Author Topic: Recording with an iPhone  (Read 495 times)

Hugh Wallington

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Recording with an iPhone
« on: August 24, 2017, 10:12:36 PM »
I have been talking to Peter Slack and he was telling me that the videos he has put up on YouTube were recorded using his iPhone, which records in stereo.  I have a Samsung phone so contacted Samsung by email to ask if my Samsung phone could record in stereo via a LINE IN.  Their reply:
Quote
Dear Mr.Hugh Wallington, it's impossible. GalaxyAce 2 does not have additional outlet to attach to.

So that is a "no".  Even though I now have a Samsung Galaxy J3 I don't think that would do it either.

I thought at this point I would listen to one of Peter's recordings and opted for Estate (pronounced est-art-ay).  Here is his SoundCloud recording, which he did as a WAV file from his Korg PA4 and then converted the WAV to MP3.  This is one of my favourite recordings from Peter, and you can hear from the quality of what you are listening to that it is in STEREO

https://soundcloud.com/peter-s-7/estate-korg-pa4x-keyboard

And the waveform of this from running the MP3 through Audacity is below:



.. which confirms that this is a STEREO recording as the left and right channels are completely different.

Now his YouTube upload of this song, done with his iPhone 6.



Just listening to this, one can tell that this is not Stereo, but 2-track MONO.  Below is the waveform from Audacity:



The left and right channels are exactly the same, which confirms that this is 2-track MONO.

So here is the question.  Can the iPhone 6 record in STEREO, or not?  It's not the Keyboard, as the SoundCloud recording confirms the Korg PA4 gives a Stereo recording.

I checked a later recording that Peter had done for YouTube, Save A Prayer Till The Morning After, and that too was in 2-track mono, confirmed by the waveform below.



When I told Peter all this, his reaction was:
Quote
No, I didn't realise they were not stereo. That does surprise me.  The two recordings you mention were made using my iPhone directly wired, for a You Tube video.

Some research required, I think!
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Hugh Wallington

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 10:44:37 PM »
I did a bit of research on whether or not the iPhone could record in stereo. 

First, I came across this discussion where someone had asked the question:

"While recording a video with the iPhone 6 is the audio recorded in stereo or mono?  I am asking because, I read somewhere online that the iPhone 6 only records in mono, and I was quite shocked actually, because even my 4 year old's nokia makes stereo recordings and I would have thought that a premium 700+ device in 2014 would have that feature.

If this is true then I would also like to know if it's a hardware limitation (eg is there only 1 mic?) or is it a software issue, where you could for example use an app that records in stereo?

Does the iPhone 6 have 2 built in mics for recording or only 1?

It just seems annoying to me that you can record amazing videos in 1080p with 60fps and have it looking great but ... sounding less impressive than an old phone."


And the reply was:

"It does record in mono, I am not really sure why it does, and I'm not sure if stereo playback on a mono speaker (iPhones only have one speaker) would make much of a difference.

And the iPhones have 3 microphones, not 2 or 1."


The Forum I found this on is here:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/iphone-6-video-recording-mono-or-stereo.1792929/

But I reckon they are talking about using microphone for the recording, and I have come across a YouTube clip showing quite clearly that the iPhone 6 can record in Stereo so long as you have the right connectors.  In the video it even mentions (and shows you) two 3.5mm jack inputs for left and right channels.  I asked Peter if this is the connector system he has.  He did mention that he had a lot of cables that were a pain to connect up and get working properly!  In the video, they are recording in the street, not music, but it is in stereo.  It would be a better DEMO showing us stereo from a music source.



I must ask Peter what connectors he has.

Hugh
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Hugh Wallington

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 09:31:42 AM »
Peter has a Mikey Digital for use with his iPhone.  He originally purchased it for use with his iPhone 4, and now he has the iPhone 6 he has had to purchase an adaptor to connect it.  This is what he has to say about the Mikey Digital.
Quote
Here are a couple of photos of my actual 'Mikey Digital' and connectors. I do get good results with it, when it works.  The mic on its own is fantastic. Just plugs into the charging point on my iPhone 6s and away you go. I've taken it to concerts, Just fits in your shirt pocket, no wires,  with amazing results.  It's easy as you can see to record direct using the wires, but its weakness is that a couple of the connections can work a bit loose, and that is where you have problems.  The reviews I have read today do confirm that it is a stereo recording through the stereo 3.5 socket pictured.





I have found this product on Amazon, priced at 43.49



And this is the product description:

Record Anytime, Anywhere

The all-new Mikey Digital is the perfect tool for mobile recording. Featuring two custom-tuned Blue capsules for stereo recording, a line-input, USB pass through and a stylish updated 230-degree rotating design, Mikey's three gain settings allow for a versatile recording experience for everything from a loud concert to a whisper. Record music, videos, interviews, guitars and more. Mikey also comes with its own soft carrying pouch for convenient storage and protection while on the go. Mikey turns your iPhone into the coolest mobile recording device around!

Technology

- Superior quality audio recording
- Made for iPod touch (4th generation*), iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad 2 and iPad
- Works with most popular recording apps
- Input jack for guitars, mics, and any device with line-out
- Automatic or manual gain control
- Advanced processor for future app compatibility
- Built-in USB charging port

*iPod touch (4th gen) requires iOS 6.

So Peter reckons it was the connectors that caused his recordings to end up as 'two-track Mono'.  I will check some of the other recordings he has put up on YouTube to see whether or not they are in Stereo.
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Hugh Wallington

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 09:36:55 AM »
Here's one on the Orla that Peter recorded for YouTube using his Mikey Digital and his iPhone.



