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Recording From Rodgers Trillium to Iphone

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  • Recording From Rodgers Trillium to Iphone

    Greetings: I would like to record organ audio with video to an Iphone 5s. I have a decent USB mic (Samson CO3) and a USB to Lightning adapter, but I wondered about taking the audio directly from the L/R audio jacks (RCA?) under the keydesk. It appears that Line 6 makes two products that could do the job: Mobile In and Sonic Port. There is also a TASCAM product (iXJ2) that appears to be discontinued. The Line 6 products are clearly aimed at guitar players and have extensive amplifier and speaker modeling software that would not be needed. Nor are the prices encouraging. $100 for the Sonic Port and close to $200 for the Mobile In which also does not appear to still be in production. I would be interested in learning more about the Tascam product and whether it might be available used somewhere. Or if there is yet another commercial product I have missed in my research. Thanks.

  • #2
    My experience, admittedly limited, is that almost any kind of "live" recording with a microphone (or pair) produces a more satisfying outcome than recording directly from the line outs of an organ. That seems counter-intuitive -- you'd think the "purer" the audio signal the better, that getting rid of room noises, traffic sounds, other people intruding, etc., would make a recording better. But my own attempts at recording organ have shown me that there is a "je ne sais que" that you get from capturing the actual sound of the organ tones rolling around in the room, even if it's a small room, that you'll like better than what you'll get straight out of the jacks.

    And I think even if you gussy up the line out sound by running it through a super-duper ambiance generator, you'll still find it disappointing. I could be wrong though, and you'll have to try your own setup to see which works best for you.

    I made an interesting discovery recently. My own recording "studio" is my organ nook at home, a tiny space with both organ and piano sharing a spot that was intended to be a dining nook. I recorded a few hymns for uploading so I could demonstrate some pedal lines to my choir members. I simple propped up my phone (Samsung Galaxy S7, which has a great camera and outstanding built-in mic) and recorded. It was just ok... lackluster audio. I believe the problem is that the microphones need to be in a different spot from the camera itself. The camera is close up to show my playing, but the sound right there is not the best. And the phone's recorder doesn't even have a recording level adjustment, so I'm sure the level was not optimum.

    My next recording episode, when I get "around to it," I will use my excellent quality pocket digital recorder (Roland R-09) to capture the audio, while still relying on the phone to capture the video. The Roland is "pro" quality and has recording level adjustments, built-in high quality stereo condenser mics. So I'll place it where the sound can be best captured, some distance from the console.

    I've already discovered that it's quite easy to replace the audio on your video recording with the basic video editing software that comes with Windows. (Movie Maker or something like that.) You just click on "add a sound track" and point it to your digital recording. Then you can totally remove the sound recorded on the phone and then save the file with only the good quality audio. The synchronization of the new audio with the video is very easy too, with the ability to simply "drag and drop" the sound tracks to visually line up the sound with your playing.

    Anyway, if any of that gives you any ideas... just do your best!
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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    • #3
      I fully agree. T

      Bzt the iPhone with external stereo microphones would be more than adequate. Most modern phones do a pretty good job this way.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
        I've already discovered that it's quite easy to replace the audio on your video recording with the basic video editing software that comes with Windows. (Movie Maker or something like that.) You just click on "add a sound track" and point it to your digital recording. Then you can totally remove the sound recorded on the phone and then save the file with only the good quality audio. The synchronization of the new audio with the video is very easy too, with the ability to simply "drag and drop" the sound tracks to visually line up the sound with your playing.

        Anyway, if any of that gives you any ideas... just do your best!
        Actually, yes, you've given me a couple of good ideas. Mainly recording a separate audio track on my laptop and using Movie Maker to combine the audio with the video from the iPhone. Thank you for that. And if I might return the favor: the mics in SmartPhones, even the good ones, the audio is steeply rolled off below ~100hz. We are so used to this that most people accept recordings made on iPhones despite the lack of fidelity. For organ that just won't do. Regardless of how bad the console location is, it will sound hugely better if the passband of the audio is opened up. I know how to do this for iphones because I saw a video online on how to do it. Its just menu choices and settings in some settings folder somewhere. I am sure similar instruction videos exist for unlocking Samsung microphones. An unlocked Smartphone mic is a LOT better than the default but my USB mic was heavily researched and it has about the flattest response I could find. It is better than many much more expensive mics. Also with the mic on a long enough USB cable it can be placed where the sound is best and the camera can be where the video is best.

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        • #5
          You're on the right track. That should work beautifully. And thanks for the tip about upping the sound quality on a phone mic. If I decide to do any more recording with the phone I'll look into that. I don't have any idea what kind of microphone (or microphones) are on this phone, nor what the response curve is. I've only used it for "scratch pad" type recordings and wasn't concerned in particular about the sound quality, that is until I heard how poorly it recorded the organ on my little demo videos.
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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          • #6
            Have you tried using an external mic (or a pair of them)? At least with the phones I've been using, external mics don't seem to have the same limitations.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KC9UDX View Post
              Have you tried using an external mic (or a pair of them)? At least with the phones I've been using, external mics don't seem to have the same limitations.
              A pair of mics can only work if they are run into a mixer and the mixer fed into the Lightning port via XLR or RCA to Lightning adapter. There aren't many of those. The mic jack of the Iphone is mono. Even if you put left and right together via a 'Y' connector you won't get a true stereo soundfield from the TRRS multi-purpose input of the iPhone. Most mics these days are USB there are plenty of USB to Lightning adapters. Most USB mics aren't hugely better than the mic in the iPhone but they are usually stereo. That's one reason I was interested in direct input from the L/R audio jacks. Frequency response would not be limited by microphone limitations.

