Im just back from a weeks holiday and what a week to be away…Im catching up on 7 days of CES News and Im very impressed with the latest and greatest additions for iPhone / iPad audio. Rode have entered the fray with the iXY, as have Zoom with the iQ5 and Tascam has launched an update to their (in my opinion) slightly dissapointing iM2 twin capsule mic for iPhone, the iM2x. So lets have a closer look at whats been announced…
Rode have a dedicated website for the new mic the iXY. Its expected to go on sale via resellers by end of February-the first batch is already SOLD OUT on the Rode webstore- expected retail around €200- pricey by comparison with some of the competition but RODE make great microphones and just judging by the sample recordings on the RODE site this is a quailty piece of gear – aimed fairly firmly at the pro market I think – not everyone will be able to afford €200 to improve their iPhone audio …heres some of the detail from the press release:
“At the heart of the iXY is a matched pair of ½” cardioid condenser capsules, fixed in a perfect 90 degree ‘near-coincident’ alignment resulting in immersive and true-to-life stereo recordings, captured in incredibly high detail. The iXY uses its own high-fidelity analogue to digital conversion ensuring all recordings are rich, smooth and accurate.
The iXY’s small form factor and incredibly detailed performance makes it the perfect microphone for recording live music, meetings, lectures, reporting, dictation and sound design, and also is ideal for use on-camera as a dual-system recorder for DSLR.
A foam windshield is provided for outdoor recordings, as well as a rugged zip pocket to ensure the mic is always around when you need it……Released in conjunction with the iXY is RØDE Rec, an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch designed to be the ultimate companion to RØDE’s new microphone. When used together the iXY and RØDE Rec transform an iOS device into a fully featured field recorder.
RØDE Rec allows for complete control of the iXY’s continuously adjustable input levels for recording in loud and quiet environments, as well as the high pass filter to cut out low frequency rumbling such as air conditioning or outdoor traffic noises.
The RØDE Rec App is available for purchase from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore. The app provides a full suite of features including multiple sampling rates up to 96kHz, equalization effects (compressor/expander, high-pass filter, low pass filter, parametric EQ), non-linear editing, geo and photo tagging, and one-touch publishing to SoundCloud, Dropbox, email, FTP and iTunes.
RØDE has also announced a feature-limited free version of the app, simply titled RØDE Rec LE.
The RØDE iXY is shipping this month. Visit ixymic.com for more information or buy now in the RØDE Store.”
ZOOM, the makers of the ubiquitous H4N which is one of the most popular journalist field recorders and also a mainstay of the off-camera audio for DSLR recording, announced the iQ5. Note the Lightning connector – (The RODE displayed is using the 30 pin dock connector but there is a clause on the RODE site that says you can upgrade to the Lightning version when its available for $99 – making it even more expensive) It will be interesting to see how ZOOM perform with this. According to engadget the iQ5 will ship be end Q2 and will cost in the region of $100. There is no press release on the Zoom/Samson website as yet.
Finally Tascam who have been in the iOS audio accessory space for quite some time now, has previewed the iM2x (top) and the iXJ2 (bottom) Both iOS mic/adapters are shipping right
now and I saw indicative pricing on www.Thomann.de of €77 each. I bough the original iM2 shortly after it was announced and gave it out to a couple of our radio journalists to try out – In the studio environment the audio was OK but O.M.G. the slightest whisper of wind had the thing popping all over the place – so much so that Rycote came out with a deadcat for it very quickly. Im seriously hoping the the iM2x is a substantial improvement on the original…Ive ordered one so will post an audio sample when I receive it.
The iXJ2 is of significant interest to me, I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am) but the only other device Im aware of that currently allows stereo recording on iOS (iPhone) is the Fostex Ar4i which has been on the market over 18 months. You might remember I posted about a prototype Fostex showed in November 2012 of the AR101 with would give the same functionality but in a different form factor – no release date has been given as yet, however the shape of the iXJ2 is interesting because it just might fit into the butt of the MCam or Phocus? If it did that WOULD be an exciting development – kinda reminds me of the mashup I did in Nov 2011 between the OWLE Bubo and the Ar4i!!!