Using phone to record gig for social media, mic overloaded

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John Allsopp, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. John Allsopp

    John Allsopp Active Member


    I'm new here. I'm an Internet marketer, and one of the things I do is gig and festival promotion in a social media style, ie. hand-held, and as 'live' as possible. To do 'live' video snippets through the day I use a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone (Android).

    The problem is .. here: Everyone An Army at FutureOfMusicFestival | FOMF | Bambuser .. the sound quality is bloody awful (ignore the video quality, that's down to whether I can get wifi or not).

    The problem with this phone and/or Android is I've no control over the mic input sensitivity. Assuming that's 'auto', I'm concluding the sound pressure is overloading the mic. However, I've tried the simple methods (sellotape over the mic) and it's not significantly improved.

    So, I'm starting to think about connecting an outside mic somehow using Bluetooth, as that's the only way I can think of getting another sound source into the phone. Remember this is for 'live' recording and broadcast to the web, I'm not looking for an audio track to sync later with video .. 'live' is the goal.

    Nor (sacrilege I know) am I even that bothered by stereo .. I'd rather have portability and pocketability.

    The inspiration is new journalism .. the sort of lightweight setup a journalist would set off with into Afghanistan. But I need something a little more affordable :)

    So, any ideas how I might, affordably and portably, be able to work this one out?

    (BTW, I'm loving this H4n Handy Recorder because I do love ambient recordings, too, but it doesn't seem to do Bluetooth)

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    All the best
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You're in a bit of a corner here. Bluetooth has even worse audio characteristics than the native microphones built into these newer smartphones, so I don't think it's worth looking in that direction.

    About the only thing I can suggest here is to investigate the hands-free wired headsets that are available for the S2. At least those have a separate external in-cord microphone that could in principle be replaced by a signal from a better-quality external source. You will always run up against the auto volume control in the S2; although there is a setting to turn it off, I have the suspicion that it merely reduces the effect rather than disables it.

    As far as external sources go, there are consumer-level electret microphones that might be pressed into service, or you could use your Zoom H4N as the live sound microphone. Given suitable wiring, you could take a signal from the H4N headphone connector to the S2 headset mic position.

    Give my regards to the Queen of the Watering Places.
  3. John Allsopp

    John Allsopp Active Member

    Great, thanks, I hadn't thought of that route, much obliged, I'll keep you posted how it goes :)

  4. John Allsopp

    John Allsopp Active Member

    Are we talking this:

    try it as-is and if that fails pull it apart and use it to connect to a different mic?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    That's the sort of thing I saw when I looked for them, but there are lots of different ones - I'm sure that one would be OK to experiment with. I would not give the headset mic much chance of sounding any good, but by trying it you may be able to tell a little bit more about the AVC operation on the phone.
  6. ChipperJones

    ChipperJones Member

    You could try one of these super small compact microphones for mobile! Lol, im just joking, but if you put a popper stopper on their you'll be golden! I actually ordered one of these the other day because it made me laugh out loud and im intrigued with its potential

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