Capturing Audio for Video on Vacation with MV88

Capturing Audio for Video on Vacation with MV88

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Capturing Audio for Video on Vacation with MV88

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Cheryl Jennison DaProza puts our forthcoming MOTIV MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone to the test on a family cruise vacation. Check out her take on its audio quality and ease of use.

No matter how much you may enjoy your job, everybody needs a vacation every now and then. I love getting up each morning and heading to Shure HQ, but after a particularly long and brutal winter, it was time to get away. So my husband, parents, close family friends and I hopped a plane to Puerto Rico for a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean.

Since vacations for me are so few and far between and my memory is so poor, I wanted to make sure I documented as much as possible from our week in paradise. I didn't want to be weighed down by a lot of equipment, and all of my cameras are so outdated that, frankly, my phone takes better pictures and video. But the audio quality of my phone was not going to cut it for capturing the relaxing sound of waves rolling over my toes on a white sand beach.

MV88 to the rescue!

The MOTIV MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone connects directly to any iOS device with a Lightning® connector. I was fortunate enough to borrow one from our product development team here to bring along on my island getaway. (MV88 is not yet available for purchase, but you should be able to buy one this summer.) I threw the small case into my carry-on along with sunscreen and flip-flops and was off to paradise.

After a little A-B testing between audio from the MV88 and my iPhone's internal mic, I knew that I would be able to catch every crashing wave with perfect clarity.

The MV88 certainly made all the difference in my vacation videos, but I also learned some important lessons along the way.

Best Practices

Rule #1: Put your phone in airplane mode.

We've all heard it before: that weird electronic pulse that happens sometimes when your phone is next to a speaker. When your mobile device transmits and receives data, it can create RF interference. Any mic you attach to your phone will be susceptible to this interference and will create audible artifacts in your recordings. If you put your phone in airplane mode before you record, then you will avoid this completely.

Rule #2: Make sure you have the correct wind protection.

The MV88 comes standard with a ball windscreen, and the ShurePlus MOTIV app has a wind reduction setting, but if you are going to be recording in an area susceptible to a lot of wind (like, say, the deck of a cruise ship or the highest point on a tropical island), you should consider investing in a Rycote® Windjammer®. This furry little accessory is made by the same people responsible for windscreens used by many professional filmmakers and will block any gusts from your recording. I forgot to grab one before I left and was forced to scrap several breathtaking videos because they were just too noisy.

Rule #3: Make sure your case is compatible. 

The MV88 clips directly onto the base of your phone. Many cases will not accommodate it. I simply removed my phone from my case and had no issues, but if you're obsessive about keeping your phone protected, then make sure you find one that will allow enough room for the MV88 to connect.

Rule #4: Have a great time! 

If you're so busy trying to document what a great time you're having that you forget to actually have any fun, you've wasted your time! The MV88 is easy to use, so you won't be spending a lot of time trying to figure it out instead of enjoying yourself.

Roll the Tape!

And now, without further ado, my vacation video. Disclaimer: I'm not a filmmaker. I'm just a person who wanted to document an awesome vacation. The good news is that you don't have to be a filmmaker to get great footage with high-quality sound of your vacations and important life events when you have an iPhone and and MV88. Here's proof.

Special thanks to The Las Vegas Tenors and the UVM Top Cats for allowing me to include their performances in my footage.