Simply Tech : Audio Enhancement for Your Videos
Travelling can be cumbersome at the best of times, but with extra add-on costs for luggage, etc., it’s no wonder people want to travel lighter and are leaving their bulky video cameras at home. And with smartphones, like the Apple iPhone 7 with Google Pixel that’s capable of shooting 4K or Ultra HD video, capturing video has never been so easy.
It’s hard to dispute the quality of the image, but what often suffers is the accompanying audio. While there’s a microphone on the phone, there’s often too much distance between you and what you’re recording, so ambient noise is also picked up. Think about the following scenarios. You’re at a noisy airport trying to record a family send-off, or you’re at the beach trying to capture your grandchildren playing in the waves. Their little voices are going to be muffled by the sounds of the wind and the water.
There’s a low-cost solution for this problem, and the answer is the iRig Mic Lav by IK Multimedia. It’s a highquality omnidirectional condenser lavalier (lav) microphone that clips on to your clothing and plugs directly into the headset of your smartphone. The mic comes with a fully adjustable mounting clip to ensure that it’s positioned in the right place, along with a foam windshield to filter out noise from the elements.
With a lav mic, the audio pick-up is always just a few inches from your mouth. With a five-foot-long cable, you can use iRig Mic Lav to record from a distance, or even if you’re shooting a selfie.
The iRig Mic Lav’s mic cable has a dual-purpose jack. It allows you to monitor what’s passing through the mic and daisy chain, along with an additional mic if you want to record two people – features you wouldn’t expect on a typical lav mic.
The first feature allows you to plug in a pair of earbuds or headphones, so that whoever is standing behind the camera can hear exactly what’s passing through the mic. Not only will they see what’s being recorded, but they can hear it as well. If the background noise is still too loud due to the level of the person’s voice, you can reposition the shot to accommodate the surrounding environment.
The second feature is handy if you have more than one iRig Mic Lav. Toggle the switch on the jack of the first mic to ‘input’, and you can connect them together and route the sound from both mics to your phone. This is ideal when you’re recording an interview, or a conversation with more than one person.
The iRig Mic Lav offers broadcast-quality recording, so musicians, presenters, podcasters and videographers can use it for professional applications.
Available through retailers like Staples, Best Buy and The Source, the iRig Mic Lav sells for approximately $60, and is also available in a twopack bundle for around $100. It comes with a zip-up carry case, and can be slipped into a pocket or purse.
In order to enhance the audio quality of your holiday videos, and when you’re recording messages to the kids and grandkids, it’s a handy gadget to have.
Greg Gazin (a.k.a The Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg) is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), speaker and author. He also contributes to Canoe.com, G4TV Canada and Troy Media. GadgetGuy.ca