Having the proper equipment when conducting interviews or any discussion is, of course, essential. With a proper recorder, you can easily gather the necessary data and refer back to it anytime and anywhere. You could also turn these recordings into transcripts using a free transcription service to help you analyze the data even further and utilize it in various fields such as journalism and media. But what if you do not have a recorder? Or let’s say, you do have a recorder, but an opportunity presented itself at such an unexpected time and place and you need to record right away? Then your mobile phone is the next best thing!
Now, we all know that mobile phones don’t have the most amazing built-in microphones and are not suited for professional recording. However, you can still make it work and you can still come up with a good recording if you know what to do.
How can you record better audio on your mobile phone?
Turn on the airplane mode
First and foremost, you better turn on your airplane mode. A lot of times audio recordings from mobile phones are ruined because a text message came through or a messenger notification chimed in. You do not want these things to ruin your chance of recording accurate information or mess up the audio-to-text conversion process.
Use a scotch tape
This sounds a little unorthodox but it’s a helpful trick that can cut down distortion in your audio recordings. Simply put a small tape over the microphone holes on your phone to help reduce the number of sounds that can enter the mic. With this, you can come up with better audio. This is also a fast and convenient trick when you need to record spontaneously in a busy and noisy environment such as a street, a coffee shop, and more.
Use handy apps
It’s wise to make use of apps that can help you record with better audio quality on your phones. The built-in Voice Memo App on iOS can already record excellent audio, but to improve it even further, all you need to do is go to Settings > Voice Memos > Audio Quality and change the quality to Lossless. Lossless is a non-compressed audio file so that means audio data is exactly the same as the original source.
If you want more control, there’s the Voice Record Pro app which lets you keep distortion down to a minimum, increase sample rate, bit rate, and more. For Android users, the Titanium Recorder app has one of the best and complete solutions to sound recording; it lets you adjust the sample rate, bit rate, gain, plus it has other convenient features.
Opt for an external microphone
If you solely rely on your mobile phone to record interviews and discussions, you might want to invest in an external microphone now. External microphones can improve the audio quality of your phone recordings and can even make it seem professionally-made. Here are some great external mics you can use for your audio recordings:
- PoP Lavalier Mic – Works on most iPhones and Android phones, the PoP Lavalier Mic is an omnidirectional lapel mic best for podcasting, interviews, and more.
- Comica CVM-VS08 – Comica CVM-VS08 is a portable phone mic for both iPhones and Android phones with an aluminum body, and picks up only minimal background noise.
- Rode SmartLav+ – The Rode SmartLav+ is an omnidirectional lavalier mic that provides great movie-quality sound.
Before you buy an external microphone though, you need to make sure it’s compatible with your phone. If you have the latest iPhones and Android phones, you’re definitely going to need Lightning connectors and USB-C ports for some external mics.
Do a test recording
And of course, for scheduled interviews, focus groups, or discussions, you need to do a test recording. Go to your chosen location, record, and see if you will have a great audio recording. If not, analyze the environment and your equipment, and assess what you need to do to improve the quality of the audio.
Mobile phones are handy when it comes to recording and with these tips, you’ll surely have great audio for every research, podcast, interview, and more.