Okay, this is what I was waiting for...
Entries in iphone (4)
Hello from Nerdville;
NOTE: George tested the iXZ with an iPod Touch with good results, but it's lousy with the iPhone.
Check out this WAV file (to download to your desktop)
OR this MP3 (this one will stream in your browser)
After the line by line comparision, you will hear the complete reads all the way through..... 1: 416 2: Tascam iM2 3: iphone built in mic. I am favorably impressed.
I set the volume almost wide open......with the limiter on the iM2 switched off. I worked it about 5 inches away to the side, at about a 75 degree angle, to minimize plosives and wind. I have ordered an extension cable, so that I will be able to read a script off the iPhone while recording.
You really have to be careful to hold the mic very still....it is very sensitive to movement and wind. Note: switch the iphone to "airplane mode" or you may pick up some RF noise, and be disturbed by notifications.
In either case, iPhone or iPad, you can start recording and multi-task.......that is, switch to the email client.....by double clicking the home button, and selecting the email icon. Twisted Wave will continue recording in the background with no problem, and will indicate this by the red bar notification at the top of the screen. You then return to TW at the end of your read by double clicking on the home button and selecting the TW icon.
You will not want to try to narrate a documentary with this, but certainly for tags and short promos.......it's not bad at all. And it may save your client's bacon when you are nowhere near a studio and they have an emergency. I had equally good results on the original iPad.
There are a couple of other interfaces in the pipeline that will allow us to use the 416 in the field with iOS ......but the ship dates keep getting pushed back.
In the meantime, for 80 bucks, and something that is truly pocketable, this is not bad at all.
My readers and clients know how I feel about Pro Tools in the context of a voiceover actor's home studio. However, some of us still use Pro Tools because we do production and find it the best tool for the job. Others producing audio books find it's the best workflow for them. Whatever the case, if you use Pro Tools on your workstation, I don't recommend connecting an iPhone to it.
Many who have used Pro Tools for a while have experienced the dread after Mac OS has automatically updated and created problems. It's not a situation anyone wants to have. You walk into your studio in the morning, click the Pro Tools icon, and nothing happens. Pro Tools is extremely sensitive to the version of Mac OS running on your system. Unfortunately, so are iOS devices.
If you like to have the latest and greatest iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch device or iOS version from Apple, you'll find yourself in a situation where you need to upgrade several elements of your system to handle them. First you'll need to run the latest iTunes version available. This may require that you upgrade the OS to handle that request, which puts you in a bad situation. This also holds true for Apple's latest creation, iCloud.
iCloud attempts to keep all of your documents in sync between your different Macs and iOS devices. Like everything new that comes from Apple, they require that ALL of your devices have the latest OS running on them. iCloud seems great in concept, but it is a closed system that has many limitations, especially if you have any devices you want to sync that are not from Apple. It's sure to get better, but for now it's frustratingly simplified (in my opinion).
Consider a more flexible system such as Sugarsync, which I've used very successfully for over three years to keep my entire business in sync. I've yet to have it interfere with any software I use, and it works on Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and others. You can choose any folders on any of your systems you want to sync or share with friends or coworkers, which is very handy if you have an assistant handling some of your tasks!
The Tascam iXZ just popped up on my radar.
I don't usually buy new gadgets for which I haven't read a review previously, but at $50 I couldn't resist. So I figured why not be the first to review this affordable audio interface and see how well it works?
It seems that recording professional audio into an iPhone was never part of Steve Job's master plan.
While we wait for the ultimate audio interface that connects to the iPhone via the dock connector with a digital signal, other products some to be coming along to fill the gap. The Tascam iXZ is the first one I've seen that really boils the features down to the basics in a very portable package, while still accepting a phantom powered studio condenser microphone.
The iXZ's multifunction XLR/phono combo jack will allow connection to a standard 3 pin XLR mic cable, or to a 1/4" guitar cable. It provides 48V phantom power at up to 5ma, enough for many modern mics. I metered the XLR connector and sure enough there's about 46V DC with a fresh pair of AA alkaline batteries. It's enough to power my Audio Technica AT3035 microphone with appearant ease. There's a variable input gain control dial, which isn't calibrated. It also has an 1/8" mini headphone jack for playback purposes. Sadly, it doesn't provide a "Zero latency monitoring" function to listen to the mic in your headphones while recording.
The iXZ does not come with any software, which is just fine with me. I'd much rather not waste time with some inappropriate for VO bundled application. Buy TwistedWave from the app store for $10, plug in the iZX into the headphone jack, plug in your mic, power it on, engage phantom power, hit record, set your levels, and you're recording. TwistedWave is incredibly feature reach for an iOS app, even providing the ability to process the audio through effects and FTP files. It can also deliver MP3's via their own server, a necessary workaround since Apple won't permit encoding to MP3 on an iOS device.
But does it work?
That depends on what you want to use it for. If your intention is to replace your Macbook or other laptop and audio interface with this unit for all of your work, I wouldn't go that far. Take a listen the this recorded sample using an Audio Technica AT3035 studio condenser mic and judge for yourself. CLICK TO PLAY
It's definitely quite useable for making an audition happen while traveling. And with proper noise gate settings, you might even pull off a job here and there in a pinch. Here's the first segment of the previous audio sample after processed with a noise gate in TwistedWave. CLICK TO PLAY
NOTE: Beau Weaver tested with an iPhone and DID NOT get the same results we did with the iPod Touch! The audio quality differed. In his audio test he records first with his home studio system, next with his Sennheiser 416 into the iXZ, then with the iPhone mic. LISTEN TO HIS TEST
I did test it with my T-Mobile MyTouch 4G phone, and it DOES work. However, my phone's recording quality was no where as good as the iPod Touch's. A good deal of the recording quality is thanks to the iPod itself.
To summarize, here's a Pros and Cons list.
- Cheap, only slightly more than an XLR adapter cable to connect a dynamic mic
- Very compact and light
- 15 hrs on a pair of AA batteries when using phantom powered mics
- Works better than the price would imply
- Will work with an Android phone, as well as most all Apple iOS devices
- A tad bit noisy (no worse than a Blue Snowball)
- No "zero latency monitoring" for headphones while recording
- Connects to analog line input instead of digital dock connector
- Very short cable to connect to device, making it hard to read a script from your phone while holding it