All geared up

Lots of girls like their accessories. My preferred accessories just happen to be microphones and tripods rather than necklaces and rings. Ever since I started delving more into multimedia, I’ve been having a lot of fun figuring out the gear and equipment needed in multimedia. (Of course, let it be known that I have almost no money for all the gorgeous gear I’m drooling over, but that’s a different story).

But, as I’m learning and exploring more with multimedia, there have been times when I’m utterly confused about gear or unsure as to what the best type of microphone or camera would be the best for certain situations. Luckily, I’ve had some great professors and fellow journalists who have been great about giving advice and helping a girl out. So, in the spirit of passing it forward, I thought I would write a few posts on my favorite gear or the different things I’ve tried and how they’ve worked.

One of the first tools I started using when I began working on multimedia was at the suggestion of one of my professors. When I started playing around with audio recording, one of my professors suggested I download iRig Recorder. iRig allows you to record uncompressed audio through your iPhone. Normally, the recorder feature on an iPhone will compress audio in order to prevent people from recording and selling music from concerts and other events. Compressed audio usually sounds awful and is awful to edit.

iRig has two versions — one that’s free and another for $7.99. I would recommend spending the money for the paid version. It has been the best $8 I’ve spent. The app is downloaded directly to your iPhone and allows you to record quality uncompressed audio. While it’s not quite as powerful as the professional gear, it’s almost as good as a Zoom recorder (unfortunately iRig only records in mono, not stereo).

The app also allows you to sync a SoundCloud account to upload the audio. Audio can also be shared through email, iTunes File Sharing and several other ways. I linked my SoundCloud account and it’s worked seamlessly.

The app also has links to the store and accessories. One of my favorites (and next purchase) is the iRig lavalier mic. The mic plugs into the headphone jack and can clip to a shirt or collar. The mic could also be used for video recording. One mic is available for $49.99 or two for $79.99. Unfortunately, you can’t wear headphones and use the mic at the same time, but it’s a tradeoff for better audio.

I’ve been using iRig for about a year now in a number of different interviews and nat sound situations. So far, I’ve had good experiences, and it’s definitely my number one recommendation for both starting and seasoned journalists. It might not replace professional equipment, but it’s a great way to ensure you always have an audio recorder in your pocket.

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