Last week’s post announcing our new .tv Advocate Panel generated a lot of excitement – thanks to everyone who took the time to tweet and comment across the social web. We have a lot of great content to share with you and wanted to get started with this post from Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff *. With all of the excitement about the new iPhone© and it’s great video recording capabilities, Mark has some great tips on how to get better audio when recording on that camera, “that’s always with you”.
Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff: Phone-Schmone, the iPhone 4© is a great video camera! One that only got better with Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 4s©. While the iPhone 4© does video in a very respectable 720p, the 4s has been upgraded to an eye-popping (not to mention memory-gobbling) 1080p. Granted, you may not think the iPhone 4© or iPhone 4s© would be your first choice as a camcorder to shoot your next TV pilot (but, then again… hey, why not be so bold?). Or you may not think the iPhone 4/4s even good enough to go grab some interviews or OTF (on the fly) videos for your next big internet project (on a .tv website… hint, hint) because it doesn’t have one crucial element for filming great videos: an external microphone input.
Or does it?
Hah! Turns out the iPhone 4© DOES have an external microphone input. That means you can use a pro-quality mic with your iPhone©… all you need is the right cable to do so.
Look at the jack at the end of your iPhone© earbuds.
Notice that it has one more ring than a pair of standard stereo headphones. Standard headphones use what is called a TRS jack (Tip, Ring, Sleeve). iPhone headphones use a TRRS jack (Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve). That ring closest to the base is what carries your microphone signal. Lucky for you do-it-yourselfers, TRRS adapters aren’t that difficult to track down.
There’s a company that already makes an iPhone XLR micrphone and 1/8 inch headphone adapter – 3.5mm TRRS Male to 3.5mm Headphone Jack and 3-pin XLR Microphone Jack. It costs $28. Here’s what I used to build my own iPhone external mic adapter for less.
Find yourself a “4 Contact 3.5mm Plug to 3 RCA 10″ AV Cable” (this is the cable on top). At most it should run you $5. Then grab an XLR Female to RCA Male adapter .
plug the XLR adapter into the YELLOW RCA JACK. (which some of you know as the “video” input on similar video cables). Voila! You have a professional XLR mic input into your iPhone to attach a powered lavalier.
And of course, if you wanted to add in a headphone jack in order to monitor your input signal at the same time, you can always plug an RCA stereo male to 3.5″ mini plug stereo female adapter into the remaining red and white RCA jacks above.
Now you have external audio inputs into your iPhone©. It’s a device you carry around in your pocket and with the right cables, and microphone in your bag, you’ll always be ready to do some serious ENG at the drop of a hat!
* Disclosure: Mark is a compensated member of the .tv Advocate Program, http://CMP.LY/3/zNxf55