January 9, 2013

New iXY Microphone from RØDE is the World's First 24-Bit/96K Apple iOS Recorder

Ever been in a situation and needed a high quality microphone and recording, but didn't want to carry around a few extra devices? Well RØDE has introduced the iXY Microphone, which is the first device for iOS capable of 24-bit/96k audio recordings. The new microphone has a high-quality on-board A/D converter, and attaches to the data connection port on the bottom of the iPhone or iPad. It works with RØDE's own recording app to achieve the highest-fidelity recordings possible. Here is the video introduction from RØDE:

Here is their description of the device:

The RØDE iXY is the ultimate recording microphone for iPhone® or iPad®.
With up to 24-bit/96k* recording and on-board high-fidelity A/D conversion, your iXY recordings are rich, smooth and accurate.

At the heart of the iXY is a matched pair of ½” cardioid condenser capsules, fixed in a perfect 90 degree ‘near-coincident’ alignment.
This results in immersive and true-to-life stereo recordings, captured in incredibly high detail.

The iXY is supplied with a foam windshield for outdoor recording as well as a reinforced protective zip case to ensure your iXY is available whenever you need it.

For more information and to hear audio samples visit www.ixymic.com.

The iXY is compatible with iPhone® 4S, iPhone® 4, iPad® (3rd generation), iPad® 2 & iPad®.

To achieve the highest quality capable (24-bit/96k), you'll need to use the RØDE Rec app:

It doesn't look like it will natively work with the new iPhone or iPad, but it may be compatible if you use the Apple Lightning to 30-pin connector (UPDATE: It looks like if you register your iXY within 30 days, you can upgrade a new Lightning-capable device for $99). I've been in tons of situations with DSLRs where I've been looking for better than cell phone quality audio but didn't want to carry around any more gear with me than necessary. One advantage to this device is that you could take your DSLR and do a line connection from the headphone port to the mic port on one of those cameras, and get cleaner than internal audio. The big benefit to that setup is that most of the DSLRs or mirrorless cameras do not have any way for you to either monitor the audio coming in, or actually adjust it on the fly during recording, so by using the RØDE app with the iXY, you'll actually be able change levels as necessary during shooting.

If you head on over to the iXY site, you can listen to samples that have been recorded using the mic and the recording app. They obviously sound much better than the internal recording on the iPhone or iPad, but they aren't going to be as high quality as plugging in a $1000 mic into a couple thousand dollar recorder/mixer combination. For the money, I would expect this to be a good solution if you're a one man band with a DSLR and the audio needs to be decent but not perfect.

If you've got an iPhone or iPad, the hardware is going to run you $200, and the RØDE Rec LE app is free, or you can get the more fully-featured RØDE Rec for $6, both of which are available on iTunes.

What do you guys think?

Links:

Disclosure: RØDE is a No Film School advertiser.

Your Comment

58 Comments

I feel like 96k is kinda low? no?

January 9, 2013

2
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Nope, its just you ;)

January 9, 2013

-1
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Carlosd@gmail.com

Actually, 96kHz is studio quality. Think you're mixing things up with the bit-rate.

But since most people have a 16GB iPhone or iPad, loaded up with all sorts of content, actual recording times may be limited and off-loading (through iTunes?) may not be as fast...

January 10, 2013

0
Reply

Yes, 96k sampling rate is what nice "studio" recordings are made at, but with the quality of the analog components used: two microphones and 2 mic preamps for $200, it's likely a waste of disc space considering the quality of analog signal being converted. If this unit had a lower setting like 48 or 44.1, I'd use that. The very high sampling rate is not likely to offer much in this situation.

January 10, 2013

-1
Reply

looks lovely but the fostex AR-4i has more flexibility but is a bit bulkier - it allows the iphone to be used as a video camera or a recorder with directional mic, it fits to a mic stand or tripod, the mic s can be put on the end of leads and positioned, after market mics can be used, it has gain control and monitoring and costs about £90.

downside is its bulkier

http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/products/AR-4i.shtml#3

January 9, 2013

0
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bob thorp

this is awesome!

too bad Tim Cook had to go and change the damn iPhone connector...-__-

January 9, 2013

-2
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MRGABE

then again, for $200, i figure i might as well get the Røde h4n.

January 9, 2013

2
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MRGABE

*edit Zoom H4n. rats.

January 9, 2013

-1
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MRGABE

I don't believe Zoom H4n built-in mics are equal to the Rode stereo mics. Rode makes value-priced, high quality mics; Zoom makes value-priced mini-recorders of so-so quality, with who-knows-what mics attached.

January 14, 2013

0
Reply
Zan Shin

They're making a version with a Lightning connector, which will be available as a $100 upgrade to existing purchasers (which I assume means you get a second one for $100).

