Video recording on iPhone’s began with the 3GS, and was much improved when the iPhone 4 came out. In fact you can now record (and edit) HD movies with that device that you carry around in your pocket everyday.
One of the great challenges faced when recording with a small video camera is ambient noise, especially if you’re trying to hear someone speak, in an interview for example.
How many times have you seen a video where you can barely hear what the person is saying because of the wind?
Thankfully, the solution to your audio problem can be found in another device that you probably carry around with you, your earphones.
The earphones that come with your iPhone, also come with a microphone. The main purpose of the microphone is to allow you to take calls when you have your earphones in, and use them as a headset. But those headphones can also be used as an external microphone when recording video, and you’ll be surprised when you hear how effective they are!
Below is a video that I made with my iPhone 4, using the mic on the earphones. The video is set to start playing at a moment when you can hear the mic being used, and you can’t even see it!
This video was taken during O-Week at Sydney University, an event with plenty of background noise. Yet the audio is very clear and easy to understand. All made using an iPhone 4 and the standard earphones.
Do It Yourself!
If you want to use your iPhone earphones as an external mic, then try some of these helpful tips:
- Try holding the mic part of the earphones around a foot and a half (the distance from the tip of your fingers to your elbow) from the mouth of the person who is speaking. This should give you optimal volume while also minimising background noise.
- Make sure you do a test run. Do a short recording, and then listen back to what you just recorded to make sure the volume is suitable. The great thing about using the earphones, is that you can accurately check the volume even in a loud area.
- Ensure that the earphones aren’t actually visible in the shot. Although they work really well as a mic, they definitely don’t look like a standard microphone and actually look a bit silly. Frame your shot so you can see enough of the person, without the earphones.
Technology is advancing more and more each year, and I’m sure that the devices we carry around every day will create high quality videos. With an iPhone 4 and the standard earphones, you have a compact set up that will allow you to record HD videos with acceptable audio, in almost any environment. Although the microphone on the earphones may not be as good as a specialized microphone, you’re more likely to have your earphones with you, and for that reason they are invaluable.