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Using Iphone as a studio monitor Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Thread Starter
Using Iphone as a studio monitor

I've been using my iphone for sometime as a good backup check for recorded music. I use real equator monitors but Sometimes the iphone can be really helpful in noticing issues that you might not on the monitors. My question is, is there an easy way to mod, or hook up the phone for real time use as a monitor? Any help greatly appreciated thanks.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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M.S.P.'s Avatar
I would think there would have to be a way someone could make an app that just mirrors the input to the speaker.... but thats not my specialty. heh.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Aren't there recording apps that allow you to monitor the incoming signal if you want? "Motiv" from Shure does it. Or you send a signal from an interface via USB/camera connection kit and you use any kind of DAW you like on iOS.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksalot View Post
I've been using my iphone for sometime as a good backup check for recorded music. I use real equator monitors but Sometimes the iphone can be really helpful in noticing issues that you might not on the monitors. My question is, is there an easy way to mod, or hook up the phone for real time use as a monitor? Any help greatly appreciated thanks.
I can feed Skype from my console and call my phone. There's a bit of delay and it's subject to whatever bad stuff Skype does, but it's doable.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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I use AirFoil on both PC and iPhone.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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I save some of my recording to Drop box and I'm able to play them back on the phone. The speakers sound quality has very little bass response so it would be pretty useless for any kind of judgements mixing. I suppose you're using ear buds which may improve the sound quality, but I surely cant see it as being trustworthy for mixing purposes other then detecting it being a flop compared to other commercial music played back the same way using an A/B comparison.

I do use a cool little app for music writing proposes called Music Memos. Many times I may be doodling around on the guitar and come up with an idea. I'll record it on the phone with that app. Then when you play it back its got a couple of buttons that add the drum and bass parts automatically using some kind of artificial intelligence based on the tempo and chords you may have played. It doesn't always recognize the music properly, especially if the guitar has overdrive butm the times it does work can be kind of nifty. Lets you hear what the song might sound like with the other parts are added.

Again, I don't rely on it for fidelity but for music writing purposes it's great for saving bits and pieces of music you'd like to build into songs. I often save up a dozen or two ideas then I simply play them back and take them to the next level recording them professionally and working out all the parts. Its a heck of a lot easier then writing things down and tabbing them out so you don't forget.

The playback even shows you the chords/notes you played too, so you don't have to start over from scratch trying to figure out what you were playing.

That would be a real handy feature to have in a DAW too. It would be great to see the chords that were being played when you finally go back and add Bass and lead parts. I often come up with some fairly complex arrangements and often have to write the progression down along with the clock timings so I can catch them in time. having the chords there would be a big time saver to people who write music and even to those who don't.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
I save some of my recording to Drop box and I'm able to play them back on the phone. The speakers sound quality has very little bass response so it would be pretty useless for any kind of judgements mixing. I suppose you're using ear buds which may improve the sound quality, but I surely cant see it as being trustworthy for mixing purposes other then detecting it being a flop compared to other commercial music played back the same way using an A/B comparison.

I do use a cool little app for music writing proposes called Music Memos. Many times I may be doodling around on the guitar and come up with an idea. I'll record it on the phone with that app. Then when you play it back its got a couple of buttons that add the drum and bass parts automatically using some kind of artificial intelligence based on the tempo and chords you may have played. It doesn't always recognize the music properly, especially if the guitar has overdrive butm the times it does work can be kind of nifty. Lets you hear what the song might sound like with the other parts are added.

Again, I don't rely on it for fidelity but for music writing purposes it's great for saving bits and pieces of music you'd like to build into songs. I often save up a dozen or two ideas then I simply play them back and take them to the next level recording them professionally and working out all the parts. Its a heck of a lot easier then writing things down and tabbing them out so you don't forget.

The playback even shows you the chords/notes you played too, so you don't have to start over from scratch trying to figure out what you were playing.

That would be a real handy feature to have in a DAW too. It would be great to see the chords that were being played when you finally go back and add Bass and lead parts. I often come up with some fairly complex arrangements and often have to write the progression down along with the clock timings so I can catch them in time. having the chords there would be a big time saver to people who write music and even to those who don't.

I disagree about a phone speaker not being useful for mixing decisions. I find bandwidth limited monitoring situations very useful as an alternative test. Can make some problems obvious that are simply not on a full frequency system.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Thread Starter
I think it clears some things up rather quickly. I am new to all this but I did find some things that obviously need changing on the tracks based on the phone speaker. It seems like the iphone is capable of using the headphone jack as an input in some apps. I wonder if one could make an app that just takes analog input and plays it via the phone speaker. Mount it on the wall and there you go.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Oh.... it's true. these days your song has to sound good over a .....phone....
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Addict
If you happen to use Cubase/Nuendo, there is a Steinberg app that allows you to stream the DAW output to your iPhone. The app is called 'Studio Pass'.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Oh.... it's true. these days your song has to sound good over a .....phone....
It is true indeed! I've been in the studio with a Grammy winning mix engineer and he had an iPhone speaker hard wired to one of the outputs of his monitor controller.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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foldback's Avatar
I regularly recommend to my recording students to listen to their mix on a high-end laptop and to listen on an iPhone or some other expensive smartphone to see how the sound holds up on less-than-ideal speaker systems.

