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Old Wednesday 21st February 2018, 15:34   #1
Bryon Wright
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external microphone

Hi all, has anybody successfully used an external mike on a smartphone? Also has anybody enjoyed recording sounds on a Nokia 1020?
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Old Wednesday 21st February 2018, 16:30   #2
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There's some information here which looks useful.

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...n-a-smartphone

Looks like matching a mic to an Android phone could be a bit tricky?
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Old Sunday 25th February 2018, 11:34   #3
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Thanks for this link T.
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 20:55   #4
Steve Babbs
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I'd love to hear from somebody who has used this for bird recording: it would be an extremely useful tool on foreign birding trips.
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 13:53   #5
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I've successfully used a Sennheiser shotgun mic with a cel phone. However the mic is then several times the size of the cel phone and you notably lose some very useful features of a dedicated recorder - gain control, visual clipping indication, and prerecord buffering (where you put it in record-ready mode and then finally hit record just after the bird starts to sing without clipping the beginning of the song). As well of course the phones ADC circuitry is going to be inferior to most any dedicated recorder. Some of the features might be available in aftermarket recording apps, I've not looked into them. However I'd suggest if you're going to carry a shotgun mic you probably will have a sock on it and you might as well carry one of the small but very capable recorders. I'm personally a fan of the Sony PCM-M10 for intersection of features, quality, and size/weight. I've found that with good technique you can get just as good a recording without a pistol grip, though I personally like the shock mount that comes with the pistol grip, just used without the pistol grip. I'll post a photo of my setup to show you what I mean.

What I'm not aware of is a smaller mic than the Sennheiser ME 66 that is rugged and has a good amount of gain but is smaller. If you could get a smaller shotgun with good gain and good field ruggedness, and a decent quality sock to accompany it, that would be excellent. Might be out there, I certainly haven't investigated thoroughly.

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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 14:20   #6
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Scrap that, I'm not willing to transfer images from my phone to my computer then manually resize them just to upload them. I have the ME-66 with the K6 host, a pretty standard setup really for field recording and what almost everyone uses unless they have the ME-67 (higher gain but longer mic) or a parabola. Here's an explainer page on the Sennheiser mics:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora...ries-explained

A good windsock is pretty mandatory if you want any quality or useful recordings in many situations. The Rycote classic softie is the standard / best, but a smaller foam one can work as well.

I use just the isolating part of the pistol grip mount, something like this but with the mount part taken off so I just have a small tubular cage that I grab:

https://www.amazon.com/ASM1-isolatin...ic+shock+mount

That gets you basically the standard field setup on the mic side of it. The mounts and windsocks are the variable bits, but for a shotgun mic I can't think of ever having seen anyone using other than a Sennheiser ME-66 or ME-67.

Then you need an XLR to 3.5mm (1/8") microphone cable.

If you get all that, you might as well get a small lightweight dedicated recorder.

Last time I looked at smaller mic options, there really weren't any that I liked. The little "baby shotgun mics" for video cameras that I was able to find didn''t really have enough gain or quality for my desire for field recording. However this market is rapidly expanding and there may be new options. AFAIK the reigning kings for DSLR recordings are the Rode VideoMic Pro and the Sennheiser MKE-400. If you're willing to except 40% of the sensitivity of the ME-66 setup, and can get a good 3rd party recording application to do pre-recording, clip indication, and gain control on your specific cel phone, you could have a pretty slick small setup.
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Old Sunday 25th March 2018, 17:34   #7
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Hi all,
thanks for this information pbjosh.
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 19:31   #8
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I started experimenting doing some sound recordings with my smartphone recently since I don't really want to carry an additional piece of equipment, especially not on longer hikes. So far the results look (or rather sound) promising, although I'm still learning.

I use an app called "Field Recorder" on my Android phone (https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...nger.rec&hl=de). It's fairly complex but allows for a lot more control over the recordings than any other app I tried. I also use an external microphone that attaches to the earphone jack (MicW i266).

Like I said, I'm still learning how to use my setup but I'm rather hopeful it will be good enough to record any "strange" songs or calls next spring. It works definitely better than one of the usual recorder apps used in combination with one of the built-in microphones (although there are apperently pretty large differences between different phones as well).

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Old Saturday 1st December 2018, 14:51   #9
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Please do keep us informed. Does that microphone work with any Android phone? I remember reading somewhere that there were two types of headphone sockets and, at least, some microphones would only work in one.
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Old Saturday 1st December 2018, 15:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Babbs View Post
Please do keep us informed. Does that microphone work with any Android phone? I remember reading somewhere that there were two types of headphone sockets and, at least, some microphones would only work in one.
From what I know there are indeed two type of headphone sockets: Ones that work and ones that don't ... AFAIK all the phones with which you can use a "normal" headset, i.e. one that uses the headphone socket, should work. Such sockets have more contacts than "normal" headphone sockets. If you google "Andriod smartphone external microphone" you'll get a lot of more technical information. You might also want to check the websites of one of the large manufacturers of high-quality microphones, like Rode, for more information.

The microphone I got works flawlessly with both my Android phones (both Samsung).

There's also some information on the website of the programmer who wrote the app I mentioned in my first post, Dr. Hartmut Pfitzinger: http://pfitzingervoicedesign.com/index.html You'll have to use the Google translator though unless you can read German.

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Old Saturday 1st December 2018, 17:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjosh View Post
Last time I looked at smaller mic options, there really weren't any that I liked. The little "baby shotgun mics" for video cameras that I was able to find didn''t really have enough gain or quality for my desire for field recording. However this market is rapidly expanding and there may be new options. AFAIK the reigning kings for DSLR recordings are the Rode VideoMic Pro and the Sennheiser MKE-400. If you're willing to except 40% of the sensitivity of the ME-66 setup, and can get a good 3rd party recording application to do pre-recording, clip indication, and gain control on your specific cel phone, you could have a pretty slick small setup.
I tried the MKE-600 on a Nikon d850, but did not like the low gain. I have not used the MKE-400, but suspect it's no better than the MKE-600 for birds. It is 19 mV/Pa and 16 dB noise (both battery powered). I upgraded to the ME66/K6 which is 50 mV/Pa and 10 dB noise. I got the ME66/K6 at auction for $250 ($120 ME66, $130 K9) and it looks brand new and works well. I use the Sennheiser XLR/3.5mm cord.

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