January 9, 2013

0
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Tim

upgrade? so...another adapter. For $100.

:\ no thanks

January 10, 2013

-1
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sean

Make one for Android please!

January 9, 2013

1
Reply
Marvin

Fragmentation, while an overused phrase, is a problem for this. There's no guarantee your android device will have audio hardware worth a damn.

January 9, 2013

0
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Luke

Actually, it doesn't rely on the device's audio hardware, as it has its own hardware encoder built in. So as long as the connector (USB etc) has the bandwidth to transport the data, it should be possible.

January 9, 2013

0
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Tim

Totally wrong.
There is not a lot of Android recording apps, multitrack recorder or things like that, because there has been a lot of work on the USB Audio specification ( which is part of all the USB specifications ) only in the latest Android OS, to allow the OS to work in realtime, with latency under 10ms.
If the latency is over 10ms, you can begin to feel a delay between, for example, the time you sing, and the time you hear what you're singing.
With iOS, as there is no Java virtual machine, there is a direct access to the hardware, so the latency is down to 5ms for a long time.
Moreover, if you want to use a USB audio interface, your android phone or tablet must support the USB Host mode ( often referred to as "USB OTG"), and your USB audio interface must be able to work without driver (referred to as "USB Common Class" or "USB CC").

January 12, 2013

0
Reply

USB Class Compliant, not USB Common CLass, my bad.

January 12, 2013

0
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I don't yet see the point of this over the similarly priced and almost certainly far superior Zoom H4N, or any number of competitors. Perhaps if it was half the price.

January 9, 2013

-3
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Luke

My guess is portability and availability. It's essentially one less device to carry with you as most people have their phone with them all of the time.
I would see this especially useful in a documentary environment where an impromptu sound bite may present itself. I could also see it as especially useful for additional crew to have who may encounter such an opportunity and need something that is plug and play with a simple interface.

January 9, 2013

-2
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Ben

But you still have to carry around the mic! The Zoom is not much bigger and it records 32 bit!

January 10, 2013

1
Reply

This is my opinion on this. Its pointless and im an idiot. -most people

January 9, 2013

-1
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Carlosd@gmail.com

Yes masterpices were made on units 10x as big, loud, and innefeciant. But im just a technition who has a child to feed and impressing clients and making a nice check is much more important than creating something i feel strongly about. Then again, i only feel strong about living in a big house and having my kid go to a good college. -same person

January 9, 2013

-1
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Carlos dee

It's highly desirable....but whoah the price is way too high. And really it would be nice if it worked with Drobvox or Dropbox to save audio quickly on the go.

January 9, 2013

0
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Farrin

$200 is too high for a well-designed stereo capsule mic set coupled with a great software component? Wow, you're cheap.

January 10, 2013

1
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Christian Anderson

It does work with Dropbox, if you purchase the full-priced Rode Rec app.

January 10, 2013

0
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Borry

With our RØDE Rec software you can indeed export to Dropbox, Soundcloud, or through iTunes.

January 10, 2013

1
Reply

While this is cool, it's now very useful, it would be cooler to just have a 48v phantom power xlr connecter to an iphone.

January 9, 2013

0
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Zach

January 12, 2013

-1
Reply

So you pay double the price of a Zoom H1, and it monopolizes your phone for the duration of the shoot.

It's such a good idea, Apple should make one and sell it for twice the price !

(BTW, it looks completely idiotic on an ipad)

January 9, 2013

-1
Reply
FabDex

It's funny to me, this movement to have a dozen iPhones and you can shoot a movie! I'm with FabDex, is this the most effective use for your iPhone on a set? Is it worth the battery life?

January 9, 2013

0
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Moe

Making a mic compatible only with an OLD phone and a lunch tray (iPad)? Not too brilliant. Not being compatible with the iPhone 5 seems to be a real deal breaker especially at that price.

January 9, 2013

0
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They are working on a newer version for the new iPhones/iPads - I've updated above to reflect that.

January 9, 2013

2
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Get a tascam which also has xlr ins...

Not a video solution. How do you mount phone, xy mics not same pick up ir perspective as rifle or lav.

Handy for notes or radio i supose, not an in-vision solution.

January 9, 2013

-1
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PaulRussell

I wouldn't recommend plugging the headphone jack from your phone into your DSLR as you suggest. That would involve an A/D into the phone, a D/A conversion out the headphone jack, and final A/D conversion into the camera. None of which are going to be great quality. Just buy pluralize.

January 9, 2013

0
Reply

You could still be recording on the device as well, so why not have exactly the same audio in both places?

January 9, 2013

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Why would you want the same audio in both places, especially since the audio in the camera is going to be significantly lesser quality? If you're using the DSLR audio to try to resync the audio, it would make more sense just to record the crappy on-board camera mic and sync based on that.

