Did you know you can record 2 separate audio sources simultaneously to iPad via Lightning to USB? You can with this and it works for iPhone too!


Since posting this, several people have tweeted alternatives they think should be included so here are the additional suggestions.

Note some of these are designed as Pro-Grade audio interfaces specifically for radio applications, I have tested NONE of these though some of the manufacturers have contacted me asking do I want to test them out.
Where that is the case I have accepted the offer and will review/compare once the devices arrive.

GlenSound Cub
RRP: €1300 (reporter edition)


CEntrance Mixerface
RRP: €450


Tascam US-366
RRP: €144


Focusrite iTrack Solo

RRP: €99
Focusrite Scarlett-2i2

RRP: €133


Original Post:

You may remember the Fostex AR4i – it was my GO TO accessory for iPhone Mojo back in the very early days of the RTE project.


However, it was a negative experience on the first ever Circom mojo course in Budapest 2012 that forced me to abandon it as several of the journalists using the Ar4i returned with mute audio – a fault, as we discovered, in the connection to the 30pin dock connector – if it is not absolutely 100% connected and secure the phone records nothing BUT the AR4i gives you audio monitoring nonetheless.

Tascam joined the stereo input game a little later with the release of the iXJ2 adapter – again for the 30pin connector- this is now discontinued.


Both of these devices would allow you to connect two TRS mini jack audio accessories into your iPhone to enable stereo recording and unlike the Ar4i, the iXJ2 had discreet level controls for each input.

When Apple released the iPhone 5 with the new Lightning connector-the ability to record two separate sources in stereo vanished – until Fostex returned with the Ar101.



The Ar101 like its predecessor could take two separate mini jack inputs but the single control dial it came with was less than ideal and I found early tests with a beta version of the device quite frustrating. I will confess I haven’t tested the AR101 since its official release and I would be curious to hear from any users on its strengths and weaknesses but as we approach the imminent launch of the iPhone 6 it did strike me that there is no device (I’m aware of) which gives you STEREO XLR in to the iPhone. I thought for a while that either Rode Microphones or IKMultimedia might decide to pursue this market but to date – no joy.

However last week, while I was testing the Rode NT-USB mic my iPad died and without thinking I used my iPhone 5s instead. It only dawned on me later that the NT-USB says its iPad compatible, in fact I’ve checked the Apple spec for the Lightning to USB camera connection cable and it makes no mention of the fact that the iPhone 5 and 5S will support some of these devices also

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 19.32.24

Heres the relevant Apple Support article: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4101?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

So on the back of that I decided to try the Samson Meteor mic via the lightning to USB Camera cable with my iPhone 5S- yep that worked too. Spurred by this I googled iPad Audio Interfaces and happened upon this:



Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 18.51.12
Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 18.51.30

The Roland Duo-Capture EX, is a 24 bit Stereo Digital Audio Interface for PC, Mac and iPad.

I decided to order one to test out with my iPad AND iPhone

I spent some time today testing the DUO-CAPTURE with various Apps I use as part of my Mojo Workflow-with some interesting results!


* I tweeted Wooji Juice, the developers of Hokusai to enquire about USB support and they said it should work -but it didn’t in my test.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 17.46.52

I should at this point highlight the fact that there are other USB audio interfaces available that will do a similar job to the Roland Duo, for instance this one from PreSonus- the AudioBox iTwo.

This device has a lot of the functionality of the Roland at  similar price point BUT it needs to be powered by the USB bus. This would suggest you need mains (or possibly a portable USB battery pack!)

Note on the back of the the device is says MFi (made for iOS devices- Apple certified accessory program). I don’t have one of these to test an compare but if any of you do – I would love to hear your thoughts.


So lets get to the punchline: What the Duo-Capture EX gives you is the ability to connect TWO microphones via the lightning to USB Camera Cable to your iPhone/iPad (lightning dock)

There are two main scenarios for when this is useful and let me say before I get berated for suggesting mojos carry even more gear- (arguably further defeating the “in your pocket” mantra), the uses cases will be rare enough.
Its just good to know it is possible for when the need arises and bear in mind it can be used for audio OR video stereo recording.



