Which is preferable for recording - tablet or iphone?

I’m using Audacity 2.1.2 and I used the .exe installer. I’ve been using my old Samsung T3 tablet to record myself and students in the classroom and on excursions but the audio quality is pretty bad, no matter how I try to correct it in Audacity. I do want to use something mobile and lightweight that I can carry with me and move from classroom to classroom, as well as outside, that will also film. The audio is critical because I teach ESL and, if there’s too much interference, it can detract from clarity. I’ve heard that iphones have pretty good audio quality. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Well, so far I have made good use of VoiceMemo which is the built-in voice recording app. My personal sound recorder failed and the only thing to hand was the iPhone. Actually, I have a current model iPod. iPhone without the dial tone.

I parked it in the middle of two people and turned it on. It worked very well and I got a good information recording, but nobody would mistake it for a theatrical production. It runs with full echo and environment cancellation and voice processing.

Scene shifts to an iTunes Store Download called MusicMemo. This has no processing and I’m still getting used to it. I suspect I can read for high quality AudioBooks with MusicMemo, a quiet room and very little else.

I have made video recordings with this thing and I didn’t like it for the wrong reasons. Many of the New User tools are built-in and I need to find out if I can turn them off. For example, I photographed a dramatically illuminated scene with dark corners and spotlights. The camera boosted the black levels and turned it into a grade-school gymnasium. I tried to do dramatic camera movements and “swish-pan” mechanical effects and the camera did its very best to smooth everything out and ruin the effect.

I’m perfectly clear all of these tools are valuable for a New User with no tripod. I’m not done investigating.

I also didn’t pay any attention to the video sound. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was somewhere between the two memo qualities. There’s a reason that the iPhone still camera actively looks for people’s faces. That’s what 90% of people want in the shot. So it would shock exactly nobody if the sound did the same thing.

Depending on your production, what you’re supposed to do is mic the performer separately and not depend on the camera sound. meld the sound with the picture in post production.

There was a recent musician YouTube posting who switched between camera sound and dedicated sound recorder in the middle of a sentence to show the startling increase in quality you get when you do it that way.

I’m still messing with it, but if somebody forced me to shoot live video, I’d be tempted to place a lavalier (tie-tack) microphone on the actor plugged into a tiny recorder in their pocket. Stuff the wires under their shirt.

I know what ASL is. What’s ESL?


Thanks so much for your response, Koz. ESL is English as a Second Language so I teach people who are learning to speak English. That’s why the audio needs to be crisp and sharp. They need to be able to hear me and themselves clearly on playback so they can detect the difference between correct and incorrect pronunciation. Actually I have been using a Rode Lav+ mike - everyone recommends it - easy to clip on and switch around to different people. The internal mike on the tablet is pretty basic but, even with a good quality mike, the audio is pretty bad.

You’re getting dangerously out of my comfort zone. I need to look up your microphone and see how to make it happy. In general microphones don’t “sound bad,” but you can have terrible environments. You can also have the recorder trying to “help you” and have the help seriously miss the mark. I need to drop out for a bit.


Cool. So that would be one of these?
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Unless you stop it, Windows will try to apply voice processing, echo cancellation and environment suppression to your recording. If you have a lot of echo and noise in the room, the recording can sound like a bad cellphone. This can be a serious problem because people “tune out” noise. Nobody realizes how insanely noisy their environment is until they try to make a clean recording.

“Who knew a street sweeping machine could make so much noise.”




See if you have any of those services selected and try recording voice with them off.

If you open a recording in Audacity, do any part of the blue waves go all the way up to 1.0 (and down to -1.0)? That’s overload from high volume and that will destroy a recording with no possibility of rescue.

You have the Recording Sour Spot. The requirement is to make quiet, clear, undistorted voice recordings with convenient, portable equipment in uncontrolled conditions.

Let us know if you get that to work. There are valuable prizes waiting for you.

– You can achieve pieces of that, but not all at the same time. As I think you already found, you can make distorted voice recordings in full cellphone mode with good convenience and portability.

– You can make good, quiet, clear recordings anywhere you wish like this.

That’s a shotgun microphone. Broadcast and some podcast people do that → $$$.

– You can use almost any microphone you wish and any recorder you wish at any time in a soundproofed studio (that’s a Hollywood soundstage, but you get the point. Exact same problem.).
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Assuming the microphone is usable in an iPad or an iPhone (it should say so), what APP were you planning on using? I don’t think Audacity will run on either one.


Thanks so much Koz!! Much to consider there and I really appreciate your advice. It’s a steep learning curve. I’ll have a closer look at your advice and see what works, All the best, Paulette

I’d start with the Windows tools. That may be all you need.

Do post back when you get something you like. It is a forum, not a help desk.


Koz, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an iphone after all. The audio has been such a drama with the tablet for so long and everyone I’ve spoken to claims audio is brilliant on iphones. I can also monitor audio while filming using an app called Filmic Pro which is pretty cheap. Thanks again for your generous feedback, Paulette

There is a cousin forum message where I recorded a story using an iPod. I would expect the iPhone to work as well.


You should know the microphone is on the camera (back) side of the iPod. I recorded a test where I turned the unit around and prevailing wisdom is correct, this trick only works when the screen is facing away from you.

Please note this recording is also an illustration of my last reading condition: My third bedroom is soundproofed; you can do anything you want in a studio.