Recording demos on my phone
March 12, 2021 6:28 AM   Subscribe

I just got my tax return and I would like to record some demos on my iPhone. What equipment do I need?

I have an iPhone 8 (and will probably be upgrading soon) and I sing and play ukulele. I’ve been teaching myself GarageBand and using an iRig to plug my uke into my phone. What do I need to record decent-sounding demos?
posted by pxe2000 to Technology (4 answers total)
Best answer: What kind of microphone are you using? I’d get a condenser mic and cable if you don’t currently have one. And some headphones that won’t color the sound, like the Sony MDR-7506.
posted by music for skeletons at 9:33 AM on March 12, 2021

Get a microphone and connect it to your phone with... un.. .what was that thing called? iRig?
posted by kschang at 11:08 AM on March 12, 2021

Response by poster: Does the iRig work with a mic?
posted by pxe2000 at 11:20 AM on March 12, 2021

Best answer: This iRig? (iRig 2 guitar interface.)

I don't think so, no. At least not a "real" mic, like a condenser. Guitar pickups actually put out a much louder signal (comparatively) than a microphone, so to use a microphone there needs to be a preamp section that adds volume to the mic signal before it gets to the input of your iPhone. That iRig 2 doesn't have a mic preamp section or level control.

Also condenser mics need phantom power to work, which almost always mean they use an XLR connector and cable.

I think just to keep it in the iRig line since you're familiar with it, you should look into the iRig Pro Duo. It's got "combo" inputs that will take either a 1/4-inch guitar cable or an xlr mic cable, will take two inputs so you can plug your uke into one input and a mic to sing into into the other, and then it should allow you to record 2 separate tracks into Garageband - 1 of your uke & 1 of your vocal. This will allow you to change the tone & volume & effects for each without affecting the other when you mix your finished song. (YouTube link explaining how to record multiple tracks simultaneously in Garageband.)

We just had another AskMe about budget condenser mics. You might want to also consider a non-condenser (a.k.a. dynamic) microphone like a Shure SM57 or SM58 in addition to a condenser. (Condenser mics are not always the best choice, sometimes dynamic mics work better in a situation.)

Or course, you'll also want a microphone stand if you don't have one already, and a couple of xlr cables (buy at least two because it's always better to have a spare.)
posted by soundguy99 at 8:31 PM on March 12, 2021

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