Which Lapel mic for mojo? Final Microphone test (for a while) AKG 417pp Vs MXL FR 361 Lavalier

Sennheiser MKE 2-EW GOLD  Mke2 Gold For Evolution Wireless With 3.5Mm Jack.  Black**     009831.jpg

Back in 2011 when I tested various bits of gear for our RTE Mojo kits I was initially going to go for the Sennhesiser MKE2 OR the Sony ECM77b. Both these microphones are exceptional quality and are in everyday use for broadcast. However the price of them is what sent me digging deeper for an alternative! The ECM 77b is approx €450 and the cheaper Sennhesiser MKE2 is around €300.


Given that one of the aims of the mojo project was to try to create a “grab bag” with all the accessories needed to equip a mobile journalist in the field, but ideally not costing more than that phone, the inclusion of either of these mics would have blown the budget. I found the AKG 417pp Phantom Lavalier and it ticked all the boxes – the sound was good (perhaps not as good as the Sony/Sennheiser) enough, the build was robust and the price was right. €110-€130. We’ve been using it in our kits since.

Recently however I noticed that MXL Microphones had started to explore mobile content production in a BIG way.
They have a set of  mobile specific accessories including a dedicated lavalier and miniature rifle mic with grip (Click images below for more details) but it is their Pro grade Lav mics that were of interest to me…

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 13.56.25 Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 13.55.49

MXL actually have two microphones in the Lav kits. One Omni Directional and one Cardioid.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 13.59.33

So I decided to test the FR-361 against the Akg 417pp in two different situations. First I did a sound ONLY test in one of our radio booths.

As with all the recent audio tests I used Google Glass to record what I was doing and posted the two separate clips to Soundcloud directly from the Voice Record Pro App…

Then I enlisted the help of RTE News “Mojo Champion” Philip Bromwell and recent mojo trainee Aisling Kenny to do a real world interview setup using FilMic Pro. Philip chose the RTE canteen, which is a noisy environment but with good light, and we set up two iPhone 5S with FilMicPro, IKMultimeida iRog Pre and the two lab mics which recorded the interview in parallel.

I would encourage you to listen using good quality over ear headphones to assess the sound.

So YOU decide if the MXL Quality and Value is a rival for the AKG, Sennhesiser and Sony. I think its fair to say there is a choice for every budget available now.


Kodak and Vivitar effectively clone the Sony QX10 / QX100 “Smart cameras” concept and QX10 field test by @tiir

Around this time last Year word leaked that at IFA Berlin, Sony were about to unveil a “revolutionary” device which would dramatically affect photography and video with smartphones.


Sure enough at the IFA exhibition Sony announced the QX10 and QX100 smart cameras. As soon as they became available I got my hands on them to test out and I have to admit I was initially very impressed with the QX10- 10x Zoom – this was a big step forward for Smartphone photography. When you take a photo with the QX10 it transfers a low resolution version to your camera roll – these two shots of my dad are those low res images at the wide and zoom end of the lens range.

image photo-3

However the issues soon became apparent when trying to shoot fast moving action – the image on my iPhone via WiFi connection between the QX10 and my iPhone was at times 2-3 secs behind the camera – this made shooting any fast moving action all but impossible in video mode!

I just noticed today (though these may be on the market for quite some time) that Kodak have released and previewed what I can only call “a clone”. The Kodak SL10 and SL25 are to all intents and purposes copies (sorry to be brutal but that is how it appears) Click the link above to see the specs.


The Vivitar ViviCam IU680 looks similar but is actually a different and more interesting concept. The IU680 is the “camera” body and it will accept lenses from the Vivitar camera range. According to PhotoRumours.com the IU680 was shown as a prototype at CES but has not actually entered production. 