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              • #8
                I was actually talking with a guy today about this very subject. I've been thinking about getting a nicer stereo mic setup for my video camera for organ / congregation recordings. The mics in my camcorder are OK, but it is nicer to be able to place the mics so they pick up the sound in the room, as John said.

                This person mentioned that a Zoom h4, 5, or 6 handy recorder could be used as the recorder because they have pretty decent mics. I said that I did not want to fool with syncing the audio to the video, so I did not think that would work. He said that I could put the Zoom on record, and then run the headphone stereo signal into the camcorder. That way the Zoom is recording, and the camcorder is also, using the same mics.

                I have not done any looking into this possibility, so I cant give an opinion if it is a solution or not. But, it's something to check out and consider anyhow.
                Regards, Larry

                At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

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                • #9
                  Larry, syncing the audio to the video is actually VERY easy. As long as the audio and video recordings were made at the same time, they can be stitched together using any decent video editor such as the free Movie Maker that comes with Windows. I discovered this by accident. When playing around with one of the recordings I'd made with my phone, I noticed the option to "add a sound track" to an existing video. Not having a pro audio recording of the hymn I had recorded myself playing, just for fun I grabbed some other musical track and pinned it to the video. Then I deleted the original audio, leaving only the added-on audio playing along with the video of me at the console.

                  Obviously not playing the same music, of course, but I found that with just a bit of experimenting, I could shift the sound track back and forth in time and make it appear to "start" precisely at the point in the video where my hands played the first key. It was sort of funny to see what looked like me playing some big orchestral piece ;-)

                  Anyway, it is unbelievably easy to sync a separately recorded audio track to your video. Since the sound you're adding will be an exact duplicate of what is already in the recording, just recorded by the higher quality device using far better microphones, it will sync up perfectly without any trouble at all. It's so easy to do this with such professional results, it's surprising to me when I see other people's videos on YouTube where they apparently didn't even try to sync the video and audio.

                  Now I should put my money where my mouth is and actually post a video that I've done in this manner. If I can get everybody else in the house to leave the room for a while today maybe I can do that!
                  John
                  ----------
                  *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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                  • #10
                    Many of my videos are out of sync not because I don't try, but because of all the modern apps I use for this, none lets me shift the audio less than a full second.

                    Others are because I'm working live with digital cameras and it would be more effort than it's worth:

                    You can see in this one that it starts out synced, but as time goes on, the digital camera gets more and more out.

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                    • #11
                      Just throwing my 2 pennies in with fairly limited experience. When I was recording sound and making videos for my brothers band, I learned early on the magic of the "Movie Clapboard" and why it's used. It gives a visual "clap" with an audio spike that makes it very easy to sync your audio to video, something I never knew. I also figured out that anything could work for that purpose such as a hand clap or slap your hand on the console before you start to play. Anything visual with a sharp audio spike will do. This works very well as intended and easy to edit out when you do the final cut. But, I also found out that unless your separate video recording device and audio recording device are synced together using SMPTE timecode, there can and will be drift between the different devices, more so with lower end devices anyway. It starts to get complicated from there but in a short video sequence, it's usually negligible. Fortunately I had multiple cameras and switched video angles and what not to hide that if it became a problem. But on a single camera video sequence you can't do that. Some of the video editing software applications will pick up the timecode embedded in the video and audio files metadata and sync them automatically once you have a start point. My setup has a master clock from the main computer that's tied into the audio recording devices and the video recorder, and the percussion guy plays to a click track. This alleviates many problems.

                      Quick tip: Very inexpensive multiple video cameras can be had. My brother and I purchased a fairly low end home security camera setup that came with 8 HD cameras. I record the video using the DVR that came with it that's tied into the network to the main master computer, which is doing the multi-track audio recording. It works quite well for short money. I use wired network cameras (which are cheaper), because you can introduce all kinds of timing issues if they are wireless.

                      Sorry if I veered off the original question ... O:-)
                      Last edited by JoelHof; 11-28-2018, 09:32 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Good clapboards are cheap. I use one every time, even when I can't make proper adjustments.

                        My worst cameras for timing are the most expensive ones I have. The ones in that video are Axis 210. Probably cheap now but certainly not when I bought them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
                          I've been thinking about getting a nicer stereo mic setup for my video camera for organ / congregation recordings. The mics in my camcorder are OK, but it is nicer to be able to place the mics so they pick up the sound in the room, as John said.

                          This person mentioned that a Zoom h4, 5, or 6 handy recorder could be used as the recorder because they have pretty decent mics.
                          While the Zoom recorders undoubtedly sound good, keep in mind that they use unidirectional (probably cardioid) mics. Omnidirectional mics are usually a lot better when room ambience is desired—they have a less ‘distant’ and thin sound at a distance.

                          Personally I recommend the Little Blondies for that kind of recording. They’re a fantastic price for what you get. Paired with a Mackie 402VLZ4 for $100, you get a really great sounding stereo setup for $400 (or right now there’s still a cybermonday deal on the mics and you’d save $70 on a matched set).
                          Viscount C400 3-manual
                          8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                          Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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