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Author Topic: Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6  (Read 347 times)

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Offline sparko

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Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6
« on: August 26, 2019, 03:22:36 PM »
As the iphone question pops up on a regular basis, I'd like to tell what I experienced with using my iPhone as a recorder over the past almost 2 years and about 35 shows.

(all for Lightning connector, so can be used with any ipod, iphone, ipad offering one)


There are two devices available at reasonable price to attach mics to your iphone.

Zoom IQ6 - modified by Soundman
(160€)
This was a stereo microphone for Lightning devices, Soundman pulls the capsules out and puts a 3.5 jack in.

Pros:
Works out of the box
Input leveling at the device via wheel from 0-10
3 peak LEDs

Cons:
Bulky
not suitable with too thick phone cases
might be pulled of easily when in a pocket



Rode SC6-L
standalone: 80€
(Rode offers a bundle with lavalier mics for 150-180€)
Soundman bundle with adapter cable 100€

This device carries two TRRS jacks, for which you need an adapter to use most mics.

Pros:
flat, easy to carry in small bags and pockets,
sits tight in the lightning port,
quality built - very thick and good cable
phones jack for monitoring

Cons:
no input leveling
no indicator
need an extra cable - adds another risk of failure

I used both with 2 different apps:
Voice Record Pro, which is free and gives a wide range of formats and settings and additional input leveling inside the app. Recognizes both devices: Rode with its name, the zoom as "Audio control" (when plugged in after opening the app).
Alon Dictaphone in both free and paid version. The paid one offers more format settings and input leveling. Unfortunately no numbers given on the level lines, so it's a lot guessing. No that much of settings possible.

The adapter cables offered by Soundman are - sorry - crap. These are so tiny, thin and low quality, 3 out of 4 broke, when I just pulled them out of the bag. I did not find a suitable splitter (TRS to 2xTRRS) so I asked a sound engineer I know, he built me a very solid one for 50€. Do not use the Soundman ones. I traded several back and forth and finally gave up and got my money back for the adapter.

What I found out after a year of testing the Rode on 20+ shows, you can only pull a decent recording when:

- you record an easy acoustic show with no loud PA - or anything from ambient sounds, campfire chats or speeches to all day noises
- you set the input level to -15 or lower (which can be a pain in the ass when trying to pull up later)

Else: you get crackling

One concert I recorded with the same app (VRP), same level peak, one with the Zoom, the other with the Rode. Rode has crackles, Zoom doesn't. The Mics take everything perfectly, the sound is still awesome (new Soundman Rock Studio with Sennheiser and 142db tolerance), but there's crackles like when playing a vinyl with some dust. The louder the music - the more the crackling. Quiet parts are usually crackle free. No difference adding a battery pack - the iphone offers enough power for mics.
Zoom recorded an absolute decent and clear sound, while the Rode makes crackling. And you can hear, it does not come from the music, the PA, the mics, it is like added to the file out of nowhere.

So for rock shows, I highly recommend the zoom device. The Rode is not very useful. Another taper I know (he is here too, maybe he tells his part) also has crackles with the Rode.
I am very disappointed by that device and really regret spending so much time and money in testing and getting it to work. I will switch back to the Zoom for now and probably even go back to a very smallish handheld.

It really sucks kind of, as there is no background noise or whatever in the recordings (goes for both devices) and the Rode is pretty much better to handle (plugs in tighter) and better to carry in your pocket.

I added some photos for you to see what you need and how it looks. Pictured is the handmade high quality cable I got made, on an iphone XS and it shows the Voice Record Pro app.


Offline justme

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Re: Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 03:40:56 PM »
Thank you very much for you review and thoughts.
I've look at both of them and this gave me a lot to think about!


Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 05:29:00 PM »
There’s a few other low cost interfaces including sonicport and sennheiser ambeo headset
in:
small: MK4/4V > CMR > V3 or J.Williams Mod MicMan Jr or no pre at all >AD2K/R07/PCM-A10/Oade Warm 661/DR100-MKIII

smaller: 4061/4099 CORE or 4011/4018V> d:vice MMA



out:
home:Benchmark DAC1 HGC > Dynaudio BM15A active monitors
shop: Musical Fidelity VLink 192 Asynchronyous> coax> DAC1 > Rokit RP8 active monitors

Offline sparko

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Re: Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 06:15:03 PM »
There’s a few other low cost interfaces including sonicport and sennheiser ambeo headset

That Sonicport is bigger than the phone (most of us try using the phone to avoid big devices) and according to some reviews I flipped thru, the headset is not really for people who want a decent sound from a loud concert. That's not what it was built for.  Plus - if you already have nice mics like OKM, you surely prefer using them.

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 05:53:33 AM »
That Sonicport is bigger than the phone (most of us try using the phone to avoid big devices) and according to some reviews I flipped thru, the headset is not really for people who want a decent sound from a loud concert. That's not what it was built for.  Plus - if you already have nice mics like OKM, you surely prefer using them.

well your criteria was cheap, not smallest or highest quality.
otherwise youd be remiss to not mention the d:vice which is the smallest/highest quality solution out there

ambeo is on the same level as the rode for sure, possibly better. ive recorded moderately loud shows with it


in:
small: MK4/4V > CMR > V3 or J.Williams Mod MicMan Jr or no pre at all >AD2K/R07/PCM-A10/Oade Warm 661/DR100-MKIII

smaller: 4061/4099 CORE or 4011/4018V> d:vice MMA



out:
home:Benchmark DAC1 HGC > Dynaudio BM15A active monitors
shop: Musical Fidelity VLink 192 Asynchronyous> coax> DAC1 > Rokit RP8 active monitors

Offline sparko

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Re: Recording with iPhone and Rode SC6-L and Zoom IQ6
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 03:01:02 PM »
When you read my opening post, you actually read, that I find the Zoom device too bulky, it's obviously smaller than the sonic port and that I'd prefer the flat and small dimensions of the Rode. I did not say CHEAP but reasonable price (the Zoom is twice the Rode/Sonicport) like - worth to spend on without being overpriced (like a whole monthly income for that one thingy) for its quite simple function - connecting mics to an iphone.

I switched to my phone 2 years ago after using Dr-07 and DR2D for a few years. All available here has been the Zoom back then. Then Rode put out that thing last year.
I do not need anything I can amplify guitars with that is bigger than a recorder, why should I buy that?
I do not need a (shiny bright for everyone to see) headset when I already have good mics, why should I buy that?
I know about that ridicously high priced d:vice and I am not really interested in spending a whole monthly income on such a simple and tiny "connector" that I'm looking for (and many others are, that probably want to start taping with their phone before spending a fortune on recorders and other stuff).

I am telling you what I experienced with these two devices, which are the 2 ones, that actually have exactly that ONE function to connect existing mics to an iPhone, that are available widely or easily for a pretty ok'ish price to use with whatever recording app one might prefer.

I bought the Zoom because I wanted to use my phone. I bought the Rode because it promised to be easier to handle and smaller than the zoom. I am not here to buy any and each available device to test them for others. And these devices are probably the ones, people stumble upon, when looking for a way to user their iPhone. Especially because Soundman offers them in bundle packs with mics and people might turn to them easier than to other solutions.

But sorry for posting my review, I will shut up now and you might want to delete that obviously totally useless topic.

 

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