Total Pageviews

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Better Way to Record Audio to Your iPhone or iPad

The superb iRig mic plugs right into your iPhone/iPad, costs roughly $60, and is available at your Apple store.
If you shoot video on your iPhone or iPad you know how hard it is to get good quality sound. The same holds true if you're recording for Sound Cloud or Garage Band on those same devices. The built-in microphones just weren't made to capture sound well.
The iRig Mic is a great way to give your video or audio productions the sound they deserve.
This microphone is solid but lightweight, has a built-in wind screen, and captures superb quality audio at three different settings.
The bottom one is perfect for recording live music that usually registers as a hot, fuzzy mess on your iOS device. This setting tamps down the sound so you can actually hear your favourite band on playback.
The middle setting is good for recording sound within a a foot of the source. This is good for streeters or video interviews with people where you pose a question, then hold the mic close to your subject to get their thoughts.
Finally, the top setting puts the mic in ultra-sensitive mode. This is perfect for events where you're either far away from the source or the source audio is weak and you need all the boost you can get.
I've tested this ultra-sensitive setting in situations where I was about 15' away from speakers at a press conference and the difference in sound quality between the iRig and the built-in iPhone mic was incredible. The iPhone's mic's sound was weak and frankly compromised the viewability of the video, whereas the iRig-recorded sound was bright and clear.
I've also used this mic in a noisy construction site where I need decent quality sound on a subject's voice. Placing the mic about 2 ft away from the subject - again on the top setting - cut through the din and gave me decent quality sound. A little hot, but perfectly listenable.
My son has used this ultra-sensitive setting to record voice and guitar in our sunroom, positioning the mic on a low table about 3-4 ft. away and it worked well.
The iRig mic also lets you monitor sound quality by letting you plug a set of headphones.
Check out this great, inexpensive microphone at your local Apple or music store.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

3 Knockout Instagram Vids for Inspiring Movement

Since Instagram added the ability to shoot 15-second video, you've likely been experimenting with this new medium. It's perfect for giving people a taste of what you're experiencing, from a brilliant sunset, concert or festival, to a skateboard move, a newborn - or even the fish that didn't get away.

While scanning the hashtags I came upon three videos that really got me thinking about movement. Hope these will inspire you, too.

1) Choreographed one-shot video. Most of us build our Instagram videos and Vines with quick cuts and the occasional pan. But what if you eliminated the cuts entirely and shot in one take? Look at the flow - and great choreography - evident in this work from Sarah Vickers who blogs at Note how the fashion is almost incidental to the setting. There are more fluid one-shot videos in her Instagram gallery to inspire you. Click here to see them.

2) Falling out of frame. This visually surprising work comes from Miklas Manneke from South Africa who used the hashtag #tiltvidgram to describe the action. It came out on top in @Instagram's recent #whpmyfavoriteplace challenge. Creative motion requires some deliberate out-of-box thinking - and Miklas and collaborator @garethpon rocked the muse on this one. Go to Miklas' gallery here.

3) Urban stop-motion. New York Times columnist and author Nick Bilton created this brain-tickling video that entertains your eyes by showing stop-motion vehicular and pedestrian traffic on a busy city street. Click here to check out the awesome stills in his Instagram gallery, too.