Listening to this, it is definitely in Stereo, which is confirmed by the waveform from Audacity below.  The green bars in the left and right channels were not moving 'together', and the wave patterns in the left and right channels are different.



So this confirms that the iPhone will record in Stereo.  I am now wondering if it will work with a 'straight' lead into the iPhone, not using the Mikey Digital, such as the one he described in the video.  One that has a USB connector for the LINE IN Stereo.  Maybe one like this.



Hugh
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Hugh Wallington

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 09:38:50 AM »
Peter.  Can you answer me one question.  When you did your recording of The Nearness Of You, did you use a LINE OUT from your Orla?  Or did you do it with the Mikey Digital 'microphone' (no leads)?  Hugh
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Simon Fuller

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 02:33:23 PM »
Hi Hugh,

I too have had a similar problem with my Mikey digital connected to my iPad. The connection is quite poor and when the iPad is mounted on a tripod the Mikey tends to flop to one side. So as Peter said, sometimes it works, other times the recording is bad.
I decided to buy a Line 6 sonic port ( Line 6 make guitar equipment and are owned by Yamaha). This is primarily intended to be used with an apple device for an effects processor app which by all accounts from reviews I have read is excellent. I bought it because it has a line in socket for another instrument so for example you can record guitar and keyboard together. The advantage of this unit is that it is not directly connected to the apple device, so no weight on the connection. You just plug in the supplied lead to the sonic port and the lighting connector on the phone/iPad. They even supply the old 30pin apple connector lead for older devices. I have only done a quick test recording and the quality is superb, vastly superior to the Mikey. No hiss, and the dynamic range seems to be larger. It doesn't have a switchable gain control though like the Mikey as I guess it has better circuitry for dealing with peaks in signal, recording levels would be controlled externally. This unit was about 60

Simon

Hugh Wallington

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 09:12:05 PM »
Simon.  That looks hopeful.  Let us know if you manage to do an iPhone/iPad recording in Stereo.  Hugh
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Peter Slack

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 09:15:49 AM »
Hi Hugh and Simon

Sorry for not replying sooner, I've been away in the caravan without any internet, and my son very kindly used up all my data allowance watching YT in a field!

Hugh, I did make this recording using the direct (wired) option with the Mikey Digital. It seems that this time I was lucky with the connectors (as in photo) and managed a full stereo recording.
It's a shame the I phone video display doesn't show L/R VU meters. There are apps that do, and I have used one but I had difficulty uploading to YT afterwards, so went back to the I phone default app.

Simon, this sounds interesting, I will investigate.
So, do you still use the Mikey Digital in the set up?
Could you post a photo or two and show how it connects?
Also, would love to hear a demo from you as it's been a while since we had one of your superb recordings!

Keep the (stereo) music playing!

Peter
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Simon Fuller

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 08:03:55 PM »
Hi Peter,

No I don't use the Mikey any more, the sonic port is all that is needed as an interface. I would like to find a video app that has the L/R VU meters though as I think setting the input level will be a bit hit and miss otherwise. Can you remember the name of the one you tried? I will avoid that one as I too would want to upload to YT.
I will have another play with the sonic port at the weekend and will take pictures of the unit and the connections. I recently upgraded from the D Deck to the new ELC-02 and got several demonstration songs with it to show what it is capable of, so I can use one of them to experiment.

Simon

Peter Slack

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 01:05:28 PM »
I love this Korg PA4 keyboard.
Here's a lovely Julio Doubleglazing song called 'Hey'

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Peter Slack

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 06:49:18 PM »
Hi Simon

The ELC 02 looks fantastic, you must be very happy I'm sure.

Sorry, I can't remember the name of the video software.

Peter
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Simon Fuller

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2017, 08:17:27 PM »
Hi Peter,

Yes the ELC 02 is very impressive, it has a mind boggling array of features. I didn't get a chance this weekend to set up the sonic port, so will have to do the recording next weekend as I have a long week at work.

Regards,
Simon

Hugh Wallington

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 11:06:02 PM »
I love the sound of this keyboard too, and I know that Peter tackled this piece when he first had his Korg PA4 X so was basically finding his way round it.  He used his iPhone 6 and his Mikey Digital USB Microphone to do this recording, so I have put it through Audacity and can confirm that this YouTube recording is in 'true stereo'.  The green bars on the left and right channels were not moving 'together', but independently, confirming that it was a stereo recording.

In the picture below, the waveforms may look similar, but if you look closely they are different.



So I think finally we have confirmed that you can use an iPhone (or iPad) to make a 'stereo' recording for YouTube .. so long as you have the right connectors.

Hugh
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Brian Lisher

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Re: Recording with an iPhone
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2020, 02:07:02 PM »
Hello Hugh,

First may I say, trust you and all members are keeping safe and well.
As you'll appreciate, now that my beloved AR went walkabout and I am trying to find my way around the Genos I have not been on site as much as before.

However, I dropped in today and came across this post and thought you may like to know what is happening with our North Stafford organ and keyboard club during lockdown.

Our committee decided to form a chat on WhatsApp and we are now merrily communicating with each other, and, posting video recordings of tunes which are being recorded on smart phones, in my case I use my tablet but just using the on board camera and microphone. I am surprised at the quality of the recordings done in this way, perhaps not studio quality but acceptable.

Thought you might like to think about it.

All the Best,

Brian L