Having the proper equipment when conducting interviews or any discussion is always 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 lack a professional 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!
Mobile phones generally lack the same audio quality as professional recording devices. However, you can still make it work and you can still come up with a good recording if you know what to do. Here are some tips on how to record good audio on your phone.
Mute notifications/turn on airplane mode
Text messages, Messenger chats, and other notifications can ruin your mobile phone audio recordings.
Make it a habit to mute your phone’s notifications every time before you start your audio recording session. For iPhones, you can use the mute switch; with Android, simply make sure that you set your sound to “Mute.”
For even greater assurance, turn on airplane mode. This allows you to completely avoid receiving notifications that can pop up at any time.
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 each microphone hole on your phone.
This will help reduce the number of unnecessary sounds that can enter the mic, especially in noisy environments such as a street, a coffee shop, or a mall.
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 already makes excellent audio. But to improve it even further, you need to go to Settings > Voice Memos > Audio Quality and change the quality to Lossless. This gives you audio data that is exactly the same as the original source.
If you want even more control, there’s the Voice Record Pro app. This 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 have the budget for it, you might want to invest in an external microphone. External microphones can make your phone recordings seem professionally made. Here are some great external mics you can use for your audio recordings:
- PoP Lavalier Mic – An omnidirectional lapel mic best for podcasting, interviews, and more. Works on most iPhones and Android phones
- Comica CVM-VS08 – A portable phone mic for both iPhones and Android phones with an aluminum body, and picks up only minimal background noise.
- Rode SmartLav+ – An omnidirectional lavalier mic that provides great movie-quality sound.
Make sure that the external microphone is compatible with your phone. If you have the latest iPhone or Android phone, you may need lightning connectors and USB-C ports for some external mics.
Do a test recording
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 you’re unable to, 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.