Anyway with IFA 2015  only weeks away its probably worth knowing the good and bad of the Sony models – in case they decide to introduce a new version or upgrade the current models…

I gave the QX10 to an RTE colleague Ivor Carroll, who, like me, loves testing out new gadgets and exploring their potential for broadcast applications. Ivor wrote up this piece on the QX10 several months ago – its my bad that it has taken so long to get it on the blog but it is still relevant and worth a read:

Sony QX10 Review
by Ivor Carroll

Had the good fortune to get a loaner from Glen Mulcahy of the the DSC QX10 smart phone camera attachment. I used it with an iPhone 4 and cut on an iPad with pinnacle for iPad. First impressions were that the QX10 is a very cool and very innovative piece of kit. It’s been a while since I have seen something with no rivals in the market. The QX10 is a camera attachment that uses your smart phone as the control and viewfinder. Its looks just like a lens but it hides a small micro sd recording function also. I tested it really for video and not photos. So my thoughts below are about moving pictures.

So, is it any good? Well the answer is yes. The image quality for video is very good. In video mode it is on fully automatic so there is no control but the results are very good. I would compare the quality of the auto settings in the QX10 as on a par if not better than the go pro. All my testing was hand held and the stabiliser is very good and the results in low light were very impressive.

Look at the YouTube links below and excuse the very bored children but we have been having some very bad weather and hense very bored kids.

The unit is also small and compact. It’s easy to carry and you would not find it annoying or cumbersome to carry on your person. It’s a great gizmo, gimmicky gadget but is it worth it? Well let’s look at the pros and cons…

The pros.
The 10 to 1 zoom is the number one strength of this device. The facility to zoom with a small device like this is a game changer. In my world more zoom equals more story. The wide angle at the beginning of the zoom is very good, shooting in small spaces will not be a problem. It connects to your device via wifi and this is also how you transfer clips onto your iPad or phone for editing so no need for wires or fiddly attachments. The facility to use the device at a distance from your hand held mobile is very interesting. I put the QX10 on a monopod and raised it to a height of around 10 feet. I was able to view the images from eye level and this produced great results. This is a function which would be very helpful for breaking news and press scrums.

The cons.
The battery life is not great. There is no mic input. The few buttons that are on the device are very small. In a rush it takes time to power up, disconnect your phone from wifi network and re establish connection with QX10 instead. This can take up to 30 seconds or more. Loads of time to miss an important shot. To access the micro sd card you have to screw of the phone grip, take of the battery compartment door and take out the battery.

Conclusion. The QX10 is a great piece of kit and worthy to be included in a vj kit bag or as a go pro alternative of sorts. It is perfect for breaking news when the zoom can get the pictures that a normal phone lens just can’t get. However I always think that for the price (eur270ish) you might be better off investing in a small handheld camcoder, an entry level dslr or maybe even the Samsung galaxy android camera with zoom lens.

The QX10 does not disappoint but my initial excitement was soon gone and I quickly went back to shooting on devices that are quicker to boot and shoot.

You can follow Ivor on Twitter: @tiir

Rode iXY for Lightning Unboxing and initial recording test.


The last unboxing/test/review for today is the Rode iXY Stereo microphone for Apple Lightning devices.


I bought the original iXY for the Apple 30pin dock connector and I have used it several times with the optional Rode SmartGrip to mount it on top of my DSLR while recording in the field.


The fact that both iXY devices can record at 96000Hz is pretty damn impressive. (That’s double CD quality to the man on the street)

Anyway here is the Unboxing Video and the sound clip recorded using the iXY with my iPhone 5S and the RodeRec App

For more information on either version of the iXY visit the Rode Micro Site

Testing the @Rodemics NT-USB Microphone against the Samson Meteor


I took delivery of the new Rode NT-USB microphone yesterday and committed to doing a studio test with it today.
The first thing I did was unpack it so see whats in the box.

I decided to test it against my current USB mic: the Samson Meteor.

I asked my frined and colleague Cian McCormack, who is a reporter with our Morning Ireland radio show, to read a piece of script.
He has a trained “Radio Voice” and also has a great appreciation of good sound so I was eager the hear his opinions also.

Here are the recordings from Voice Record Pro uploaded directly from the App to Soundcloud.

In case you are wondering what Cian is talking about in the test, he cycled the full length of Ireland, from Malin to Mizen Head recently and broadcast his adventures along the way!


