Capture Great Audio

One of the most common errors or short falls I see with home-produced videos is poor audio.  And that alone is one of the main factors that turns a relatively OK video into a horrible video.   If your viewer can’t hear you properly, or it sounds like you’re talking inside a tin can, it presents a huge problem.


Thankfully, RODE Microphones have come up with an inexpensive solution that uses a device you probably already own.  If you have an iPhone, ipad or just about any IOS device or an Android device, you’re one step closer to capturing great audio. Introducing the RODE smartLav. This $60 lavalier  microphone paired up with RODE’s $5.99 audio recording app, could be exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s only fair to warn you that you will have to pair up the audio with your video in a post production editing software, but I can tell you this, something as simple as ScreenFlow for Mac or Camtastic for PC and a little tweaking will get you in the game.  If your using a pro level editor such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere you’ll know it’s only a click away from automatic audio syncing.

Check out this video, it will give you a great look at the possibilities of this little device. There are some short comings that I can see.  In the case of remote placement such as in the talents pocket, the camera operator has no way of monitoring the actual audio recording. Unlike using a sound technician to capture and monitor audio, you’re basically hoping that you set the recording level close enough for a good clean sound. Be sure to test and check the metering ‘before’ you start recording.



This is the press release from Rode:

1st February 2013, Sydney Australia – RØDE Microphones today announced the release of the smartLav, a new lapel microphone that connects directly to the headset jack of Apple iOS devices. Compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, smartLav delivers premium quality audio capture in a compact and accessible form factor.

The smartLav is a professional-grade wearable microphone designed for use in a wide range of fi lm, television and broadcast scenarios, or wherever professional quality audio is required in a discreet, portable format without the complication and expense of additional wireless equipment, particularly where multiple talent is involved. With the smartLav the user simply mounts the microphone on the talent, connects it to the iOS device’s headset jack and records via the RØDE Rec or RØDE Rec LE apps.

By employing a high quality omni-directional condenser capsule the smartLav captures sound in a forgiving 360 degrees, allowing for versatility when mounting and ensuring a high degree of user-friendly operation.

“The smartLav is an exciting solution that makes professional quality audio available to anyone with access to an Apple iOS device,” explained Damien Wilson, RØDE’s Marketing and Sales Director. “For filmmakers or wedding videographers that have struggled to simultaneously record multiple talent this product truly is an incredibly simple and cost effective solution.”

A foam pop shield is included to minimise wind noise and vocal plosives (hard ‘b’, ‘t’ and ‘p’ sounds), as well as a durable mounting clip with in-built cable management. The smartLav has been designed to pair perfectly with the RØDE Rec app for Apple iOS devices, and is also compatible with any iOS audio app that accepts input from the headset connection. RØDE Rec turns the user’s iOS device into a fully-featured field recorder, with a wide range of equalisation pre-sets to suit various recording situations, in addition to professional editing functions and the ability
to publish to SoundCloud and Dropbox directly from the app.

“Both the smartLav and the recently announced RØDE iXY stereo microphone showcase the possibilities of the RØDE Rec app as more than an isolated piece of software,” Mr Wilson explained, “but also as a platform and hub for a range of professional grade audio devices. This platform leverages the portability and popularity of Apple’s iOS devices to make content creation easier than ever.”

The smartLav is shipping to authorised RØDE retailers worldwide this month, at a suggested retail price of US$60. For more information please visit