After so many failed attempts at controlling the level input of the audio recording function on the iPhone with a portable solution, I decided to try alternative means to even see if this was possible. I KNEW it was, but I need to prove it to myself, and I did. Through the most ridiculous and impractical way possible, I was able to achieve a decent level of live recording, in an extremely loud environment known to some, in a death metal band rehearsal room.
If you’re still reading this, you must be interested in this, so here’s what I used to achieve this…
Behringer Xenyx502 Mixer
Shure Beta 58 Microphone
1/8″ to RCA Audio / Video cable (used with camcorders for TV output)
MONO RCA to 1/8″ Adapter
1/8″ to 1/4″ Adapter
On the iPhone, there are two way to import and record Audio. The Dock connector has Audio input, and utilized by the Blue Mikey, which can record in Stereo with the right mic and software, and the headphone jack. This silly ass set up will use the headphone jack.
The 1/8″ plug on the Audio / Video cable has 3 rings. Left / Right / and the yellow is Video. On the iPhone, the Yellow (or video) plug turns into your mic input. This is used for your Apple stock earbuds with using the telephone feature of the iPhone. Yes, it IS actually a phone too!
The Behringer Xenyx502 Mixer was purchased at Guitar Center about a year ago for about $50.00. It’s their low end, simple mixer. This mixer has 2 Main Out jacks, using 1/4″ plugs, so I needed to get the RCA to 1/4″. My local Radio Shack didn’t have this, so I needed to buy an RCA to 1/8″ Mono adapter. I already owned an Stereo 1/8″ to 1/4″ and that works fine, but if I were going to purchase this, I would have picked up a mono 1/8″ to 1/4″.
So, RCA to 1/8″ to 1/4″ to the Main Out Left port on the mixer. Simple right?
I use the Shure Beta 58 into the mixer, and the Audio / Video 1/8″ plug into the iPhone’s head phone port, and I’m then able to adjust the input level of the audio using the Main Mix dial.
Using the mixer also gave me control over the treble and bass of the input, and setting the Main Mix low, the audio input was acceptable!
The band was VERY loud, and the audio recorded as clear as could be in this situation. What made this method nice in the rehearsal room, was the Shure Beta 58 was on a microphone stand, and when panning the room with with video camera, the audio remained stationary, and consistent during the recording.
What have I learned… First, I’m an idiot with way too time on my hands. I also like to overt think and expect too much from my tech. Saying that, this is entirely possible. In a controlled environment, you can shoot nice video and decent audio of a loud band, or other extremely loud noise. This however does not work well for portability, and that’s what I really want here.
It works, really well. Now I need to find an ultra portable solution.