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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:19 AM   #1
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Recording to an iPod as a mic

Some of the posters here come highly recommended, so I would like to know what you think.

I am going to have the subject I am taping wear an iPod on a belt clip. I am using a griffin technologies iPod lapel mic to record the audio to the ipod. It records as a WAV file. Then I am going to sync up the audio with the video in vegas.

Am I nuts, or will this novel approach work?
here is a link to the lapel mic.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/lapelmic/

Thanks for your help!
Steve
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Old March 8th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #2
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i've done quite a few sound experiments using both ipod and minidisc with a stereo lavalier to capture sound. the griffin lavalier is not a very high-quality microphone. griffin seems to use pretty chintzy condensers in their microphone. you would do better to look on ebay--there are a couple of vendors of much higher-quality stereo lavalier mics with miniplug jacks which are designed for use with the minidisc but which can be used with the ipod as well and these are available for about $30. do a "minidisc microphone" search and you should find what you're looking for. ipod voice recording is good--not great, but adequate, depending on what you plan to use it for. it is probably not documentary-quality, but if you are just taping a lecture for your personal interest or an archive, it should be fine. or if you are just looking for a quick sound bite for a documentary project and are willing to sacrifice some quality for expediency, it will probably be "good enough." i've also used these set-ups when the presence of a camera was deemed too invasive or discomfiting, even if i did not have the camera trained on the speaker.

but if you are going to go to the trouble of miking someone, you will get significantly better sound than with either of these two options using XLR connectors and a decent-quality lavalier microphone (about $90 and a $25 cable) hooked up to your camera.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 11:23 PM   #3
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The iRiver is an other option that is quite good if you need it to remain mobile.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #4
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Im pretty sure the iPod will only record at very low bit rates. There may be a hack to get higher quality.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 12:17 PM   #5
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the hack is a piece of software (downloadable for free) called "podzilla"

www.hackaday.com

worth a look, if you are serious about using your ipod for voice recordings.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 12:35 AM   #6
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Hard to swallow my Mac pride and say this, but check out the iRiver from HP. It's like the iPod, but has a built in mic input and records high quality audio. A well known filmmaker/editor I know is using one as an extra mic on a subject and/or planted in a room and is pleased with the results. I think you can get something like 70 minutes at a time recorded.


Cheers
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Old March 11th, 2005, 08:40 AM   #7
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Diamond Rio players... the people who invented portable mp3 players. Take a look.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #8
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Sony Minidisc recorders are often mentioned for this same task. They can record in PCM format so you don't lose any audio quality at the source as MP3 players will.

Good luck.

Dennis
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Old March 16th, 2005, 12:22 AM   #9
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True on the mini-disc recorders, but the beauty of the mp3 player that can record .wav or .aif files is that they are ready to port directly into your NLE.

Mini-discs move data in real time playback I believe!
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Old March 18th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #10
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I picked up an old working Mac 3400c laptop at a school district auction last summer for $5.00 had a 4gig drive running OS 9.1 some extra batteries, charger etc. use Spin Doctor from my Roxie "Toast" software to record "line in" or "mic in" audio directly to the hard drive in aiff format. It ports over to FCE very nicely on my eMac. I have connected the 3400 laptop to in house PA's or other "line in" sources like my own small mixer with a combo of mics need for the event I'm shooting. Audio is clean and good quality. With proper attenuation I can use the laptops line out plugged directly into my GL2 mic input. It's easy to set up and Spin Doctor has a handy vu meter tells when your clipping. I can run about 1.2 hours per battery or just hook up to AC. Recording time is about 5.5 hours (stereo). I would think this scenario would work with any small laptop Mac or PC it depends on what your shooting. One caution to keep in mind is to use good quality low resistance cables to avoid hum etc. Also as you may know not all computers are alike some may have noisy buses or cheap audio components that produce unwanted noise or skipping when recording to the hard drive. I you already have a small
laptop why not give it a test drive and see if it will work for you as a recording device it could save you some $$$.
I forgot to mention that with the proper adapter (XLR to mini) you can hook a mic directly into the 3400's mic input port the shoot gun mic I already had worked fine controled with "Spin Doctor".
Steve
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:27 PM   #11
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Hello,

This is my first post so I would like to say hi to everyone first! I am not a sound expert, but have had some sound recording classes. There is a thought running through my mind that maybe someone could clear it for me.

What's the possibility of hooking any Boom Mic to an Ipod/Ipod mini through an SQN mixer ? I could playback a recorded tone from the ipod to calibrate the SQN and then record all sound through the SQN into one file on the Ipod. I would later cut the long file in my mac into various .wav files.

Thanks
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Old March 24th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Zachary Fink : True on the mini-disc recorders, but the beauty of the mp3 player that can record .wav or .aif files is that they are ready to port directly into your NLE.

Mini-discs move data in real time playback I believe! -->>>

Some do, some don't. I have a Sony MZ-NHF800 that will record in LPCM (or mp3 or Sony's ATRAC format if you prefer) and, with the software provided, you can access the players as a removable disk drive and copy files directly to the computer.

Good luck.

Dennis
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