Here’s a link to the feature on the RTE.ie website. You can follow Cian on Twitter

I tweeted that I would be trying out the NT-USB and asked had any of my followers suggestions for tests.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 14.48.11

Iain Collins, this is just for you:

TWO things struck me from that test:
1. If you hit off the Popshield on the NT-USB you gat an incredible bass hum so avoid that – BIG TIME.
2. It clearly picked up the staff to my right, one of whom coughed several times during recording, so not ideal for noisy environments.

Ultimate take away: The NT-USB is a well built, sturdy Microphone which performs best in a studio environment. The sound is clean, bright with great frequency response (Cian’s words) and I particularly like that you can use it with you iPad/iPhone as well as you Mac or PC. For more info visit the Rode Website


Rode Smartlav (original) Versus New Rode Smartlav+ Recording booth comparison


When Rode microphones originally announced the SmartLav in early 2013 I posted a blog about it as I was really excited and I believed it could be a huge step in the evolution of “budget” mobile journalism. During a mojo course in Budapest myself and John Inge Johansen from NRK tested it with FilMicPro but we discovered the main issue is the absence of audio gain in the App. (I subsequently discovered that MoviePro had added in App audio gain)


A number of weeks ago Rode announced an update called the SmartLav+ and certainly everything I’ve read suggests the audio fidelity is definitely higher in the the new capsule so today I took the SmartLav+ and the original smartly into one of our soundproof audio booths to do a side by side test. I recorded the test using glass and on the iPhone 5s I used Voice Record pro for the audio recording.

So here are the recordings:

Certainly my initial impression is that the SmartLav+ has substantially less hiss but it also sounds like it has also lost some of the richness in the bass.

I’m no audio expert – so I will defer to the judgement of some of my esteemed colleagues from radio who may comment. You can hopefully decide for yourself.

Its worth noting that FilMicPro will have audio gain as a feature in the upcoming Version 4 release.

For more information on the SmartLav+ visit the dedicated Rode micro site:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 17.59.00

DSLRPros Sp1 Handheld Smartphone Gimbal- Initial thoughts

Have you ever looked back at a video you shot handheld on your smartphone on a big screen and couldn’t believe how shaky, wobbly, jelly like the footage was?

Most smartphones are prone in varying degrees to this “jello effect” aka jitter and also to rolling shutter which makes vertical lines in the shot bend when you move above a particular speed. One way to avoid these issues is to put your smartphone on a tripod or a flat surface to KEEP IT STEADY! But there are alternatives if you really must shoot handheld with movement…I recently blogged about some of the current Smartphone and GoPro Gimbals that are available or are about to launch so I’m not going to repeat any of that just click the link above to read that original article. I’ve had my eye on two of the ones I mentioned and yesterday the first order arrived:

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 13.48.14

The DSLR Pros Sp1 Handheld Smartphone Gimbal.

I avoided the usual unboxing video and decided to jump straight in. I put the 3S 11.1V Lipo battery on charge and then prepped to take the SP1 for a test.
Unusually I decided to use Google Glass to record the setup and test also so you can see what I see (through Glass) and what the iPhone 5s is shooting using the Gimbal as two separate recordings.



A few notes.

The SP1 is listed on the DSLRPros Website as $299 but, as I mentioned in the first video if you are in Ireland, theres a surprise in store when you go to checkout and select your shipping options:

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 13.52.48
The CHEAPEST delivery option is $153.41 in addition to the $299! Maybe its just me but that seems like an incredibly expensive price for a small box. Perhaps the Lipo battery is seen as high risk and is partly responsible but even still I think those prices are WAY WAY WAY too expensive. So much so that I tweeted DSLRPros about it on 31st July but have still received no response from them!

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 13.58.08

The other cost to bear in mind (in Ireland anyway) is the customs duty which in this case amounted to a further €70 bringing the grand total for this unit to a whopping $546.16 (€407) 

Anyway in spite of the cost this is the first of its kind that is already shipping and I’m already aware of how effective the DJI Zenmuse H33d gimbal is with the GoPro on my Phantom Quadcopter so I had to check this out.

