Like most parents, my husband and I enjoy keeping a record of special moments and fun times in the lives of our children, and as such, we are always on the lookout for gadgets that will make recording these moments a little easier.
In fact, that was one of the reasons I bought an iPad 3 last year - I knew it would make it so much less hassle to capture treasured moments without having to go the bother of setting up my digital camcorder and then transferring the videos onto my computer for viewing. An iPad meant I could just get on with recording instantly and then watch my footage back as and when I wanted to!
However, pleased as I am with my iPad, I've always been a little disappointed with the sound quality of my recordings. The sound is slightly tinny and, dare I say, cheap sounding, and compared with my old digital video recorder, well, there is no comparison really!
As well as wanting to record my children, I also make relaxation voice recordings and occasional Youtube videos and for these, in particular for the relaxation recordings, I require professional quality equipment. An iPad simply isn't good enough, or at least it wasn't until now...
I've been using Blue Microphones Mikey Digital this past week and from what I have seen so far it is no exaggeration to say I've been astounded at the recording quality. Seriously, from the moment I made my first test recording and compared it with the same poem spoken through my iPad's microphone, the difference was incredible. The Mikey Digital, which attaches to the power outlet of your iPad/iPhone, delivers crisp, clear, stereo cd quality recordings with a lovely soft tone that is very similar to what I refer to as BBC radio quality. You'd actually think you had made the recording in a proper studio setting.
To demonstrate what I mean by this, have a listen to the following poem, Born Yesterday which is one of my favourites by the wonderful Philip Larkin.
In the first recording, I recorded the poem using my iPad's in-built microphone and the result is not that great. You can hear a slight hissing and some light background noise and it really isn't very pleasing to the ear.
However, compare it with the second recording of the same poem made using Blue's plug and play Mikey Digital and you will not fail to see the obvious difference. Background noise is gone and the tone is much crisper and softer in tone. Also, just to point out, both recordings were made whilst sitting on my bed and without any special set up whatsoever!
Again, I am more than impressed with the sound quality and feel that the Mikey Digital picked up every nuance and fluctuation in Sarah's voice whilst the recording is clear, crisp and has a beautiful soft tonal quality to it.
Consequently, I would happily recommend the Mikey Digital to other budding and even professional singers who are trying to record whilst on a budget!
Next I wanted to hear how the same verse sounded using the video capture on the iPad using Mikey Digital rather than the inbuilt microphone.
Again, I am thrilled with the result and feel my poor old camcorder is now redundant!
From my own personal experiences, I will have no hesitation whatsoever in using Mikey Digital to record future relaxation cds and mp3s and indeed fully intend to. It's a great product and what's more, it is so small and unobtrusive that you can keep it in your pocket or purse in its supplied fabric carrying pouch, to attach to your iPhone or iPad at any moment. From school plays to birthday parties, music concerts to interviews, Blue's Mikey Digital microphone is definitely a piece of equipment that you will truly value with every use.
So, what is it about Mikey Digital that makes it so special?
Well, firstly, Mikey Digital has been developed by Blue Microphones, a company renowned as leading innovators in microphone technology and design. It is also exceptionally easy to use. There is no set-up required, nor any specialist knowledge needed to utilise it. You simply plug it into your iPhone or iPad and it's ready to go. In addition, the microphone can either be used with the iPhone or iPad as it is, or you can use it alongside any audio or video application.
Mikey Digital is so versatile that it can capture professional quality recordings on-the-go as it features two of Blue's premium condenser capsules and has built-in sensitivity control. In addition, the microphone features a multi-source input jack allowing direct connection of guitar and bass and other sound sources to record extremely high quality sound. It accepts stereo line-in and mic-in, if required.
Mikey Digital also offers a choice of automatic or manual gain settings meaning users can enable it to intelligently adjust to fluctuating volume levels or manually set low sensitivity for extremely loud sources and high sensitivity for quieter sources. There's also a clipping indicator which flashes if volume levels are causing distortion allowing the user to adjust sensitivity immediately.
With a 230 degree rotation, the microphone is easily adjustable for the front or rear facing camera in order to capture the best audio sound possible. Mikey Digital also features a USB pass-thru connection allowing you to charge your device without interrupting your recording and without draining battery life. There's even an advanced microprocessor incorporated into Mikey Digital which allows for upgradeability and future control through iOS applications.
Mikey Digital is Apple certified for iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2 and iPad.
Mikey Digital, MSRP £99.99, will be available at Maplin Electronics, Dixons and Apple Retail stores (UK) in September.
For more information about Mikey Digital, visit www.bluemic.com/mikeydigital