Mic for phone recommendations

Hello podcasters

Next year I’m hoping to grab interviews at conferences and trade events, which will mean recording on a phone rather than lugging a laptop around.

What are some good microphones to plug into a phone for good recording quality? Also, are brand-specific mics (i.e. Android/iPhone ports) better than mics that fit 3.5mm jacks?

I got pieces.

I’ve been able to make presentable recordings using both VoiceMemo and MusicMemo on an iPhone/iPod. I see by the TV news coverage, that’s a popular way to go. Lots of people pointing their iPhones at Senator What’s-His-Name.

VoiceMemo isn’t theatrical. It has environment and noise cancellation and the voice quality is slightly speakerphone.

MusicMemo is a free download and has no processing. It should be possible to read for an AudioBook with that in a quiet room. It’s your job to juggle between them depending on the environment.

Whatever you pick, interview your neighbor about the wonderful things he’s been able to do with the dandelion crop this year before you go out and interview the Governor of the state. Transfer between an iPhone and anything else can be a challenge, too. Make sure you know how to do the whole pathway through to a completed podcast segment.

This American Life people discovered a while back that you could use a long shotgun microphone hand-held and produce terrific recordings in difficult conditions. Everybody does it that way now.

Depending on how they do it, he’s holding $800 usd right there, not counting the recorder.

I don’t have any good hands-on with this one, so I’ll be watching the thread.


This is partially a joke picture, but that is a working Shure FP33 field mixer. It fits on your hip.

The headphones are crappy, but the microphone on the right is not. That’s a news gathering Beyer M58.

The old owner of that mixer bought a different one with a built-in recorder. I can figure out how he did it.

The joke is you can tell a successful device. There’s no paint left and you can’t read the knobs any more. I would let you hold it, but it’s out on a shoot right now.

I don’t know anybody doing this with an iPhone. I’ll have to put the word out.


I found the voice test I did. This is MusicMemo and an iPod. Oh and a tripod. And a quiet room.

There’s something slightly off with it but I haven’t cranked it up again to see what the problem is.




I recorded a section using Recorder+ on iPhone recently, but the quality was pretty rough even in a good recording space, so I don’t have high hopes for it in a hotel lobby or similar.

Echoey, noisy, marble floor hotel lobby is aggressively hostile to good recording. That’s when you whip out your shotgun microphone. By the way, that’s a cousin to trying to record in a hardwood floor, bare wall, modern living room.

Given any thought to recording in a restaurant? Pick one without background music. Copyright issues, past trying to cut around musical phrases. The movie people rent the restaurant and turn off the music.

Post back if you get something to work.


Don’t forget the dead cat. That’s the cover you put over your shotgun to help with wind problems.

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I have a degree in depressing/wet-blanket, so don’t let me turn you off to the idea. It is possible to do those, but there is a learning curve . Nobody I know went out in the field the first time and came back with a perfect recording.

I’m not above new tricks, either. I was eating a nice burger here (click the image)
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And saw the guy at the next table conducting an interview. (!!) What’s wrong with this picture?

I went over when he was done and asked him how he did it and he told me.

That’s not trick photography. The restaurant is in the approach path of LAX 24R.


I see a new manufacturing/marketing opportunity here.

An iPhone sized Dead Cat… Dead Kitten?

I’ve seen an iPhone with a fuzzy top. Can’t remember where. Half the fun with an iPhone is multiple microphones. Research project which one is active during a recording.

Could be home-made and that bring up another problem. There was a posting from someone who made their own dead cat. After extensive research and fact-finding, the material was only available from a fabric store in Austin, TX—and it was discontinued.

Roll credits, closing theme.


I’ve seen BBC news reporters with “dead baby kittens” on their Lavaliers :sunglasses:


I’ve seen BBC news reporters with “dead baby kittens” on their Lavaliers

There’s a metaphor that doesn’t gracefully extend.

In bad WX, newsies here drag out the hand-held big guns with waterproof foam shields. Of course if your goal is to interview another human, that’s pretty much the only game in town.