A mix should still work on bass-light speakers like these kinds of sources, the song should still have everything there and not sound gritty or awful, it should just be bass light and a little tinny but not turn in to total rubbish.

One of my clients brought over a mix on his iPhone last week, I said "have you listened to it", he said yes and it has no bass, I want you to hear the bass. I insisted we listen to the song on his iPhone 7+ through its speaker.

While we listened together on his iPhone I pointed out that the lead vocal across the intro was gritty and way to loud, I did not need to hear any bass to tell that his balance was way off and however he recorded that intro vocal needed a do-over.

He agreed and we never did listen on the big speakers, the phone speaker highlighted what we needed to hear. It reminds me of why people used Auratone monitors back in the 70's, they highlighted things that were wrong with a mix.

For me my expensive Apple laptop and iPhone are my 2000-era reference speakers, a good mix needs to sound like the song on any speaker. Music-supervisors and a lot more consumers are listening on their phones so mixes need to sound as good as they can on these platforms too.

Good music to all!
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
I disagree about a phone speaker not being useful for mixing decisions. I find bandwidth limited monitoring situations very useful as an alternative test. Can make some problems obvious that are simply not on a full frequency system.
Think you missed the point.

There is nothing special about listening to a mix on a cell phone or any other low quality sound device. Its fine for checking to see if a mix is compatible on there, but the real question is why wouldn't it be as compatible as any other commercial mix.

A cell phone is no different then checking a mix on a boom box, Hi Fi, Car speakers or any other device. If you hear something isn't translating well take notes, but do the fixes on studio monitors where judgement making those changes are accurate.

If you try and make a mix sound better then other commercial recordings on a low end device, all you do is screw up how it sounds on other devices. If a cell phone lacks bass so be it. You don't tweak the mix to make the bass sound better because it will undoubtedly up having too much on other devices.

I also wouldn't try and judge a Mix that hasn't been mastered yet. The song needs to be mastered so its dynamic levels are similar to other commercials recording first. Otherwise you're totally wasting you time.


Again, if you know how to properly mix and master on studio monitors, the mix should sound as good as any other mastered recording on a cell phone or any other device. A cell phone test can tell you when you botched the recording some how just as well as many other devices. The real trick is, don't screw up in the first place and it will sound as good as it should on all other devices.
Old 3 days ago
  #14
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Thread Starter
I think the take away here is yes it could be useful. But no help on actualy execution. I really want it to be set as a monitor so I can just a/b. I'm going to dive in and try to figure out how to get a direct in into my older iphone 4. Thanks everyone. I'll post if I succeed
Old 3 days ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
I regularly recommend to my recording students to listen to their mix on a high-end laptop and to listen on an iPhone or some other expensive smartphone to see how the sound holds up on less-than-ideal speaker systems.

A mix should still work on bass-light speakers like these kinds of sources, the song should still have everything there and not sound gritty or awful, it should just be bass light and a little tinny but not turn in to total rubbish.

One of my clients brought over a mix on his iPhone last week, I said "have you listened to it", he said yes and it has no bass, I want you to hear the bass. I insisted we listen to the song on his iPhone 7+ through its speaker.

While we listened together on his iPhone I pointed out that the lead vocal across the intro was gritty and way to loud, I did not need to hear any bass to tell that his balance was way off and however he recorded that intro vocal needed a do-over.

He agreed and we never did listen on the big speakers, the phone speaker highlighted what we needed to hear. It reminds me of why people used Auratone monitors back in the 70's, they highlighted things that were wrong with a mix.

For me my expensive Apple laptop and iPhone are my 2000-era reference speakers, a good mix needs to sound like the song on any speaker. Music-supervisors and a lot more consumers are listening on their phones so mixes need to sound as good as they can on these platforms too.

Good music to all!
Auratones these tiny cheap cube speakers are truly amazing and I still use them. I live in a rural area where demos are usually not mastered so pass the auratone test, they will pass phone test & we're done. They just have that mojo quality of transparency. I paid $65 years ago and there's a pair on ebay now for $750~!
Old 3 days ago
  #16
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hello people's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
I save some of my recording to Drop box and I'm able to play them back on the phone. The speakers sound quality has very little bass response so it would be pretty useless for any kind of judgements mixing.
If there's no bass coming through there's your first adjustment right there!

Old 3 days ago
  #17
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Sigma's Avatar

Last edited by Sigma; 3 days ago at 05:20 AM..
Old 2 days ago
  #18
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foldback's Avatar
Personally I do not favor direct wiring to the phone, this bypasses all the inherent signal processing in the phone and limits you to a single device for monitoring not to mention the annoying cable..

I use a simple bluetooth audio broadcaster connected to my console stereo output to broadcast to the phone. This gives the most realistic impression of how the mix sounds on the phone. I have one of these broadcasters by Bose and a plain no-name model from Amazon that was only about $15, both work and sound identical.

I also listen to the broadcast using a bluetooth speaker, it's a small cheapie stereo box that has amazingly full sound thanks to internal processing. It's powered by rechargeable batteries so I can take it outdoors even and listen to tracks while swimming in the pool.

I think a high-end laptop is very valid as a speaker test, lots of music supe's audition tracks this way first when they're looking for a music-bite for a film or video. The song needs to hold up and still sound good on all these lower-fi platforms.

Good music to all!
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