Record a Podcast with your Phone (Rode Mobile Interview Kit)

– Recording a podcast with
all kinds of super fancy gear, it’s really fun but what if all that
you have is your phone? This looks like a sponsored video but I promise you, it’s not. Although, I did actually get this for free and it is the RODE SC6-L
Mobile Interview Kit. Here’s the thing, I do really like RODE. I’ve made lots of videos about RODE stuff but they do really cool things. There’s pretty much always
a contest going on for RODE. Sometimes it’s video,
sometimes it’s audio. They have really good prizes. Last spring they did a podcast competition which I completely lost really badly but the first 300 people
that enter got this, which is super cool and
I didn’t know what it was and it’s nothing that
I would have actually shopped for myself ’cause I
didn’t even know it existed but now that I have it, I’ve been using it so much for the past, like, four months. And what it is, inside this box you get a little pouch and inside that pouch are
a couple of microphones and an adapter. And what this does is it let’s you record
two microphone inputs directly into your iPhone. You have this little adapter
that plugs into your phone and then you have two TRSS
RODE Lavalier microphones that can be plugged into
channels one and two. Then once you have your
two microphone inputs there is actually a 3.5
millimeter headphone jack so you can even monitor your audio while you’re recording it into your phone. And this is actually a really cool setup and it works great for podcasting. I’ve also been using it a lot for video because I don’t have a
wireless microphone system. And so when I’m out away
from a microphone like this, I’ve just been keeping
my phone in my pocket with one of these microphones plugged in and then it works really well if I’m not able to be near the camera or near a microphone. But the reason I wanted to
talk about this specifically is because in my review
of the RODECaster Pro which is a really great
podcast audio mixer recorder. One of the things I said was that you shouldn’t let equipment stop you from recording a podcast and if all that you have is your phone, that’s a great place to get started. And on that video I’ve
gotten lots of comments where people are talking
about using their phone to record podcasts. So I wanted to explore that a little bit, especially because I didn’t know this was a thing that existed. I knew you could plug in
microphones to iPhones but I didn’t know there
was a whole adapter that lets you plug in multiple
channels, plus a headphone. So, this is basically how it works. I don’t know exactly which
model the microphones are that this comes with
but they look a lot like the microphones that are now shipping and being used with the Wireless GO, RODE’s wireless microphone setup. So I think they’re pretty similar. You could use your own and the adapter by itself
retails for about $80 on a lot of websites, which
seems like a lot of money, and it is, but it does
give you a lot of options and then decent Lavalier microphones can range from anywhere
from 20 or $30 up to any amount of money you want to spend because they can get very expensive. So I believe that this
whole mobile interview kit with the adapter and the two microphones usually retails for about $200. But if you think about
what it lets you do, now you can record two channels of audio directly into your phone and then you can export
that to your computer or you can even edit it
directly on your phone and then post it directly to
a podcast app like Anchor. So, this does make it where this, the phone in your hand,
is all that you need to record and produce a podcast. So it eliminates a lot of
friction between your idea and a finished product. And the way that I’ve
been recording everything with this little interview kit is through RODE’s Reporter App, which is actually pretty cool. It’s a little buggy, I’ll
get into that in a second but for the most part,
it’s a super solid app. So, when you open it, you
get this record screen and there are three
sections down at the bottom. There’s a library where all of
your recorded audio will go, there’s the actual record screen, and then there are some settings where you can kind of deep dive and really adjust your audio quality in a way that I’m impressed by. And then right using that,
you can just hit record and it’s gonna record with the
iPhone’s built-in microphone. If you plug in the little adapter, the SC6-L adapter, as soon as you plug it in, up at the top you’ll see now a configure
option for this adapter and this gives you more options. You an adjust your input level, you can adjust your direct
monitor, so the headphones that you’re listening to, which can be kind of nice sometimes. You can even adjust whether
you’re channels are combined or separate, so you have
these two microphones, by default, they’re combined
into one stereo file where both voices are on
the left and the right but you could do them separately, which means one microphone
