When to use an external microphone or recorder to make your podcasts

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  • Reply 21 of 30
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,382member
    bigpics said:
    Anyone know of a good Bluetooth transmitter with a mic input? My application is to wirelessly record someone wearing a lavalier mic plugged into one of those transmitter, via Bluetooth. Does anybody know of a piece of equipment that can act as the go-between of mic and phone?
    Bluetooth has really limited range. Are you sure it would even work for your application?

    Why not just use a conventional UHF wireless system? The output of the receiver can be fed into the phone the same way a microphone would.

    To answer your question, Denon makes a Bluetooth receiver that would do what you describe. https://www.denonpro.com/index.php/products/view3/dn-200br
    My question is this: Can I interface this Denon device directly into my phone to be the audio track for video I'm recording?

    I perform spoken word in coffee shop venues. The video's adequate but unless my photographer's in the front row (seldom) the sound is focused more on the people around the phone than on me at the stage.  So I've been looking for a lavalier BT mic that would feed directly into the phone.  (I know me and know I won't take the time to mate up separate soundtracks with the video after the fact. And bluetooth quality should be good enough.  Certainly a big step up from what I get now.)
    The iPhone doesn't have a standard mic input, so no matter which microphone/receiver you use you're going to need some kind of adaptor. If your phone is an older one with a headphone jack, you can get a simple adapter that accesses the microphone input embedded in the phone's headphone jack (like this). If your phone does not have a headphone jack, you'll need a microphone-to-Lightning adapter (like this).
     
    I don't understand the perceived benefit of Bluetooth over conventional, existing wireless microphone systems. You can go into any music store and buy a Sennheiser G series lav mic with body-pack transmitter and compact receiver for around $500. There are even cheaper systems, but I haven't used them myself so I can't speak to their efficacy. In my experience the risk of drop-outs and fizzy noises is much higher and range is much lower with anything under five hundred bucks.

    Do you even really need wireless? Could you run a cable from your position on stage to the camera position? That would be less expensive.
    Thanks for your input, and it is helpful. 

    I definitely need a wireless lavalier sending signal to a phone - I need to do this regularly in crowded spaces without making myself stand out as making the space and ambiance meet my needs.  I just want get on stage and perform with an inconspicuous lavalier while someone shoots video of the performance on my phone.  Doesn't have to be bluetooth or more than 50-10KHz quality (it's voice performance).

    The question I've asked others over the years without getting an answer is whether or not once a mic is wirelessly inputted into the phone if it will automatically work with the video camera function to record that input as the video soundtrack.

    I know me and my time budget, and I just have no time to sync up audio and video tracks from multiple sources.
  • Reply 22 of 30
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    lorin schultz said:
    Reporting from the field and producing podcast are two completely different things when it comes to quality expectations though, aren't they? Listeners will tolerate lower production values from news than they will from other genres.

    Obviously content trumps audio quality, and if the show is good enough, people will overlook imperfect sound. Bad sound is still distracting though, and it gives listeners a reason to tune out. When it's so easy and inexpensive to do better, why set the bar at it's lowest rung? In the OB van in the middle of a hurricane, sure, use whatever you have on hand. If you have or can easily access better, why would you deliberately compromise the listening experience?
    Spot on. Yes, if you really, really want to hear the content, you might put up with it. But, why place that barrier high so as to maybe lose listeners or send them looking for another similar podcast?

    I started listening to a podcast recently where the mistakes are many, and it really makes listening hard. They have panned the speakers full left-right (host, co-host), must be using a condenser mic, or maybe the laptop mic (big room noise, and sounds like they are many feet from the mics), inconsistent audio levels (so you have to ride the volume), etc. It's crazy hard to listen to. I'm going to (very nicely) send them a few tips and hope.
  • Reply 23 of 30
    bigpics said:
    The question I've asked others over the years without getting an answer is whether or not once a mic is wirelessly inputted into the phone if it will automatically work with the video camera function to record that input as the video soundtrack.
    If by "wirelessly inputted into the phone" you mean via Bluetooth, probably not. I just did a quick test with a pair of Beats wireless headphones. For phone calls the iPhone uses the mic in the headphones rather than the one built in to the phone, but when I recorded a video it used the mic in the phone.

