November 29, 2011

Your iPhone is Now a 48kHz Audio Field Recorder with an XLR Input

Pro Audio To Go is a new $30 iPhone app designed for higher-end audio applications than you'd typically think of for the iPhone. I'll just let the developers say it: "Pro Audio to Go turns your iPhone into a 48 kHz professional audio recorder for use on location by news reporters, journalists, documentarians, musicians, DSLR videographers, filmmakers, producers and editors. With a single tap on your phone, you can record an AIFF audio file in 48 kHz. Upload the file directly to an FTP server or email it, then download and instantly begin using it in your editing system's Timeline. No conversion necessary!" Here's the full feature set:

  • One tap to record professional quality audio
  • Record at 48 kHz AIFF
  • Customize pre-sets for any microphone
  • XLR connection plugs into iPhone with purchasable cable
  • Customize pre-sets for EQ and Gain controls
  • Email file or upload directly to FTP to your news bureau or editor
  • Drop AIFF audio file directly into your editing Timeline
  • Timer counts down remaining time (memory) on your iPhone in hours, minutes, and seconds
  • Access all your recorded audio files directly on the iPhone or through your iTunes account

To use an XLR mic, you will need a $30 XLR to iPhone audio adapter.

Link: Pro Audio To Go (iTunes link)

[via Notes on Video]

Your Comment


This seems incredible if it works. Does anyone have any experience with this? I'll totally go this route instead of a tascam if it works.

November 29, 2011 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


An XLR-to-iPhone-mini-plug will not work with XLR condenser microphones, as there's no 48VDC phantom power available on the iPhone's headphone jack, or its dock connector either. There is 1.5V plug-in power for tiny electrets mics like the one in the iPhone earbuds, but it won't power an XLR condenser mic. XLR dynamic mics like Shure's SM57 don't need phantom power but the iPhone's headphone jack wants to see a hotter signal which means the recording will be very noisy. Either way you go it's just going backwards if the goal is professional sounding audio recording.

Also, $30 for an audio recording app? Audiofile Engineering's $5 FiRe 2 recording app records 48kHz AIF and FTPs it as well.

Lastly, don't assume the iPhone's built-in microphone is crap. It's actually excellent, and better sounding than most add-on mic accessories. An iPhone held up to a voice talent, even using the free Voice Memo app in iOS, is a great field recorder and will deliver broadcast-quality audio. Try it and hear for yourself.

November 29, 2011 at 5:08PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


You can buy an external phantom power power supply. It's very cheap.

November 29, 2011 at 7:37PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


what is the point in spending 30$ on the app, PLUS 30$ on the XLR to mini converter for the iPhone just to have an end product with lots of noise? I am an Audio Engineer/Sound Designer and I have to agree with Corey... The standard IOS voice memo app works just fine to record audio, I have over 5,000$ in audio gear for recording and mixing sound, sound effects etc, and Im building my library of tools day by day! (Just fresh out of college and I'm 21!!!) Im not going to spend upwards of 60$ on something I don't feel i can rely on. Sorry guys. I Love the iPhone, but this app to me is very useless. Just My Opinion

November 30, 2011 at 3:40AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Do we now assume, that the iPhone will be the all-in-one film tool? What next, a set-design-app, a prop-app, a catering-app?
Call me old-fashioned, but it is still an internet/phone/mp3-player/camera-toy, although i have to admit that the mic turned out to be really useful for band rehearsal recording.
But why would you need another app for that?

I think the sound is too much important for the feeling of a movie, to leave it to a toy.

December 1, 2011 at 9:59AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Hendrik K.

I concur. Anyone who thinks they are going to get "good" audio quality from this thing by itself needs to do some homework. There's no way those adapters have any kind of decent preamp, let alone 48V phantom. By the time you buy even a lower quality condenser mic, a preamp /power supply, and the app, you might as well just get a Zoom or Marantz.

December 5, 2011 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


After much searching, debating, comparisons and evaluation for docmentary / short films and sometimes full blown feature sized production we recently got an Oade Bros Modified Marantz PMD661. It took us a year to make it happen due to the lousy exchange rates and Doug only shipping inside the US.

BUT ... what a recorder; and only around $500-$600 depending on your location. The smaller hand-helds etc. simply do not cut it.

January 2, 2012 at 7:54PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Thanks Cory, You saved me some money and your advice was very helpful.

October 1, 2012 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Steve Fowler

The Tascam iXZ provide Phantom Power and a XLR input for iPhone and iPod Touch 4G This can be used with Fire2, maybe also with this app. About $50.00. Been planing on buying one of these for a couple of weeks

Tascam also has the iM2 stereo mic that plugs into the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch 4G docking port.Works with most recording apps, Plus the internal video camera. About $80.00

November 29, 2011 at 5:41PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I wonder how this is different from FiRe:

Or FiRe 2:

$5.99 each.

I have no connection to them, other than having purchased the original FiRe. I didn't realize there was a new version out until I searched for the links to post here...

The sound from the built-in microphone (at least on iPod touch) is great. Obviously it doesn't replace a proper boom microphone, but you can use it in creative ways. Think "practical" microphone that can be placed within the scene itself.

