It’s a beautiful night, just absolutely perfect for a live show. Low humidity, perfect temperatures, outdoor venue, stellar energy; all of the ducks are in a row for a musical memory to last a lifetime. Of course, we live in the iPhone era, so everything needs to be captured and documented with a smart device. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat – you’re about to bring the show to your social media followers who couldn’t be there due to Grandma Agnus’ 90th birthday party.
The phone comes out, your favorite song is recorded and the video looks AWESOME. That next morning, you pull up the clip to enjoy that late-night magic again… and it sounds terrible. If not terrible, then average at best with poor mixing and a lack of sonic depth/clarity.
Sound familiar? It’s an audio faux pas we’ve all experienced.
While smart phone video quality has gotten absurdly phenomenal in recent years, the same can’t be said for accompanying audio. Strides have been made, in that sense. However, you won’t get close to what you heard that magical night with just your phone’s speaker. This article will dive into a series of devices designed to get the most out of your smartphone audio, be it a live concert, documenting your own show while on stage, social media content, livestreams and much more.
To kick things off, this mixer is built with efficiency and simplicity in mind. While capturing high-quality audio with an ultra-clear stereo signal, the Roland GO: MIXER PRO comes at a budget-friendly price and offers straight plug-and-play connectivity for your smartphone. Multiple inputs are provided for a well-balanced, beautiful sounding mix in many different audio contexts. Singers, vloggers, content producers and instrumentalists: lend me your ears! Two mic preamps offer 1/8” inputs with plug-in power and XLR combo inputs with phantom power, so you have the luxury of working with your favorite condenser microphone.
Where would one best utilize this device? I believe it’s suited for band performances and videos that aren’t necessarily being done on a live stage in front of a grand audience. With three dedicated inputs for keys/vocals/guitars, you can record an ensemble jamming in an acoustically-articulate space without background noise or compromised frequencies. It could also work well for live streaming on Facebook and other social media platforms. With a simple interface and punch-packing sonic quality, this is a great start for those looking to widen their audio-visual palette.
Lightweight, compact, seamless, operational – your mixer should translate this way to meet the demands of ever-efficient smartphone technology and craftsmanship. (That’s really just fancy talk for “you should look really cool and professional while iPhone-recording a thing”).
The Saramonic SmartMixer is designed to be handheld and easily accessible for recording any type of live performance or show. While you hold the base with one hand (or two if more comfortable), your eyes can keep tabs on the mixer’s levels, battery level and meters on a convenient backlit display. Two condenser microphones exist atop the mixer, with swivelbility – yes, we made this word up – for rotating and angling each one’s direction towards a sound source. A versatile smartphone clamp lets users shoot in either landscape or portrait modes, providing optimal footage opportunities in a concert or performance setting. By enhancing the sound of a live show and the way it translates to your iPhone’s speakers, this unit is essentially a handheld, juiced-up version of how you’d normally record your band’s opening number. But, because of SmartMixer capabilities, you’ll receive polished audio with balance and stabilization.
While not necessarily an audio enhancer, the Saramonic SR-BSP1 will certainly make your recording life a heck of a lot easier. Serving the roles of clamp and handle, this nifty little tool enables users to shoot smartphone videos without looking like you’re standing in the middle of a scene from Cloverfield. Poor stability can ruin a video regardless of how it sounds, so this is a worthwhile unit for anyone looking to film their content with a professional polish.
While there has been virtually no difference in phone shapes since the demise of the fliphone era – remember how great the LG Chocolate was? – the clamp on the SR-BSP1 will comfortably adjust to fit smartphones of any size up to 3.6” wide with a case, and can be mounted to shoot cinematic horizontal landscapes or go vertical for social media livestreams. Easily mountable to a tripod and possessing a shoe mount for microphones or lights, the SR-BSP1 can be a game-changer for turning your videos into professional-grade content masterpieces. While you may run out of hands to use if you’re trying to record yourself playing a minute-long bass solo for Instagram, this is a perfect tool for capturing live sound from an ensemble with different angles and camera fluidity.
In a slight twist compared to some of the other mixers on this list, the Ampridge MightyMic can be used for your smartphone and a GoPro device. Compact and built for on-the-go shoots, this high-quality condenser microphone doesn’t require external batteries, laser-tag style charging stations or solar panels. Simply plug the adapter jack, followed by the mic into your device and boom. Whether it’s a GoPro, iPad, iPhone or Samsung device, rest assured that you can take your shoots on the road and capture serene audio with a hypercardioid shotgun mic. A headphone jack on the back of the microphone will let you hear recorded audio in real time, putting you in the director’s chair and behind the boom mic.
Because of its size and emphasis on a tight operational setup, this may be a great fixture in your documented interviews or video-podcast workflow. This microphone design significantly reduces unwanted noise from the back and sides, guaranteeing a well-rounded sound with sonic clarity. Other video projects, one-on-one sessions and YouTube episodes could greatly benefit from having this versatile rig that can fit in most backpacks. Vloggers, I think this may be exactly what you’re looking for!
Last, but most certainly not least, comes a microphone virtually guaranteed to grand-slam your videos out of the park, and earn you even more social media clout. The Saramonic CamMic boasts a degree of versatility and craftsmanship at a price that will leave you rubbing your eyes out of disbelief. This microphone, featuring an impressive physique, delivers broadcast-quality sound without unwanted background noise or rumbles, courtesy of an 80Hz low-cut two position switch at its rear. Because so many YouTubers and vloggers take their practice outdoors, the CamMic features a sturdy gasket designed to block wind and excess noise. Feel free to record that entire Dave Matthews Band set without interruption, and with plenty of jam-band goodness.
What makes the CamMic so beautiful, aside from the fact that it looks like The Bullet Bill from Super Mario, is its accessible plug-and-play functionality. It’ll fit like a glove for your favorite camera during Instagram video recording sessions, harmoniously tying together quality picture with quality sound. The same can be said when applied to mobile devices. Simply use the 1/8” TRRS cable supplied with the mic and run directly into a smartphone, iPad or even a laptop if you’re using an internal webcam. With cardioid polarity, make sure you’re directing this mic towards your sound source to maximize sonic excellence. Sleek, stable and sexy, the Saramonic CamMic is a must-have in the digital era.
Impress your followers, flex your social media presence and give iPhone videos elite audio quality with the team at SamAsh.com leading the way.