    There's still the possibility it might work with a typical wireless mic connected to the Lightning port, but I don't have an adapter to test that.
    bigpics
  • Reply 24 of 30
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,382member
    bigpics said:
    The question I've asked others over the years without getting an answer is whether or not once a mic is wirelessly inputted into the phone if it will automatically work with the video camera function to record that input as the video soundtrack.
    If by "wirelessly inputted into the phone" you mean via Bluetooth, probably not. I just did a quick test with a pair of Beats wireless headphones. For phone calls the iPhone uses the mic in the headphones rather than the one built in to the phone, but when I recorded a video it used the mic in the phone.

    There's still the possibility it might work with a typical wireless mic connected to the Lightning port, but I don't have an adapter to test that.
    Thanks for checking that out for me. Much appreciated..!! 

    But it certainly seems like a design oversight which could be an option implementable in software (I would think at least). Whatever, I can't imagine this would be such a rare use case scenario.  There are many times where the phone isn't in the ideal location to record the soundtrack of something being captured on video from the best (or at least best available) video vantage point.

    But I guess it is what it is.  I'm starting to think I'll have to opt for a Tascam on-body audio recorder or something and suck it up and learn some basic video editing.  But that just feels so '90s, i.e., unnecessarily kludgy.....
    edited April 24
  • Reply 25 of 30
    bigpics said
    [...] But it certainly seems like a design oversight which could be an option implementable in software (I would think at least).
    Maybe it is.

    One blogger who posted an overview of various wireless mics suitable for podcasting casually mentioned that some video capture apps don't support them. That's all it said, so I don't know if that was an indication that they WILL work with certain software or just that they didn't work with whatever he was using. It might be a sign that it's worth perusing the iOS App Store for something that will work for your application. Or it might be a futile effort. Maybe try calling Apple Support and ask.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 26 of 30
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,382member
    bigpics said
    [...] But it certainly seems like a design oversight which could be an option implementable in software (I would think at least).
    Maybe it is.

    One blogger who posted an overview of various wireless mics suitable for podcasting casually mentioned that some video capture apps don't support them. That's all it said, so I don't know if that was an indication that they WILL work with certain software or just that they didn't work with whatever he was using. It might be a sign that it's worth perusing the iOS App Store for something that will work for your application. Or it might be a futile effort. Maybe try calling Apple Support and ask.
    Thanks again. You've been more helpful than anyone I've asked about this. Including an Apple Genius.
  • Reply 27 of 30
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 725editor
    I'm curious what you think about using an app to clean up the sound from the iPhone mic. After hearing about it on an AppleInsider podcast I tried using the Spire app and was quite impressed (for an amateur) at how it made my voice sound. I make short videos for small numbers of our customers. Till now I've used an Audio Technica AT2020 USB mic with a pop screen. I've also worked at changing the position to greatly soften the "esses" in the recording. Any ideas for apps that will clean up your voice from the existing mic? 

    Separately, I have a general question about microphones. People generally tout a nice desk top or boom mounted mic, yet if you watch TV the hosts all use lavaliere mics and they sound fine. What gives?
    The microphone in the phone itself is intended for the frequency range of a telephone line and should not even be considered. Processing may make it better, but it will still only be better crap. Don't waste your time trying to polish a turd.
    That was true years ago with 600ohm landline telephone systems and carbon mics. iPhones (and everyone else's phone for that matter) are designed for HD Voice codecs and Voice over LTE, full range recording. It's possible they aren't the best mics (size and money play a role), but they aren't limited in frequency by design.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 28 of 30
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 725editor
    nick8718 said:
    And for those of us without all those dollars or pounds: I’d suggest two things - the internal mic of the iPhone with a cheap 50mm windshield from Amazon or - for single contributor ‘rants’ - the bundled earbuds and their online mic. Both of these come into their own if you’re recording outside. The background atmos does away with the mic limitations and is perfectly ‘broadcast quality’.  At a guess I’d say I’ve used the internal iPhone mic for 80% of the live and recorded pieces I’ve done over the last ten years (at a conservative guess that would equate to about 5000 pieces of radio).
    Reporting from the field and producing podcast are two completely different things when it comes to quality expectations though, aren't they? Listeners will tolerate lower production values from news than they will from other genres.

