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How to Use the iPhone as a Recording System

You’ve already heard our take on the matter, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, or an iPhone 5/6, let’s give you a refresher – Apple has removed the headphone jack from their iPhone 7 series of smartphones. Pretty big deal, but also something that should not have you freaking out… This is a GOOD thing for the future of music quality coming from your AirBuds, or any other headphone of choice.

While it can also be frustrating if you stocked up on accessories contingent on the headphone jack, there are still plenty of options for those of you experimenting with (or well under way) mobile recording. We pooled together a list of our favorite brands, and the products they have in the market optimized to work seamlessly with the iPhone 7 using the lightning connector.

Anyhow – let’s get to the goods for those of you looking to take your mobile recording game up to a-levin:


LINE 6

Line 6 has singer-songwriters and guitar players in mind with these two Sonic Port devices. The two units we’re digging are:

Both units have inputs for guitars and give you a high quality headphone output, and these are one of the few products that give you a headphone output using the lighting port from the get-go. This will be a huge plus for iPhone 7 owners. Additionally, the Sonic Port VX have built-in stereo and mono-condenser microphones which is a cool feature for singer-songwriters or acoustic musicians.


FOCUSRITE

Another one of our iPhone 7-friendly favorites is the iTrack Pocket for iPhone from Focusrite. This has a built-in stereo microphone and allows you to easily upload your files to YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud. This functionality makes it easy to record and share performances on-the-go.


APOGEE

Professional recording engineers or producers will be interested in the recording studio equipment from Apogee as they boast some of the most professional quality in a portable format. It’s one of the most popular brands in the industry – and while it carries a higher price tag, we’ve always found the quality to be very much worth it.

  • Apogee ONE for iOS – Professional quality conversion in a mobile device. The Apogee ONE enables two simultaneous inputs to be recorded – instrument and microphone (either from the built-in microphone or an external one). It can run on battery mode for field recording, or off of wall power. If it runs off wall power, it will simultaneously charge your iPhone when plugged in. This is your solution to be able to charge your phone and still listen to music. Incredible quality for the portability and size. Packs BIG studio sound in your pocket.
  • Apogee Duet – Ideal for professional high-def recording, this portable audio interface features 192khz and 24 bit HD A/D D/A conversion. It has two built-in microphone preamps, and is the step up from the Apogee ONE.
  • Apogee Quartet – This audio interface features the same technology as the Duet, but with 4 analog inputs/preamplifiers and 6 analog outputs – there are also optical inputs available. This is for serious mobile recording and multi-tracking.


IK MULTIMEDIA

This brand offers more consumable and easy-to-use products – they’re perfect for the novice or hobbyist who doesn’t want to break the bank but wants to record on-the-go. Here are some of our top recommendations:

  • iRig Pro Duo – Two channel interface with 2 preamps
  • iRig HD 2 – Ideal for lightning-to-iPhone, has an 1/8” headphone adaptor, ¼” instrument input and ¼” amplifier output so you can run your guitar output from the interface to your guitar amplifier. This is a great piece of audio equipment for reporters and podcasters.
  • iRig Mic Studio – Super compact large diaphragm digital condenser microphone. Connects via lightning connector.
  • iRig Midi 2 – Lightning-connected MIDI interface for iOS.


As mobile recording and recording-on-the-go become more and more prevalent, brands are going to continue to invest in this type of technology. We’re living in the golden age of mobile, so hopefully these products are either already in your repertoire, or help lead you in the right direction.

The changing landscape of technology should never be a hurdle or stand in your way, so anything that we can do at Chucks to help point you in the right direction, we’re more than happy to. Give us a call (301.946.8808), shoot us an email so we can get your equipment set up at lightning speed today.