Interestingly, Once you open the handle the battery is clearly labeled…
BeHolder 3S 1000mAh 11.1V
and as the SP1 only comes with one battery included I decided to google the BeHolder name to see if I could source spare batteries…

Thats when I discovered that the SP1 is re-branded by DSLRPros, it is in fact made by teamrebeldesign.com but it appears they don’t sell direct via the website. This would lead me to believe that the Ikan model in the post mentioned above may well be the exact same unit from Teamrebeldesign but I cannot confirm this.

UPDATE: @Lucas_Afrilive contacted me to say that in fact TeamRebelDesign DO sell direct- here is the link


Anyway the point is..IS IT WORTH €400? Having played with it for several hours now I’m actually inclined to say YES – it would be much more tempting if it were cheaper though, but there is no doubt that it really does make motion VERY smooth and its much much easier to use than a manual steadicam like the Smoothie. One of the really nice features is you can “lead” it into turns by twisting you wrist and it gently follows the move. I’ll be playing with it more over the weekend and if i shoot anything half decent I’ll share it but as a closing note I do think this is a landmark in Mojo filmmaking and I’me really excited to see how these units develop over the coming months.

I found the manual on Slideshare in case you need it:

Or alternatively it can be viewed here


PS My only disappointment with the SP1 is that I can’t balance it with my MoonDogLabs Anamorphic Adapter which is such a shame as I would love to shoot some 2.40:1 Footage with it! :(

MoJoConIrl – the 1st Conference dedicated to Mobile Journalism, smartphone filmmaking and iPhoneography


Over the last three years I’ve been continually amazed at the initial reaction of mojo trainees to the potential of smartphones, particularly iPhones as content creation devices.

I’ve been even more impressed with the quality of the stories produced by trainees after their courses and their continuing dedication to push the boundaries in what can be achieved with a smartphone and some cheap accessories and also to the work that some of the pioneers in this space like Sky News, BBC and NRK have achieved.

Last month I started to ask people I know and respect in the mojo world would they be interested in participating or contributing to a conference on mobile journalism, Mobile FilmMaking and iPhoneography.
I was awed at the response with 95% of the people I asked not only pledging their willingness to participate but also to help in spreading the word.

Once I realised how many people were supportive I immediately started looking at dates, venues and logistics and I drafted a proposal for the executive here in RTE.

Now that the project is scoped and with all the core stakeholders consulted, I’ve realised it will take more time to pull together than I had first anticipated but to be honest I want to do this right and make it the best it can possibly be.

So I’m going to reschedule the conference for March 2015, this timeframe will pave the way for making the event even better than I had first hoped.

But as a teaser to whet your appetite…here’s what I’m working on:

Day One. Plenary sessions/Panel discussions on the following topics…

Session One:      “Mobile Journalism: Technology in Broadcast – where to next?”
Session Two:      “Story. Exploring the diversity of multimedia storytelling with and for mobile”
Session Three:   “Smartphone FilmMaking: Award Wining Creators share their experience”
Session Four:     “Create, Curate, Verify: UGC, building communities and the process of validation and authentication” 
Session Five:      “The Multimedia Mojo – working across Radio, Print and Online case studies”
Session Six:        “Code:R-Mojo Educ8: App Development and education for Generation Y”

There will be plenty of opportunities for networking in the evening and there is some discussion about an iPhoneography walkabout session also.

Day Two: Workshops and Masterclasses

Masterclass: iPhone FilmMaking – learn from internationally awarded Filmmakers

Workshop: Social Storytelling – New Platforms for publishing and creating a community

Masterclass: iPhoneography: Shoot Epic images with your smartphone

Workshop: The RTE Mojo Project – From Shoot to Edit to Publish. A step by step workshop.

Conference Dinner (Optional)

I’m also hoping to attract a decent group of the hardware makers and resellers to set up stalls at the event with the idea that they not only demonstrate their gear but sell it as a special reduced conference price!
There will be rapid fire pitch rounds for App developers to pitch their Apps to the audience also.