    Obviously content trumps audio quality, and if the show is good enough, people will overlook imperfect sound. Bad sound is still distracting though, and it gives listeners a reason to tune out. When it's so easy and inexpensive to do better, why set the bar at it's lowest rung? In the OB van in the middle of a hurricane, sure, use whatever you have on hand. If you have or can easily access better, why would you deliberately compromise the listening experience?
    You'd think listener expectations would be different, but they aren't. Listeners aren't forgiving based on show type, at all, for the very reason you name: anything at all that is 'bad sound' is cause for complaint and stopping listening.
  • Reply 29 of 30
    vmarks said:
    I'm curious what you think about using an app to clean up the sound from the iPhone mic. After hearing about it on an AppleInsider podcast I tried using the Spire app and was quite impressed (for an amateur) at how it made my voice sound. I make short videos for small numbers of our customers. Till now I've used an Audio Technica AT2020 USB mic with a pop screen. I've also worked at changing the position to greatly soften the "esses" in the recording. Any ideas for apps that will clean up your voice from the existing mic? 

    Separately, I have a general question about microphones. People generally tout a nice desk top or boom mounted mic, yet if you watch TV the hosts all use lavaliere mics and they sound fine. What gives?
    The microphone in the phone itself is intended for the frequency range of a telephone line and should not even be considered. Processing may make it better, but it will still only be better crap. Don't waste your time trying to polish a turd.
    That was true years ago with 600ohm landline telephone systems and carbon mics. iPhones (and everyone else's phone for that matter) are designed for HD Voice codecs and Voice over LTE, full range recording. It's possible they aren't the best mics (size and money play a role), but they aren't limited in frequency by design.
    I stand corrected. Thanks Victor.
  • Reply 30 of 30
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    bigpics said:
    But it certainly seems like a design oversight which could be an option implementable in software (I would think at least). Whatever, I can't imagine this would be such a rare use case scenario.  There are many times where the phone isn't in the ideal location to record the soundtrack of something being captured on video from the best (or at least best available) video vantage point. 
    Yeah, I think it probably is (to the extent that it is the case... haven't tested it yet, either). Hopefully, more people getting into things like podcasting and YouTube'ing will impact that. The reason I assume it is a problem, is that so many people doing that kind of content creation seem to have problems getting good audio into video work. (I'm just heading into that arena, so have been paying more attention to it.)

    Also, I think there is a growing gap between the consumer market (that just shoot and the audio is what it is), and the more pro and prosumer market that record separately, and then use software to sync the audio (like Final Cut Pro, etc.). I know some cameras have audio input, so you can plug in specialized mics to embed the audio right when recording. But, I think most pros just record audio and video separately and then sync it together in production.

    Anyway, you're not at all alone, and getting good audio on video work seems to be a very common beginner to prosumer problem.

    vmarks said:
    You'd think listener expectations would be different, but they aren't. Listeners aren't forgiving based on show type, at all, for the very reason you name: anything at all that is 'bad sound' is cause for complaint and stopping listening.
    I think it depends. Unfortunately, people are still used to the 'call in' guest and stuff like that, even on the highest level of professional media. And, it sometimes seems that the bigger the guest, the more likely it is. (I suppose no-one wants to tell big-name-star they should use something other than a phone to call in?)

    But, for overall audio quality of a podcast, program, etc. yeah, it's completely unacceptable now to have really bad audio. People will put up with it from time to to time, if the content is good enough. But, no the whole show.
    bigpics
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