November 29, 2011 at 5:54PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


without phantom power this is pretty useless...

November 29, 2011 at 7:27PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


My guess would be that the "pre-amp" is terrible. Would love to hear a sample recording.

November 29, 2011 at 11:34PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


As Corey, Elliot, and Carlos, have stated, this is really a dead end (or false solution) without phantom power.

There are $2 recording apps that allow AIFF; thus it's the mic that needs to be upgraded. So without the addition of another mic, there really isn't a point.

That said, the article has value. Let us know what is out there, and just how the audio market is taking on the iOS.

November 30, 2011 at 11:09AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Anything like this for us Android users?

November 30, 2011 at 4:09PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Yes it would have been nice to mention the android solution. PCM recorder lite is a free app that records great audio even with ear bud mic as a lav.

December 1, 2011 at 10:34AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Didn't know that the iPhone was so good "as is". These kind of technical solutions could though still be useful for situations calling for a lav-mike or a boom- supported mike, me think

December 2, 2011 at 10:50AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

yuke ward

How is this compare with iRig?

December 2, 2011 at 11:28AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


So what if you are 21 Elliott!! Are you trying to tell us you are smart, rich or smart & rich at the age of 21?

December 2, 2011 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


With all the stuff you can do with your iphone these days, you will need another iphone to actually take calls!

But let's be serious - there are things you just don't want to do with your all-in-one phone-computer-thingy. Some important tasks are just better done with a seperate, dedicated device. And I think recording high-quality sound is just one of these tasks!

December 6, 2011 at 3:19PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Actually, the FiRe app does NOT record at 48 kHz. Just up to 44.1. So if you're trying to use an audio recording in a video editing app, you might have to convert it. With the recording you get from Pro Audio To Go, you can drop the audio file into a timeline and edit immediately with no conversion. I guess it depends on what you need. If you want the highest sampling rate (48 kHz), the Pro Audio app would be the better choice.

December 6, 2011 at 9:17PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


FiRe 2 records 48. What's the difference between that app and the Pro Audio to Go?

December 10, 2011 at 10:54PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


What happens if you get a phone call/email or text message while you're recording a scene?

December 15, 2011 at 9:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I'm away from home and I didn't bring my field recorder or mics. I decided to get some video and sound bytes here for a documentary film. I'm leaning towards getting the tascam ixz phantom power xlr and a mic for the either of the above mentioned apps?

December 21, 2011 at 3:31PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


So anyone out there with experience recording sound like this?

December 21, 2011 at 3:39PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I bought this app for a web series I started filming yesterday and it failed me. I first had it on a 4th-gen ipod touch. After freezing a considerable amount of times and crashing on me i put it on my iPhone 4 (not 4S) thinking having extra processing power would help but it didn't. I had all other apps closed on both devices. Unless they improve on this, do not buy this app- it's terrible.

December 29, 2011 at 9:10AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I bought this app and an iPhone XLR adaptor from Amazon ($30) while home for the Holidays – I wanted to shoot a testimonial promo for my friend's charity, just a talking head, and I had my 5D kit but no audio gear. I thought I could rent a lav for $10 and save myself the rental for a Zoom H4N or whatever, and have this app and adaptor as a tool in my back pocket for future use as well. I didn't see a problem with the lack of phantom power since I would use a mic that could provide its own. I was kind of shocked when I first opened tried the though and found no level controls, no level meters, no real controls of any kind – aside from some EQ, just start and stop. I rented a Sony ECM-77B and tried it with the set-up and the signal was unusably weak. And super noisy. So after spending $60+ in purchases to save myself a $30 rental, I had to rent a Zoom anyway. Poop. I want my money back. By the way the audio from the iphone's built in mic WAS indeed better sounding than using a pro mic with the adaptor. Consider the Apogee JAM adaptor which goes through the digital multi-port on the bottom of the iPhone – though this seems designed more for plugging in musical instruments than mics (1/4" connector).

December 30, 2011 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Recording at 48kHz is all good and fine...what bit rate is the recording going down at?

April 20, 2012 at 3:09AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Turn the radio off in your phone before you start recording perhaps...just like you would on any other set.

March 13, 2013 at 3:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


The weak link in the chain is definitely the built in mic. Try the Tascam Rode also have one too . The tascam is cheaper

March 31, 2013 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

Paul Abrahams

I have read some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for
revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you place to create this kind
of magnificent informative website.

July 31, 2013 at 9:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Why visitors still make use of to read news papers
when in this technological globe everything is presented on web?

September 30, 2013 at 2:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Yes! Finally someone writes ablut vocal condenser microphone.

September 30, 2013 at 2:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


i just bought the pro audio to go app and i'm more than a little disappointed. after recording a 60 minute sound file with NO equalizer applied to the recording the app takes an eternity to save the file. It took 8 minutes 10 seconds on my iphone trying to save the file rendering the iphone unusable til the process was finished. So i was unable to stop a recording and start another until the 8 minutes was up.

For me, its a waste of money unless they can fix this huge issue.

December 22, 2013 at 11:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM