Record audio at 48 kHz on an iPad from a digital source? Yes!
FiRe 2 - Field Recorder is an almost perfect app for iOS
By Allan Tépper | June 15, 2012
As of the publication date of this article, unfortunately none of the video apps I’ve tested on an iPad records at the proper audio-for-video standard of 48 kHz (kiloHertz). Apple still needs to get its act in gear with iMovie for iPad. Avid Studio for iPad and FiLMIC PRO, you too! It really “Hertz” me that all three of you are inappropriately recording audio-for-video at 44.1 kHz. But I am happy to report that we have found and tested an iOS audio app that records perfectly on an iPad from a digital source at 48 kHz, either AIFF or WAVE. Our tests have been with the Audio Technica AT2005USB, a hybrid mic covered in two other articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine and in a recent ebook I published. In this article, I’ll tell you everything I like, and the only thing I’d like added to this <US$6 app.
Features in FiRe 2 - Field Recorder
- Works perfectly with the Audio Technica AT2500USB hybrid mic (which I’ve reviewed here in ProVideo Coalition magazine) at 48 kHz
- Can export to your DropBox account or to SoundFire (details about that ahead)
- Equalization and dynamics (compression/expansion)
- Noise gate
- Editing (we didn’t test)
Tests with Memo Sauceda
At least for now, we aren’t really concerned about the inboard editing. Memo Sauceda, renowned voice talent and actor with multiple Emmy awards, has now been using his new AT2005USB hybrid mic both in the field and in his studio for a couple of weeks. In the field, he has connected it to his iPad using its USB (digital) output via the Apple Camera Connection Kit. Memo liked the equalization that he could use while recording. He was able to record directly to WAVE at 48 kHz and send the uncompressed file to Dropbox. In addition, he was able to send files to SoundCloud to facilitate quick approvals from clients. (SoundCloud converts the file to 44.1 kHz for use in its online player.)
What’s missing (but coming soon) in FiRe 2 - Field Recorder
As of the current (palindromic) version 2.1.2, FiRe 2 - Field Recorder can only record 48 kHz, and considering that it is an audio app (not a video app), it would be better to give the user the option to record either 44.1 or 48 kHz. In addition, from a mic like the AT2005USB, FiRe 2 - Field Recorder can only record stereo. I have contacted the developer audiofile engineering, llc. (which writes its name in all lower case), and they promise to add these two features in the upcoming version.
Why record mono?
If you are recording from a single microphone, there are at least four important advantages to record in mono (monophonic) instead of stereo:
- The file will weigh half of what it would have in your own computer, which saves space.
- When sending it via Internet, it will weigh half and it will arrive to the destination faster. If you have a data plan that is not unlimited (or the charge you for bandwidth) it's a way of economizing without sacrificing quality. If you are using DropBox, it will take half the space.
- Sometimes when the people record stereo using some interfaces, it ends up with an empty channel. That empty channel can contain noise and can cause some editing programs to interpret it as stereo. In that case, the operator/editor would have to eliminate that channel manually.
- It doesn't matter that the final product will be stereo: the original recording of your voice can -and should- be mono if it comes from a single microphone. During the editing (if esthetically appropriate), your mono voice will end up on both sides (right and left) of the stereophonic image.
FiRe 2 - Field Recorder is available from Apple’s iOS App Store for US$5.99 or a similar amount in your currency in the Apple iOS App Store that handles your region. For more info, visit the developer’s website here.
Related new ebook
I have just published a related ebook in two languages.
The format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- At Amazon.com (for the USA, Caribbean, and Latin America)
- Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)
- Amazon.de (Germany)
- Amazon.es (Spain, pero a lo mejor lo prefieres en castellano, a continuación)
- Amazon.fr (France)
- Amazon.it (Italy)
As I write this, the English version is only in these Amazon stores. If you are in another region, you may search for ASIN number B008BI1OIU in the Amazon that handles your area, or try via one of the other close regional stores listed.
En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
- Amazon.com (Estados Unidos, el Caribe y Latinoam©rica)
- Amazon.co.uk (Reino Unido)
- Amazon.de (Alemania)
- Amazon.es (España)
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
- Amazon.it (Italia)
A la hora que redacto esto, está disponible en esas tiendas Amazon. Si estás en alguna otra región, puedes buscar el número ASIN B008ACUDJI en la tienda que atienda tu área para ver si ya está disponible. De lo contrario, puedes intentar comprar vía alguna otra cercana de las listadas.
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- 1st handheld dynamic microphones with hybrid XLR/USB/iPad connectivity from Audio Technica
- Part 2: Hybrid XLR/USB/iPad mics that rival expensive studio mics
Allan T©pper's books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan T©pper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka "Spanish") and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC's rules
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan T©pper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted T©pper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan T©pper review units. Audio Technica sent Allan T©pper an AT2005USB for permanent evaluation. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
Copyright and use of this article
The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan T©pper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!
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