By site editor Dan Chung:
Place the new Rode smartLav on your subject, plug it directly into the headphone jack of your iPhone, start up the Rode Rec app and hit record. That is the new, simple and inexpensive solution Rode is offering for recording clean audio for presenters, interviews and actuality.
Hot on the heels of the Rode iXY mic the new smartLav lavalier mic is designed for use exclusively with Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. It works with the Rode Rec app but also other 3rd party recording apps and video camera apps.
At a mere $60 this mic is certainly very interesting proposition for news shooters on a budget and students.
This solution does of course require you to sync the recorded audio with the video from your camera in post production. Popular tools such as Pluraleyes now make this relatively straightforward. It also makes monitoring of audio hard as there is no easy way for the operator to hear what is being recorded, or adjust audio levels on the fly. You also have to turn on the airplane mode of the iOS device to stop interruptions and interference. For these reasons I would not probably not use the smartLav for primary audio if I had access to a good quality wireless solution.
For better equipped shooters I think this is still going to be a great product, but more as as a backup to a more expensive system or as a way to get an additional audio track when you have multiple subjects. I’m really looking forward to testing out how good the audio from this little mic can be.
This is the press release from Rode:
1st February 2013, Sydney Australia – RØDE Microphones today announced the release of the smartLav, a new lapel microphone that connects directly to the headset jack of Apple iOS devices. Compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, smartLav delivers premium quality audio capture in a compact and accessible form factor.
The smartLav is a professional-grade wearable microphone designed for use in a wide range of fi lm, television and broadcast scenarios, or wherever professional quality audio is required in a discreet, portable format without the complication and expense of additional wireless equipment, particularly where multiple talent is involved. With the smartLav the user simply mounts the microphone on the talent, connects it to the iOS device’s headset jack and records via the RØDE Rec or RØDE Rec LE apps.
By employing a high quality omni-directional condenser capsule the smartLav captures sound in a forgiving 360 degrees, allowing for versatility when mounting and ensuring a high degree of user-friendly operation.
“The smartLav is an exciting solution that makes professional quality audio available to anyone with access to an Apple iOS device,” explained Damien Wilson, RØDE’s Marketing and Sales Director. “For filmmakers or wedding videographers that have struggled to simultaneously record multiple talent this product truly is an incredibly simple and cost effective solution.”
A foam pop shield is included to minimise wind noise and vocal plosives (hard ‘b’, ‘t’ and ‘p’ sounds), as well as a durable mounting clip with in-built cable management. The smartLav has been designed to pair perfectly with the RØDE Rec app for Apple iOS devices, and is also compatible with any iOS audio app that accepts input from the headset connection. RØDE Rec turns the user’s iOS device into a fully-featured field recorder, with a wide range of equalisation pre-sets to suit various recording situations, in addition to professional editing functions and the ability
to publish to SoundCloud and Dropbox directly from the app.
“Both the smartLav and the recently announced RØDE iXY stereo microphone showcase the possibilities of the RØDE Rec app as more than an isolated piece of software,” Mr Wilson explained, “but also as a platform and hub for a range of professional grade audio devices. This platform leverages the portability and popularity of Apple’s iOS devices to make content creation easier than ever.”
The smartLav is shipping to authorised RØDE retailers worldwide this month, at a suggested retail price of US$60. For more information please visit www.smartlav.com.