Let’s Talk Tech: Cellphone Microphones

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This week we discuss the one item we all use every day…our cellphone – specifically shooting video with cellphones. Our cellphones have replaced the big bulky home video cameras that our parents used to use all the time. I am sure you can remember the faded film and broken reels of yesteryear. Now, we shoot clear, good quality HD, and in some cases, ultra HD video from our phones.  But a question I hear from fellow parents is, “How can I make my videos better?”  This week we’ll scratch the surface of that question.  

The number one way to improve your video is…audio. I know it may sound weird, but people will scroll past, change the channel, or turn to the next video if your audio is bad.  With that in mind, the microphones that are built into your phone are okay for phone calls, but not really made for capturing high quality audio. The best way of doing that is to add a microphone. 

But what microphone should you choose?

In my opinion, the easiest and most versatile mics are the Rode VideoMic Me (for Android) and Rode VideoMic Me-L (for iPhone).  This is from first-hand experience, as I have recorded entire interviews using this little set up.

What’s in the box?

There is not much here. You get the mic, fuzzy windscreen, and a mic clip to hold the mic in place.  The windscreen is particularly helpful – thank you, ever present Kansas wind.  You can use it inside without the windscreen, but in most cases I just leave it on. 

Positives:  These mics are really plug and play. Your phone will automatically recognize the mic when you plug it in. You can use these mics with any standard audio app to record video or audio, and they will drastically improve the sound of your video.

Negatives:  The mic costs between 60-80 dollars depending on which one you need, and the mic does add bulk to your phone.  You will definitely get looked at and people will ask you, “What’s that thing attached to your phone?”   But, from an overall presentation standpoint, your videos are about to take a big jump forward.  

Next week we’ll keep heading down the road to better video by taking a look at the audio apps my colleagues and I use everyday.  If you have any questions or would like to suggest some tech for us to look at, feel free to message me at Nathanael.Tacey@ksnt.com

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