This tutorial will introduce users to the steps necessary when recording audio as part of an interview with your iOS device, Smartphone or Tablet. While the tutorial will cover a broad range of techniques and methods it may be possible that your specific phone or device is not covered in full by this tutorial.
It’s advisable to use headphones to monitor the quality of the sound during a recording. Most devices will have a headphone mini jack.
- First, plug the headphones into the headphone jack.
- Plug in the external microphone into your device.
- Now turn the microphone toward the source of the sound.
- Place your device close to the person you are interviewing (about 1 foot away) and tilt the device towards them at a 30–45 degree angle.
- Now launch the app.
All apps are different but most have the same functions and adjustable settings. It’s important settings are changed so that the device records in WAV, with a sample rate of 44100 and a bit rate of 16. Some apps will give you the option of naming your files before recording. Make sure you name your file after your interviewee “Lastname-Firstname-YYYYMMDD.wav.”
Some apps will let you gauge levels before recording. Adjust your input recording level so that the voice hits between -12 and -6 db if it’s a numbered input bar or becomes the yellow for colour bars.
If the levels are in the red or peaking turn down the input. You should be able to gauge this better with headphones. Based on varying levels integrated by your device, the app and the external mic this may take some time to figure out.
Some apps require you to begin the recording to gauge levels. It’s better to record a few minutes to find the best level than record a whole interview with bad levels. Often you’ll use a slider to adjust levels that runs somewhere across the top or bottom of the app’s screen. You can also adjust levels by moving the device closer to your interview subject. Adjust your headphone volume so it’s comparable to the recording level. Note that adjusting the headphone level does not adjust the record level.
The record button should be pretty easy to find in most apps. Once you’re ready press record. It’s very important to note that sometimes to get a better mic position will require you to flip your device (most often a smart phone) upside down and toward your interviewee. This will severely limit your monitoring capabilities therefore wearing headphones throughout the entire interview becomes very important. Note that moving or handling the recorder will cause an excessive amount of audible artifacts on the recording. Make sure the device stays completely still during the recording.