iRecord

iPHONE/iPOD TOUCH/iPAD SOLUTIONS

Q Is it possible to record professional-level audio with my iPhone?
William F.
Via email

A I hate to answer a question with a question, but the big one that comes to mind is, "Why?" If you’re asking just to see if it’s possible to do, the answer is yes, it’s possible to record fairly decent-quality audio with your iPhone. But there’s a huge difference between being able to record clean audio versus having a logical sound for picture workflow.

I would take into consideration how you need to use the audio in your workflow. If you simply need to record some ambient environments or want to capture sound on the fly without bringing an entire pro audio rig into the picture, using your iPhone could be a viable alternative. If you’re shooting a film, a TV show or a "real" project with talent, a crew and a schedule, I wouldn’t consider using your iPhone as your audio recorder.

That being said, there are some interesting devices hitting the market that allow you to record audio with the iPhone. The iRig PRE by IK Multimedia (www.ikmultimedia.com) sells for $39.99 and features an adjustable thumbwheel gain control. An onboard 9V battery provides phantom power for condenser microphones for at least 15 hours of use. The unit is small and lightweight and features a 3.5mm stereo headphone output that allows monitoring while recording.

iRig PRE features:
• 15.75-inch TRRS cable to connect to any iOS device headset jack
• XLR input
• Gain control
• +48V phantom power
• Headphone output
• On/off switch
• Phantom power via a 9V battery
• Battery life is about 40 hours with dynamic microphones and 15 hours with phantom-powered condenser mics
• Compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

The iRig PRE includes two free apps: iRig Recorder, an easy-to-use recording/editing application, and VocalLive, an effects-processing application for singers and VO artists. I haven’t had a chance to test either of the apps, but they both receive decent reviews on an audio board that I spend time on.