STRENGHTS: Extremely Portable. Sounds fantastic. Great build quality. Cardioid pickup pattern. Device-powered.
WEAKNESSES: No headphone monitoring. Records one-person at a time. Price (though a good value).
RECOMMENDATION: For portability, durability, and sound quality, it’s a great option.
Let’s be honest. An iPad, on its own, isn’t great for audio recording. The onboard microphone can’t possibly capture good quality audio, and there’s no effective way of monitoring your audio as your record it. And yet the iPad still holds some powerful allure for many digital storytellers. Believe me, I get it. The mobility. The build quality. The compact restraint of the tablet form. The tactility of the touch interface. The constant stream of fascinating new recording apps. It’s a wonder iPad audio recording hasn’t already taken off.
Enter the iTrack Solo digital audio interface from Focusrite. The iTrack Solo allows you to connect your own external microphone to your iPad and to monitor your audio input as you’re recording. What makes the iTrack Solo such a useful tool (or any external audio interface, really) is that the it does all the digital audio processing inside the unit itself before sending the audio data to the iPad.
Between our voices and our digital stories, there is a microphone. It’s important to get it right. If you are someone just getting your bearings as a digital storyteller, or someone who needs to buy several mics for a group of storytellers, you’ll certainly want to consider the Audio-Technica ATR2100. Not only does it sound great, but it’s also inexpensive, durable, and easy to use.