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 Post subject: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:05 pm 
Mancing Dolecules Team
Posts: 302
All iPhones and iPod Touch 2G and above have 2 possible audio input sources, in addition to the integrated mic on iPhones.

Jack Input

The headphone jack on your iDevice is a 4 pin one, as seen here.

You have 2 options to use this mono input.

    Build or buy a custom splitter cable :

That will allow you to plug-in anything on the microphone pin. But beware of this things :
Quote:
1. The headset microphone input is very sensitive (it expects a low-level microphone signal).
2. A bias voltage is present on the headset input to power electret condenser microphone capsules (used by the afore-mentioned microphone accessories).
3. The headset input expects to see a particular load in order to signal the OS that an external microphone is present.

Source : This post from the excellent faberacoutical blog. Read it for more information.

For example, the PRS GuitarBud is part of this family of cable. It splits the 4 pin jack into a 3.5mm female stereo jack output and a 6.5mm male mono jack input usually used for electric guitars.

Update : Much better quality cables than the GuitarBud exist now. They have some added circuitry to solve the above-mentioned problems. These are the IK Multimedia iRig and the Peavey AmpKit LinK.

    Use an headset microphone :

That's what this input was designed for, so no voltage/load problem here.

You can use any kind of headset, like the Apple official one. If you want to be able to use any kind of headphones with the mic, you can use accessories like the Philips SHH1610 which simply is a mic + 3.5mm female stereo jack output.

Warning : Micro mics, such as the ThumbTack are useless with Everyday Looper as they don't allow you to hear your already recorded tracks.

Dock Input

Hidden in the dock, there is a stereo line-in input. However Everyday Looper only records in mono, so it will only use one of the two channel.

The accessories have to be certified as "Made For iPod", so you can't build a custom cable yourself.

There is a few accessories that uses the dock connector, like the Alesis ProTrack. It offers vast input options : XLR, Jack or Mics. However, this device provides input only, that means you will need to plug your headphones in the iPhone to hear your tracks. For iPod Touch users, it's problematic as you can't plug anything in the jack once connected to the ProTrack (jack is at the bottom, next to the dock connector). Be warned.

For more information on this input, you can read this post from the still excellent faberacoutical blog ^^.

Warning : The stereo line input doesn't work the same way on 4G and above iDevices ! For now there isn't any available dock input accessories compatible with the iPhone 4+ / iPod Touch 4G+ / iPad 1+. Upcoming compatible products are the Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack 2 and the Apogee Jam.

Camera Connection Kit (iPad only)

The Camera Connection Kit provides a Dock to USB adapter. This way, you can use a standard USB sound card if it meets the following requirements :

    - USB Audio Class 1 compatible (hint : works without drivers on MAC / Windows)
    - Doesn't draw much current (use a powered USB hub if it does)
    - Sometimes some magic mojo, so better check this list

If you are looking for one of the cheapest working card, there seems to be a consensus around the Behringer UCA 202


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:50 am 
Posts: 2
Hello,

First things first - the app looks great! I have watched the youtube videos and can't wait to get cracking with it.

However, despite doing a bit of reading around I'm still not sure about inputs. What I'd like to do is use one of my own mics (e.g. an SM57) as well as plug in a guitar. Am I right in thinking that as the mic isn't line level, interfaces like the PRS Guitar Bud and Amplitube iRig wouldn't be any use?

Would something like this work? There are plenty of other connectors on this site.

The only solution I can think of is to use a mixer but that means you'd lose the portability. The Alesis protrack looks good but it seems overkill for my needs.

Thanks a lot for any advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:16 pm 
Mancing Dolecules Team
Posts: 302
Hi Will !

I would not recommend the GuitarBud anymore - or the adapter you linked to, they are the same things with different connectors - as there is far better options now.

The iRig is a pretty good one. It is made to handle guitar signals : it does impedance matching and few other things. Its main drawback is that it seems to apply a quite big pad to the inputed signal. So if you play softly, signal will be very low, but fortunately you can push it to full volume in Everyday Looper after recording. However if you play loud (and with distortion for example), signal should have a decent level without clipping.

For the mics, it should work too, but as their signal is usually very low, I would recommend putting a little preamp (or a boost pedal or anything) between the mic and the iRig. However my test mic is a really old Phillips one (20+ years), so maybe a SM57 has more output level.

If you go for it, I would be very interested in reading your feedback about it.

Have fun :) !

Raphaël


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:17 pm 
Posts: 2
Much obliged, thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:58 am 
Posts: 2
Raphaël wrote:
The iRig is a pretty good one. It is made to handle guitar signals : it does impedance matching and few other things. Its main drawback is that it seems to apply a quite big pad to the inputed signal. So if you play softly, signal will be very low, but fortunately you can push it to full volume in Everyday Looper after recording.


Yeah, but it's no fun having to swipe over every track I record. Can you add a default volume or something?

Other than that I'm having tons of fun with E'dy Looper

Victor.


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:18 am 
Mancing Dolecules Team
Posts: 302
Hi Vic !

Yes, you're right, maybe an adjustable "input boost" option in the menu would do the trick.

And keep on looping :) !


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:28 am 
Posts: 1
after almost buying the $150 Alesis ProTrack I stopped into my Apple store and found this for $30:

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/guitar-connect

It is meant to compete against iRig, but does not appear to have the impedence correction circuit to match a guitar. Which makes it ideal for use with pro audio gear like my Mackie Mixer. ;)

I also find the cable length to the headphones nicer. I record a lot of acoustic guitar this way:

Mic (Cascade Fathead Ribbon Mic) -----> Mackie VLZ Mixer ------>GuitarConnect----> iPod Touch 2G

Audio is almost studio quality! 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:05 am 
Mancing Dolecules Team
Posts: 302
Glad you found a setup that suits your needs, thanks for posting :) !

That's a good occasion for me to post a link to a shop that build iPhone audio cable : https://www.kvconnection.com/Articles.asp?ID=165.

There is a LOT of choice (connectors, attenuation, ...) and it's cheaper than the mainstream cables (iRig, ...). Though I haven't tested them, there is some videos on YouTube made with them that attest of their quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:30 pm 
Posts: 5
I want to buy alesis protrack, but i don't know, is support iphone 4, can i connect iphone 4 to alesis protrack?

Thanks, for answer


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 Post subject: Re: Microphones and other input options
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:55 pm 
Mancing Dolecules Team
Posts: 302
Hi kalako,

Unfortunately no, you can't connect the ProTrack to the iPhone 4. There is, for now, no dock audio device for iPhone 4 that I'm aware of.

Raphaël


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