Best Microphone to use with Loopy


I'm going to a world trip on November 2016 to record loops from all over the world.
I bought the iXY from RODE to plug in my iphone 5S, but the result doesn't look professionnal.
I tried the iRig also but the result wasn't that good neither.

I need a microphone to record any voices & instruments, that I can travel with and with a profesionnal result.
Any propositions? Remarks?

Cheers :)



  • edited June 2016

    Apparently the best mic would be : iRig Pro with a Shure SM58.
    What's your advice?

  • @Gaspard - sorry I don't have any recommendations. But I would not expect to get professional results by using only one microphone in every situation and for every instrument. I assume you are one of the performers that will be recorded, Yes? Only you and one instrument at a time being recorded (while performing live)? Small group? The more info, the better the possibility of a truely usefull suggestion(s) (IMHO).

    While the SM58 is a good sturdy Vocal microphone for the stage, it is more or less designed for the Voice range. And in my experience, relatively close to the sound source. Instruments in this range should also be served well by the SM58. One can of course use it for anything and some may like the out come while othersmay not. I think more details are needed to make usefull/helpful recommendations.

    I have not tried an iXY or iRig, so have no personal experience to pass on. What was it about the iXY and the iRig recordings that make them less than professional quality in your opinion? backgrouns noise? Hiss? Muddy? Bad ballance of Hi/Mid/Lo frequencies? ?

    Generally I would say that any audio that comes into the iPhone through the headset jack is not going to be of great quality, and in my experience, poor at best. Any audio coming into the iPhone through the Lightning connector (digital audio) has the potential of being Great (professional). There are however a very large number of choices (audio interface, microphones, or all in one lightning connction mics) and there are quite a few very low quality ones out there (beware).

  • edited June 2016

    the SM58 may not be the absolute best dynamic microphone for a specific source...
    but it's probably the most versatile if variety ranges from drums, bass, guitar, vocal, accordeon to even violin
    it will picture each source at least decently, if... (here's the catch) your 1st preamp stage is top notch
    which isn't the case in any interface below $200
    of course the microphone will work perfectly, but way below it's capabilities
    for me the Audient ID22 delivered outstanding results
    'outstanding' because I assume the regular suspects from Focusrite and Yamaha perform similiar to my other interface, the iConnectAudio4+ (which is a nice unit, but less sophisticated in the analog domain)
    anyway... for a traveling device neither ID22 nor ID14 apply

    audio-codecs in recent IOS devices (Apple branded Cirrus Logic chips) perform amazingly well
    a recording test with the internal microphone of the iPad Air 2 in a quiet environment, some crude guitar/vocals from about 25" distance revealed an effective noisefloor of -58dB with signal peaks reaching -3dB
    this is an excellent result considering the small internal microphone capsule
    the sound has been postprocessed with some 'room correction' software and got a bit of level/reverb polish as you'd probably apply in most cases (nothing spectacular), the 2 part is the raw original take

    I don't have an iPhone 5s, but the chips are similiar to the Air-2's - so even the internal mic might be a valid option
    (if wind allows + you have a mount to point the phone into the right direction + postprocessing)

    the Shure microphone is well known for it's robustness, a good choice (as would be the SM57)
    to bring it to proper level, add a Triton Audio FETHead or a Cloud Devices Cloudlifter

    both devices provide very(!) clean extra gain, operate on phantom power and improve the mic's tone
    to get them into the iPhone I'd suggest the iRig Pre, which provides the required phantom power
    your chain would then be: Mic, FETHead or Cloudlifter, iRigPre, iPhone
    (to check converter quality of your iPhone in advance you should use an app like AudioShare that allows to set a fixed gain - IOS usually has a nasty auto-gain level by default that turns the mic into crap)

    cheers, Tom

  • @Ganthofer said:

    Thanks for your answer.
    My project is to travel the world and to study musical creativity depending on the culture end on the environment.
    I will ask to the artists I will meet to record 2 songs with Loopy :
    - one only vocal

    • one with all what they want (local instruments for instance)

    I'm afraid I will even have to make some recordings outside (wind, noise...) if I want to record street musicians.

    So it's difficult for me to choose the equipment, as I should bring with me one mic for each situation...But I don't have that much money to spent.

    My budget is around 200$

    (I will produce videos also and record the sound with a ZOMM H1)



  • @telefunky said:

    Thanks for your help. It looks that you know a lot about recordings :smiley:
    So if I should remember one sentence of what you said:
    "the Shure microphone is well known for it's robustness, a good choice (as would be the SM57) to bring it to proper level, add a Triton Audio FETHead or a Cloud Devices Cloudlifter"

    So if I travel the world with my SM57 added with a Triton Audio FET Head I could be able to record properly (quasi-professional) with loopy HD any voice, intruments, even outside?

    P.S: the internal mic of the i-phone is not a good option I think...even if your recording is really nice. I'm afraid if I need to record musicians in the street, then it will be disgusting...



  • edited June 2016

    well, the example was kind of multipurpose:
    to show what's possible with your 'last resort', if nothing else is available
    and to give an impression of the internal converter chip's quality (it really surpised me)
    the iRig Pre is a fairly simple device - the FETHead improves the critical first preamp stage
    (aside from providing enough gain for a typical dynamic microphone)

    btw: the FETHead circuit draws much less power than needed for a typical condensor microphone
    and don't be fooled by rumors that a Shure SM can't do highs - that's just nonsense
    I have a recording of an SM57 next to a Rode NT1 ... it's hard to tell which is which
    (recorded with an Audient ID22, which has outstanding preamps for am interface)
    ... or just listen to Sade live in Montreux (DVD) it's clear to see that she uses an SM58
    it's on YT if you look for Smooth Operator

    another microphone worth mention for quality and robustness is the Sennheiser MD21
    it would be a great alternative for it's undirected (omni) characteristic, the Shure is cardioid
    the MD21 has no bass emphasis if used at very close distance
    there's an (ic´dentical) OEM version GDM121 made for Grundig which shows up frequently on eBay
    both microphones may serve as weapons if in need ... solid metal ...

    I wouldn't track with Loopy but rather use Audioshare
    Audioshare has a very smart cutting mode so you may provide perfectly trimmed samples to loopy
    (unless you do a real live looping session of course)

    cheers, Tom

  • @telefunky said:

    Yes, the objective is to make real live looping sessions.
    The objective is also to have a simple set up, light and quick to install.
    After many research, I found out that, to record easily voices and instruments in many situations without using adaptator, the MIC Blue Spark Digital should be the best mic, connecting directly with lightening connection with the i-phone / i-pad.
    I've heard also a lot about Apogee MIC 96K.
    And you? What do you think about these 2 mics?


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