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budget interface/mixer to go with iPhone 6s? Audio Interfaces
Old 4th March 2019
  #1
budget interface/mixer to go with iPhone 6s?

Hi, could you please help me find a budget, but decent interface and mixer to go with an iPhone 6S for the purpose of interviews (with simultaneous audio recording of the instrument)?

I need to combine two channels of line level input (stereo or one mono) and one mic input (dynamic). Line sources are either stereo or mono.
It has to be portable.
It has to be good quality audio.
I will be using an iPhone 6S and my trusty Beyerdynamic M 69 TG which has a Effective Output Level of -50.75 Dbm and an impedance of 200 Ohm. (specs for the M 69 N which is only slightly different (no humbucker coil)

I've been looking at the Roland GO:MIXER Roland - GO:MIXER | Audio Mixer for Smartphones
It looks like this fits the bill but I'm a bit worried about two things:
-IME the Beyer mic needs a bit of gain, so I'm not sure if this Roland can do it.
-The currend draw of this Roland is 40 mAh (over the USB port), will that drain the battery of the iPhone too quickly?

Other solutions? Please post what are your experiences?

Thanks!
Old 4th March 2019
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Almy's Avatar
What's your budget?
Old 4th March 2019
  #3
Maybe a Roland GO:MIXER PRO would be better?
- batteries so not depending on the iPhone (can be used with any other gear)
EDIT: Some reviewers said the batteries ONLY power the Phantom power. But it does! Using the "Battery Switch".
- Phantom 48V (not needed right now)
- Lavalier mic input (might come in handy)
- Loopback function on/off
Sadly it's twice the price here.
Old 4th March 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almy View Post
What's your budget?
Less is more.
I have 100 euro cash but could stretch to around 200. (it's budget, I know)
Old 4th March 2019
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Almy's Avatar
Depending on your real needs I really like the Behringer UMC404HD. It's a great unit and you're not going to find everything it has in anything else at its price. I don't know how portable you need it to be.
Old 4th March 2019
  #6
I have to walk around with it for days so that Behringer sadly isn't portable enough. Looks like a nice unit though; Midas preamps.
Old 4th March 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Almy's Avatar
Ah, gotcha, that kind of portability. Seems like everything jumps to bigger sizes pretty quickly. What about the Zoom U-44/24? I'm just throwing darts because this isn't a niche I've researched. But I also came across this at sweetwater:

TASCAM MiNiSTUDIO Creator US-42 USB Audio Interface, Edit: Nevermind the tascam is bulky too.
Old 4th March 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 
manalishi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almy View Post
Ah, gotcha, that kind of portability. Seems like everything jumps to bigger sizes pretty quickly. What about the Zoom U-44/24?
ISTR that lots of people on the audiobus forum went for the U44/24 series. Pretty sure there's a thread over there. I have a U22 that works fine for me (also battery) but it is far more compact and has more limited inputs.
Old 4th March 2019
  #9
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manalishi's Avatar
And here's the link to that AB thread: ZOOM U 24...impressions — Audiobus Forum
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Here for the gear
You should definitely look into the Yamaha AG06. It has opened up my options in the studio.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manalishi View Post
ISTR that lots of people on the audiobus forum went for the U44/24 series. Pretty sure there's a thread over there. I have a U22 that works fine for me (also battery) but it is far more compact and has more limited inputs.
The Zoom is really good for the price, but if he needs two line level signals (both stereo?) and one mic, it doesn't have enough inputs or he would need to buy the additional module with two more XLR inputs and line level stereo, but this would add about 70,- to the cost of the interface.

But the Zoom interfaces, unlike the Roland and Yamaha mixers (the Yamahas allow it both ways), send every channel to a dedicated channel on the iPhone. With the exception of DAWs, most apps will ignore the additional channels and just use 1 and 2.
This is the advantage or disadvantage in relation to use case of the Roland mixers. They allow to mix up to 8 channels but just send the stereo-mix (2 channels) to the iPhone.

If the budget allows it, maybe a Zoom H5 or H6 would be a good solution.

Stupid question: I own an iPhone 6 and 2 iPads but I nearly always use the iPads with my interfaces. Does the iPhone receive more than 2 audio channels via usb at all? I use Auria as a DAW with my iPads and it allows as many channels as my interfaces have, but it doesn't run on iPhones.

Last edited by DirkP; 1 week ago at 10:16 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Thank you for the replies.
I went with the Roland Mixer:GO Pro (the one with the battery compartiment).
I'm happy with the Roland, everything worked fine. Mic input, lavalier mic input, line input and headphones out.
Gainstaging is possible, the only thing missing is a dedicated headphones volume knob.
When recording loud modular synths, while listening to the interviewed person talking, the output level was routed straight to the iPhone but also to the headphones. And that wasn't very nice. (I'm protective of my ears!)