You could do it though, assuming that the audio is even audible out the headphone jack and that it's somewhat close to real time. Even if it is close (and I would assume there's at least 10 ms being added in the first A/D conversion, so it wouldn't be that close), because of the multiple A/D/D/A conversions between the mic and the camera, the audio in the camera would be several ms off (latency). I'm going to guess the processing speed on an iPhone isn't particularly fast, so you're probably looking at enough latency to make the audio incompatible - laying one on top of the other would result in comb filtering because of the delay. To fix it you'd need to drag it into audio software to sync it, at which point why bother? PluralEyes would allow you to use the higher quality audio. Assuming it clocks well, which is another big question.

January 9, 2013

-1
Reply

I think this mic is pretty innovative and I can see where I would use it for on-the-fly situations and beyond. However, it's pricey so I still see the Zoom H4n as a better value since it has many built in features.

January 9, 2013

0
Reply

Surely the preamps are rubbish.

January 9, 2013

0
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LeighO

XLR's? Suppose there's an App for that.

January 10, 2013

1
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Not a first.
I have a an Art pre USB and I hook it via camera connection kit and run it to DAW 24/96 on two discreet channels with ANY mic in my Studio...ANY mic in my studio...oh and it runs phantom too all on a 9v battery. Genius

January 10, 2013

-1
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whoops, forgot to mention, total cost (not including my mics) £50

January 10, 2013

2
Reply

Has anyone plugged their iphone into the sound board at a wedding and gotten good audio? Just with the 3.5mm cable?

January 10, 2013

-1
Reply

A friend of mine told me about this last night and after looking at the video, I'm in the same boat as a lot of you: Great design and portability, but for that price, you might as well use an external recorder like the H4n.

$200 for the initial hardware, plus a $99 upgrade makes this piece of gear an unlikely purchase for many stingy filmmakers.

I really wonder how applicable this mic is. Does anyone really need true-to-life recordings of meetings?

January 10, 2013

-2
Reply
DIYFilmSchool.net

It is a nice idea. Many people want to use their iPhones for more than their built in capabilities. They sell "pro" lens kits for the iPhone's camera :o

The real problem is the price. It's priced like a professional tool, but I can't see too many professionals using it in a professional environment. It lacks the rest of the features most pros need/want. For the $200-300, there are better equipped options out there. Small and portable ones too.

I think the market is going to be mostly journalists capturing soundbites. A lot of them use the bare iphone right now. You seen them in news clips all the time...shoving their iphones in the athlete's faces after the game. However, if the current solution works to their needs, how many of them are really going to want to upgrade to this?

January 10, 2013

0
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sean

Can u plug it into a new ipod touch?????

January 10, 2013

0
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Erick

This reminds me (conceptually) of the Tascam iM2. Though, this seems, noticeably better (the actual sound quality, can only be decided, though, after hearing them both).

http://tascam.com/product/im2/specifications/

January 11, 2013

1
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Zack

I forgot to mention. Noticeably more expensive, too.

January 11, 2013

0
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Zack

Clever, but too expensive. The recording app should be included in the price. Priced at $100, I'd consider it. At $50, I'd buy it right away.

January 11, 2013

0
Reply

Oh, and moreover, that's not the first 24bit 96Khz device out there able to record on iOS. Not even close.
Look here : http://auriaapp.com/Support/auria-audio-interfaces

-------------
Totally wrong.
There is not a lot of Android recording apps, multitrack recorder or things like that, because there has been a lot of work on the USB Audio specification ( which is part of all the USB specifications ) only in the latest Android OS, to allow the OS to work in realtime, with latency under 10ms.
If the latency is over 10ms, you can begin to feel a delay between, for example, the time you sing, and the time you hear what you're singing.
With iOS, as there is no Java virtual machine, there is a direct access to the hardware, so the latency is down to 5ms for a long time.
Moreover, if you want to use a USB audio interface, your android phone or tablet must support the USB Host mode ( often referred to as "USB OTG"), and your USB audio interface must be able to work without driver (referred to as "USB Class Compliant" or "USB CC").

January 12, 2013

-1
Reply

I like it. Like someone else said, saves having to take an extra device. If it's just for casual use I rekn it would be great, otherwise if you're actually running a business you would probably need your phone for calls rather than having it strapped to a camera.

January 14, 2013

2
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Matt

I'm confused by the vast number of people here who apparently take calls and talk on their phones whilst simultaneously recording audio and video. We simply don't do that in my world. Cells off, thanks -- don't need your GF/BF/BFF ruining a few thousand dollars worth of interview recording.

January 14, 2013

-1
Reply
Zan Shin

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