I record audio & video of all my musical jams on my iPhone. I plug all my synth devices into a Bastl Dude mixer, then out to a splitter, one side goes to headphones so I can monitor, the other goes to a USB audio dongle with 1/8″ input, then into a USB to Lightning adapter plugged into the phone. It’s a little weird but it works great for me. I’ll try to describe the setup in detail below.
I’ll start by saying this. I’ve worked in media production a long time. I’ve worked on commercial video shoots, I’ve worked as a sound engineer, I subscribe to Tape Op, and I know there are a million ways to record things. This is the method I use because it’s easy for me, and a simple workflow for recording music means I can focus on actually making music and capturing it easily. Also, and this is important, I want to record audio and video together into one single file.
Not including the mixer and phone, here are the other components.
- 1/8″ (3.5mm) Stereo Splitter
- Stereo Headphones
- 1/8″ (3.5mm) Stereo Cable
- USB Audio Adapter
- Lightning to USB Adapter (or the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter)
Here’s what it looks like all connected together. (Click the image for a larger version.)
Are there other ways to do this? Yes. Are some of them better? Probably. This works for me with the equipment I had on hand. I didn’t buy anything special for this because these are all components I had for other purposes or projects. Chances are if you’re already making music you have most of these things. If you’ve got an iPhone but still need the USB Audio Adapter and Lightning to USB Adapter you can get them both for under $20 USD.
For the actual recording I just use the iPhone’s built-in Camera app in video mode. It does the right thing with regards to grabbing the audio. This solution also allows for monitoring, since the audio signal splits before it goes into the phone. (Monitoring audio from the phone is… tricky.) Is it perfect? No, but it works. Audio levels are where they should be, and I don’t need to sync a separate audio file to a video file when editing the video.
I did try a bunch of other methods when I started. Including a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter, a Zoom recorder (great for audio, but no video), recording directly to a computer (video was not great) and… probably others I forgot about. Yes, I know about the Headset Buddy, and I tried a lot of different apps on the iPhone. Again, this works for me. If this is helpful to you. You’re welcome!