But.. there's an issue. Not with the Roland but with the setup as a whole:
Sometimes my Filmic app crashed, sometimes it took the whole phone with it, sometimes it distorted the audio, sometimes it didn't see the incoming audio at all. Restarting the phone was then the only way to deal with it. I assume (but am not sure) this has to do with taking the Lightning cable in and out of the phone (had to recharge it, using a battery pack)
I think (but am not sure) that the distorted audio is because the iPhone doesn't deliver enough power to the Roland mixer (so when more voltage is needed, it distorts).
The levels were not too high. It could also be a temperature issue, taking the iPhone out of the frame I had it mounted in, seemed to "unfreeze" it.

This, and another reason make the iPhone unsuitable for professional video work with audio. It's great to use for travel, communication, quick uploads to the forum or instagram live videos.
Thankfully the little Roland mixer can be used with a Laptop or even standalone. So the purchase was not wasted.

@ DirkP I don't know if it can recieve more than 2 channels through the Lightning connector. You'd have to look that up.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post
You should definitely look into the Yamaha AG06. It has opened up my options in the studio.
USB powered! That looks handy. Battery packs are cheap and work.
I have to carry it on my person, mind you.
How is the quality of the audio? Preamps?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
Stupid question: I own an iPhone 6 and 2 iPads but I nearly always use the iPads with my interfaces. Does the iPhone receive more than 2 audio channels via usb at all? I use Auria as a DAW with my iPads and it allows as many channels as my interfaces have, but it doesn't run on iPhones.
Yes.

I could for example connect my Motu 16a and record 16 channels into AUM.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Thank you for the replies.
I went with the Roland Mixer:GO Pro (the one with the battery compartiment).
I'm happy with the Roland, everything worked fine. Mic input, lavalier mic input, line input and headphones out.
Gainstaging is possible, the only thing missing is a dedicated headphones volume knob.
When recording loud modular synths, while listening to the interviewed person talking, the output level was routed straight to the iPhone but also to the headphones. And that wasn't very nice. (I'm protective of my ears!)

But.. there's an issue. Not with the Roland but with the setup as a whole:
Sometimes my Filmic app crashed, sometimes it took the whole phone with it, sometimes it distorted the audio, sometimes it didn't see the incoming audio at all. Restarting the phone was then the only way to deal with it. I assume (but am not sure) this has to do with taking the Lightning cable in and out of the phone (had to recharge it, using a battery pack)
I think (but am not sure) that the distorted audio is because the iPhone doesn't deliver enough power to the Roland mixer (so when more voltage is needed, it distorts).
The levels were not too high. It could also be a temperature issue, taking the iPhone out of the frame I had it mounted in, seemed to "unfreeze" it.

This, and another reason make the iPhone unsuitable for professional video work with audio. It's great to use for travel, communication, quick uploads to the forum or instagram live videos.
Thankfully the little Roland mixer can be used with a Laptop or even standalone. So the purchase was not wasted.

@ DirkP I don't know if it can recieve more than 2 channels through the Lightning connector. You'd have to look that up.
did you try moviepro? i use it a lot. it allows audio monitoring and shows the incoming audio levels.
Old 5 days ago
  #16
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
USB powered! That looks handy. Battery packs are cheap and work.
I have to carry it on my person, mind you.
How is the quality of the audio? Preamps?
I've only owned it for a couple of weeks, but it has been amazing. I did a lot of research to find the right interface for me in this instance. This is part of a more portable rig I use to do location recording. I specifically chose the Yamaha for its D-Pre preamps, which are the same ones used in their larger consoles. It has a few unique routing options as well, which has enabled me to add mt iPad very easily into my PC main rig workflow. I'm able to send audio either way from either device and I even have a send out to another mixer with a loop to tape and back.

The loopback functionality of the Yamaha also enables you to loop your devices system audio output (from apps, watching video) into your main out, so you can podcast or do online videos with system audio included in the stream.

Very versatile, very compact/portable, very nice looking AND it's a Yamaha.

I bought a separate mounting bracket and stand to mount it neatly with my ipad:

No idea why the picture has shown up on its side!
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budget interface/mixer to go with iPhone 6s?-20190520_161532.jpg  
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Here for the gear
It'll also do up to 192khz/24 bit. Great piece of kit for the price. It has substantial amounts of metal in the build as well and feels built like a tank.
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