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Tascam Announces iM2 Stereo Microphone for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

ImageTascam has introduced a pocket-sized iM2 stereo microphone for Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. It turns the portable device into a CD-quality digital (44.1kHz/16-bit linear PCM) stereo audio recorder.  A pair of high quality condenser microphones plugs into the dock connector of the Apple device. The microphones are adjustable over 180 degrees for optimal sound placement. The iM2 contains its own microphone preamp and analog-to-digital converter for low noise and premium audio quality. 

Roland Announces R-26 Six-Channel Portable Field Recorder

ImageRoland has announced a portable field recorder with six-channels of discrete recording. After recording, the audio can be mixed down to stereo within the recorder.  Priced at $599 and available this month, the R-26 provides six channels of recording for mobile audio applications including location sound design, event production, legal court regarding, event videography and musical performances.

Mitra Introduces 3D Mic Pro for Surround Field Production

ImageMitra Corp. has introduced the 3D Mic Pro, an immersive sound imaging microphone that captures binaural-like sound in any video camera or sound recorder equipped with an XLR microphone or line connection.

The recorded immersive sound can be played back in any audio-video system through a pair of closely placed speakers or by headphones or ear-buds. 3D Mic Pro brings immersive 3D sound to virtually all pro video systems or common handheld audio recorders. These include DSLR video cameras.

The High Art of the Microphone

ImageAs a high school kid working during the 1960s at my hometown radio station, I quickly learned that the announcers worshipped RCA ribbon microphones. The simple reason: ribbon mics made them sound better. And that, my friends, is all it took to create a lifelong bond between a man and his microphone.

As ribbon mic aficionado Wes Dooley puts it, "those wonderful mics made you sound like GOD!"

The king of the hill at my station was the RCA 44BX. With this single hefty (8.5 pound) microphone, I often did five live music shows a day — with country, blue grass and gospel performers working both sides of the massive chrome grill. In the live era of radio, it was hard to go wrong with a 44. Somehow, it made everything sound better than it actually was.

The President's Microphone

ImageAmerican Presidents come and go but one constant since the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson has been the Shure Presidential microphone. Next time you see President Obama on television take notice. He almost always speaks into a pair of Shure SM57 dynamic cardioids – classic workhorses since the early 1960s now found in every conceivable sound reinforcement and recording application.

Why, with all the recent advances in microphone technology, does the White House still stick with the venerable SM57s priced at under $100?  The answer – from Shure's Michael Pettersen – offers a good primer for those who produce location sound.

An Audio Booth That Fits In Your Pocket

ImageIn this era of increasingly portable documentary production, the recording of narration has become more prominent. This has led to a proliferation of small studios for voice recording and to the construction of tiny sound booths in offices and homes.

But isn't there a simpler and cheaper way to make professional sounding voice recordings without giving up a much-needed closet or feeding the meter at an off-premise studio?

Faced with this problem personally, I wanted to find a way to record clean sound at my home office desk in the midst of noisy Manhattan. As any New Yorker knows, there is no way to escape the babel of city life.  With windows open, there's the continuous background of sirens, jackhammers and honking horns.

How to Record Telephone Conversations

ImageIn the course of one's daily work, basic skills are acquired. Once learned, it's easy to forget that this essential knowledge may not be widely known by others. Thus, a new generation struggles to reinvent the wheel.

One of those basics is recording telephone conversations. It's bread and butter stuff for journalists, whether the recording is needed for interviews,  documentary film, live news reports, or even podcasts. Almost anyone in the media business is faced with the task at one time or another.

Many of us remember that the task of phone recording was not always so easy to do. Even today, I wince when I see a struggling novice with a suction cup on a phone receiver or one of those little cheap plastic adapters from Radio Shack.