Connection adapter and use an XLR mic (also works with some low powered USB mics although it's very hit and miss). With a compatible interface, you can use any XLR microphone you want, and even choose to start with the iPad and a really good mic choice and purchase a better interface to use with a computer later on.

Confirmed Audio Interfaces/USB Microphones working:
AT2020 USB Model - about $150
Blue Icicle XLR Adapter - about $50

Here's a sample of the Neumann TLM 103 using the Blue Icicle on my iPhone SE in Garageband (no effects):
*Note: Again any XLR microphone could be used in place of the Neumann such as the Blue Spark or AT2020 XLR model

If anyone else has tried recording on mobile or has tested their microphone/interface with iOS, feel free to post below and I'll add the information to this thread. Keep in mind some interfaces require a powered USB hub to operate as the device is not capable of producing the power required for those interfaces to function.
Thanks for writing this!
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Really good guide.

Would you mind if I did an Android guide similar to yours? It won't be as informative (because I'm lazy) but it'll cover good apps, and provide advice.
I would also suggest the Blue Spark Digital mic (other makes available also) that gives you a direct Lightning port connection and does away with the need for a separate interface.

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