will be on the left and one microphone will be on the right. I’m not 100% sure why you
would want to do that. I always just do it combined but it’s really cool to
have that flexibility ’cause, I don’t know what
you’re gonna do with this thing and that might be something
that is really helpful. As soon as I plug in the microphones, then you’ll start getting an input level. And then all I’d have
to do is start recording and you’ll see little
audio waves forms pop up, you’ll hear my voice and
then you’re good to go. You can pause it, you
can continue recording. When you’re done you just press end and then it goes into your library and from there, you can
export it out into your phone or to your computer or to whatever app you want to work with it. So, it’s actually a really
cool, really simple interface. It does have a few quirks. It’s a little bit buggy. I’ve noticed that a lot of
times once you stop recording and you got into the library and then you go back to record, it didn’t do it this time, but sometimes that will
cause the app to crash. The good news is, I’ve never
had the app stop recording or crash while it was running. That’s only ever happened
in between recordings to me. While I’ve had it recording, even if I’ve been going for a long time while filming a video or something, it just keeps going and it seems to be super
reliable in that regard. And that’s really important because if you’re recording
a podcast with someone, you don’t want to get
through a 45 minute interview and realize that this thing stopped recording after 6 minutes and then everything is just gone. So I’ve never had
anything like that happen. The other thing is the input level seems to be super sensitive on here and usually on most audio mixers
and meters that I’ve used, negative 12 is located right
at where green becomes yellow and that’s usually where
you want your audio levels to kind of even out, especially for voice. What I’ve noticed with
this is that any time you get into the yellow at all, you start getting some clipping and it sounds like there’s
a little to much gain so it seems like it has a really, I don’t know, hot input,
for lack of a better phrase. And I’ve just known that now,
to make sure it sounds good, I have to kind of keep the
recording input level lower than I normally would on another
mixer or another recorder. But so far, those are the only quirks that I’ve noticed with this app. Otherwise, it works really well. It is free so you could get it and just start using it right now with whatever you have on your phone. I’m sure it would work with other microphones you plug
in or the phone directly. And that’s what I really want to see and that’s what I want to show you is, what does this sound like when compared to other
bits of audio recording? So let’s compare the audio quality of this mobile interview
kit to other microphones. Right now you’re listening to audio from the RODE VideoMic Pro+ which is located just out of the shot. And this is the microphone I use when recording pretty
much all of my videos, but let’s switch over
to the RODECaster Pro. So, now you’re listening
to the RODECaster Pro through the RODE PodMic, gosh there’s a lot of
RODE products in here, and this is a set up that’s
designed specifically for podcasting and audio and voice, so it should sound pretty darn good. But that’s also what
this mobile interview kit is set up for, so, let’s
switch over right now to the RODE SC6-L Mobile Interview Kit and you can hear what my
voice sounds like there. So we went from the RODE video mic pro to the RODE PodMic into
the RODECaster and now just into one of the RODE Lavalier mics directly into my iPhone
and the Reporter App and you can hear the difference
between all those sources. They should be pretty decent and I’ve been using this,
like I said, for video quite frequently and no one
has ever commented on it or even noticed, so I figured
that that’s a good thing because it doesn’t stand out as being any different from the
microphones I normally use. Oop see, the app just
crashed right when I stopped recording on the phone and clicked end. But if I open the app, it still actually saved the file. So it did crash when I was done recording but it didn’t lose the file or anything. That’s what I was talking
about when I said that it crashes sometimes. The other thing you can use if
you want to record a podcast are just the earbuds that
come with your phone. So if I plug in these iPhone earbuds, and now this is what it sounds like just using my earbud microphone here. So this can kind of be sort of helpful but this almost
works like a Lavalier mic if you don’t keep the earbuds in your ear, you can kind of talk to it and then move it to another person. That’s like, a little
bit super low budget but it works and it gets the job done and that’s the most important thing is are you able to make what you
need to make with these tools? AirPods and wireless
headphones (AirPods clatter). I haven’t been able to get
the RODE Reporter App to work with AirPods or wireless headphones. So just to recap a little
