I’m looking to start sampling found sounds and would prefer to just use my phone rather than a field recorder so I can upload straight to my google drive. I’ve been doing research on using my android (Galaxy J7 Crown). There’s a few apps that look promising for capturing the audio but the mic selection has me a bit apprehensive. Most of what I’m finding are cheap looking clip-on lapel mics or mini-shotgun mics. Every review of these mics is about audio for YouTube videos or podcasts, nothing about recording louder or harsher more dynamic sounds, so I’m not sure if any of them would meet my requirements. Does anyone here have any recommendations for a good affordable mic for this purpose? I do have an Audio Technica ATR (not sure of model number) 3.5mm dynamic mic that I bought about 15 years ago and never found a use for. I’ve considered just getting a trs to trrs adapter and giving that a shot. I would think it would have a wider frequency range than any of the tiny trrs or usb-c mics on Amazon, even then that’s still just a $25 mic most likely suited for little more than karaoke.
I’ve gotten decent results just using my phone itself with a voice memo app. I mean, wind noise, but other than that, no major issues for me. I have an iphone SE, so not the fanciest newest thing either.
If you’ve got something laying around and you don’t like what you get with just your phone, then I’d start experimenting with that.
I am perhaps one of the “old school” that believes a phone is for communication between people . These “swiss army knives” of today are no longer , in reality, phones, although they serve that purpose. I purchased my Zoom H4N recorder (it was second hand) for the purpose of “location” or field recording as you call it. The inbuilt stereo microphones are of high quality and it is a digital recorder. It is a complex little beast giving GD quality recording. It sounds that (like me) you are “stretching the budget” even if there is little budget to stretch. My ancient Samsung A412 is hopeless as a camera and as a sound recorder it doesn’t derserve mention.
Frankly, I’d be surprised if you find a good recording microphone for a Smartphone. Maybe there is a way to hook up a USB mic if you look into it. They make some good ones now, I believe Blue in particular make a few I see often in videos etc.
As @White_Noise said, I too have found plenty of success just using my smart phone. No special mic.
If’ you’re looking to upgrade the mic on your phone for some field recordings, I think you would probably be quite surprised with the quality of the USB mics I’m sure you’ve looked into. I get the whole phone thing too, it’s always going to be on you, so why not? In my experience, the built in microphones these days are usually nice on any later gen smartphone, though. When I went this route, I used the free version of the Rode Rec app.
With that said, probably wiser to just bite the bullet and get yourself something made precisely for the task if you’re worried about having the best quality.
I’m a simple man who doesn’t like to pay out the ass for something that’s good enough, so I just use a DR05 for everything. A basic Tascam / Zoom should be fine if you’re looking to add some field sounds to your recordings, especially if you’re not doing field recording professionally / don’t mind doing a bit of cleanup (aka basic production, if this is for music).
Then again, you have a whole world of options for studio recording (vs field) so I don’t really know what you’re after. I’m going to go with @oldbrain and say anything in the world is better than your phone.
In reply to Santa I have memories of an attempted field recording at the Sydney Showgground quite some years ago. The recorder was a Sony TC800B reel to reel portable recorder. Portable indeed!? I had a sore shoulder at the end of the day! But technology has changed greatly since those days and I agree that it is best to shop around and find the equipment that best suits your purpose.
If you are gonna buy I will third an inexpensive Tascam. I have a dr05 or dr07 from like 9 years ago. I mostly use it to record DJ sets these days (has a nice sensitive 16th inch line in) but I really couldn’t imagine needing higher quality for electronic music. I think you could even get away with recording instruments inside with it.
Thanks for the input everyone. I snagged a DR-3 in what appears to be decent shape on ebay for 41 bucks shipped. Now to start finding interesting sound sources.
Cool! Starting with “pots and pans” percussion is always an easy start–using any household item to make a percussive sound.
There’s this one nice spot in my kitchen where if you slap your foot down just right, you get a booming kick. Try it at 2AM to get those creative night juices flowing and your parents definitely won’t kick you out of the house.
Just use any good microphone with a 3.5mm jack and connect it to your phone with a microphone jack splitter.