This means that delegates will have the option to come to the conference, learn from industry leaders, buy their chosen mojo kit, do a top class training workshop and leave with all the skills AND gear they need to get started on their mojo journey.

If you are a hardware manufacturer or reseller who is interested in taking part then DM me on Twitter @glenbmulcahy for more info.

I haven’t completed the math on ticket prices yet but as soon as the date is officially confirmed I will post an update here with ticket prices and a lottery for some free tickets for you (blog readers)!

Im working on the event website now but in the meantime follow @mojoconirl for updates and if you have some suggestions or feedback please do get in touch.




Skyroad Film and Television festival seeking submissions now. Mojo’s: Deadline is Aug 6th via @skyroadfilm

Screenshot 2014-07-27 22.08.52

Sky Road TV & Film Festival is a new festival which takes place this September 5th – 7th in the Station House Theatre, in Clifden, Co Galway.

One of the organisers is a former colleague of mine from my days with TG4 and he reached out to me recently for some support so I Skyped him for more info:

Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend but I do think the festival is worthy of a mention…
not least for the fact that they have 3 mobile categories for which they are currently seeking submission (Ireland only).

Their website has this to say:

The festival will work closely with producers and broadcasters to bring the latest content in Irish cinema and television, in both Irish & English language to the programme. The goal is to engage with filmmakers by providing a platform for discussion regarding media, trends and finance options available.

The festival has now announced its submission categories. They are as follows:


  • Best Feature Film
  • Best Short Film


  • Best Feature Documentary
  • Best Short Documentary
  • Best Documentary Series

NEW MEDIA (Media filmed on a smart device)

  • 10 Second Short: Shot and Edited on Mobile under 10 seconds
  • 1 Minute Short: Shot and Edited on Mobile under 1 minute
  • 3 Minute Short: Shot and Edited on Mobile under 3 minutes

So if you are a budding mojo in print, radio, television, online or freelance and you have a story shot on a mobile device that qualifies for one of the three mobile categories, get your submission in now.

The process simply involves uploading your piece to YouTube or Vimeo and pasting the Url and some other info into the submission page on their website!

You can get updates via their Website or Twitter: @SkyRoadFilm

The Jello Effect in Mojo and options for stabilising your Smartphone or GoPro

If you are a regular follower of the blog you’ll know I talk about the iPhone as a mobile journalism solution a lot, but I also occasionally blog about one of my other interests: UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or “Drones” as some call them, though thats a title I loathe.

Anyway the two topics have a common thread and that thread is becoming quite a substantial crossover. UAVs like the DJI Phantom have the option of a Go Pro Stabiliser Gimbal called the ZenMuse H3-3D. What this device does is it corrects the position of the GoPro relative to the pitch/yaw/tilt of the UAV. Or in simple terms it keeps the GoPro steady while the UAV is moving and tilting around.

Image via http://www.quadcopters.co.uk

The iPhone (particularly the older 4/4s) was extremely prone to rolling shutter and jitter-sometimes referred to as the “Jello Effect”. If you’ve tried walking behind a fast moving subject you may often notice the extreme shake in the picture and if you Pan (turn left or right) quickly all the vertical lines will bend very noticeably. During our Mojo courses I strongly recommend that trainees get into the habit of using either a tripod or monopod but thats not always practical. This is where the UAV Gimbal Stabiliser technology is now starting to have an impact on smartphones and GoPro.

A growing number of manufacturers are using the same Inertial Monitoring Unit Chip (IMUs) as those used in UAVS to create handheld brushless motor gimbals for Smartphones and GoPro. I’ve been trying to decide which one to buy for some time so I thought I’d share the ones I’ve been considering in case you are in the market for one also.

This is a THINGLINK image grab – If you click it you will be redirected to the Thinglink site where you can click on each image and go to the manufacturers website to get more information and pricing.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 12.31.09


Its probably worth mentioning that these handheld units are baby versions of the much bigger and more expensive Stabilisers like the pioneering  FreeFlyCinema Movi M5 | M10

and many of the others who have subsequently created their own versions.

If you want to see what can be achieved with these handheld stabilisers then checkout this Playlist


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,353 other followers