bit, this is me recording with the ear pods and the
built in microphone on those and now this is me recording directly into the phone’s microphone, and finally this is using
the SC6-L Mobile Interview Microphone Kit, so you can kind of decide if you think there is a difference, what the difference is, if it’s worth it, if it’s not worth it. I think that it’s really cool and even though it’s something
that didn’t know existed before I had it, I would actually use it and I do actually use it. In fact, since these
microphones wrap up so small and the whole kit can fit inside this little pouch that it comes with, the whole thing ends up being really small so what I’ve been doing
for the past few months is just keeping this in my
bag whenever I go somewhere. So, it just kind of lives in my camera bag or my overnight bag if we go on a trip because you kind of never know, if I go to a conference somewhere and I meet someone that’s like,
oh man, it’d be really cool to record a podcast together, cool, let’s just go find a corner
to sit in and talk for a bit and do that or if I’m giving
a presentation at a conference and suddenly I decide,
I want to record this, I can just have the microphone running directly into
my phone and record it. There have been so many
times when Heather and I are on car rides and we get
into these conversations and they seem really interesting and when we’re done, we’re like, oh man, that would have been a super
fun podcast to record, oh well. Now this is just right
there and I can say hey, let’s just record it
as a podcast right now. Now this is the driving while talking test and this might seem like
kind of a pointless test because how often are
you gonna be recording or podcasting while driving? I don’t know, but I do know
that it is not uncommon to do what I’m doing right now
and want to talk to a camera while you’re driving and it’s nice to have a good audio source while doing that. But also, like I mentioned
earlier in the video, Heather and I do a lot of driving. One this I was always curious
about with this was like, could it be possible to drive in a car and record and get good quality audio? Or again, if you’re just
doing something like a vlog or a video and you need a car scene, is this gonna give you good audio much better than just a camera so. I’m using the GoPro to
film this right now, this is the GoPro’s microphone
that you’re hearing right now and this is the mobile interview kit. The other thing I’m curious
about with a car test is, I live in the desert and
it is right now 107 degrees. I don’t have the air conditioner
on because it’s loud but it is not realistic to keep
driving in 107 degree weather. So this is audio directly from the GoPro, my camera that I’m using,
with the air conditioner on, so you’re probably hearing
a lot of that air noise and now this is audio directly
from the mobile interview kit with the microphone
that’s much closer to me and hopefully, it’s
cutting down quite a bit on that air conditioner sound, especially because these microphones do have the little windscreens on them, so it should actually make
a bit of a difference. So again, I don’t know
how practical this is but it is called a mobile interview kit and I don’t know of anything
more mobile than driving and again, what I’ve been doing is just keeping this with me,
keeping this in my camera bag, keeping this just near
me when I travel places ’cause you never know when
something’s gonna pop up that you’re gonna record, especially if you’re doing any video, audio is half of your video and if this can help you
get better quality audio in any way, especially just using something you have next to you, I think it’s super worth it. My goal here is to kind
of give you an overview of everything from typical
video production audio to dedicated podcast audio and now to mobile audio or even just
using the phone that you have. Not only so you can hear the difference between all these things but more importantly,
to emphasize the fact that regardless of whether
you have a big equipment setup or you’re just working with what you got, you shouldn’t let the
equipment get in the way of you actually making a thing. The number one thing I would
say with my YouTube channel, with podcasts, when I talk
to other people about it is the biggest regret is that
they didn’t start earlier. So if you’re just constantly
waiting until you have the perfect equipment,
the perfect microphone, the perfect whatever, that’s
probably never gonna happen so just grab what you have,
do the best you can with it and then upgrade as you
need to as time goes on. But don’t let equipment stop
you from getting started. And there are so many tools that make everything so much
more accessible right now, and in fact, if you want to
check out more of those reviews, I have my RODECaster Pro interview and I also compared the RODE
PodMic against the Shure SM7B which is a pretty
legendary vocal microphone, so go ahead and check those videos out and I will see you over there. (reggae music)

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